Self Defense ATX

Empower yourself to fight back


The mission of Self Defense ATX is to:

  • Empower individuals with self defense skills, such as: 
    • Self advocacy
    • Conflict de-escalation
    • Martial arts training 
  • Address the unique self defense needs of the queer and trans community
  • Cultivate safer and healthier communities through volunteerism

About Lu Villarreal:

An Austin native, Lu has taught martial arts since 2011. They earned their 1st Dan Black belt in Pyon Moo Do under Sa Bum Nim Espy in 2017. Lu holds a B.S. in Kinesiology and B.A. in Gender Studies from UT Austin, a Blue belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and they are also a certified R.A.D. self defense instructor.

As an instructor at TMAA, Lu has helped to develop and teach many martial arts programs, including Wee Warriors, Pyon Moo Do Kids, and Adult MMA. Lu is also an adjunct instructor at St. Edward’s University, where they teach a course called Basic Self Defense.

As a queer and trans person of color, Lu brings a unique point of view to their teaching. They are active in the community giving self defense workshops for groups all around central Texas.

When they’re not training, Lu also enjoys outdoor recreation, gardening, and cooking.