Empowerment self-defense (ESD) researchers and instructors have long speculated that ESD training not only reduces women’s risk of sexual assault victimization but also leads to positive outcomes with potential to reduce gender disparities and advance gender justice. In this study, we examine ESD participants’ perspectives about the most important outcomes of their participation in ESD training. Data included qualitative interviews and open-ended survey responses from 268 participants enrolled in one of two ESD courses: A 30-h university course and a 9-h community-based course. Using reflexive thematic analysis, we found that although some participants reported that their most important lessons reflected the explicit curriculum of the courses (i.e., physical and verbal skills for resisting violence), many others reported unexpected and often profound ways their lives changed through learning ESD. These outcomes, stemming from what we call the underlying curriculum, included changes in their self-perceptions, expectations for interactional equality, and critical gender consciousness. Findings support the utilization of ESD training not only as sexual violence primary prevention but also as programs to promote gender justice.