Women Empowered | Real-World Self Defense for Women by Women
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Women Empowered® is the official Gracie Jiu-Jitsu® self-defense program for women. In this 15-lesson program, we will teach you how to neutralize the 20 most common attacks ranging from having your hair grabbed to being pinned to the ground by a weapon-bearing assailant. Each one-hour Women Empowered lesson addresses two techniques. You can start the program at any time and participate in any class without previous experience. Unlike most self-defense systems that rely heavily on strength, speed, and coordination, the techniques in the Women Empowered program employ leverage, technique, and timing, so anyone, regardless of age or athletic ability, can make them work against larger opponents. Once you complete the Women Empowered program, you may test for promotion to Pink Belt!

US Air Force Adopts Women Empowered: Watch Video

If you have no previous martial arts experience and you want to learn how to defend yourself in a fun, safe, and cooperative learning environment, Women Empowered is for you. Scroll down to learn more about Women Empowered or contact us to set up a 10-day free trial.

15 Essential Techniques

Law enforcement officials and survivors of sexual assault helped us identify the 20 most common attack strategies that a male assailant is likely to use on a woman. From hair-grabs and choke-holds, to bear hugs and weapon defenses, the Women Empowered program covers it all.

Step 1: Learn the Techniques
We have divided the 20 Women Empowered techniques into 15 one-hour classes so that you can complete the course at your own pace. We designed each lesson so that you can start at any point in the course. As a result, you can start the program at any time and complete the 15 lessons in any order. Upon enrolling, we will issue you a Women Empowered attendance card on which we will track your progress every step of the way.

Step 2: Develop Your Reflexes
Once you complete each of the 10 Women Empowered lessons twice, you will qualify to participate in the Reflex Development (RD) classes where you will learn how to combine the 20 techniques to address the most common occurrences in a real self-defense situation.

Step 3: Earn Your Pink Belt
Once you complete each of the Women Empowered lessons four times, and you’ve completed at least four Reflex Development Classes, you are eligible to test for promotion to Pink Belt! During this 15-minute test, we will assess your execution of all 20 essential techniques. If your performance meets Gracie University® standards, you will qualify for promotion to pink belt. As a pink belt, you will be more than ready to move on to the Gracie Combatives® program should you choose to continue the jiu-jitsu journey!

What is the Pink Belt?
As with every program in Gracie Jiu-Jitsu® (Gracie Combatives®, Master Cycle®, and Gracie Bullyproof®) awarding belts is the traditional way to acknowledge progress and accomplishment. With the development of the Gracie Women Empowered program, the pink belt was created to acknowledge completion and mastery of the course…read more and watch an official PInk Belt Test!

Women Empowered Videos
Lesson 1: Wrist Release – Standard Grip, 1 on 1 – Watch Now
Lesson 6: The False Surrender and the Guard Get-up – Watch Now
“The Four Phases” with Ryron and Rener – Watch Now
“Undercover Assailants” with Eve and Rener – Watch Now
Women Empowered featured on Inside MMA – Watch Now
Interview with a Convicted Rapist – Watch Now


Upon enrolling in the Women Empowered program at any Certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Training Center®, you will receive a free subscription to GracieUniversity.com. Through this interactive website, you will have access to detailed video instruction on every technique in the course, enabling you to study the lessons on any computer or mobile device 24 hours a day! Furthermore, all active students at a Certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Training Center qualify to train at any other Certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Training Center around the world. Since the curriculum is the same at all Certified Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Training Center, you will receive credit for every lesson on your Women Empowered attendance card when you return home!

Schedule your class here

All classes are being offered in-person, with limited spaces available, and via Zoom conference.

Current Students: If you would like to attend an in-person class, please reserve your spot here*.

New Students: We are offering a one-week free trial to check out our programs. If you would like to attend an in-person class, please reserve your spot here*. If you could like to attend our distance learning classes via Zoom conference, please contact us here.

*Class reservations become available and are displayed in the scheduler below 24 hours before the scheduled class times. If you are attending by Zoom only, you do not need to reserve a spot below. 

COVID-19 Announcement

Following the state's recommendation to limit close physical contact to reduce the spread of  Coronavirus (COVID-19), we are temporarily suspending all in-person group classes.

Remote Zoom classes will continue to be available.


To book your Free 10-day Unlimited trial, please fill out the form below. If you have any questions for us, please visit our contact page or call us directly at .

Women Empowered® classes have been temporarily placed on hold. We are currently offering a 2-for-1 membership option for women who would like to attend our Gracie Combatives® classes.

Current Zoom Class Schedule:

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*Women Empowered Students are also eligible to attend Gracie Combatives Classes. Click here for the full class schedule.