Join us for the 2018 OurSpace Retreat

and become a Safe & Sound Self Offense™ Certified Trainer!

Thursday July 26 – Sunday July 29th

Teachers | Location | Program | Registration

Join us for a 4-day transformational intensive in the Berkshires.

OurSpace Retreat offers you the opportunity to expand your communication and awareness skills and be trained in basic and highly effective self-offense strategies. You may also register to be trained to lead the uniquely empowering Safe & Sound Self Offense ™Seminar. You will leave the retreat fully certified to lead this course to positively impact your community, add to your school program offerings or start a new business that fulfills your passion for empowering others.

Stay in a lodge situated on a quiet lake at the foot of the Appalachian Trail in the Berkshires of Massachusetts. Enjoy scrumptious, nutritious meals prepared on-site daily, and self-care services such as massage, movement classes, and Reiki treatments.

The daily program includes a selection of daily Corrective Movement Classes, Martial Arts Classes, ListenFirst Workshops and the Safe & Sound Self Offense™ TrainingTeacher Certification. There will also be opportunities to swim and canoe on the lake and hike along the Appalachian Trail. Saturday night we will host a BBQ and Bonfire, complete with s’mores!

We believe that practicing self-care is essential to your ability to empower and contribute to others, and this is an integral part of the OurSpace Retreat program. If you are interested in offering services in exchange for participating at the event, please email us directly at



Shihan Michelle Gay
Safe & Sound Self Offense ™ Teacher Training


Michelle Gay is a Laban Certified Movement Analyst, Registered Somatic Movement Educator, Registered Movement Pattern Analyst and Sixth Degree Black Belt in full contact karate. In 2003 she created Safe & Sound Self Offense™Seminar a unique and powerful preventative workshop that combines verbal and non- verbal self offense fundamentals and strategies with traditional self-defense techniques. She has taught  Safe & Sound Self Offense ™Seminar to thousands of men and women in United States, Canada and Germany.

Shihan Gene Dunn
Customized Self-Defense Strategy

Gene Dunn is a lifelong martial arts practitioner, and has dedicated his life to propagation of traditional martial arts to students through safe, effective, non-competitive methods. His influence as an instructor and educator now reaches from his home base in Brooklyn – where he has taught for over 20 years – to as far away as Melbourne, Australia.

Mark Christofaro
ListenFirst Workshop

Mark Christofaro is the co-founder and CEO of the ListenFirst group. For over thirty years, Mark has been a stand for contribution – bringing out the inner leadership skills of others. His success in decades of work in the Sales and Marketing sector has come from an unyielding belief in the power of listening as the most potent force for human connection.

Ed Lisbe
ListenFirst Workshop

Ed Lisbe, former school psychologist and co-founder of ListenFirst, has led listening workshops throughout the world for the profit and not-for-profit sectors for forty years. His primary focus has been “people skills” training for Fortune 500 and 1000 managers and executives for companies such as Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, PepsiCo, Citigroup, Credit Suisse, UnitedHealth Group, United Technologies Corp., Autodesk, Inc., and Verizon.

Jessica Stone
Movement Specialist – Corrective Movement Class

Jessica is a seasoned Personal Trainer who has experience training clients ranging in ages from 14 through 76; all with varying levels of fitness and goals. Jessica is also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor, a competitive Olympic distance triathlete and martial artist, with experience training in Judo, Shotokan Karate, and Thai boxing.

Michelle Zaytsev

Michelle has spent most of the last decade training both children and adults to elevate their performance in cognition, communication, and leadership. Currently, she is a love coach, and founder of #OurSpace – a project dedicated to disrupting and disappearing harassment, while creating champions of our shared space. In partnership with SaSS, ListenFirst, Gene Dunn, and Jessica Stone, this retreat is the first of several initiatives she is creating to transform how we interact in the world.

Location & Accomodations:

Camp Hi Rock, nestled alongside the Appalachian Trail in Mt. Washington, Massachusetts. Get directions.

We will be staying in Bear Rock Lodge — dormitory style sleeping with communal showers.

Healthy and Nutritious meals are prepared on the premises by Chef Shona Drysdale. Vegan and Gluten Free options provided. Breakfast, Lunch & Dinner. A full menu will be made available by July 1st. Please let us know of any food allergies or sensitivities.

Download suggested packing list.


Days will start with your choice of a Corrective Moment Class or an Appalachian Trail Hike and Meditation. You’ll then have a choice between Safe & Sound Teacher Training sessions or ListenFirst sessions. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner are provided each day.

Download the full schedule.



Safe & Sound Self-Offense™ Seminar
This 15-hour Level One training program will prepare and certify you to teach the Safe & Sound Self Offense Seminar. Included in your certification is a teaching manual and access to the training videos used in the workshop.

Session 1: Welcome & Overview
Creating a safe space. Establishing credibility.

Session 2: The Interview
Distinguishing the conversation that leads up to an attack.

Session 3: The Dance
Laban-based exercises to distinguish movement elements of domination using Space and Time.

Session 4: De-escalating Confrontation
Basic and effective release and run self-defense techniques taught by Shihan Gene Dunn.

Session 5: Final Presentations
Putting it all together. Each participant will have the opportunity to present a portion of the workshop.



Day One: The Listening Turn
This day begins with distinguishing what listening is from what it isn’t. Once participants identify their typical “listening” habits, the day is spent breaking down those habitual responses and replacing them with one very clear and simple “How to.” Through demonstrations, role plays, and skill practices, people learn how to listen to anyone, at any time, and under any circumstance — at work and at home.

Day Two: The Speaking Turn
Why do we hesitate or put off, entirely, speaking to someone about his/her problem behavior? Isn’t it primarily our not wanting to deal with the inevitable negative reaction? As participants follow the simple steps of the transformative ListenFirst emotional control cycle, they see not only how to manage peoples’ reactivity, but also how to raise any issue and word it inoffensively.


Self Defense Training – Shihan Gene Dunn
Self-defense training from the ground up.

Karate Classes – Shihan Gene Dunn
Come practice karate stances, punches and kicks and discover the world of power, grace and love that lies at the heart of martial arts. Prepare to sweat!

Register Now!

Food and lodging included!


(Pay one payment of $750 — save $150!)

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3 x $300

(Pay three monthly installments for a total of $900)

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Have Questions?:
Call: 212.677.7228 | Email: