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Annual Conference

The NWMAF conference is the longest-running woman-led training opportunity not limited to one martial art or to only self-defense. This signature event is a multi-style training camp and professional self-defense instruction conference, held in the summer, usually at a different college campus each year. Attendees come from all over the United States, Canada, and beyond.

  • Grow, share your passion, and develop your skills.
  • Train with new partners and old friends who match us in skill, size, strength, or temperament.
  • Learn from high-level instructors in a women-led, non-competitive environment.
  • Participate in a community created for women, transgender or non-binary, and their allies, that has sustained us for over 50 years.

Trainers

Our Conference Instructors are selected from among the best martial artists, self-defense instructors, and healing arts practitioners around the world. Many have decades of experience, and all are committed to teaching excellence. Check back here and on our social media pages to meet this year’s Instructors.

Teens

We offer a multigenerational training experience. Attendees ages 12-18 are welcome regardless of gender. All minors must be accompanied by a parent or guardian when not in a class.

Many martial arts, self-defense, and healing arts classes are open to all ages, while others are specifically designed for ages 12-18. 

One of our most exciting conference traditions is that young students work together to design a demonstration for the performance on Saturday night.

Super Saturday

On the final day of the event, we pull out all the stops and open the doors to the public! And as a grand finale, the day and the event close with our annual Demonstration Performance, where members showcase their talents. 

Most classes on Saturday are open to cis-men, so you can invite brothers, husbands, sons (12+), and ally classmates and instructors from your home schools to join in the festivities. (As with the rest of the conference, minors must be attended by a guardian when not in a class.)

Check out some all-star classes, visit our bazaar and business expo (tabling opportunities available for members too!), participate in the scholarship fund raffle to win fantastic prize baskets, and be dazzled at the Demo. Super, indeed!

From the 2016, Naperville, Illinois, gathering of the three women’s martial arts organizations, AWMAI, PAWMA & NWMAF: Sensei Delina Fuchs & Sensei Nerissa Freeman demonstrate select Danzan Ryu Jujitsu techniques — performed first slowly, then quickly.

Self-Defense Instructors’ Conference and the Empowerment Model Course

Each year, the day preceding the NWMAF Conference is our Self-Defense Instructors’ Conference, dedicated to the teaching of Empowerment Self-Defense, a unique, evidence-based, trauma-informed approach to personal safety and violence prevention.

During the NWMAF Conference, we also offer our Empowerment Model Course. Take all or part of this comprehensive series of skill-building self-defense classes, taught by NWMAF-certified self-defense instructors. Learn how to escape grabs, recognize the warning signs of violence, defend yourself with simple strikes and kicks that don’t take years of marital training to master, and much more. No experience necessary!