I’ve always been hesitant to take a self defense class. I was worried about getting an instructor who perpetuated rape culture while attempting to be helpful. Ali, who led the self defense class I took at Underground, was exactly the opposite. She was extremely knowledgeable, very aware of the myths around sexual assault and careful to avoid them, and also very sensitive to the needs and experiences of her students. She did a wonderful job of making sure that all of us were comfortable, even though the experience of physically defending ourselves against the male assistants (also really terrific instructors) could have been very daunting. All in all, it was a very empowering and educational experience. The opportunity to practice physical aggression was kind of a revelation! I left the class feeling reminded of the fact that yes, I have the ability physically fight back if necessary (how did I forget this?) but with the knowledge and skills to really make a hit count if I need it to. I feel more confident being on my own than I did before. Can’t recommend enough!