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Jill Baker Shames, MSW

Jill Shames
Jill Baker Shames is a Clinical Social Worker and an advanced Black Belt in was born in Brooklyn and raised first on Long Island and then in rural Upstate New York. She attended Boston University where she earned a BS in Communications (Magna Cum Laude) specializing in Public Relations for Non-Profit Agencies and a Masters in Social Work (MSW) specializing in Health Care.

Jill has been studying and teaching Shorin-ryu Karate and Kobudo since 1987 and teaching Empowerment Self-Defense, most recently as part of the Personal Safety collective SafeMoves (תנועה בטוחה) since 1990.

In 1996, Jill and her husband and four children moved from Pittsburgh, PA to Israel, where she has and continues to train students and mentor martial artists through their ongoing journey as students and instructors of Empowerment Self-Defense.

At the same time, as the Head Instructor of Heroes Circle/ Kids Kicking Cancer Israel, Jill brings her unique combination of trauma-informed Shorin-ryu Karate, ESD, Liberation Self-Defense and Therapeutic Martial Arts to children, teens and adults all over Israel and wherever ZOOM can reach them. Her latest initiative is J.E.D.I. (Jill Shames Empowered Defenders Institute) through which she offers a live online course for instructors offering in-depth support in pursuing their NWMAF Self-Defense Instructor certification. Learn more at

All class times are Eastern Daylight Time.

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