Escape Alive

Would you know what to do if someone grabbed you or attacked you? Give yourself a fighting chance and be prepared for the unexpected.

  • The class is FREE and open to the public.
  • There are no pre-requisites to participate; beginner, advanced, young and old. It doesn’t matter whether you are an athlete or don’t exercise at all. You will work at your own pace and ability.
  • Please plan to arrive a few minutes early to sign-in and get comfortable. Please bring a water bottle, wear comfortable clothing and please no jewelry.
  • Each four-hour class consists of an educational component, as well as physical training and skills practice. Participants learn awareness tips, escape strategies, kick, strike, and blow techniques designed to disable assailants and enable escape.
  • NOTE: All participants must sign a waiver, and participants 17 years or younger must have parental permission, and be signed in by an adult on the day of the event.

Program Options:

  1. Women & Girls (15 years and older): Educational, verbal and physical resistance training.
  2. Mothers/Daughters (12 years): Educational, verbal and physical resistance training for and older with age appropriate content. Mother/Daughter classes are open to individuals, not only mothers and their daughters.
  3. Safety & Me!: Focus on abduction prevention, predator awareness, inappropriate social media interaction, peer to peer interaction, and age appropriate self-defense for boys and girls 8-11 years old.

Upcoming Classes:

No events have been scheduled yet. Check back soon!

WFSB Channel 3 News Coverage of Escape Alive Class:

Since 2009, Jane Doe No More has partnered with the professional team at East Coast Training Systems to deliver Escape Alive Survival Skill classes to women and girls ages 12 and older. Our program is designed to give women and girls a fighting chance in the face of an attack. More than 4700 women have participated in our self-defense classes.

Personal safety and self-defense is about awareness, recognition, strategy and the element of surprise. The physical aspects of self-defense are essential when catching a would be assailant “off-guard” and doing what they least expect… FIGHTING BACK!

For a physical technique to work, you must to be focused, quick, and direct. The longer a physical confrontation ensues, the more likely you will be injured.

Personal Safety begins with YOU!

Awareness, recognition, and avoidance are major focal points of Escape Alive. However, when there is no option, you need to know what to do and how to escape!

We have offered over 100 classes and trained 4700+ women and girls 12 years and older with educational, verbal and physical resistance training.

The following are just a fraction of the positive reviews that our participants are saying about us.

“I thought there was a great balance between the academic and physical components. It gives you time to understand why the class was created and provides the ability to connect to yourself on why you are there. I would highly recommend this class to others.” – Patti, Meriden

“Thank you so very much…what you’re doing is vital. I can’t believe the class was free…and I’m so glad it was. I don’t know that I would have been a readily agreeable to sign up had we had to pay. A HUGE thank you to the sponsors. Priceless.” – Marni Baggett

“It was much better than I expected. Everything was valuable from the education to the hands on. I am still talking about this class to everyone I know and care about. It opened my eyes and I feel my daughter is more prepared to be out in the real world.” – Michele, Southington

“I am so glad that my 12 year old daughter and I took this class. I work in Hartford and approached by strangers almost daily, and I feel better equipped now to defend myself if ever in a position that I needed to. The instructors (all of them) were very helpful and did a perfect job teaching the class. I would be interested in more follow up classes.” – Pamela, Norwich

My daughter, Thea (age 12) was so reluctant heading into class and then once the physical part of the class began, she did not want to leave. She asked to go back the following week! This class exceeded our expectations. The scenario practice at the end of class was not expected and extremely helpful. The number of instructors to student ratio was very valuable too.” – Jill, Greenwich

"I could have listened to them all day. How brave for them to share their stories.” – Amy McDuff

Hearing the survivors tell their story was powerful and unforgettable. I have already recommended the class to my friends and their mothers. It is an excellent class that was put out there and the fact that it is free makes it much more accessible to women who are interested. Thank you for everything that you do for the state of CT!!” –Sarah Kavarnos

"We are thrilled about the program's overwhelming success as it is such an invaluable and empowering opportunity for so many women and girls." – Donna Palomba, Founder & President

These instructors were fabulous. ALL of them. Amazing people. I loved this class.” – Regina Lynch

The women instructors who stood up in a room full of strangers to tell us the experience they had with sexual abuse were outstanding. These women emanate strength so much that it was hard to imagine they were ever victims. I give them so much credit to overcome and become as strong as they are, to refuse to ever be a victim again and to help all woman do the same and I am in awe of them.” – Lisa M

“The instructors were helpful and very supportive, and really know their stuff.Anna Fitzpatrick

“The woman in the beginning talking about her personal story of abuse added so much more attention and emphasis that this happens every day. Thank you so much.” – Sarah Crowley

The class is offered for FREE to participants thanks to our generous sponsors of the program. The class must be open to the public and participants will register through our website.If you are interested in becoming a host, please download the form below and send to

If you are inquiring about a closed private class just for your organization, please take a look at our sponsorship opportunities.

  • Provide one table for registration check-in and chairs/bleachers for all participants to sit during the academic portion of the class.
  • Promote the class and to ensure that at least 40 participants to 50 maximum register for the class through our website.
  • Venue needs a large enough room, 1,000 sq feet, for the physical skills to allow participants to move freely—kicking, punching and doing other physical exercise.
  • You will need to have a contact person on site the day of the class.
  • Jane Doe No More must pre-approve all invitations, flyers, press releases, publications and any other event promotional materials.

The Escape Alive Survival Skills program is presented by a team of experienced instructors and professionals with backgrounds in martial arts, self-defense, and law enforcement. They train regularly to hone their own abilities, as well as their instructional skill set. The program is enhanced by real-life survivor stories from the Jane Doe No More Survivors Speak Outreach Team. The combination of instruction and experiences makes the Escape Alive Survival Skills program a unique and eye-opening experience.

Our Survivors Outreach Team serves to provide much-needed and critical experience-informed prevention for audiences. They make the prevention of sexual violence personal by sharing their history and experience in order to bring awareness, reality and a face to the crime of sexual violence.

Escape Alive Survival Skills is based on combative principles from American-Filipino Kun Tao® American-Filipino Kun Tao® is a close-quarters, self-defense based Martial Art known for its practicality and effectiveness. It was first brought to the USA after World War II and has continued to evolve over the years. It is one of the most effective self-defense based styles.

From left to right: Drew Serrano, President of East Coast Training Systems (Senior Master in American-Filipino Kun Tao). Daniele Serrano, Vice President of East Coast Training Systems (2nd degree Black Belt in American-Filipino Kun Tao). Escape Alive Instructors. Survivors Outreach Team.

The impact of our sponsor’s generosity is immeasurable and we are so very grateful for their support. Because of them, we have been able to offer these classes free of charge since 2012. We are changing the conversation daily…and making prevention of sexual violence personal!

“I would like to just say thank you for this opportunity. I think this class truly is a life changing couple of hours and is definitely necessary in a world like today. The fact that this class was free was a great benefit. Times are hard for most, but information like this needs to be taught and spread by others. The fact that there was no financial burden to receive this information was amazing. You never know how many people’s lives you have saved just by taking this class, and if there was a fee, would those people have been victims instead because they were unable to attend? Again, this was a great opportunity and I hope many will be able to take advantage of such in the future. Thank you again!” – Katy Hellmann, Watertown

“Thank you for offering the class. And thank you to your sponsors that made it possible to offer it for free.” – Sue Vidal

“I thank the sponsors for supporting this Escape Alive self-defense program for mothers & daughters. Thank you for helping to keep our daughters safe!!” – Mary Ann Gray

“I was very impressed by the class and the instructors and am very appreciative of the foundations and corporations that made this possible, and the church for hosting this. What a wonderful service to the community. Please pass along my thanks and gratitude to the sponsors.” – Jeanie Pannullo

If you are interested in becoming a sponsor, please download the form below and send to

“Your first line of defense is you” – Drew Serrano, President of East Coast Training Systems

These safety tips offer guidance that will help you and your family be more secure. Not all of them apply to everyone or in every situation, but, in some cases, they could save your life or the life of someone you love.