Lauren Taylor, founder and director of Defend Yourself, has been teaching Empowerment Self-Defense since 1987. She’s taught more than 35,000 people of all genders, ages, and walks of life. Lauren specializes in classes for women, people with disabilities, LGBTQIA+ people, and survivors of abuse and assault.
Under Lauren’s direction, Defend Yourself also offers training in bystander intervention techniques for standing up to hate speech and violence. Lauren is also the founder and director of Safe Bars, which trains hospitality professionals in active bystander skills, Empowerment Self-Defense, and de-escalation to create safe, respectful, and welcoming spaces for patrons
and staff alike.
Lauren is a respected leader in Empowerment Self-Defense and bystander intervention and trains teachers in both fields. She was one of the founders of the Self-Defense Instructors Conference and presents there frequently. She has written extensively on interpersonal violence and prevention and has presented at many national conferences.