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Learning self-defense in a co-ed environment could be considered prevention of problems that could lead to pikuach nefesh (danger to life). Prohibiting a co-ed environment could be considered placing a protective fence around tznius, especially because a self-defense class include a student's breaking a hold or generating force to fend off a large male.

Are there sources, therefore, that permit learning self-defense in a co-ed environment? -or- Are there sources that justify prohibiting learning self-defense in a co-ed environment?

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How are you defining p'kuach nefesh ? if the situation hasn't arisen yet, or there is less of a x% chance of being attacked can we still rely on the heter (or mandate) of pikuach nefesh ? at what point does pikuach nefesh start ? is your case one of a safek pikuach nefesh vs. a Vadai lack of modesty ? –  eramm Feb 26 at 22:30
    
@eramm sounds like you have a good question. :-) –  Monica Cellio Feb 27 at 1:31
    
@eramm yes, I think defining Pekuach Nefesh is an important start, as well as weighing in whether or not participating in co-ed self defense is truly a halachick issue or it is a protective fence. –  seekingclarity Feb 27 at 16:43
    
Would there be physical contact between the genders, or would they just be in the same room? –  Shmuel May 2 at 6:35
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