I've tried out a handful of classes and I'm excited to share my top picks with you! From kickboxing to krav maga, I've got you covered.

Chicago is a big city with a lot of options for self defense classes, but don't worry - I've narrowed it down to the best of the best. Whether you're looking to gain some self-confidence or just want to learn some practical self defense moves, these classes are sure to leave you feeling empowered and ready to take on whatever comes your way.

So without further ado, let's dive into the best self defense classes in Chicago!

Thousand Waves Martial Arts & Self-Defense Center, NFP

Thousand Waves Martial Arts & Self-Defense Center, NFP
🗺️ 1220 W Belmont Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
☎️ 773-472-7663
🌐 Website
Sunday: 10:30 AM–3:30 PM
Monday: 11:30 AM–8:30 PM
Tuesday: 11:30 AM–8:30 PM
Wednesday: 11:30 AM–8:30 PM
Thursday: 11:30 AM–8:30 PM
Friday: 11:30 AM–6:30 PM
Saturday: 9:30 AM–3:30 PM
Great for all
Patient staff

First off, let's talk about the highlights of this place. Thousand Waves is great for all skill levels, whether you're a beginner or an experienced martial artist. The staff is incredibly patient and will work with you to make sure you understand every move. And the best part? It's affordable! Who said self defense had to break the bank?

But enough about the highlights, let me tell you about my personal experience. From the moment I walked in, I felt welcomed by the friendly staff. They took their time explaining everything and made me feel comfortable even though I was nervous.

The class itself was intense but fun at the same time. Our instructor broke down each technique step-by-step and gave us plenty of time to practice before moving on to the next move. By the end of class, I felt like a total badass!

Overall, Thousand Waves Martial Arts & Self-Defense Center, NFP is a top-notch option when it comes to self defense classes in Chicago. Whether you're looking for something new or just want to improve your skills, this place won't disappoint. Give it a try and see for yourself!

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Hyun's Hapkido & Tae Kwon Do

Hyun's Hapkido & Tae Kwon Do
🗺️ 2743 N Western Ave, Chicago, IL 60647
☎️ 773-252-8300
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 12–7:30 PM
Tuesday: 12–7:30 PM
Wednesday: 12–7:30 PM
Thursday: 12–7:30 PM
Friday: 12–7:30 PM
Saturday: 9 AM–12:30 PM
Great for kids
Experienced and professional instructors
Master Ken is excellent

First of all, I want to highlight that this place is great for kids! They have a wide range of classes suitable for children and the instructors are very patient and encouraging. Even my little cousin who usually hates anything that involves physical activity, had a blast here.

Speaking of instructors, they are all experienced professionals who know their stuff. They take the time to explain every move in detail and make sure everyone is doing it correctly. You can tell they really care about their students' progress.

But let me tell you, the real star of Hyun's Hapkido & Tae Kwon Do is Master Ken. He's simply outstanding! His knowledge goes beyond self defense techniques - he also teaches valuable life lessons such as respect, discipline and perseverance. Plus, he has a great sense of humor that makes the classes even more enjoyable.

Overall, I highly recommend checking out Hyun's Hapkido & Tae Kwon Do if you're looking for a fun and effective way to learn self defense in Chicago. With great instructors and Master Ken leading the way, you won't be disappointed!

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Self Defense Centers

Self Defense Centers
🗺️ 2151 IL-19, Chicago, IL 60618
☎️ 773-539-2900
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 3–7 PM
Tuesday: 8 AM–2 PM
Wednesday: 8 AM–12 PM
Wednesday: 3–7 PM
Thursday: 8 AM–7 PM
Friday: 8 AM–1 PM
Saturday: 8 AM–2 PM
Professional lessons
Practical self-defense system
Reasonable prices
Thorough instruction
Effective martial art

First off, I was thoroughly impressed with the professionalism of the instructors. They were highly trained and knowledgeable in their craft, and it showed in their lessons. The practical self-defense system they taught was not only effective but also easy to understand and apply in real-life situations.

The prices at Self Defense Centers are also very reasonable. You won't break the bank while learning how to defend yourself. And trust me, you'll receive thorough instruction that covers everything from basic techniques to advanced maneuvers.

What stood out most to me about Self Defense Centers was the fact that they teach an effective martial art that focuses on self-defense. It's not just about throwing punches or kicks; it's about learning how to protect yourself in any situation.

Overall, I highly recommend Self Defense Centers for anyone looking to learn self-defense in Chicago. The classes are not only informative but also enjoyable and engaging. Don't wait until it's too late - sign up today and become a confident defender of yourself!

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Tandang Garimot Martial Arts and Wellness

Tandang Garimot Martial Arts and Wellness
🗺️ 2940 N Lincoln Ave, Chicago, IL 60657
☎️ 773-270-1482
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 12–10 PM
Tuesday: 12–10 PM
Wednesday: 12–10 PM
Thursday: 12–10 PM
Friday: 12–10 PM
Saturday: 10 AM–2 PM
Filipino martial arts
Instructors are awesome
Friendly and fun atmosphere
Builds endurance and confidence
Encouraging environment

First of all, let's talk about the martial arts itself. Tandang Garimot specializes in Filipino martial arts, which is a unique and effective way to defend oneself. The instructors are absolutely awesome – they're patient, knowledgeable, and always willing to help. They will make sure that you understand every move and technique before moving on to the next one.

But Tandang Garimot is not just about learning self-defense – it's also a great place to build endurance and confidence. The classes are challenging but fun, and the friendly atmosphere makes you feel right at home. You'll find yourself surrounded by people who are there for the same reason as you – to learn and grow.

What really stood out to me was the encouraging environment at Tandang Garimot. The instructors take the time to get to know each student individually, and they push you to be your best self without being too intense or intimidating.

Overall, I would highly recommend Tandang Garimot Martial Arts and Wellness for anyone looking for a fun and effective way to learn self-defense while building endurance and confidence. Plus, you might pick up some new Filipino vocabulary while you're at it!

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Titan Gym

Titan Gym
🗺️ 1415 N Ashland Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
☎️ 773-360-8520
🌐 Website
Sunday: 8 AM–1 PM
Monday: 6 AM–1 PM
Monday: 4–8 PM
Tuesday: 7 AM–1 PM
Tuesday: 5–9 PM
Wednesday: 12–1 PM
Wednesday: 4–8 PM
Thursday: 7 AM–1 PM
Thursday: 4–8 PM
Friday: 6 AM–1 PM
Friday: 5–8 PM
Saturday: 8 AM–1 PM
Family-like atmosphere
Positive experiences
Excellent coaching
Diverse martial arts classes

Walking into the gym, I immediately felt a sense of community and family-like atmosphere. It was clear that everyone knew each other and were excited to be there. The positive experiences continued as I observed the classes in action. The coaches were friendly and knowledgeable, providing excellent instruction to their students.

What sets Titan Gym apart from others is their diverse range of martial arts classes including Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Muay Thai, Boxing, and Wrestling. This means you can choose a class that suits your specific interests and needs.

During my visit, I had the pleasure of taking a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu class with Coach Mike. He was patient with me (a beginner), but also pushed me to challenge myself. By the end of the class, I felt more confident in my ability to defend myself.

Overall, I would highly recommend Titan Gym for anyone looking for high-quality self defense classes in Chicago. With their excellent coaching and diverse range of classes, you'll surely find a positive experience here.

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Attack Taekwondo

Attack Taekwondo
🗺️ 1856 W Chicago Ave, Chicago, IL 60622
☎️ 773-373-1253
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 10:30 AM–8:30 PM
Tuesday: 10:30 AM–8:30 PM
Wednesday: 10:30 AM–8:30 PM
Thursday: 10:30 AM–8:30 PM
Friday: 10:30 AM–8:30 PM
Saturday: Closed
Personalized coaching
Positive development
Strong community

First of all, the personalized coaching at Attack Taekwondo is second to none. The instructors take the time to understand your strengths and weaknesses and tailor their approach to fit your needs. This not only helps you learn faster, but it also makes the experience more enjoyable.

But what really stood out to me was the focus on positive development. Attack Taekwondo doesn't just teach you how to defend yourself, they also help you become a better version of yourself. They emphasize discipline, respect, and self-confidence in every class.

And let's not forget about the strong community at Attack Taekwondo. Everyone from the instructors to the students are friendly and supportive. It's clear that everyone is there to help each other succeed.

Overall, I highly recommend giving Attack Taekwondo a try if you're looking for a self defense class that offers personalized coaching, positive development, and a strong community. Trust me, you won't regret it!

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Krav Maga Illinois

Krav Maga Illinois
🗺️ 5201 N Oketo Ave, Chicago, IL 60656
☎️ 773-775-5201
🌐 Website
Sunday: 7:30 AM–12 PM
Monday: 8 AM–8 PM
Tuesday: 8 AM–8 PM
Wednesday: 8 AM–8 PM
Thursday: 8 AM–8 PM
Friday: 8 AM–8 PM
Saturday: 7:30 AM–12 PM
Real-world self defense
Stronger and more confident
Family-friendly training
Professional instructors

First off, I was impressed by the real-world self defense training that they offer. No fluff or fancy moves here - just practical techniques to keep you safe in any situation. The instructors were professional and knowledgeable, making sure everyone understood each move before moving on.

But it wasn't just about learning how to fight. The classes also helped me feel stronger and more confident in my everyday life. Plus, the atmosphere was welcoming and supportive - a great place for beginners and experienced students alike.

In fact, I even saw families training together! It's not often you find a self defense class that is family-friendly, but Krav Maga Illinois makes it work with their inclusive approach.

Overall, I highly recommend Krav Maga Illinois for anyone looking to learn effective self defense while also gaining confidence and strength. Don't believe me? Try it out for yourself!

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Quantum Martial Arts and Fitness

Quantum Martial Arts and Fitness
🗺️ 800 S Wells St, Chicago, IL 60607
☎️ 773-814-9365
🌐 Website
Sunday: 9–10:30 AM
Monday: 5:30 AM–9 PM
Tuesday: 2:30–9 PM
Wednesday: 5:30 AM–9 PM
Thursday: 2:30–9 PM
Friday: 10 AM–8 PM
Saturday: 9 AM–4 PM

Firstly, the instructors were incredibly knowledgeable and patient with their students. They took the time to ensure that everyone understood the techniques and could execute them properly. The atmosphere was welcoming and friendly, making it easy for beginners to feel comfortable.

Moreover, the facility was well-equipped with a variety of training tools, including punching bags, mats, and weights. The classes were intense and challenging but also fun and engaging.

Overall, Quantum Martial Arts and Fitness is a fantastic option for individuals looking to learn self defense while also improving their fitness levels. I highly recommend giving it a try!

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Imazaki Dojo

Imazaki Dojo
🗺️ 1620 S Michigan Ave, Chicago, IL 60616
☎️ 312-753-3359
🌐 Website
Sunday: Closed
Monday: 4:15–9 PM
Tuesday: 12–9 PM
Wednesday: 4:15–9 PM
Thursday: 12–9 PM
Friday: Closed
Saturday: 10 AM–4 PM
Character building
Tough training
Builds respect and discipline
Strong and supportive community

First of all, I was impressed with the sensei's emphasis on character building. They believe that martial arts is not just about physical strength, but also about mental toughness and personal growth. The dojo's philosophy is centered around building respect and discipline, which I found refreshing in a world where ego can often take over.

But don't be fooled, the training itself is tough. The sensei pushes you to your limits and beyond, but always in a safe and controlled environment. I left each session feeling like I had accomplished something incredible.

One thing that really stood out to me was the strong and supportive community at Imazaki Dojo. Everyone, from beginners to black belts, were welcoming and encouraging towards one another. It made for a great atmosphere where people could push themselves while feeling supported by their peers.

Overall, I highly recommend Imazaki Dojo for anyone looking for a self defense class with an emphasis on personal growth and building a strong community. This dojo truly embodies what martial arts should be all about.

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Angelic Martial Arts Academy

Angelic Martial Arts Academy

Honestly, I was blown away by the level of professionalism and expertise at this academy. The instructors were not only knowledgeable but also incredibly patient and friendly. They taught me some innovative techniques that I never knew existed! Plus, the facility is top-notch and well-maintained. I highly recommend Angelic Martial Arts Academy for anyone who's serious about learning self defense. It's a real gem among all the classes I've visited in Chicago.

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Krav Maga Force

Krav Maga Force
🗺️ 1043 W Madison St, Chicago, IL 60607
☎️ 773-305-7657
🌐 Website
Sunday: 8 AM–2 PM
Monday: 5:30–8:30 AM
Monday: 10 AM–9 PM
Tuesday: 5:30–8:30 AM
Tuesday: 10 AM–9 PM
Wednesday: 5:30–8:30 AM
Wednesday: 10 AM–9 PM
Thursday: 5:30–8:30 AM
Thursday: 10 AM–9 PM
Friday: 5:30–8:30 AM
Friday: 10 AM–9 PM
Saturday: 8 AM–2 PM
Real-life self-defense
Top-notch instructors
Diverse class options
Positive and fun community
Great workout and stress relief

First of all, I was impressed with the real-life self-defense techniques they teach. I felt like I could actually use what I learned in a dangerous situation, rather than just performing choreographed moves. The instructors are top-notch, with years of experience and knowledge to share. They were patient and attentive, making sure everyone understood the techniques.

Another thing that stood out to me was the diverse class options they offer. Whether you're a beginner or an experienced practitioner, there's a class for you. They even have classes specifically for women's self-defense and kids' classes.

The community at Krav Maga Force is also worth noting. Everyone was welcoming and supportive, creating a positive and fun atmosphere. It's clear that the instructors care about their students and want them to succeed.

In addition to learning self-defense, the classes provide a great workout and stress relief. After just one session, I felt like I had gotten a full-body workout and my stress level had significantly decreased.

Overall, Krav Maga Force exceeded my expectations on every level. If you're looking for an effective self defense class with knowledgeable instructors, diverse class options, and a positive community, then this is the place for you!

Womens Self Defense Training

Womens Self Defense Training

The class was empowering and the instructors were knowledgeable in various techniques. They taught us how to defend ourselves in different situations, including against attackers with weapons. The environment was supportive and made me feel comfortable practicing the moves. Overall, I highly recommend this class for any woman looking to gain some self-defense skills. Plus, you get a great workout in too! So why not kick some butt while breaking a sweat?

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Alex Irvin

Alex enthusiastically explores her hometown of Chicago with an adventurous spirit and a pen in hand. As a freelance writer, Alex specializes in reviewing places in and around the city. From restaurants to theaters, Alex brings attention to interesting finds throughout the area. Along with her reviews, Alex writes articles on Chicago's neighborhoods, engaging events, and her own travel stories. When Alex can't be found behind a computer, you'll find her sampling the newest restaurant, attending a play or strolling around the city.