Special Training is the NWMAF's signature event. It is a multi-style training camp and professional self-defense instruction conference.
The event moves to a different college campus almost every year. Every year women and girls come to Special Training from all over the United States, Canada, and beyond. We come to share our passion for the martial arts. We come to develop our skills in self-defense. We come because some of us rarely have training partners that match our skill, size, strength, or temperament. We come to grow as individuals. We come to belong to a community that has been sustaining us for over 30 years.
Special Training offers a multi-generational training experience, and many classes are open to all ages.
Young Martial Artists (YMA) also enjoy classes designed specifically for students 6-12 years old and Teens 13-18 enjoy classes specifically designed for them. Our young students often choose to design an impromptu demonstration that they perform for the entire ST audience during the Demo on Saturday night.
For safety and security, we do require that YMA attendees are accompanied to classes by a guardian.
Saturday is a training day that is open to people of all genders, some classes are still only for people who identify as women and girls, but most classes on Saturday are open to anyone willing to train in a
welcoming environment. This means families may train together on Saturday that might otherwise be unable to train over the weekend.
Boys who attend the YMA classes must be accompanied to classes by a guardian.
We select the best women martial artists from around the world to teach at Special Training. These instructors are recognized for their contributions to their art and for their support of women and girls in the martial arts. Many have decades of experience and all are committed to teaching excellence. NWMAF honors our commitment to diversity in the trainer selection process.
...All Skill Levels
Special Training offers classes for all skill levels. Whether you've trained for a day or a decade, you'll find classes that challenge and inspire you. Many classes are open for all levels of experience.
...All Exertion Levels
From early morning to late night, you'll find classes at low, moderate and high exertion levels. Because Special Training is self-paced, it's accessible for all ages and abilities. Train your body, mind and spirit at the intensity that's right for you.
...All MARTIAL Art Styles
A wide variety of hard & soft styles, weapons arts, healing arts, and alternative arts are taught at Special Training. It's a great opportunity to deepen into your own practice and cross-train in styles that are new to you.
No experience is necessary for the Self-Defense 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, fight from the ground, defend against weapons, and much more.
If you're interested in teaching self-defense, then you may also want to attend our Self-Defense Instruction Conference.
Apart from amazing classes, Special Training offers a skill demonstration for attendees that is often open to the public.
There have been some incredible performances over the years, (see the video clip below for a sample).
There is also a Bazaar or Expo where camp attendees may buy or sell T-shirts, martial arts gear, artwork, and more- all provided by camp attendees.
Throughout the weekend there are social events and a variety of organized meetings.
2016: Sensei Delina Fuchs & Sensei Nerissa Freeman Demonstrate select Danzan Ryu Jujitsu techniques -- performed first slowly, then quickly in Naperville, Illinois at the gathering of the three women's martial arts organizations, AWMAI, PAWMA, & NWMAF. Enjoy with the volume up.