Working: How does a self-defense instructor work?

Meet the Self-Defense Instructor for Sex Workers

Meet the Self-Defense Instructor for Sex Workers

What do you do all day?
Sept. 13 2015 2:03 AM

The “How Does a Self-Defense Instructor Work?” Edition

WNYC’s Arun Venugopal gets taken to the mat for a demonstration in fending off a sexual assault.

Elena Waldman on Sept. 9, 2015.

Photo illustration by Juliana Jiménez. Photo courtesy of Arun Venugopal.

Listen to this episode of Working with guest Elena Waldman:


In the Season 4 premiere of Working, the host of WNYC’s Micropolis series, Arun Venugopal, interviews Elena Waldman, a self-defense instructor at MKD Karate in Queens, New York. Elena explains how she came to be a martial artist, demonstrates to our host how to escape from a violent sexual perpetrator, and talks about a personal attack that has informed the way she teaches her students.

In a Slate Plus extra, Waldman explains how to disable any attacker in less than 30 seconds. If you’re a member, enjoy bonus segments and interview transcripts from Working, plus other great podcast exclusives. Start your two-week free trial at

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Twitter: @arunNYC

Production by Jayson De Leon.

Arun Venugopal is the host of WNYC’s Micropolis.