114: Empowered Self-Defense – Maryam Aziz


Maryam Aziz is a bad a$$ who wants to empower YOU.

This show is a departure from our normal themes, but it’s an important one. To me, wellness also includes taking preventative action to make sure that you’re being smart, staying safe and avoiding harm. To that end, I reached out to Chief Self-Defense Instructor for W.I.S.E., Maryam Aziz, to ask her how we can avoid putting ourselves at risk and what to do if we find ourselves in a threatening situation.

This show is for sharing. Please send this link to your pals and loved ones. You never know when this information might truly serve someone.

What We Discuss

      • Key tips to AVOID trouble and minimize our risk of harm
      • How so much of avoiding trouble is about being alert (tip: if you’re walking and looking at your phone, you’re not being alert)
      • The many new safety apps you can have at the ready on your phone (see a list below)
      • Taking an Uber or taxi? Listen to the simple tip we share for staying safe
      • How to PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR GUT INSTINCT. You have it for a reason.
      • What should you do in the face of trouble..at home? in a parking garage? while exercising?
      • Protecting yourself when dating and/or meeting new people
      • The drink order that is a cry for help (in some places)
      • What you should NOT do if you are attacked and what can you do to effectively resist harm

Additional Resources

• Check out Maryam and W.I.S.E. founder Rana Abdelhamid in action with these spunky video tutorials and their Self Defense Starter Kit:

About Maryam

Maryam Aziz is currently a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of American Culture at the University of Michigan. Her research constructs a social and cultural movement history of martial arts practice during the mid to late 20th century. Maryam is a 2nd Degree Black Belt in Goju Ryu Karatedo and is an anti-hate crime martial arts/self-defense instructor. She is the chief self defense instructor for the International Muslim Women’s Initiative for Self-Empowerment (I’M W.I.S.E.). She teaches classes throughout the continental United States and she is currently developing a curriculum to help community organizations safely teach self-defense to communities affected by hate crimes.

Connect with me

The conversation continues over on Facebook and Instagram!

xxoo Ella



  1. Robyn Yann

    Being a Krav Maga practitioner myself, I really appreciate this episode. Thank you for sharing and spreading the importance of knowing self defence.
    I thought you may find this product, or similar Ines, interesting and along the lines of safety when dating. (No affiliation to the product)

    It’s a nail polish that changes color when it detects date rape drugs in a drink. I’t may not be along the lines of our natural lifestyle, but it would do more good than harm, in my opinion.

    • Admin

      So wild! Thanks for sharing, Robyn.

    • Maryam Aziz

      Hi Robyn,

      I’m glad that a fellow martial artist enjoyed the interview. Thanks so much for sharing the nail polish resource. I was not previously familiar with it. All the best-Maryam