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 peer-reviewed evidence of 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 combines some of the best elements of primary prevention and risk reduction programming. We offer 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Wind (Withdrawn)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 Welcomes New Instructors

Posted on Apr 22nd, 2018

Elemental is happy to welcome our newest certified instructors: Jen, Autumn, Jennifer, Bailey, Matt, and Emily!  They work at Grinnell College and will be team-teaching Elemental to Grinnell students starting this fall! We are excited to welcome them to our program!


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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

I also appreciated that we were given the opportunity to try things that we might actually experience in real life with the couches and the beds.

2012 Participant

As a volunteer for the Domestic Violence Network (DVN), I know the warning signs of an abusive relationship very well, and I know that statistically it's more than likely that two or three of the people in our class with be the victim of a sexual assault. Despite my experience with DVN, I don't think I fully understood how dangerous a situation can be if you don't know the first thing about defending yourself. Through this class I was able to build on that knowledge and learned even more than I honestly thought I could in only a three day period. I feel so lucky to have gotten the opportunity to work with you. Thank you!!

2015 Participant

I really liked the earth, water, fire, and wind aspect to the seminar. I think it really helped by giving us four options for each scenario.

2012 Participant

I enjoyed the environment itself, which felt safe and free...It was so hands on, so as a visual and exploratory learner, I was able to retain the information so well because I had practiced the techniques and saw where I made mistakes and how to fix my form and execution. I also enjoyed how easy it became to speak so freely about such sensitive topics like sexual assault.

2015 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 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

Just wanted to let you know how awesome you are. You are making a huge difference! I think you are the only ones who get it.

M.W., PhD

My daughter is signed up for an upcoming session. I just wanted to say that I think your program is a valuable service to the students!

Parent of a participant

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

2013 Participant