Women Empowered ® is the official Gracie self-defense program for women based on the techniques of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu (BJJ). 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! Please note you will need to pay the full evaluation fee each time you take a test, and when you pass the test, you will receive your official Women Empowered® Pink Belt and promotion certificate at no additional cost.
Brazilian Jiu-jitsu is the perfect self-defense system for women, but only if it is taught correctly. If you’re unsure about learning BJJ for fear of injury, embarrassment, or any other reason, then the Women Empowered® program is perfect for you! If you’ve tried BJJ at another school and had a negative experience, give Women Empowered® a chance, and we guarantee it will win you back to the mat!
20 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.
The Empowerment Mindset
Beyond the physical techniques, Women Empowered® also reinforces awareness principles, risk assessment, and verbal and psychological strategies a woman can use to set safe boundaries with others – even if the perpetrator is someone she knows. At the core of this mindset is the belief that we are worth defending!
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 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 15 Women Empowered® lessons once, 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 8 Reflex Development Classes, you are eligible to test for promotion to pink belt! During this 30-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. Please note that there is an evaluation fee each time you take a test, and when you pass the test, you will receive your official Women Empowered Pink® Belt and promotion certificate at no additional cost. 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?
In most martial arts systems, awarding belts is the traditional way to acknowledge progress and accomplishment. With the development of the Gracie Women Empowered® program, the course featured so many unique strategies, objectives, techniques, and psychology tailored to a special set of circumstances, that the standard Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu belt system did not apply. So, we decided to add an entirely new belt, and since pink was one of the only colors not used in the existing BJJ belt system, we introduced the Women Empowered® Pink Belt! It not only symbolizes dedication to the techniques of the program, but also an understanding of the philosophy that is essential for survival in life-threatening scenarios. We hope that this reflexive understanding of both the philosophy and techniques will instill a confidence in women that reduces their risk of ever becoming a target in the first place. Since the program was created we have watched women dedicate countless hours to earning their pink belt, and with every pink belt earned, the value and prestige of this belt has become undeniable.
Free Online Access & Satellite Training Privileges
Upon enrolling in the Women Empowered® program you will receive a free subscription to Gracie University Online. Through this interactive online platform, 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 Training Center qualify to train for free at any other Gracie Certified Training Center around the world for up to 30 consecutive days per year. Since the curriculum is the same at all Certified Training Centers, you will receive credit for every lesson on your Women Empowered® attendance card when you return home!