Culture of Safety

Culture of Safety is a woman and queer-led small business that offers self-defense and karate classes. 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.   

Self-Defense Classes at Culture of Safety

To us, self-defense means anything you do or say that helps you feel and be safer.  Our self-defense classes include physical skills and interpersonal skills that help people defend themselves from 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 respect in their schools, workplaces, and communities.   Read more about our empowerment self-defense classes!

Karate Classes at Culture of Safety

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!

Culture of Safety is proud to announce that we now have a variety of remote workshop options

We are Amy and Kyren.  Both of us are black belts.  Amy is a social worker, and Kyren 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.


A person telling another person to stop.

What Is Empowerment-Based Violence Prevention?

Empowerment-Based Violence Prevention 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. 


Does ESD Work?

In a word, yes!  Evidence shows an ~50% reduction in the experience of violence after an empowerment-based safety training.  No other intervention is as effective.  The infographic linked below (click to see larger version) summarizes recent evidence.

Flyer describing the evidence-base of Empowerment self-defense
Click on the infographic to see a larger version

For inquiries, use the contact form below: