More Missives from the Self Defense Conference

15 07 2010

Again from Lauren, our intrepid on-location reporter at the NWMAF’s Self-Defense Instructors’ Conference. Lauren is a long-time NWMAF member, supporter, and certified self-defense instructor.  She teaches through Defend Yourself in the Washington DC area.

Katy Mattingly, of  You CAN Defend Yourself, helped our group of self-defense teachers think about our own recovery from trauma and how that is  key to our ability to be good teachers. Do you have a plan for what you would do if you got sick and couldn’t teach? What if you were triggered during class? Most of us come to this work because we have a passion about the issues growing out of our personal experiences. One takeaway: You must be comfortable negotiating the difficult part of your selves in order to deal with difficult experiences of our students.

Down There Collective members Farah Fosse and Noel Petrie and their wacky cast of puppets gave us a way in to talk about sex and consent. Many people see self-defense as “all about the ‘no.'” But an important part of a real, heartfelt no is that it allows a full-bodied “yes.”  After the puppets showed us several scenes where consent was clear and direct– or not so much–we talked through a wide range of questions, from can a drunk person give consent to can talking about consent be HOTT(!) to can you talk about puppets dry-humping with a straight face? Farah and Noel challenged us each time (and there were about 50 questions!) about how we would apply all this thinking to our self-defense teaching.

One more day of the conference…are you ready for the challenge of Speed Self Defense Jeopardy?

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One response

17 07 2010
Clara Porter

Yes the Down the Collective was amazing and who would have thought even a couple of years ago that we would be talking this openly about sex and consent and well…. dry humping… at SDIC! Hats off to the coordinating crew!

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