Three Rivers Defense was founded in 2009 by Brigitte Schulze. Brigitte is dedicated to violence prevention through realistic and trauma-informed personal safety and self-defense training.

We offer sliding scale fees and discounts for non-profits and limited-means trainees.

Brigitte is dedicated to violence prevention through self-defense training. She grew up near Munich in Germany. Building on her diverse background as a lawyer, human rights advocate, personal safety trainer, and 4th degree black belt in Taekwondo, she founded Three Rivers Defense in 2009. She trains people in emotional, mental, and physical self-protection at her studio in Bozeman, Montana, and at her clients’ locations anywhere. Brigitte served on the board of directors of the Montana Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence fro six years. She has also worked as a crisis line advocate and on the Community Education Team for HAVEN, a domestic violence shelter in Bozeman. Brigitte’s mission is to train, inspire, and empower people to sharpen their awareness, to realize their natural strength, and to enjoy life.

Co- instructor Andrew Tuller trained in Taekwon-do and obtained a 2nd degree blackbelt under Grandmaster Hong Sik Kim. He has trained with R.A.D. Systems in physical self-defense and assists Brigitte as a R.A. D. certified aggressor as well as in many other ways.

We want you to realize your  mental, emotional, and physical strengths and the powers of your natural weapons.

We provide you with options, but realize that the decisions whether and how to de-escalate or resist are always yours.

We don’t believe in “do or don’t lists” and teach safety concepts instead.

We respect your autonomy. You are in control of your training participation. At times, you may want to observe rather than participate, and that’s ok.

We realize that many of our participants have suffered trauma, including sexual assault, rape, domestic or partner violence, and other non-stranger or stranger violence.

We believe that violence is the aggressor’s fault, not the target’s. We also strongly believe that everyone has the ability to increase their safety and wellbeing through self-defense education and training.

Our training emphasizes increasing awareness and providing safety options in a respectful and compassionate environment.

We also believe that respectful training for people who have been attacked can reaffirm a sense of personal power and can be effective in healing the emotional scars of trauma. See for example, Bessel van der Kolk, M.D., The Body Keeps the Score (2014), Judith Herman, M.D., Trauma and Recovery, (2015), Peter A. Levine. Ph.D., In an Unspoken Voice – How the Body Releases Trauma and Restores Goodness (2010).

Our training goals for every class are to learn, to realize our strengths, and to have fun.

What is the minimum age to participate? The minimum age for our courses is 12 years. We recommend that children under age 14 participate with a sibling or parent to be able to continue discussing materials we covered in the workshop.

Do I need to have any particular fitness level? No. We welcome all fitness and ability levels.

What good will a self-defense course do when I’m attacked by a larger or stronger attacker? Our self-defense training assumes that your attacker will be larger or stronger than you are. Techniques are not based on superior size or pitting strength against strength.

What teaching methods do you use?  Instinctual reactions to a threat, such as flinching or ducking, are faster than cognitively learned responses. Further, fine motor control deteriorates under stress. Our self-defense training therefore builds on your natural reactions and concentrates on gross motor movements.

What type of techniques will I learn? Your training curriculum and focus will depend on your individual training goals or those of your group. Physical techniques may include: basic effective and efficient movement for self-defense, shielding, palm-heel strikes, hammer-fists, and elbow strikes, rakes, gouges, strikes with your feet, shins, and knees, defenses against grabs and holds, defenses against strangulation attempts, and against other attacks, and defenses and counter-attacks from the ground.

We believe:

1. Everybody has the right to live free from violence and the threat of violence. But in a violent confrontation, legal rights don’t protect you from getting hurt.

2. Women’s and girls’ experiences of violence and threats of violence are at time different from men’s. The methods of attack can also differ. We offer women and girls self-defense courses taught by a woman-led instructor team, and, by request, for women and girls only.

3. Homophobia continues to exist and contributes to vulnerability in people who should have access to diversity friendly self-defense. We value diversity.

4. Our participants already have valuable experience in assessing their risks and protecting themselves. We respect and build on our participants’ prior knowledge and experience.

5. Systemic change is necessary to change attitudes, believes, and structures that encourage, excuse, and perpetuate gender-based as well as homophobic and other violence. But systemic change is often slow, and people need tools now to increase their safety options.

6. Individuals can increase their safety through personal safety and self-defense training. Such training is an essential part of  realistic, holistic violence prevention.

7. Perpetrators that commit violence and institutions that condone violence need to be held accountable.

8. Optimal self-protection includes mental, emotional, and physical self-defense skills.

9. We make personal safety and self-defense training available at sliding scale rates for everyone who is willing to learn.

10. Everyone can benefit from fear management and self-defense skills. Beyond crime prevention, such skills will help you navigate everyday life with more confidence and autonomy.

 Self-confidence, realization of your natural powers and weapons, and peace of mind

Three Rivers Defense  conducts Personal Safety and Self-defense training for individuals and groups  by appointment year-round. Our training options allow you to set training sessions at times and on days that best fit your or your group’s schedules. We offer affordable training and convenient scheduling. For example, with 5 friends, you can schedule 3-hours of private training on days and at times that fit your schedule for $50.00 per person or an 8-hour training for less than $115 per person. 

In addition to our regular training options, we offer low-cost sliding fees to make self-defense-training affordable for anyone who wants to learn and train.

Training Options One trainee Each additional trainee Group (up to 6 trainees)
1-hour session $75 + $25 $120
3-hours package $225 + $60 $300
6-hours package $390 + $120 $540
8-hours package $520* + $160* $680*

* Includes free return-and-practice sessions

A little more information on our group pricing and how it works:

You put together your group, for example you and five friends.

You then choose which course you want and what times and dates best fit your schedules. For example an 8-hour course with four 2-hour classes at 7pm each Tuesday night over 4 weeks.

Your group of six people pays the group price, and you can divide that amount among yourselves. If you add additional people beyond six, each additional person also receives the group-per-person price. For example, two additional people for an 8-hour course would each also pay $113.00.

If you have additional questions, please feel free to ask us.

Course fees per person for various group sizes:

For 2 people per person: 1 hour: -$50.00; 3 hours: $142.00; 6- hours: $255.00; 8 hours: $340.00

For 4 people per person: 1 hour: $30.00; 3 hours: $75.00; 6-hours: $135.00; 8 hours: $170.00

For 6 people per person: 1 hour: $20.00; 3 hours: $50.00; 6-hours: $90.00; 8 hours: $113.00

We also offer an Organizer Bonus.

Contact us at 406.580.5190 for more information or to register

Three Rivers Defense focuses exclusively on self defense and personal safety training. Our Bozeman, Montana, self-defense gym is equipped specifically for self-defense training.

We also provide training and workshops for organizations and private groups at your location. We provide affordable training options, customized to your needs.

For out-of-town training options and prices, please contact us or call us at 406.580.5190 for more information or to register.

Three Rivers Defense Gym

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

Links and Resources

 

Outa Ware Clothing Company:

The official apparel partner of Three Rivers Defense.

Three Rivers Defense jackets, bags, or other items available for purchase on-line or at the Outa Ware store in Bozeman, Montana.

Visit Outa Ware’s Online Store.

Pay online with Paypal Checkout

Once we’ve been in contact and have discussed your training options and class schedule you can choose to pay online, through Paypal Checkout by clicking the link to the right and following the form: