Pretty Deadly Founder Susie Kahlich holds the rank of Shodan Menkyu in Ninjutsu, awarded from the American Ninpo Bugei Federation. She began her training in 2000 in Los Angeles where she studied for 8 years under Kancho Chadwick Minge. She uses her experiences as a violent crime survivor and storyteller to inform her teaching and find ways to make self defense easy, accessible, and empowering. She has been teaching the Pretty Deadly Self Defense system since 2009, has held courses and workshops for teens and adults in Los Angeles, Chicago, Paris and Berlin, and has worked with school districts in LA and Chicago to incorporate a self defense unit into children’s education about health, gender, and physical movement. She has been awarded recognition for her teaching through the American Ninpo Bugei Federation, Bosen Chicago, and continues to train in The Bunjinkan in Berlin.
Instructor Hannah Costigan has been practicing martial arts from school age, beginning with four years of Shotokan Karate at grade school, and achieving the rank of 6th Kyu. At university, she began learning Judo, where she trained intensively for the next five years, earning the rank of 1st Kyu and was named captain of her Judo Club at Durham University. She has also studied boxing and Ninjutsu. She has worked as a camp counselor in the UK, supervising children aged 8-14 in a range of activities including sailing, rowing, kayaking, archery and rock climbing.
Pretty Deadly is a growing community of participants who believe that self defense is more than just stopping an assault or beating someone up. It’s about presence, confidence, and trust in our own innate will to be; contrary to popular thinking, it’s about community, and an awareness of possibility. We believe the world is an open place, filled with just as much opportunity as acts of violence. We believe that everyone has a right to exist and occupy their own personal space, and everyone has a right to agency over their own body.
We are artists and writers, musicians, office workers, IT specialists and social media stars, moms, students, doctors, designers, performers and just plain folks. Pretty Deadly is a place to grow and discover, to come together and get strong in the person you already are.
*Pretty Deadly is an LGBTQ-friendly environment.