3 Keys to Badassery Through Self Defense

By Jenn Cassetta

At age 20-something, I was assaulted on the street one night outside of my New York City apartment. Thankfully, I was able to scare him off before he got a strong hold on me and there was no real damage done. This led me to get more serious about my martial arts training and learning the life-saving skills of self-defense.

As I trained and grew in the ranks, eventually to 3rd degree black belt, I became not only physically stronger, but also emotionally stronger. I began to have moments of FEELING LIKE A TRUE BADASS. Over time, I realized how much I wanted to share this sense of empowerment and badassery with other women.

Fast-forward almost 17 years later, I am teaching women around the world how to protect themselves physically and emotionally so they too can release their inner badass. For me, self-defense is not just about kicks, punches and blocks, it’s a mindset that all of us can easily achieve. Let’s face it, there comes a time in everyone’s life when someone tries to hurt us emotionally or physically. The more prepared we are for those moments, the more we can POWERFULLY AND GRACEFULLY move on like a badass. Sometimes, we can even avoid them altogether.


Here are my first 3 lessons of badassery.


Being fully present is something most of us struggle with these days. Talking, texting and headphones are just a few of the distractions that keep us from being completely aware of our surroundings at all times. Being fully aware means PUTTING AWAY THE DISTRACTIONS and keeping your senses heightened.


Create PERSONAL AND PHYSICAL BOUNDARIES and make them non-negotiable. This can apply to people you choose to date, be friends with or associate with. Another way to create boundaries is to apply it to the physical space around you that nobody should enter unless invited into.


We communicate both verbally and non-verbally. Many times our message is more powerful by our body language and our tone, than our vocabulary. Walking with your head up, shoulders back and making direct eye contact are all non-verbal clues that you mean business. When communicating verbally, use your tone effectively. Speak with conviction and leave the question marks off the end of your sentences. Say it with me: NO! No is a complete sentence and having the ability and confidence to stick up for yourself (and in all areas of your life) is the first step of communicating powerfully.  

Practice these 3 steps in your everyday life and make sure to acknowledge yourself when you do have the chance to stick up for yourself and practice emotional self-defense. You are a badass!

About the author

Jennifer is one of the top nationally recognized female self-defense experts who speaks to audiences around the country on empowerment, self-defense and health and wellness. Equipped with her third degree black belt and Master's degree in Nutrition, Jennifer has trained clientele that include CEO's celebs, royalty and corporations. She has been a featured expert on My Diet is Better Than Yours, The Today Show, The Doctors, Rachael Ray, E! and many more. 

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