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Self-Defense Instructor Certification


Since the early 1970s, the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation has pioneered the development of self-defense instruction, bringing together highly-trained martial artists and women knowledgeable about the issues of violence – enabling them to gain support, share ideas, and promote quality programs.

We believe that women deserve the highest standards from self-defense instructors. We hope you will find the process of certification itself to be educational and will gain even more credibility as a National Women’s Martial Arts Federation Certified Instructor.

This is a comprehensive application, meant to cover the full range of skills involved to teach women’s self-defense at a high level. Physical skills, verbal skills, anti-violence education, the works.

NWMAF is committed to making self-defense training accessible across diverse communities.

Get Certified!

Read the requirements to become an NWMAF Certified Self-Defense Instructor.

Review the core competencies that Self Defense instructors must demonstrate.

Understand the Empowerment Model for teaching Self Defense.

Study this list of 101 ways to improve your cross-cultural teaching skills.

Check out the reading list and add to your knowledge of Self Defense.

Request an Application

Current NWMAF members can download an application to become an NWMAF-Certified Self-Defense Instructor. Note: you must be logged in.

Have questions? Contact us at for more info about becoming a Certified Self-Defense Instructor.