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I learned to put on a facade growing up in an abusive household. For many years, I struggled to accept reality and blamed myself for the way things would again and again turn chaotic and violent. During the first few years of the pandemic, the problems repeated themselves and once again, I felt I couldn’t trust the people I thought had my back. Hyper-vigilance and fear was running down my adrenals, causing deep exhaustion.


I reached out to Tuff Love just in time to sign up for an eight-week women’s and girls self defense series that they offer a few times a year. After a couple of months, I started one-on-one Jiu Jitsu self-defense training with Mollii and the process of cultivating calm preparation awareness began. 


The practice is helping me untangle myself from old patterns and to take back what was stolen through violence and trauma. This is what my body and soul needs to grow. Today I am shedding the shame of being unskilled in past conflicts. I am daring to invest in a sense of greater safety. 




“I had the opportunity to attend a women’s self defense workshop led by Mollii Khangsengsing at her gym Four Elements in Oakland a little while ago and I thoroughly enjoyed it. There is something uniquely powerful about learning how to defend yourself as a woman and especially being taught by women. In a world where women are constantly being scrutinized for their bodies and they way the carry themselves it is extremely important that we learn how to take our safety and self image into our own hands. Learning how your body works and how to defend it in the safest and most effective way is, I believe, crucial to every woman’s physical and mental strengthening and development. You gain a sense of empowerment and peace of mind knowing that if you are ever to be put in a dangerous situation you have the knowledge and ability to protect yourself.

The class was a very open and friendly space in which we got the opportunity to meet and train with new people while learning many beneficial theories alongside the practical movements we implemented.

Mollii and her co-teacher were phenomenal teachers. They were very confident in their skills and the knowledge they imparted on the students. They were firm and authoritative while being very friendly and approachable, which made for an overall lively and interactive experience.

This workshop allowed me to learn many beneficial and practical skills while having fun and walking away with a good experience.”


"I was impressed with the way each successive class built on the skills, moves and awareness we learned in each previous class. I was also impressed that the moves were based on real experience. The idea that the attacks other people had suffered were studied so the rest of us could figure out how to cope with them was not only a great basis for effective strategic training, it was moving and inspiring. Knowing the structure was based in reality and on experience motivated me to put my heart into learning the moves."

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"The Tuff Love Self-Defense course will help give you skills and confidence to protect yourself in a variety of situations, including avoiding danger in the first place. Also, it was fun. The incredibly knowledgeable instructors take you through basic skills such as getting out of a wrist hold and progress through more and more complicated scenarios. You will be absolutely amazed what you can do with some practice and leverage! I think this would be a great gift for girls about to head off to college, or basically anyone."

Yskye & tess

“My sister and I have been taking classes with Instructor Mollii since we were 10-12 years old (I am currently a junior in college). Not only do these classes teach physical self defense techniques, but they also place an emphasis on teaching women to be aware of dangers in order to avoid it all together. As a young female in college, I have kept these lessons in the back of my head when walking to night classes, going out, meeting others, etc. However, if I ever do find myself in a dangerous situation, I have learned techniques to give myself the opportunity to get out of it. The instructors have a way of explaining things that even an absolute beginner can understand. I never felt ashamed to ask questions if I didn’t understand a technique. These classes have given me a new found confidence and made me feel safer. I am forever grateful to all the instructors and their unwavering determination to keep women safe!”

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