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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Impact Personal Safety, SoCal

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Civil Rights, Crime & Law, Domestic Violence, Protection Against Abuse, Recreation & Sports, Sports

Mission: We offer dynamic, empowering, self-defense, assertiveness, boundary-setting classes encompassing verbal strategies, awareness skills, and yes, full-force physical assailant defense throughout Southern California. Our training is focused on prevention of and recovery from assault as it puts students in touch with their innate power regardless of size, strength, fitness or (dis)ability level. We are women and men working together to end the cycle of violence.

Results: Since 1984, Impact Personal Safety has successfully empowered and trained thousands of adults and children to defend themselves. Impact Personal Safety teaches self-defense to teenagers and young adults in 7 Los Angeles area high schools.

Target demographics: Women, men, and children

Direct beneficiaries per year: Empowered and trained 500 adults and teenagers to successfully defend themselves.

Geographic areas served: Los Angeles and Southern California

Programs: IMPACT Personal Safety has been training women, men, teens and children in self-defense and personal safety for nearly three decades.

Community Stories

38 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

This should be the standard high school graduation gift for all girls. Nobody should start college, or a new career, or even adulthood without the tools this class gives.

I took this class because it was on my "bucket list" and my only regret is that I didn't take this class sooner. I now have lifetime skills to de-escalate a possible confrontation and successfully defend myself if necessary. And it only took 2 weekends!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Impact has helped me to reaffirm that my safety and sovereignty matter. I understand that "no" is a complete sentence and I feel I have the right to listen to myself when I feel uncomfortable. In addition to learning to be more assertive, I have learned the value of patience in Impact, as well, since responding appropriately to a given situation also involves observing. I am grateful to this nonprofit and the people who run it for all they have contributed to my honoring my self-worth.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

This is a very important program. After participating, I felt empowered and confident in my abilities to stay safe and protect myself. The program teaches a wide range of skills, from avoiding danger to fighting if needed. I was shown my true strength because they teach you to use all your strength in class practice. There's no such thing as holding back in this program because they understand that how we practice something is how we use it. If you pull your punches during training you are likely to hold back when it matters most. Using full impact in training situations assures we are practicing what and how we might actually encounter danger. This program uses role play to helps create positive subconscious patterns for addressing scary situations with confidence and a fighting chance, which actually reduces the chance of needing to use what you have learned.

Dawn C.2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am so thankful that my friend Ellen asked me to take this course. I found "myself" in the course. I cannot explain how I walked in the door one person and walked out the door as a different human being. As a woman I walk through life daily being afraid to walk in a darkened garage, being afraid to get in an elevator, for fear that someone is going to hurt me. I left the course realizing that I have a say in the matter . . . I have a voice for myself. I can say, "No." Not only can I say, "no," I can deliver consequences when what I say is not honored. Guess what? I might have to hurt somebody ... and so be it. That emboldens me to stand tall, walk proud and be fearless. What a gift!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 12 year old daughter and 6 year old son took the 2 day Impact Personal safety class. They both absolutely loved it and gained a great deal of confidence from the experience. The instructors were supportive, gave clear instructions, and didn't take themselves too seriously. They made the experience fun for the kids. My daughter continues to reference the class months afterward and looks forward to continuing her personal safety education with Impact. It was a very empowering experience for both children. Thank you Impact!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My stepdaughter took the IMPACT class for children.

I could not overstate how much she, and myself enjoyed the class! It was a great experience both in kindness, information, and skills. Johnny and Donald (Instructors) where a pleasure, and have such great manners and experience. Their interaction was a pleasure and a joy to watch.

My stepdaughter is enthusiastic for future refresher classes, and I am interested in a class for myself and my wife.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I organized a class for high school girls, and am so glad I did. The skills they were taught were empowering and essential. Equal focus was placed on avoiding confrontation and what to do if a situation does escalate. The teachers were amazing, and I am so grateful for their positive, supportive approach!

1 Gruberman

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'll just come right out and say it: IMPACT transformed my life! As a guy who's been called a "geek" and "nerd" for most of his life (badges I wear proudly btw), for decades I've lived in fear of a violent confrontation, or even setting a verbal boundary! And then, at age 60 I took the Men's Basics class and all that changed.

I found that our training was very similar to the Women's Basics class, except ours had a bigger de-escalation component as men who attack other men are often looking for a fight. I discovered that I actually can be a "bad ass" when it's appropriate, and it hasn't altered who I fundamentally am one bit! My life hasn't been the same since.

What really impressed me, and continues to do so, is the knowledge, caring, compassion and dedication of the staff. I've never seen anything like it in any other organization. I'm proud to call myself an IMPACT graduate and encourage everyone to check them out.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I recently took the Women's Basics class with a group of moms from my child's school. Classes such as this are so important, and in today’s climate, particularly relevant. We can now protect not only ourselves, but also our children. This knowledge and confidence alone allows us to navigate our lives and our environments in a much different manner. Because of this class, we are more aware of our surroundings, we can assess situations differently, we have verbal skills to diffuse situations, and if needed, we have the physical skills to protect ourselves. Can you imagine a world in which every woman and girl had that same confidence? We can, and it’s a magnificent vision—one where sayings like #metoo and #timesup are no longer necessary.

This was also the second time taking this class for me. I first took it about 9 or 10 years ago. I was so surprised and impressed at how much muscle memory I had. Taking the class the second time, I thought it would have all been forgotten over such a long span of time. I was glad to learn that it was all still there and readily accessible.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Impact has given me so much confidence and knowledge to protect myself!
When I first walked into Basics and saw a demonstration, I didn't think I would ever be able to do that. But after the patient instructors took us through broken down specific drills, by the end of the class, I was fighting just how I had seen at the beginning!
After Basics, I was in a few situations while traveling where my education and experience learned at Impact helped me enormously. A man followed me in an elevator at night to my hotel room floor and wouldn't leave. I was able to use the verbal skills I learned to get away and was ready to fight if the need had risen. Luckily it did not but I thank Impact for that skill and confidence.
The instructors are all excellent and really care about their clients!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Impact is so aptly named, because the “impact” the coursework has goes far beyond self-defense — though that aspect is certainly invaluable. I’ve taken the women’s basic and advanced classes and from from day one of Basics, I felt a shift in the way I move in the world. I stand taller and I better recognize my own strength. I feel less afraid in my daily life (including in areas I hadn’t realized fear had festered). I greatly appreciate the focus on violence prevention and consent, and couldn’t be more grateful for the incredible staff and curriculum. EVERYONE should take an Impact class, if they have the chance. It’s a game changer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Impact method is research-based, very effective, and efficient. I learned more in 20 hours of Impact than in over 500 hours of martial arts training. The class content and teaching approach is age appropriate -- kids, teens and adults all get what they need in a very positive setting. They treat all students with the same incredible level of support and engagement, so the training is effective for people of all physical, emotional and mental capabilities. I recommend this class for everyone as the skills learned can be applied to 'everyday' situations and full-on personal safety assaults. The training even improved how I handled basic 'difficult conversations' at work about setting boundaries with colleagues for managing projects and workload on teams. This is very practical training.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I took the Women's Basics class and the skills I learned I carry with me every day of my life. The staff was professional, the class was supportive and organized, and the material was informative, practical and explained in a way that was empowering. What was the most useful was the verbal skills we learned. I had underestimated how difficult it would be to use my voice and say no, or tell a stranger to move away from me. But once I found my voice I feel stronger and more powerful and much more capable of setting boundaries and keeping myself safe without having to use physical skills. But the fact that I now know so many physical skills for a variety of scenarios, I walk through my life tall, proud and fearless because I know I have options if a situation goes bad. I can now make a choice about how I will respond, vs before when I knew I wouldn't have the faintest idea of how to respond. Thank you IMPACT for giving me confidence, knowledge and empowerment. My life hasn't been the same.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I took an Impact class at my high school, and all girls school in Hancock Park. I was incredibly scared going into it, but I was treated with nothing but kindness, patience, and respect from each member of the staff. I am a stronger and more confident person because of Impact, and I will forever think that taking an Impact class was the best decision of my life. The things that they do for women (and men) are not only incredible, but also imperative.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Impact came into my life when i was a sophomore in high school. For someone who came out of quite a difficult situation from middle school and not as confident from the beginning of high school, impact gave me the confidence and strength to become the independent and confident woman i am today. I love knowing i can defend myself physically and mentally. Due to impact i will never be scared to go anywhere or do anything. They have truly become my family, my role models, and my friends. If i were the president of the united states i would make it a law for everyone to take because of their impact.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Incredible organization -- practical, empowering, non-intimidating, pretty much everything you could want in a self defense organization!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We organized a class for about 12 kids ages 8-11. We can't recommend this organization more highly. Organizing was easy and professional. The class itself was exactly what we were looking for--an age-appropriate, useful, fun and not too scary seminar preparing kids for dealing with all kinds of unwanted attention, from bullies, to overly touchy friends and family, to strangers on the street. The kids learned verbal and physical responses and, when prepared, fought against a padded assailant.
The instructors were knowledgable and organized. The kids had fun. We all came away feeling empowered.
All kids would benefit from this class! Should be part of school!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I organized a private class with seven girls age 10. They did two three hour sessions. All of the girls enjoyed the class and felt empowered afterwards. We all received some important tips as parents in continuing to keep our girls as safe as possible. The staff was positive and warm and the class ratio of staff to children was amazing. The instructors are knowledgeable and care about their mission to empower the people who take their program. I am going to sign up for the woman's class after this experience.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had heard about Impact from a friend years ago. It had always been on my bucket list, but while I made skydiving and moving across the country happen, I kept somehow making excuses for why learning how to defend myself wasn't really a priority.

After taking the Women's Basics course, I realize that a lot of my resistance was to how afraid I was to feel some powerful emotions. I cried so much my first class! It's a pretty big moment when you realize how many times you've allowed yourself to be victimized. I'm not blaming myself for the actions of others, but I do see how my not standing up for myself (physically, verbally, etc.) made it that much easier for those people to target me.

My instructors were so supportive and understanding. They made it safe for me to feel all of my big feelings while expressing loads of confidence in my ability to master the material. It was contagious. I am absolutely in love with Impact's training - and everyone I met there. Everyone, everyone, everyone should take this course.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I just finished the Women's Basics course and could not be more impressed with Impact and their program. While it can be emotionally and physically draining, the overall sense of empowerment that I took away from the course is something that will stay with me for a long time to come (not to mention the confidence to actually defend myself should I need to). While somewhat expensive, I feel as though it was money well spent as the class was not only thorough but was very hands on. I highly recommend this program to anyone considering it - you will not regret it!