Martial Arts for Adults

Parent Q&A

Select any title to view the full question and replies.

  • Marital arts for women

    Jul 25, 2023

    I’m interested in taking some beginner classes in marital arts. Can anyone recommend a good studio or instructor. I am hoping to find a class for women or at least welcoming to women/not particularly aggressive or masculine. Older posts suggest a studio that doesn’t seem to exist anymore. Looking for some updated recs. Thank you!

    Hand to Hand Kajukenbo! Female-run and welcoming. They only offer beginner series every few months.

    Hello! We have a number of women, all ages, in our dojo. The martial art is iaido, in particular, Muso Jikiden Eishin Ryu iaido. You are welcome to visit and watch or try a class.

    Emeryville: Mondays 6-8pm

    Alameda: Thursdays 6-7:30pm, Saturdays 3-4:30pm.

    Thank you!

    My two children have attended Jiu Jitsu classes weekly at Lamorinda Jiu-Jitsu and Kickboxing in Lafayette for two years. Though I haven't attended any of the adult classes, I have occasionally watched the women's classes while my kids are in a concurrent class. They look like a lot of fun. The studio's atmosphere is positive, and woman-friendly in general.

    The studio offers a woman-only Jiu-Jitsu class taught by Stephanie Moon (a black belt), and there is an all-gender Muay Thai/Kickboxing class taught by a nice woman named Melissa.

    Kurt Osiander also teaches some adult classes there, and he is a hoot.

    If you go to Lamorinda Jiu-Jitsu's website, you can view their bios there.

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Questions Related Pages

Martial Arts for adult women?

Oct 2010

I'm looking for a good martial arts class for women in the East Bay. I'm hoping to find a class for women only, that caters to beginners as well as experienced martial artists. I appreciate any recommendations. Thank you! Eileen

There is a GREAT all women's Tae Kwon Do studio in North Oakland/South Berkeley called JLAG (Adeline and MLK Jr. Way). They accept all levels of expertise and are very welcoming to all women. I joined over 4 years ago, and I found it to be the best exercise in a very supportive and fun environment. The fellow students range from beginners to very advanced. The black belts rotate and teach weekday classes (Tues/Thurs evenings) and the sensei teaches on Sunday morning. I can't say enough good words about this school. The women are amazing, inspirational and fun! You get to punch, kick and scream in a safe environment--what more can anyone ask for! And you learn a new skill! Their contact info is: tkdforwomen [at] and the phone number is 510-326-8853 (ask for Mamie). Usma

I'm part of a great, small tae kwon do school for women near Alcatraz/Martin Luther King Dr in Berkeley (it's called JLAG). It's fun, challenging, without being competitive - and you get a lot of individual attention. For more information, email tkdforwomen [at] Blaze

Try Cuong Nhu Hwa Sen Dojo on San Pablo. I have known the sensei, Terri Giamartino, for 30 plus years. She is a great teacher and really motivates her students! She has also taught a lot of self defense classes for women and for children so she is quite familiar with the issues that can come up. Terri helps the students to really like coming to class----she's been involved in martial arts for over 30 years. 510-428-1979 is the number to reach her! Best of luck to you! Leah

This is not a martial art school but a self defense class- which I think we ultimately want to learn from learning marshal arts. google impact bay area or go to , It has given me that extra courage and satisfaction that I would be able to do something if in need. Sami

i know a lot of women who have trained at hand to hand martial arts/self- defense. it is an amazing community as well.

Jan 2008

Hello, Would love suggestions for martial arts classes for adult women in Oakland or Berkeley (can be co-ed) that would help me become stronger/more confident in the face of conflict. Would love recommendations for classes that are challenging and supportive. Also, would love to learn about the different kinds of martial arts and what's different about them (and why you like the one that you do) Thanks! jai

I started taking Kuk Sool Won classes in 1999 because I love martial arts, and when my daughters were in grade school I wanted them to have the advantage of martial arts classes early in life\x85 so I selected Kuk Sool Won because I wanted the three of us to study something comprehensive\x85 which Kuk Sool Won clearly is. Kuk Sool Won includes three types of martial arts together: tribal, royal court, and Buddhist temple arts. I studied other martial arts in the past, and have found that Kuk Sool Won does the best job of any system I've seen at completely covering all types of techniques (including joint locks), weapons, sparring, forms, kicks, punches, throws, falls, and more. What I really love about Kuk Sool Won is the community... and that is why I feel it's the combination of challenging and supportive you're looking for.

There are so many different kinds of martial arts it's tough to cover them all succinctly... but some focus primarily on one aspect, such as Tae Kwon Do being mostly about kicks, and Judo about throws and falls, and Aikido being about circling around and redirecting offensive attacks. All of these things are included in Kuk Sool Won, and that's why it's taught at West Point. You can view various martial arts in action through YouTube videos.

A trial class with Thomas Brewer confirmed that Kuk Sool Won was exactly what I\x92d been looking for, and I\x92ve been delighted with it ever since! I love the way I am continuously challenged to expand my mental, emotional, and physical reach beyond any point I previously thought possible, and this is making a tremendous positive difference in all aspects of my life.

The Berkeley Kuk Sool Won's owner and master teacher, Thomas Brewer, is an extraordinary instructor who consistently inspires excellence in his students with personalized attention exactly when it\x92s most needed, and creative approaches to teaching what might otherwise feel tedious\x85 or impossible. Cynthia

I started practicing Cuong-Nhu at Hoa Sen Dojo (in Emeryville) one year ago, and at 50 it has changed my life! I watched my kids grow strong, graceful and confident over the prior 4 years, so when they got into classes with adults I got off the couch and onto the mat. I immediately felt the benefits of this martial art, which combines seven forms of ''hard'' and ''soft'' (the definition of Cuong Nhu) styles. Sensei Terri Giamartino is loved by all for her positive attitude. I only wish I could go more often. Check out the website for more info: Ruth

Adult beginning a martial art

Nov 2006

I am finding myself a bit interested in trying out a martial art. I don't know anyone who is active in this. I don't know where to begin. From the descriptions on the internet, aikido looks interesting to me, but maybe there's something else that would be better for me. Where to start? How to know where to go? I live near El Cerrito, so would prefer here, Albany or Berkeley anxious beginner.

We are blessed in that we could ride a bike to about 8 aikido dojos from Berkeley/EC alone, I think.

My son has been at Berkeley Aikikai since age 6, now he is 11. The work there is good for him, but this dojo is very Japanese-traditionalist. I have been at Shusekai dojo, the aikido at the Berkeley Y and Studio Rasa for 3 years. See what our head teacher at Shusekai says about Japanese traditionalism at .

You would be welcomed at the classes at the Y. I think, from first hand experience, that it is MUCH easier for a beginner to, uh, begin at Shusekai than at Aikikai. Aikido of Berkeley in Richmond Annex is also good, but I am not very familiar with that dojo. They are our sister dojo, which is saying something given the sorts of things our teacher says on, for instance, the above website notpetebest [at]

Before commiting to a dojo, watch an adult class. You'll get a sense of the style, the sensei (teacher), and the community. After observing Sensei Terri and her many classes for almost three years now, I highly recommend Hoa Sen Dojo for both adults and kids. Please do visit this dojo before deciding on another. Ruthie

High energy mixed gendered class for adults

May 2002

I'm looking for a martial arts class where I could move my energy, not so much for self defense, but more like kickboxing or a place where I could channel my anger for past abuses. Does any one have any recommendation for a mixed gendered class? Thanks

I go to Frohm's Martial Arts in East Oakland. It is a wonderful and school with an amazingly talented head instructor. I am a single-mother and am coming through abuse, depression, grief, new baby, you name it. I startded at FMA a 1.5 year ago and my life has been totally transformed. I've lost 40 pounds, gained a loving and accepting community of fellow martial artists (men and women between ages of 14-45 in adult class, focus and most inmportantly, a funnel for my anger and pain. I am fighting in local touranments and am now the number 1 ranked intermediate fighter in the bay area. I highly recommend Frohm's Martial Arts to any man or woman that seeks a great work out, discipline, love, community and good old therapy!!!! The instructor's name is Ernest Frohm.
Address as of April 2007: Frohm's Martial Arts at 5864 Foothill Blvd. Oakland Ca 94605......Phone 510-632-8326

I trained at Hand to Hand on San Pablo near Stanford/Powell for about a year. I loved it but stopped going with my first pregnancy. I'll be back someday. It changed my life to be hit in the face and realize I could go on. I always felt energized by the workout and inspired by the group. Beginning classes are T Th eve and Sat am. Most members are women but my husband trains there when work and family permit. Sienna