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Youth Workshops & Programs


5-Week Empowerment Self Defense Course

Open to teen and pre-teen girls (cisgender and transgender) and all transgender and gender non-conforming youth across the spectrum. The course is usually held on-site at out Brooklyn location on 5 consecutive Saturday afternoons. During the summer it is usually held as a one-week camp.

Youth in the program will learn basic self defense skills, including various blocks, hits, how to get out of different kinds of holds, situational awareness, using your voice and more. There is no hand to hand practice.

For questions or requests for accommodations please contact selfdefense@caeny.org. To register, click “sign up here.”

Please note, registration for each cycle of courses opens about one-month before the start of the course.

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One-Time Self Defense and Upstander Workshops

CAE offers one-time (usually 2-3 hour) workshops by request to groups (15 or more individuals) of youth (ages 7 to 18).

Upstanders learn bystander intervention and basic self-defense concepts to stay safe while standing up for others. They explore what it means to be an ally, learn de-escalation techniques, and how to support those targeted in empowering ways.

Self Defense workshops are a more condensed version of our 5-Week Self Defense Course. Youth in the program will learn basic self defense skills, including various blocks, hits, how to get out of different kinds of holds, situational awareness, using your voice and more.

Priority is given to our primary demographic, but workshops are open to all youth based on our capacity.


Power, Action, Change for Teens (PACT)

PACT is a self-defense, self-care and social justice after-school program for middle and high school girls, transgender or gender non-conforming youth across the spectrum. Pre-teen and teens meet at CAE’s Brooklyn Center every Thursday afternoon from 4:30 to 6:00 pm throughout the school year (late September through Early June) and train in physical, verbal and emotional self-defense techniques.

If you sign up over the summer you will be contacted in September.


Peer Educator Internship Program

High School teens who identify as girls, transgender or are gender-nonconforming (across the spectrum) and have graduated PACT are eligible to train as Social Justice Activists and Instructors at CAE’s Brooklyn Center. After a summer-training camp, they continue their internship throughout the year teaching self-defense and Upstander techniques (CAE’s Bystander Intervention techniques) to their peers in schools, community organizations, faith-based groups, and in public places like parks and libraries.


Pride Protectors Internship Program

Youth ages 15-24 who identify as Transgender or Gender Non-Conforming and have trained in CAE’s five-ten week empowerment self-defense course are eligible to apply to our Social Activist program.

Youth in the program work towards becoming Self Defense and Empowerment instructors for their peers, and may eventually go on to become instructors at CAE.