Elemental is a sexual assault protection program that offers realistic training for realistic situations. This program:

  • Combines the best of classroom education and self-defense training in a program with proven long-term effectiveness.
  • Offers an organized, cost-effective, and holistic curriculum that is grounded in social science research and is inclusive of a variety of participants, including gender and sexual minorities (GSM).
  • Assists your institution in filling the most recent requirements of the Violence Against Women Act (including the SaVE Act). Elemental is a primary prevention and awareness program that offers face-to-face training and ongoing prevention through self-directed student review.
  • Provides program participants with choices in the way they respond to an assault, each based on the four elements of To-Shin Do. Our name comes from this element-based problem-solving paradigm.

What are the four elements?

Earth (Confident)
Hold your ground
Water (Surprised)
Step back momentarily, assess, then react
Fire (Connected)
Anticipate the threat and stop it before it grows
Wind (Withdrawn)
Exploit weaknesses within the threat that enable you to leave entirely

Latest News

Elemental Represented at the White House

Posted on May 5th, 2014

Campus sexual assault has been getting a great deal of press coverage recently.  This is, in part, in response to increased federal efforts to combat campus sexual assault – efforts that are related to Title IX legislation, the Cleary Act, the SaVE Act, and the recently-established White House Task Force to Protect Students from Sexual Assault.  The Task Force is currently examining ways to lower rates of assault, exploring options for helping colleges and high schools keep students safe, and highlighting best practices among prevention programs. 

Importantly, not only is Elemental a program that uses best practices, but one of its directors – Mellisa Holtzman – is also among a select group of researchers and program representatives who were recently invited to the White House for a briefing hosted by the Task Force.  It was Mellisa’s distinct pleasure to represent Elemental in Washington, DC in April, 2014.  During the briefing, a number of key individuals, including the Secretaries of the Department of Education and the Department of Health and Human Services as well as Vice President Joe Biden, talked about the “Not Alone” Task Force report, the newly-established compliance website, the current recommendations for universities, and the response and reporting requirements that will be forthcoming.  We are pleased that Elemental can contribute to efforts aimed at keeping college students safe from sexual assault.


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Testimonials

I would 100% recommend this class to others; in fact, I already have. It flows really well, it's very informative, it doesn’t tiptoe around the subjects, and you can ask any question and you don’t feel stupid or like you're alone. Everyone was really helpful and nice (even the creepers), and now you get review materials so you can keep practicing so you don’t forget what you learned.

2014 Participant

First and foremost, I would like to congratulate you & your team on what a fantastic program Elemental is. I have been through several different types of programs, and I have to say that yours is one of the best I’ve attended.

2013 Assistant Residence Hall Director

I liked how the different techniques weren't gender specific, and I liked how you could use each of the elemental moves to cater to your specific personality. It made the techniques more approachable. I loved the seminar, it was really empowering!

2013 Participant

I really enjoyed your "no pressure" approach and it allowed me to actually try the techniques without feeling uncomfortable.

2013 Participant

I really liked that it was hands-on and that we had the opportunity to try all the moves you demonstrated. I loved testing the moves on the Creepers, because it gave me an idea of what it would be like in real life versus just seeing someone else do it or reading about the moves. The beds and couches were also a plus for me, because there is no other program that offers such realistic practice experiences. Additionally, you provided both verbal and physical solutions to all the problems which is a realistic approach. No two situations are alike, so it is best to know as many options as possible.

2013 Participant

My favorite part of the seminar was the video. So many times, I hear about these situations, but never really have any idea what goes on in these scenarios. Although I am not involved in any type of party scene, I do think it is really helpful to see these situations in context so I know how to react in an unexpected situation.

2012 Participant

I really liked the "uh-oh" moment identifications because a lot of them I would have never thought of and it allows me to look out for them in real life situations.

2013 Participant

I have recommended the seminar to other because it helped me a lot with confidence in uncomfortable situations, and made me feel like I could defend myself if necessary.

2013 Participant

The scenarios... all felt very real for me. As a survivor of intimate partner violence, I thought those situations were much more helpful than many of the stranger-rape cases in past self-defense classes I’ve taken.

2012 Participant

I would recommend this seminar to others because I think it addresses many different angles of sexual assault and how to deal with them not only physically, but also verbally. Because it is more common for people to be assaulted by people they know, I think this program does a good job of addressing those types of problems and how to deal with them.

2012 Participant