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

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SDIC 2012: CEU’s, and Clara Porter!

2 05 2012

For the first time in our history, the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation will be able to offer CEUs (continuing education) for many of our Self-Defense Instructors’ Conference classes, in partnership with Ohio National Association of Social Workers (NASW). This is very exciting news! Our thanks to Diane Long for organizing this effort, and to Clara Porter and Darla Bolon for collaborating with her and reviewing class objectives and presenter resumes for our SDIC workshops! Thanks also to our many presenters who are making the extra effort to provide us with the information required to insure their classes will qualify for CEU’s. We value all of your efforts!

One of our 2012 SDIC classes, Field and Office Safety Training for Social Service and Healthcare Providers, taught by Clara Porter, will be geared towards social service and healthcare providers and will provide a model for reaching out to these groups to address workplace violence. Go to the NWMAF website to register for Women’s Martial Arts Conference 2012, including SDIC-ST, and we’ll see you in Oberlin in July!

Clara Porter, MSW, is the founder and program director of Prevention. Action. Change. in Portland Maine and the Interpersonal Violence Prevention Coordinator at the University of Southern Maine. The USM Campus Safety Project promotes healthy relationships and works to prevent and respond to interpersonal violence. Clara has extensive training in violence prevention programming for children, youth, and adults and has been teaching in the field since 1994. She trained in both Karate and self-defense instruction at the Center for Anti-Violence Education in Brooklyn, NY and is a NWMAF certified self-defense instructor. Clara is also certified in Advanced Trauma First Aide, a crisis intervention and healing approach she uses frequently in her classes.

“Field and Office Safety Training for Social Service and Healthcare Providers,” with Clara Porter

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OHSA) ranks health care (including social work) as the third most violent profession in terms of workplace violence. Participants will explore their responses to perceived threats and address how role, age, gender, trauma history, and others factors influence interactions with staff, clients, and program participants. We will discuss barriers to safety and day-to-day safety skills for use in the field, office and on home visits. SDIC participants will learn to translate self-defense teaching to meet the needs of this growing class of professionals.





In The News: Sensei Jaye Spiro Honored by NWMAF

22 04 2012

Sensei Jaye Spiro

The recipient of the NWMAF’s Founders’ Honors this year is a woman who has been part of NWMAF since before NWMAF formally existed. She hosted the women’s martial arts Special Training in 1979, was instrumental in establishing the foundations of our current self-defense program, and in 2011 joined with another woman to run the youth program at Special Training. She has been teaching karate for over 28 years, and is the Director of Mejishi Martial Arts. Please join us this year at the Women’s Martial Arts Conference as we pay tribute to none other than Sensei Jaye Spiro, a woman upon whose shoulders we all continue to stand.

And if that wasn’t enough, Sensei Jaye is in the news: De-escalate then defend: Lessons from Mejishi Martial Arts, published in PrideSource.com on April 19, 2012. Congrats to Sensei Jaye on both receiving Founders’ Honors and for being the subject of a well-done news article!





SDIC-ST 2011 with Wendi Dragonfire!

16 06 2011

If you haven’t already registered for SDIC-ST 2011, this next trainer announcement is sure to put you over the edge!  You won’t want to miss an exciting opportunity to train with Wendi Dragonfire, who will be teaching a number of Self Defense Instructors’ Conference and Martial Arts classes July 20 -24 at the College at Brockport, New York!

Wendi Dragonfire is 60 years old and has been training since 1971. A 9th degree Black Belt in Shuri-Ryu Karate and a 2nd degree Black Belt in Modern Arnis, Dragonfire is a direct student of the late Robert A. Trias and the late Professor Remy A. Presas. Her goal has always been, and continues to be, making the martial arts and self-defense accessible to everyone, especially to those who have been marginalized. To that end, Dragonfire, an organizer of local, national and international events, provides accessibility to all practitioners regardless of abilities. Combining the energy work of martial arts with that of Healing Touch has helped Dragonfire to be a better, more compassionate, and more proficient teacher and practitioner.

Dragonfire, a founder of NWMAF, has received many awards and been inducted into several Halls of Fame; however, her proudest award moment was when she became an NWMAF “Award of Excellence” recipient at Special Training 2001. Her proudest moments consist of seeing the women around her ‘becoming’…

Dragonfire spent 4.5 weeks teaching in Israel in February and March of 2011. Students included staff members at El Halev, Tai Chi students in Tel Aviv and Kfar Saba, 8 groups of seniors, GLBT youth who had been kicked out of their families, illegal Filipino immigrants, ex-prostitutes and oh so many more.

Dragonfire loves to teach and invites you all to join her…

Her sessions will include the following, with a selection of SDIC session descriptions listed.  See you all in New York in July!  Inquire about discounted membership rates and camp fees for first time attendees, and spread the word with our website link, camp brochure, and flyer!

 “The Power of Engagement:  Bluffing, Humor, and Distraction,” with Wendi Dragonfire

Explore early intervention strategies. Learn to honor your own awareness and take initiative to reduce tension right away. Use humor and distraction to engage or make a connection as a way to interrupt and deescalate potential conflicts. Tune in to catch cues along the way and learn how exaggeration can help you get past embarrassment as you take charge of your own reactions. Practice saying what you see, using your power to name and frame what is happening in the moment, and honing your ability to set limits. Conscious awareness allows you to change the dynamics of situations in which you feel threatened.

“Adapting Self-Defense,” with Wendi Dragonfire

Learn to adapt self-defense techniques to make them more accessible regardless of age or physicality. Practice how to use your bluff, how to engage, how to use the tools at your disposal to stay safe. Use stereotypes to your advantage in abusive situations. Come with your questions and ideas ready to share information and resources.

“Flow Drills 1: Simple and Effective Flow Drills,” with Wendi Dragonfire

“Defenses Against Random Attacks,” with Wendi Dragonfire

“Kata – Thinking Outside the Box,” with Wendi Dragonfire

“Flow Drills 2: Elbow Flow Drill,” with Wendi Dragonfire

“Sparring for Fun,” with Wendi Dragonfire

“Defenses Against Knife Attacks,” with Wendi Dragonfire





Molly Hale: “Your Spirit is the True Shield.”

10 06 2011

We are honored to welcome Molly Hale to SDIC-ST 2011 as both an SDIC presenter and ST trainer.  Molly began her training in 1984 at Aikido West in Redwood City, California, as a student of Frank Doran Shihan. Her passion for movement and background in dance, yoga, t’ai chi, and Continuum supported her Aikido training. She became the senior instructor of the Aikido West Children’s program in 1988 and instructor of Oracle Aikido Club in 1991. In 1995 an automobile rollover damaged her cervical spine and spinal cord; the prognosis was severe: she was expected to have no voluntary movement below her shoulders. Never-the-less, she returned to the mat in March 1996 and in June 2001 she successfully tested for her Sandan in her wheelchair and on the mat.

Molly continues training and teaching and has exhibited and taught at a number of national martial arts events, including AikiExpo, PAWMA, and NWMAF Special Training Camps. In 2008, Lee and Jake Sinclair filmed Molly teaching self-defense for use by the I’m Worth Defending program in the slums of Nairobi, Kenya. In 2009, Molly was a guest speaker and presenter at the American Hippotherapy Conference in Atlanta. On July 23, 2010, Molly was honored with the EP Maxwell J. Schleifer Distinguished Service Award for extraordinary achievements, perseverance, and dedication to the special-needs community.

“Moment by Moment: The Healing Journey of Molly Hale” won a Film-Makers Choice (Best Art) award (view at cultureunplugged.com/play/1319). This year she is team-teaching in a warm-water pool environment, coaching movement, relaxation, balance, breathing, stretching, and practicing AikiAqua.  Visit Molly’s website, and read more about Molly’s ST and SDIC sessions, below.  Go to our NWMAF website to register for camp today!

“Take a Seat 1,” with Molly Hale.

“Take a Seat 2,” with Molly Hale.

Practice from a seated position and explore motion, intention, awareness and action. Most humans sit, but most martial artists train from standing, a few from seiza. What responses to an attack are available to a seated person? Molly has practiced Aikido for twenty years, nine of those years from a wheelchair, and is discovering effective movements for seated individuals. Suitable for anyone willing to come and sit awhile. An aid to any teacher who encounters potential students using wheelchair mobility or any student in a wheelchair. Session 1 and 2 complement each other, but you can attend either or both sessions.

“AikaAqua,” with Molly Hale.

We will practice holding base while in a water medium. The benefits to one’s Aikido or other martial practice are extraordinary in terms of feeling and finding one’s center in a seemingly weightless medium, and examining your motions and body positioning at a slowed down rate. The buoyancy and resistance of water support gaining new insights into connection and breathing.

“The Art of No Defense,” with Molly Hale.

Many years ago an incorrect address found me at a Model Mugging course. Acting from a place of ”no coincidences,” I signed up for the program, learning self-defense techniques and moving through the shadows of my own rape encounters. I felt empowered and a deep sense of responsibility when it became clear that I could take a human life. “Looking for openings” in any attack continued to resonate.

27 years training in Aikido, plus becoming quadriplegic, kept bringing it home to me that the “openings” I was looking for were within me. How do we care for ourselves from a place of Center? How do we move in the world physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually in balance and receptivity? How do we be aware of conditions within and around us, assess a situation, and act with compassion?

The founder of Aikido, said “The Art of Peace begins with you. Work on yourself and your appointed task in the Art of Peace. Everyone has a spirit that can be refined, a body that can be trained in some manner, a suitable path to follow. You are here for no other purpose than to realize your inner divinity and manifest your innate enlightenment. Foster peace in your own life and then apply the Art to all that you encounter.”

In this workshop, we will explore, through talking and physical practices, how to honor our respective martial art and self-defense practices, while engaging an idea of No Defense. “Your spirit is the true shield.”





Learn to Increase Your Impact, and Your Income, with Erin Weed at SDIC-ST 2011

24 05 2011

When Erin Weed first presented to NWMAF conference participants in 2007, attendees responded with a string of superlatives: “Awesome – the best and most helpful. Thank you for having her speak. Please have her back!” “Great presenter, good energy, lots of content. Best so far at SDIC.” “Would have loved 3 hours and more!!!” “Excellent, motivated, and motivating speaker!” “Relevant and useful information delivered with enthusiasm and good humor. Thank you!”

Feedback was every bit as enthusiastic after Erin’s return appearances: “She is Great!” “Excellent, practical information – extremely well organized and presented with a lot of energy. I liked that it was presented as a paradigm rather than just a lot of bullet points.” “Outstanding! This class alone was well worth the trip!” “Great information – up-to-date, current, fresh. Love your energy, Erin!” “Very informative! Direct and clear and inspirational.”

We are honored to welcome speaker, author, and social entrepreneur Erin Weed to SDIC-ST 2011 to present a series of Saturday workshops on Business and Marketing. See below for more information about Erin and these offerings, and go to our website to register for SDIC-ST 2011 today! Register soon to take advantage of May pricing!

Have higher business aspirations? Want to make a greater impact with your work? You won’t want to miss this!

Erin Weed‘s sorority sister was murdered at Eastern Illinois University in 2001. Just 23 years old at the time, this tragedy lead her to abandon a career in TV broadcasting and study all aspects of women’s safety and self-defense. After training with some of the best violence prevention experts in the world, Erin created Girls Fight Back, a campaign to empower young women through safety and self-defense education. She and her international team of speakers have reached close to a million women since 2001, and Erin authored a book titled Girls Fight Back! The College Girl’s Guide to Protecting Herself. Erin has been featured in media including: CNN, The CBS Early Show, Ladies Home Journal, The New York Times, Glamour, The Washington Post and Marie Claire. She was given the Hometown Hero award by John Walsh (Founder of America’s Most Wanted) and named Best Female Performer 2009 by Campus Activities Magazine. Erin works as a consultant to companies and non-profits wanting to make a social impact, and is currently writing her second book about social entrepreneurship.

“Business Boot Camp,” with Erin Weed    (double session)

Are you a self-defense instructor and want to start holding classes, but don’t know where to begin when it comes to marketing, finance, media exposure or other business issues? Would you like to teach women’s self defense as a side job, or as a full-time career? Or are you already working in this field professionally, and want to kick things up to the next level? This special double session workshop will cover the basics of business, public relations and community outreach as it applies specifically to the world of women’s self defense. By first identifying the “ecosystem” in which we exist, each participant will walk away with a customized plan to create and maintain a brand, implement effective marketing techniques, utilize the media, and prepare for financial issues that face professionals teaching women about safety.

Erin Weed is a speaker, author, social entrepreneur and founder of Girls Fight Back! Since 2001, Erin and her team of international speakers have reached one million women with the message of peace and girl power. She is also the founder/CEO of Evoso, an agency that provides business consulting and social change campaigns for non-profits, corporations and universities across the globe. She has been featured in media including: CNN, The New York Times and The Washington Post. More information about Erin can be found at http://erinweed.com.

“Fireside Chat,” with Erin Weed

Good intentions may spark a women’s self-defense business, but they won’t keep the fire going… you gotta have a plan! We discussed some business and marketing success principles during this morning’s “Business Boot Camp.” Now join Erin Weed for a follow up discussion and question and answer session. Come ready to learn from others and share your successes in the business of teaching women to become their own best protectors.





Ann Burke, and Dating Violence Education, Coming to SDIC-ST 2011

4 05 2011

If you haven’t already registered for SDIC-ST 2011, this next presenter announcement will send you reaching for your computer keyboard… 

Ann Burke has acted with courage and persistence to turn her family’s personal tragedy into an opportunity to insure that our children, school personnel, and families in the public school system are educated about the realities of teen dating violence.  We are honored that she will be sharing her work with us in July at SDIC-ST 2011, and that our self-defense teachers, parents, and martial artists will have an opportunity to attend her sessions and learn more about how to recognize and respond to the signs of relationship violence.  We’ll also have an opportunity to hear how she has successfully worked to pass Dating Violence Legislation. 

Ann Burke is a registered nurse with a Master’s Degree in Health Education. She has worked for the past 24 years as a school nurse-teacher and, more recently, as a middle school health teacher in South Kingstown, Rhode Island. After the 2005 murder of her 23 year old daughter, Lindsay, a victim of dating violence, she founded the Lindsay Ann Burke Memorial Fund whose mission is to support the prevention of dating / domestic violence through education. She provides free workshops to health teachers in Rhode Island and donates free curriculum materials to their schools. In addition, she offers free dating violence workshops to school staff and parents. The fund also sponsors a yearly teen dating violence poster contest for Rhode Island high school students and has created a professionally-made training DVD. Ann also created a website  specifically for health teachers to use as a resource tool.

To honor Lindsay’s life, Ann has chosen to speak out and help others become educated about teen dating abuse. She firmly believes that schools have a responsibility to give students the knowledge and tools to recognize the signs of dating abuse in order to help themselves and others, and to have policies in place to protect all students. Ann worked for passage of the Lindsay Ann Burke Act, which passed in 2007.  This law requires all schools in Rhode Island to teach about dating violence through a comprehensive health education program from grades 7 through 12. It also requires training of school staff, creation of a dating violence policy, and recommends parent trainings.

After presenting to the National Association of Attorneys General and the National Foundation of Women Legislators, both organizations passed resolutions supporting Lindsay’s law and dating violence education in all states. In July, 2009, the state of Nebraska passed the Lindsay Ann Burke Act and in December, 2009, the state of Ohio passed the Tina Croucher Act, based on Lindsay’s law. Presently, there are several other states including the state of Pennsylvania either actively pursuing similar legislation or working towards that end.

Ann and her husband also co-founded the Love Is Not Abuse Coalition, along with the Liz Claiborne Corporation. Ann works with all of these organizations to help enact similar laws in other states. On June 10, 2009 Ann testified before the United States Senate Judiciary Committee, chaired by Senator Patrick Leahy, during their hearing on “The Continued Importance of the Violence Against Women Act.”  She testified as to the importance of prevention of dating / domestic violence through education and specifically urged Congress to fully fund the STEP (Supporting Teens Through Education and Protection) program. This program, part of VAWA, would provide money for training school personnel, developing policies, and supporting victims.

Please see Ann’s workshop descriptions, below, and register at NWMAF’s website for SDIC-ST 2011 today!

“Dating Violence: What Every Person Needs to Know,” with Ann Burke

Did you know that one in three teens experiences some kind of abuse in their relationships? Did you ever wonder why victims of relationship violence stay with their abusive partners?  Learn information you need to know about this major health problem, from statistics to how to help a victim.  Crucial information, such as the cycle of abuse, effects on the victim, how to help, and why teens are so vulnerable, are all included.  The best way to protect yourself and others is through prevention, and prevention starts with knowing all the facts.  Join us for a frank discussion of dating violence.

“Dating Violence: Making a Difference Through Education and Legislation,” with Ann Burke

Lindsay Ann Burke, a victim of dating violence, was brutally tortured and murdered in 2005.  As a victim, Lindsay paid the ultimate price.  But Lindsay’s family was also victimized, and had to learn how to live with the tremendous loss and effects of trauma.  Ann Burke shares her story of survival, her personal fight for legislation requiring dating violence education in schools, and how everyone can educate teens and parents through the use of basic curriculum materials.