Here is a sampling of how a few practitioners define Empowerment Self-Defense (ESD) and links to more details.
“Empowerment Self Defense (ESD) is a specific type of self defense that adheres to standards developed from within the women’s self defense community… Empowerment Self Defense grew out of a social justice movement so it does not have a centralized home — its history and development are shared by many.”
Empowerment self-defense is a “feminist, gender-inclusive self-defense system that treats violence as a tool of social control and self-defense as a means of changing this culture of violence.”
“This style of self defense focuses on feeling strong, safe, and respected in all situations. It brings attention to social issues like racism and sexism that teach us to tolerate violence and disrespect. We believe strongly that people who have survived violence should not be blamed for that violence.”
ESD is a “feminist, anti-racist, gender-inclusive approach to eradicating violence and fostering equality. Empowerment self-defense is based on the premise that, although only an aggressor is responsible for an assault, a defender has options when reacting to violence. ESD provides training for expanding these options.”
“Empowerment self defense (ESD) -- sometimes called ‘feminist empowerment self defense’ or ‘empowerment model self defense’ -- is a uniquely holistic, evidence-based, survivor-centered, feminist approach to self-protection skills.”