self defense training for girls camp hero


What is a camp day like?

Camp days are split up into sections. Each day has 3 self defense training sessions where girls learn a variety of martial arts: kickboxing, Brazilian jiu jitsu, and wrestling—which keeps lessons fun and exciting. We take breaks for games, snacks, water, and lunch. After lunch each day, we have a one hour discussion & activity session where we discuss topics and lead activities built to build skills. Topics include presenting yourself confidently, speaking assertively, and situational awareness. 

What martial arts do you learn and why?

Our camp material is focused on moves and techniques that work best for self defense situations. Therefore we must teach students how to handle situations from standing and on the ground. We teach kickboxing techniques like stance, movement, kicks, and punch defense for self defense when standing. We teach Brazilian Jiu Jitsu techniques like mount escapes, break falls, technical stand ups, and guard get ups for self defense when on the ground. We also teach some wrestling and Judo, where girls learn how to use throws and take downs. These martial arts are known worldwide for the most effective and practical for real life self defense.

Do you have a referral program?

Yes! If you get a friend to sign up for camp, both girls will receive a free sweater on top of their complimentary Camp Hero T-shirt.

What about after camp? 

We have a partnership with Girls Who Fight, where many of the instructors also teach. GWF is a girls martial arts program that has classes for girls and teens in kickboxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu. The classes run at the same location as our camp. All campers get a free month of GWF training after camp!

How do you maintain safety?

Safety is our first priority. We practice moves back and forth in a safe and equipped environment with all appropriate mats and pads. We do not do any sparring, meaning there is no time when girls are ever getting hit, of course. We practice moves in a controlled and simulated setting with trained and experienced female instructors. Our instructors are also trained in CPR C & First Aid in case of an emergency. 

Who are the instructors?

Our instructors are chosen by the founder and head coach Gemma. Head instructors are all accomplished female martial artists who have years of experience training and competing in martial arts. They are selected based on their good character and positive personality. Our student instructors are selected from the Girls Who Fight program that teaches girls martial arts, and are selected based on their positive energy and knowledge of the martial arts taught in camp. All instructors are trained in CPR and have completed a Vulnerable Sector Background Check.

How do you introduce serious topics?

We are teaching girls how to be smart, safe, and strong in the world, which begs the question—from what? We find that most girls in our program come to camp already understanding the importance and value of learning self defense. We do not present any content in terms of fear. We take the approach of making every lesson fun and engaging, and presenting every part of the camp as a life lesson that has value beyond self defense. For example, learning to speak assertively isn't only about standing up to bullies, but about being able to ask for what you want, say what you think, and advocate for yourself in every area of your life—it's a skill!

How many kids and instructors in each camp?

Most camps have a 16 student limit. We follow the Ontario Camp Association guidelines and always have one instructor for every 8 participants, often more. 

Do girls need any experience?

Not at all. Camp Hero is a beginner introduction to martial arts and self defense. We start at square one and cover a whole lot in one week. You do not need to be athletic either, in fact many students of ours have said they were so surprised how much they were able to do because they thought they were not athletic. Martial arts works perfectly for all body types and fitness levels!

What do girls learn?

Here is a non-exhaustive list of what our girls learn:

  1. How to keep a stance, move, and create distance from someone

  2. How to defend strikes from standing and the ground

  3. How to kick

  4. How to punch

  5. How to fall safely and stand up quickly

  6. How to defend wrist, waist, and neck grabs

  7. How to escape when someone is on top of you on the ground from two positions

  8. How to use throws and take downs

  9. How to create space from someone on the ground and get up

  10. How to understand balance and body structure

  11. How to be aware of your surroundings when in public and stay safe

  12. How to stand and walk confidently, with strong body language

  13. How to speak assertively and confidently

  14. How to use your voice in self defense, and to advocate for yourself

  15. How to stand up for yourself against a bully

But most importantly our girls learn that:

  1. They can accomplish difficult things

  2. They are capable of much more than they thought

  3. They have mental and physical strength

  4. It is OK to stand up for yourself

  5. It is OK to speak up for yourself and say what you want or don't want

  6. They can be assertive when they need to

  7. They are way tougher than they know

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