Hi all!

In June of last year we posted that we would be discontinuing our self defense program at the beginning of 2024 (see below). To paraphrase the late great Eddie Guerrero…WE LIED! Jkjk, but for real, we found a way to keep it going for now so we’re currently continuing our self defense programming with the possibility of adding more classes when we have capacity. So for now, if you’re an org or even just a group of friends looking for a great lil introductory workshop to get your skills up, reach out to us, we would love to set something up!

Also check out our revamped resource guide, currently featuring self defense groups and gyms in NYC we recommend. We’re working on a national and international list too so stay tuned for that!

Thank You,

-Pop Gym Team

Please see our original post below for context:

Hey y’all! It’s been a while since we posted any project updates. We’ve been taking some time to think about the future of Pop Gym, balancing that with the capacities of our individual volunteers and have decided the following:

At the end of this year (2023), we will be indefinitely concluding our self-defense workshop programming and will be putting a pause on all workshops/events until further notice.

So what will that look like?

TLDR: We’re still doing stuff for a bit till January, less stuff after that. Thank you to everyone who has supported us and please continue to use us as a self-defense resource until our program concludes.

Until the end of the year, we will still be taking requests for workshops, as well as committing to the workshops we have already organized. Feel free to reach out to us as usual if you know a group of folks that would want to put on a public/private workshop, and we will try to work it out with you to the best of our ability!

After December, Pop Gym as an entity will continue on as a resource to support projects who are working to bring accessible, inclusive, and affordable self-defense programming to folks who need it most. We are also always more than happy to recommend other groups/programs, so reach out to us if you’re looking for particular classes or even gyms on your martial arts journey. You can also take a look at the accounts we follow for a list of a lot of great groups doing martial arts and community defense work that we really respect. Many of these groups have inspired us in our own work these past 6 years, and we are privileged to be in community with them.

Best ways to contact us for questions and inquiries:


DM us on Insta!

Thanks forever for all the support these past few years. To all those who have offered us advise or a kind word. To all those who have taken the time to organize with us and to lead our workshops. To the folks who helped us make our website, our logo, gave us legal advice, and sat through admin meetings where we tried to figure out the direction of this project. To all those who referred and lifted up our work in journalism, social media, and by word of mouth. To us, this was always meant to be a community project and we owe so much to everyone and anyone who has pitched in their effort to help bring these vital skills to folks who need them the most. We will always remember your help and are beyond thankful of the time you shared with us

We are super humbled to be amongst groups (current and historic) who have organized to bring this skillset to their communities in the face of all forms of systemic oppression that work to marginalize and extinguish them. Their efforts have inspired the work that we do, and we hope that we were able to pay forward their ideals of mutual aid, antifascism and accessibility through our own programming. Self-defense as a tool should always be available to those who in the day-to-day are fighting against people and structures that work to eradicate them. We hope that we were able to make a small difference in the lives of our attendees, and we are heartened by the idea that as we learn to fight for ourselves today, we are more ready to fight for a better world for all tomorrow.

Stay safe and keep an eye out for event and other final announcements from us in the coming months.

-Pop Gym Collective</i>