Instructor at an OSUPD self-defense class

Empowerment and Self-Defense

Empowerment and Self-Defense is a free program provided by The Ohio State University Police Division that teaches realistic self-defense tactics and techniques.

Free Empowerment and Self-Defense Courses

Taught by certified instructors, this comprehensive course begins with awareness education, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance, and progresses to the basics of hands-on defense training. Although students will learn defense strategies, this is not a martial arts program. Courses are open individuals in Ohio age 14 and older.

An Inside Look at Class

Class Dates and Times 


  1. Saturday, April 20, 9 a.m. to 11 a.m., at the Adventure Recreation Center (ARC)  - REGISTRATION CLOSED




How is this class instructed?

The course begins with awareness, prevention, risk reduction and risk avoidance, while progressing to the basics of hands-on defense training. This course is physically and psychologically demanding. The training that we offer includes the use of pads and padded suits, which allow the students to experience, practice and learn what it is like to strike the aggressor in a realistic situation. 

Do I need any prior experience to attend this class? Do I need to be in top physical shape to participate?

No. This program is designed for the average person with no previous experience or background in physical skills training.

Do I have to be a student?

No. You do not need to be a student, faculty or staff to enroll. This class is open for all people in the community. Anyone from age 14 and older may register.

What should I wear for class?

Please remember that this is an interactive self-defense course. Students may wear loose-fitting clothing, workout clothing, or street clothes. Please do not wear open-toed shoes or heels. Athletic shoes are required.

How do I donate to the Ohio State Empowerment and Self-Defense program?

The Michael Blankenship Police Memorial Fund was created to receive gifts to the university in memory of university Police Officer Michael Blankenship who was killed in the line of duty. The funds are designated for campus crime prevention initiatives and programs. Donations are tax deductible.

Please make checks payable to: The Ohio State Foundation / Michael Blankenship Police Memorial Fund (#306115) and note "For Empowerment and Self-Defense." in the memo field. 

For information about how to submit your donation, please visit Ways to Give

Can a class be held off-campus?

We often receive requests for training off-campus and within the City of Columbus.  Unfortunately, our team is unable to accommodate these requests, and the service we provide is limited to Ohio State's Columbus campus.