Culture of Safety

Culture of Safety is a woman/non-binary and queer-led small business in the neighborhood of Rogers Park in Chicago that offers ongoing karate and short-term self-defense classes as well as Shiatsu Bodywork. We’re proud to be a provider of empowerment-based self-defense, as well as the Chicago branch of Jin Sei Ryu Karate-Do International.   

We are Amy and Kyren.  Both of us are black belts.  Amy is a social worker, and Kyren is a licensed massage therapist has spent decades studying and practicing mindfulness and meditation.  We look forward to meeting you and working with you to create a Culture of Safety.



Karate Classes

Our karate classes teach Jin Sei Ryu Karate-Do™, a style of karate for the 21st century.  “Jin Sei Ryu” means ‘profound reflections for growth,’ and our students develop their minds and spirits while developing their bodies.  As with our self-defense classes, we teach through an empowerment lens, and work hard to be trauma-aware and welcoming to everyone.  Our karate is for every body, because we believe that every body can — and deserves to — get stronger, more coordinated, and more confident.  Read more about our karate classes!


Self-Defense Classes

Young Adult Self-Defense Students Demonstrate Their StrengthTo us, self-defense means anything you do or say that helps you feel and be safer, stronger, and more self-confident.  Our empowerment self-defense classes include physical skills and interpersonal skills that help people defend themselves from both physical and emotional violence.  Many of the skills we teach can also help you prevent violence.  Our trainings are organized around the three pillars of body, voice, and mind.  “Body” includes body language & posture as well as physical resistance techniques (‘fighting back’). “Voice” includes using our voice to assert our needs, get help, calm down a volatile situation, and tell our stories.  “Mind” means mental strategies to enhance our safety, and meditation strategies to find peace and foster resilience.  We work with our participants to help them create cultures of safety, strength, and mutual respect in their schools, workplaces, and communities.   Read more about our empowerment self-defense classes!

Culture of Safety also offers a variety of remote workshop options

Dating Safety & Sex Ed

We offer Dating Safety & Sex Ed as a complement to our Empowerment Self-Defense workshops and courses.  Blending the well-respected Our Whole Lives comprehensive sex-ed curriculum with our Empowerment Self-Defense curriculum, the Dating Safety & Sex Ed courses will equip young people with everything they need to venture into the exciting world of dating and intimate relationships — before they need it.  Read more about our Dating Safety & Sex Ed courses.

Massage and Zen Shiatsu Bodywork

We offer both traditional massage and Zen Shiatsu bodywork by appointment in our beautiful and peaceful treatment room. Shiatsu bodywork is highly effective for promoting relaxation and managing stress. Shiatsu works on the deeper levels of our body, including fascia and our nervous system, supporting the body through stress-based injuries and illnesses including chronic pain, digestive difficulties, insomnia, fatigue, anxiety & depression. By allowing our nervous system to reset, shiatsu supports the body in its natural healing process. Learn more here!

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A person telling another person to stop.
Amy demonstrates a powerful non-verbal communication to Kyren: “Stop.”

What Is Empowerment-Based Self-Defense?

Empowerment-Based Self-Defense (ESD) helps people enhance their safety by helping them understand, maximize, and increase their own strength.  Culture of Safety knows that people feel safer when they know they can physically defend themselves if necessary, so most of our trainings include a physical self-defense section.  And we also recognize that safety strategies that rely entirely on physical self-defense can only be effective in a physical fight.  Knowing that our clients do not want to fight if they don’t have to, Culture of Safety teaches students how to notice and respond to people behaving unsafely in their environments long before a fight happens, allowing them to prevent most violence before it starts.  The result is a comprehensive approach to enhanced personal safety. 



For inquiries, use the contact form below.