Dara Connolly

I give expert advice to help you Speak Up, Be Heard & Kick Fear to the Curb!

About Dara

Dara was a shy wall-flower who learned that even as a certified black belt instructor she lacked the confidence to ask for what she needed, set effective boundaries, or get the pay she deserved. She created this program to help every woman — including you!


Dara shows you how to speak so others listen, breakthrough self-limiting beliefs, and go for the life of your dreams.


When you know how to Speak up to be Heard, Kick Fear to the Curb- be TEDx confident you attract positive people who respect you and prosperous opportunities find you.

In her words...

I love the work I do to help women find their authentic voice and power...

It took me most of my life to live as a confident and fearless woman. Ever since I was little, I had a desire to help women live empowered– I remember watching the news and being quite upset when I would hear stories about women who were discriminated against because of gender.  There was a strong fire inside me, but it was hidden behind a wall of shyness and fear. 

In 2004, I started leading women's classes out of my garage in Berkeley CA...

At the time, I was frustrated that the black belt I had earned as a young adult left me unprepared to handle common everyday situations. There were countless times others spoke over me at corporate meetings, when fear held me back from taking chances, and when I felt invisible in relationships.

Little did I know I had started a women's movement...

The program I had developed (called Kurukula™), was a positive combination of teaching women to exude ultimate body confidence with useful skills to thrive in our modern world. Want to learn how to speak so others listen, diffuse sexism in the workplace or overcome impostor syndrome? I had a plan and was on a mission!


Quickly my program gained momentum. There were endorsements from women's organizations, police, therapists, doctors, and industry experts flooding in for the work I was doing. The need for empowering women with practical confidence was bigger than I anticipated. After many years of training thousands of women, I knew I had found my true calling.

Today, I help women with my speaking, masterminds, & private coaching... 

My mission is to help every woman speak up to be heard, kick fear to the curb– be TEDx confident™. I have often wondered if I had never discovered my full potential who would I be today? And how many other women are still out there living in the shadows– going unnoticed day after day? If this is you, I am here to support and guide you through your confidence transformation. If I can do it you can too! There is no other cause that is more important to me.

PS: Did you hear my story of how I wrote Flip Your Fear?


Ok I admit, this is my most vulnerable story...

Last year my dad turned 80 and it was a big wake-up call for me. You see, dad and I were never close. We were both consumed by fear and that fear of being vulnerable affected our relationship. 


However, when he turned 80 it really affected me. I realized life is passing by quickly and that I was running out of time to connect with him. Here's the dilemma: Dad lives on the East coast, me the West. How do you connect with someone 3,000 miles away during a pandemic who is also half deaf? 

Well, I decided to get creative AND be vulnerable at the same time. I wrote a book dedicated to dad. Here's the crazy part, while I was writing Flip Your Fear I discovered a code that helped me overcome fear. I didn't think much of it at the time but it gets even crazier... The Flip Your Fear book was sitting on my desk (I only printed 1 as a gift for dad...) when I was on the phone with a TEDx curator. She asked, "what do you speak about?" Well, I didn't have a speaking topic at that time and panicked and mentioned my book Flip Your Fear.


Not only did that book transform my relationship with dad (he loved it! his picture is even in it!) it led me to 4 TEDx stage invitations. This beautiful book was a transformational gift for dad and me, and now I'm offering it to you too.  You can access Flip Your Fear here and get an exclusive signed copy.

Join me on this mission! 

I look forward to meeting you.

You are amazing!

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See all of Dara's Books here



Published Flip Your Fear; Crack the Code on Fear & Get the Life You Want!
Yes! I want my copy! Purchase here.

2019 Professional Member of the National Speakers Academy


Professional Member of the National Speakers Association since 2019

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Published Jerky Johnny Workbook– Prevent Everyday Bullies & Corporate Harassment 

An Amazon Top-Seller!

City of Danville

Mayoral Award for Excellent Service, Danville, CA

City of San Ramon

Mayoral Award for Excellent Service, San Ramon, CA

University of Rhode Island

University of Rhode Island
Bachelor of Science; Women's Studies

High Honors



"Best of 2020" Instruction, Albany, CA 


2020, 2019, 2018 

President of Toastmaster's President Distinguished Speaking Club

International Speaking Competition Awards 


Published Someone You Know; Expert Secrets to Prevent Bullies, Sexual Assault, & Bad Relationships. 

An Amazon Top-Seller!


Soroptimist International Award for Excellent Service Helping Women


Published Jerky Johnny™, a safety & relationship game for ages 12+.
An Amazon Top 100 Toys

Dara Connolly Certified Black-Belt Instructor

Certified Black-Belt Instructor

15+ years teaching Tae Kwon Do martial arts and sexual assault prevention


Awards & Grants 

Albany Police Department
Girls Inc.
National Charity League
Girl Scouts
Contra Costa Public Education Fund
Department of Children Youth and Families

Founder, Author, Expert


Dara, a certified black-belt instructor, started this award-winning program in 2004. She realized the need for a class beyond martial arts alone to help women successfully find their voice, exude confidence and be respected in every-day situations.

You can Speak up to be Heard and Kick Fear to the Curb!

Kurukula (TM) Women's Empowerment

“After attending a presentation led by Dara, I came away with actionable tools to build a stronger, bolder presence in everyday interactions with both men and women. Dara has a keen awareness of meeting women right where they are and guiding them to increasing confidence.  I highly recommend her!”

Shelley Lumm, Owner JSL Auctions


Do you know a controlling person? Do you deal with a bully co-worker or boss? Confidence expert Dara Connolly provides an easy, profound, and entertaining read to help you attract positive people and avoid the bad ones. Learn inside tools and tips to avoid unhealthy relationships before it's too late.

Available at  Amazon→

Someone You Know by Dara Connolly

"Above the buzz of #MeToo, #TimesUp, and the current Women’s Movement, what specific skills have you learned to prevent abusers from harming you? 

I give expert advice to keep you safe."

— Author, Dara Connolly


Her years as a professional self-defense expert, Dara Connolly, teaches your teen and young adult daughters (and sons) practical life-skills for avoiding sexual assault and unhealthy relationships in a fun game setting.

Jerky Johnny is an Amazon Top-Seller and listed as Amazon's Top 100 Toys. 


Teens are the highest risk group for dating violence and sexual assault. Jerky Johnny helps teach prevention skills before they are in a risky situation. A proven critical prevention tool for young women, the game is endorsed by therapists & police. Teens may play among themselves or with a parent to start a dialogue. 

 Available at Amazon→


"As a father of three daughters, I really appreciate the important work Jerky Johnny does for young women."

— Chief of Police Mike McQuiston, Albany CA (retired)


City of Pleasanton
Dr. Laura
Boys and Girls Clubs
American Psychological Associaton