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Self-Defense Courses & Trainer Certification | Pretty Deadly

Women spend 50% of our time strategizing how to stay safe.


Imagine if we could free up that time

so we can contribute to the things that really matter:

getting an education, developing careers, growing communities, following our dreams,

building a better world.
Self defense courses + trainer certification

Start your journey
New to Pretty Deadly?

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Pilates <> MMA

We use natural movement, body dynamics, and our unique exercises developed to help you re-center your balance and connect to your core -- where your power really lives! We're closer more Pilates than MMA, and we'll never scream at you, tell you to hit harder or ask you tap into your rage: we're about connection, opportunity,  and making self defense a part of your self care.

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User-focused Self Defense

Pretty Deadly Self Defense incorporates modified techniques found across 11 schools of martial arts, from Ninjutsu to Krav Maga to Kung Fu and Tae Kwon Do. We start with the very basic structures and help you find what's right for your body. Our focus is on body literacy over bodily harm.


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Tools to Grow & Go!

Pretty Deadly is for anyone interested in connecting to their body in a new way, finding tools to help with anxiety, stress and fear, and ready to discover the joy of movement while developing practical life skills that build self confidence and self-trust, so you can adapt to anything, and be ready for everything! 

Pretty Deadly Self Defense gives us tools to live the lives we choose.

We're changing the fight.

Who we are

Pretty Deadly was founded by Susie Kahlich, based on her experiences as a violent crime survivor, and her 22 years training and teaching the Japanese art of Ninjutsu. Originally developed for Susie's 67-year old mom, Pretty Deadly has been designed to be accessible, easy to remember, effective, and fun.


Pretty Deadly is the first women's self defense program to submit its trainer certification course to an oversight governing body to ensure that protocols are in place for both trainers and participants to enjoy safe, supportive training, and the first women's self defense course to certification training to fitness professionals as well as martial artists.


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Once you understand that you can help mold the future, everything changes.


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Live Courses

Pretty Deadly Self Defense focuses on confidence, learning how your biological self defense system really works, and learning how to make space and get away. Beginners welcome!

Five 1-hour classes build skills progressively over the course of 5 weeks, teaching basic moves and focusing on awareness, balance, and body dynamics through functional martial arts movement:

Class 1: strikes (upper body)
Class 2: kicks (lower body)
Class 3: locks (balance)
Class 4: escapes (mobility)
Class 5: skills test (badass!)

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Online Classes

Pretty Deadly Online teaches the basics of self defense movement, including exercises for form & structure, and balance, along with techniques you can practice with everyday items around the house.


Slow and gentle movements are great for recovering from injury and illness, and our signature format is perfect for building back body confidence

Class 1: balance

Class 2: mobility

Class 3: strategy

Class 4: applications

Class 5: skills test (theory)

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Trainer Certification

The Pretty Deadly Self Defense Trainer course is a 6-day online + live training that includes both theory and practice.


Online sessions cover methodology, psychology and how to adapt Pretty Deadly for your own fitness or martial arts practice. Live sessions cover techniques and CBT exercises designed to fast-track your clients' confidence levels:

Class 1: Methodology (online)​

Class 2: Psychology (online)

Class 3: Marketing (online)

Class 4: Techniques (live)

Class 5: Exercises (live)

Class 6: Self-defense workshop (live)