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As we begin to serve our mission to elevate and fortify the ESD profession and dramatically broaden the reach of ESD, we invite you to join our growing community. We welcome everyone working in the ESD profession whether you are an instructor, an instructor-trainer, staff, executive, entrepreneur, volunteer, researcher, writer, or advocate. If you are working in the violence-prevention arena and believe in the principles of ESD, we welcome you too! And for violence-prevention professionals who may not be familiar with ESD, please come see what empowerment self-defense is all about—if you like what you see, please consider joining the Association.

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It is the vision of the Association to provide support to ESD professionals as we elevate and fortify the ESD profession, expand the reach of ESD, and grow public awareness of ESD’s healing benefits. The Association aims to standardize the practice of ESD with credentialing, continuing education, accreditations, and ethical & procedural guidelines to ensure safety and engender public trust. We will provide career & business resources. Through our outreach and advocacy work, we will influence public policy and increase government funding. To bolster its real-world impact, we will sponsor and share research. We will host events and publish a magazine, blog, and podcast. Through all of our work, we will aspire to build community and broaden the diversity and inclusiveness of ESD.


It is our mission to support Empowerment Self-Defense professionals, elevate and fortify the ESD profession, expand the reach of ESD to millions of people around the world, and establish ESD as an indispensable tool for preventing and reducing violence.

By teaching people how to empower themselves and shed their fears, the individuals and organizations doing this noble work can change the world.


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Code of Ethics

Credentialing & Accreditation

Continuing Education

Collaborative Advocacy & Lobbying


Business Resources Toolkits

Networking through Events & ESD Directories


Publications & Podcast

Sponsor & Spotlight ESD Research

Recognition, Features & Awards              for ESD Professionals

Career Center with Jobs Board




We are just getting started. The Association of ESD Professionals is a brand new professional membership association created to elevate the Empowerment Self-Defense (ESD) profession, expand the reach of ESD, engage the community, and support ESD instructors, instructor-trainers, researchers, writers, advocates, and other violence-prevention professionals who adhere to the principles of ESD. Whether you live in the U.S. or elsewhere in the world, please consider joining us as we work together toward shared violence-prevention goals.

We are a 501(c)(6) nonprofit, mutual benefit organization incorporated in Virginia. Unlike a 501(c)(3) organization, the Association does not engage in fundraising and instead must generate revenue. Membership dues may be tax deductible as business expenses and membership does not require participation in the credentialing program.



Otherwise known as ESD, is a comprehensive, evidence-based system of violence prevention. It takes a holistic approach to personal safety and self-defense and focuses on empowerment.