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Introduction to Self Defense Training for Physical Education

This course will take approximately 8 hours to complete. If you have any questions about the course, please email us at "courses@ssww.com".

Need to get your Professional Development Credits approved by administration? Download the course description to provide them here.


Target Audience:

This course is designed primarily for secondary physical education teachers, specifically grades 7-12, as well as college-level physical education.

Course Purpose:

The purpose of this course is to provide the information and skills necessary for a physical education teacher to safely and effectively implement, modify (when necessary) and teach basic-level self defense in physical education. We want you to feel comfortable with the knowledge and basic-level physical skills of self defense so you feel you can offer it to your students.

Course Description:

By reading and studying the “Empower Intro to Self Defense Training Manual” (included free with course), a Physical Education professional will be able to:

  • Identify and explain the four types of awareness, as they relate to personal security training (mental, emotional, environmental, and physical).
  • Develop and enhance a student’s mental awareness in order that he/she may recognize and avoid or more effectively deal with potential or real conflict.
  • Develop and enhance a student’s level of emotional awareness that provides the specific knowledge and skills required to be cognizant of and respond properly to: a.) his/her own emotional state and the resulting physiological reactions, and b.) the emotional state of those who he/she is interacting with.
  • Demonstrate and perform basic self defense strategies and techniques, including: a) proper neutral/defensive stance, b) evasion techniques, c) skills for the development of maximum potential power, speed, and accuracy in execution of elbow strikes, palm heel strikes and knew strikes.
  • Identify primary and secondary targets for specific techniques.
  • Explain how an individual’s physical strengths and weaknesses can influence the “fight or flight” decision-making process.
  • Progressively teach and practice basic self defense strategies and techniques, including: a) evasion and striking techniques, b) loosening technique execution against various types of grabs and holds, c) combining loosening techniques with striking techniques.
  • Design and teach a self defense unit that will meet the parameters and guidelines for the Physical Education professional’s specific school situation.


Applicable Standards:

Standard 1 - The physically literate individual demonstrates competency in a variety of motor skills and movement patterns.

Standard 2 - The physically literate individual applies knowledge of concepts, principles, strategies and tactics related to movement and performance.

Standard 3 - The physically literate individual demonstrates the knowledge and skills to achieve and maintain a health-enhancing level of physical activity and fitness.

Course Materials:

All materials are available to download in the form of PDF files from within the course module. The course materials include:

  • The Empower Intro to Self Defense Training Manual

Course Design/Schedule

Since this module will take approximately 8 hours to complete, you may apply for 8 professional development hours/points from your school/school district. Make sure to check with your principal or professional development coordinator to clarify how professional development hours and credit work in your district.

Students can start and complete assignments any time they wish. You will have an instructor that you can contact via email for help, and you will submit assignments via email to the instructor. Your instructor will communicate with you via email. The instructor will also review your work to make sure you are making the appropriate progress. You will not earn a letter grade from this course.

Technology Needed to Complete the Course

You will need a computer or a tablet with an updated browser and Adobe Flash Player to complete the course. In addition, you need a working, valid email address.

Need to get your Professional Development Credits approved by your administration? Download the course description here.


Your Instructor


Tim Rochford
Tim Rochford

Tim Rochford (MS in Exercise Science, BS in Sport Management) has been in the fitness industry since 1984 and currently holds numerous certifications including ACE Medical Fitness Specialist, ACE and NASM CPT, The Cooper Institute MPFS, IYCA Level 1 and AAHF JrFit & Senior Fitness. He was formerly CPT certified through NSCA and AFAA. Tim has presented his Martial Fitness Kickboxing and Empower Self Defense Instructor Training programs for regional Shape America (formerly AAHPERD) events over the years. He has taught these programs at numerous Chicago suburban schools – directly leading workouts for students, as well as training PE professionals to become instructors in both kickboxing fitness and self defense programs.

Tim has been a continuing education provider in the fitness industry since 1997, presenting kickboxing fitness and self defense workshops nationally and internationally. Tim has been training in martial arts since 1978 and currently holds a 7th degree Black Belt in Kajukenbo/Kajukenpo Karate. He competed as an amateur kickboxer in the 1980’s & 90’s. He is the founder of Empower Training Systems (a self defense & kickboxing fitness instructor training company), has authored numerous instructor training programs and manuals. Tim is the co‐author of the ACE Kickboxing Fitness Specialty Training manual. He authored the only self defense instructor training course (workshop and home study) that is currently accredited for CEC/CEU in the fitness industry. He also has designed and patented the P2 Force, a unique body weight and elastic resistance training machine.


Class Curriculum


  Syllabus and Course Information
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  CEC, CEUs and Certificate of Completion for this Course
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