Welcome to NWMAF’s SafetyNet!

3 01 2010

Welcome to the new, revived SafetyNet, e-news for the Self-Defense Group of the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation!

This blog is for self-defense instructors, experienced as well as aspiring.  We focus on tips and tricks for teaching, marketing, using technology, and other timely topics to help you bring your services to more students and clients.  You can find updates on the NWMAF and the Self-Defense Instructors’ Conference. And you can tell us what you’re up to:  have you been in the news, received awards, or are you organizing a cool event?

This blog is open to anyone.  News is posted by the editorial team, and all comments will be moderated.  If you want to submit news or an announcement, please use the Contact Us form on the menu bar.

You can bookmark this blog, subscribe via email, or add SafetyNet to your RSS feed.  Whichever you choose, please return and contribute to the conversation.


SafetyNet Editorial Team:

Joanne Factor, Lauren Taylor, and Anne Kuzminsky

Webinar Resource on Domestic Violence and Healthy Relationships

21 01 2014

The Northwest Network (in Seattle) is now offering a series of free webinars on various topics related to domestic violence and beyond.  I participated in the first one, which was a powerful combination of DV101 and empowerment model advocacy.  They also have a library of on-demand webinars that are directly relevant to any self-defense instructor  — among the topics are strangulation injuries, and intimate partner stalkers, and battered women charged with crimes.


From their website:  Founded in 1987 by lesbian survivors of battering, the NW Network works to end abuse in our diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities. As an organization founded by and for LGBT survivors, we’re deeply committed to fostering the empowerment of all survivors of abuse.  The NW Network increases our communities’ ability to support the self-determination and safety of bisexual, transgendered, lesbian and gay survivors of abuse through education, organizing and advocacy. We work within a broad liberation movement dedicated to social and economic justice, equality and respect for all people and the creation of loving, inclusive and accountable communities.

No Really Does Mean NO! Worldwide

18 04 2013

Awesome video from our friend and colleague, Lee Sinclair, founder of No Means No Worldwide. They teach self-defense to girls in Nairobi, Kenya. Here are some of their self-defense success stories.

And congrats, Lee, on being the subject of SafetyNet’s 100th post!

Do You Want Prospective Students to Find Your Website? Google Tells You How

24 03 2013

Despite Bing’s aggressive marketing campaign, most people still use Google as their main search engine.  Google has put out a number of videos, in non-technical language, to help us help Google promote their websites.  They are narrated by Google engineer Matt Cutts, who seems to act as the face of Google when issues around their algorithm come up. Here are two examples.

The first one is on keyword density, or how many words that users would use to find your site should you make sure to include on your page.

The second is also on keywords, but on how much text versus images need to be on your website so that Google can figure out what you are about. Cutts describes it as a balancing act — pictures are more attractive and can entice viewers to stay on your website longer, but you still need some text.

Another tool mentioned by Cutts is Google Web Fonts, which seems to give you the ability to add more ornate fonts to your website without having them in a JPG.  This can GREATLY expand your site’s font options, aside from the standard Ariel, Helvetica, Times, etc., families — if it works (some of the comments under the video indicate that it’s may not work so well on some browsers on PCs).

For more videos, visit Google Webmasters Video channel on YouTube (remember, YouTube is owned by Google).

Using Facebook

21 03 2013

Facebook is widely touted as the biggest thing in social media, with EVERYBODY and their cute crabby cat constantly logged in. However, using Facebook to successfully market your martial arts or self-defense school is something else.  Many of us have found that the time spent on Facebook has not led to contacts from potential students.

A local (Seattle) company, Brown Paper Tickets, published this list of 5 tips to making Facebook work for your events. My personal favorite is Tip 5, which is writing your event is a distinctive and engaging way (rather than just throwing the usual date/location info out there). My second favorite is #3, which is to post directly to Facebook.  In my experience it appears to be true:  for a short while I was scheduling posts via Hootsuite, and they consistently got fewer views/likes/clicks than did material I posted directly to Facebook.

One person who has seen success via Facebook said that it’s worked for her because she is on it constantly, and you have to be making those connections. So, for best chance of success, you should not just be posting your events, but be connecting with other similar organizations and people, and contributing intelligent and engaging comments on their posts.  Even  though it’s a new technology, the same old rules apply:  it’s all about the relationship.

In The News – Joanne Factor of Strategic Living

20 03 2013

Within the last few weeks, NWMAF member and Certified Self-Defense Instructor Joanne Factor was in the local Seattle media. Two were TV news segments (although in the second late-night segment we were not identified), and two were local radio broadcasts.  You can see (or listen to) the recordings at Strategic Living’s press page.

As self-defense instructors, I hope you all have similar press pages on your website. You do, right?

Two tips for the press page: make sure you have the media available from your own website (on your host server), as sometimes smaller media outlets over time drop older reports.  Also, if the story is still on the news media’s website, include that link — this aids credibility, and the source likes the linkback.

And one other important step.  Check your website’s analytics for the day of and the day after your media exposure.  (You do have analytics, right?  Google Analytics is fine, and free.)  That way you can assess if this media exposure had any effect.  For example, I did not notice ANY increase in visits to my site from either the TV news segments or from the AM radio interview.  But I did notice a bump after the FM radio interview, as well as several emails and phone calls asking about self-defense presentations and classes.  This information will help me decide if I wish to participate in a Health and Wellness Fair put on by one of these media companies (for which I would have to pay, at minimum, $300 for a bare-bones table with no promotion).

8 01 2013

ST 2013 Logo

Women’s Self-Defense and Martial Arts Training Camp 2013

Self-Defense Instructors’ Conference Early Program July 17-18

Self-Defense Instructors’ Conference Main Program July 18-21

Special Training Camp (Martial Arts, Healing Arts, and Self-Defense) July 18-21

 North Central College, Naperville, IL

Dear Friends,

Mark your calendars for a wonderful National Women’s Martial Arts Federation Women’s Self-Defense and Martial Arts training camp to be held this July at North Central College in Naperville, Illinois!

Registration is now open at http://www.nwmaf.wildapricot.org!  Register by February 28 for the lowest prices.

We are currently soliciting applications from women who would like to teach at this summer’s camp.  As in years past, we want to create a Self-Defense Instructors’ Conference (SDIC) which will showcase the depth and breadth of feminist self-defense being taught worldwide, and which will provide learning opportunities for both experienced and aspiring teachers.  To see past SDIC conference programs, go to our website conference page and scroll down to click on the available links.

Special Training will feature both 45 minute and 90 minute programs taught by a range of Martial Arts, Healing Arts, and Self-Defense practitioners.  Go to the website application page for more information about the application process and to submit class proposals for SDIC and / or Special Training online.

Questions?  Have a great idea for a presenter or topic?

Contact us!

Self-Defense Instructors’ Conference:    sdlc@nwmaf.org
Special Training:      JayeSpiro@nwmaf.org or WendyLathrop@nwmaf.org

Online Training for Child Sexual Assault

27 09 2012

Darkness 2 Light offers a low-cost ($10) online training called Stewards of Children for parents, educators, and other adults involved with youth to better recognize child sexual abuse, and give them some tools to interrupt the grooming process or get help for the child. This program began in 2004 as a live presentation, and in 2006 went online to a larger audience.

I began this online training yesterday, and so far it seems fairly basic yet comprehensive. Appears to be a useful educational tool for anyone who works with children.

Have you gone through it? Send in your comment and observations.

If you want to check it out, visit the Darkness 2 Light website and look at the very top for the Online Training Login (next to the social media buttons). Then let us know what you think.

Darkness 2 Light’s mission is to empower people to prevent child sexual abuse. Their programs are intended to raise awareness of the prevalence and consequences of child sexual abuse by educating adults about the steps they can take to prevent, recognize and react responsibly to the reality of child sexual abuse.