Raven Koch & Self Defense from the Inside Out, Coming to SDIC!

25 04 2011

Many of us teaching self-defense count Nadia Telsey’s workbook, “Self-Defense from the Inside Out, A Women’s Workbook for Developing Self-Esteem and Assertiveness Skills for Safety (Breaking Free, 1994),” as one of the most groundbreaking and transformative works influencing our own education as self-defense instructors. We are honored to announce that Raven Koch, who is certified to teach Nadia’s Self-Defense from the Inside Out (SDIO) Curriculum without restrictions, will be bringing some of these classes to SDIC-ST 2011.

Raven Koch became acquainted with self-defense at an International Women’s Day celebration in Eugene, Oregon, in the late 1990’s. She fell in love with the practice in a class on the subject at the University of Oregon. The teacher was Nadia Telsey, the community was fierce and powerful, and the experience was life-changing. In 2000, Raven began work at the local sexual violence crisis center as the coordinator of their self-defense program, and began her own journey as an instructor. Over the next 11 years and counting, she has dabbled in a handful of martial arts, including karate and Tae Kwon Do, attended NWMAF’s Special Training and Mona Lisa’s Sword training, and taught lots and lots of people how to palm-heel strike as well as the importance of self-love. She has worked with formerly incarcerated women, homeless LGBT youth, survivors of child abuse, people with mental illness, and many other marginalized populations. Over the last few years, she has been an instructor with the Center for Anti-Violence Education (CAE) in Brooklyn, New York, and has had the honor of bringing CAE’s excellent self-defense curriculum into diverse settings within the five boroughs and beyond, including shelters, hospitals, and public schools.

In addition to self-defense, Raven also declares deep abiding passions for gourmet vegetarian cooking, witchcraft, and healing arts of all kinds, but especially acupuncture and the ocean.

Please see Raven’s workshop descriptions, below, and go to the NWMAF website to register for SDIC-ST 2011 today! Print out an SDIC-ST brochure or flyer to share with your friends, colleagues, and martial arts sisters! We can’t wait to see you in July!

“Transforming Denial into Awareness and Intuition,” with Raven Koch

Have you ever had a “funny feeling” about someone, and then talked yourself out of it? Have you ever handled an emergency? Some of the same skills we use in handling everyday difficulties apply in self-defense situations, but we may have additional barriers to self-care when it comes to acting on our gut feelings. In this session we will examine our willingness to recognize trouble, trust our intuition, and take action! This class is based on Nadia Telsey’s workbook, “Self-Defense from the Inside Out, A Women’s Workbook for Developing Self-Esteem and Assertiveness Skills for Safety (Breaking Free, 1994).”

“Transforming Self-Blame into Anger,” with Raven Koch

Anger is often viewed as a bad thing – and it can be destructive – however, we can harness this emotion as a powerful tool for change. Anger can help mobilize us through fear and into action, on behalf of ourselves and our communities. In this session we will examine how we assign responsibility to ourselves and others and how anger can be a potent tool of self-care. This class is based on Nadia Telsey’s workbook, “Self-Defense from the Inside Out, A Women’s Workbook for Developing Self-Esteem and Assertiveness Skills for Safety (Breaking Free, 1994).”

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Clara Porter, SDIC, More Than a Few Good Men…

19 04 2011

We have an outstanding line up of presenters for this summer’s Self Defense Instructor’s Conference, and we look forward to seeing you all there!  Clara Porter, MSW, who co-taught last year’s Self-Defense Empowerment Model Course with Joy Williamson, is returning this year as an SDIC presenter.  Clara 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 the skills to prevent and respond to interpersonal violence.  This project supported the formation of a Men Creating Change chapter and has worked extensively with male athletes and Greeks.

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, New York, and is an 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.

Clara will be presenting a workshop about how to engage men and boys as activists and allies in our work.  Please see her workshop description, below, and go to the NWMAF website to register for SDIC-ST 2011 today!  Print out an SDIC-ST 2011 brochure or flier to share with your friends, colleagues, and martial arts sisters!  We can’t wait to see you in July!

“Engaging Men and Boys as Activists and Allies,” with Clara Porter

Yes, 95% of perpetrators of sexual assault are straight men.  But 94% of men will never perpetrate this crime.  So what is their role?  To work to promote change.  Come discuss and experience ways to engage men and boys in preventing and responding to violence against women.  Challenge the dominant story of masculinity, and help to formulate a counter story. Learn about the research of David Lisak on “The Undetected Rapist.”  Check out what is happening on college campuses and in young adult programs to engage men as activists and allies in this work.





Teaching Sexual Assault Survivors who are Military Veterans, with Joanne Factor at SDIC-ST 2011

14 04 2011

Joanne Factor came to ST as a trainer for the first time in 2005, and spent the next 4 years on the NWMAF Board as our very first Director-at-Large for Self Defense! This year she returns as both an ST trainer and SDIC presenter.

Joanne is a mild-mannered university budget wrangler by day, and dedicated to helping women and girls discover their strongest selves by evening and weekend. Joanne has been training at Seattle’s Feminist Karate Union for over 18 years, and has been owner of Strategic Living Safety and Self-Defense since 2003. A nidan in both traditional Shito-ryu Kotaka-ha Karate and Kobudo, Joanne teaches adult women’s and kids’ karate classes, and has expanded FKU’s children’s programming to local elementary schools. As owner and principal trainer of Strategic Living, Joanne teaches self-defense skills to ages 5 to 75, students and sorority sisters, homeless women and business executives, and everyone in between. Joanne has taught at PAWMA Camp and Special Training 2005, and has served on the Boards of both organizations. She is an NWMAF-Certified Self-Defense Instructor, and a member of AWMAI and AAU.  Originally from Brooklyn, New York, Joanne holds a BA from Cornell University, surrounds herself with many furry feline friends, and was named Seattle’s Best Feminist Butt-Kicker in 2007 by the Seattle Weekly.

We are honored to have Joanne present a session at SDIC on teaching self-defense to women survivors of sexual assault who are also military veterans.  Please see Joanne’s workshop description, below, and register today at www.NWMAF.org

“Teaching Special Populations: When Your Sexual Assault Survivor is also a Military Veteran,” with Joanne Factor

You’ve seen the news articles, maybe heard some stories from your own students and friends.  Sexual assault against women in military service is being called “epidemic” in the media.  And there are fewer avenues for redress – and more risks around reporting – for women in military service than for civilian women.

Almost a third of all women who have been sexually assaulted will develop some symptoms of long-term post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD); female military veterans face unique risk factors that affect their diagnosis and subsequent treatment. While there is a lot that both civilians and women in the military share when it comes to sexual assault and PTSD, there are also significant distinctions that self-defense instructors need to understand to better serve these women. In this seminar you’ll look at the kinds of situations that are more likely to give rise to chronic PTSD, circumstances specific to women veterans, and the Seattle Veterans Administration Medical Center’s (VAMC) treatment protocol, Taking Charge. You will engage in some of the exercises done by Taking Charge participants.  And you may even challenge yourself to dig into your own beliefs about the military and those who serve.

This material is drawn from Joanne Factor’s seven years of experience with the Taking Charge team, led by Drs. Wendy David and Ann Cotton, at Seattle’s VAMC as the Self-Defense Physical Skills Instructor and co-author of the Taking Charge Therapists’ Treatment Manual.





Teaching Middle School Girls with Zoey Zotigh at SDIC-ST 2011

10 04 2011

If you are feeling a bit disconnected from your middle school years, yet would like to build more skills around teaching self-defense to girls in this age group, come to SDIC-ST 2011 and join presenter Zoey Zotigh for a workshop on “Developing a Self-Defense Program for Middle School Girls.”

Zoey Zotigh has been training in the martial arts since 2007 at Hand to Hand Kajukenbo Self Defense Center in Oakland, California.  She is also a member of the Self-Defense Program at Hand to Hand, and has assisted and taught classes for adults, high school, middle school, and elementary school aged people.

Zoey is fortunate to work with students and adults from a wide variety of situations and backgrounds, and says that this involvement provides her the opportunity to work and live with an open mind and heart towards everyone.

For the past seven years Zoey has been working with middle school students, and knows that self-defense is incredibly important for people at this age.  Self-defense classes have been extremely effective in reducing the number of conflicts at the middle school campus where she works as an after school coordinator.

Please see Zoey’s workshop description, below, and go to http://www.nwmaf.org/ to register for SDIC-ST 2011 today!

“Developing a Self-Defense Program For Middle School Girls,” with Zoey Zotigh

Girls face a lot of challenges in today’s world.  A self-defense program at the middle school level empowers them to develop assertiveness, courage, and trust in their own intuition and abilities.

During this workshop, we’ll explore exercises and drills to teach this age group verbal and physical self-defense skills in a safe and supported way.  In addition, we’ll gain insight into how middle school students behave, and consider why and how this behavior can work to our advantage in teaching self-defense.  We’ll also have a chance to practice what we’ve learned, and to discuss ways to set up after school and community-based programs.

By developing programs for middle school age students, we can build bridges to our youth and empower them to say “I am worth defending.”





The Challenge

29 03 2011

It’s simple. Really. I’m almost embarrassed to call this a “challenge,” but it is.

If you are an NWMAF supporter you know how much value and growth you get out of the NWMAF, Special Training, the Self-Defense Instructors Conference, and even this blog. Isn’t it worth keeping your cohorts and colleagues in the martial arts up-to-date on this AWESOME organization? I’m asking you to SPREAD THE WORD, and here’ how to do it, early and often.

You’ve already seen that two SDIC presenters have been profiled on this blog, and there’s more to come. We’ve made it easy to share these as they are released. Most, if not all, blogs have this technology.

At the bottom of this post are buttons to share via Facebook, Twitter, email, and a few others. So if you are on Facebook, please “like” these posts.  If you are on Twitter, please “tweet” (or “retweet”) them. Email these posts to your friends. Print them out (there is a Print button!) and post it on your school’s bulletin board. Just one or two clicks of a mouse or trackpad, almost no effort on your part.  Yet if enough of us take the few seconds to click, just imagine how far and wide word of the AMAZING training that awaits us will spread (how deep into that “6 degrees of separation” can we get — think we can reach the White House?). This is viral marketing (which is GOOD, and nothing like a computer virus which is bad). And think of how much your colleagues and cohorts will appreciate your keeping them up on a cutting-edge conference.

Within the next few weeks, more posts about SDIC and ST trainers will be appearing. Please share.

NWMAF’s success comes down to you. Really.





Yuko Uchikawa Presenting at SDIC-ST 2011!

25 03 2011

When Yuko Uchikawa presented a workshop on “Building Peace Through Self-Defense” at SDIC 2008, our attendees reported back to us with a string of superlatives:  “Stunning.” “Brilliant!!! Completely!!!” “Wonderful! Wow – need more of this to keep us broadening!”  “Great combination of interactive, personal, and global.  Ending on a positive, hopeful, and peaceful note!” “This was extraordinary! I’m going to take this back to my life and teaching.  Thank you!! Your presentation was very well constructed, compassionate, and inspiring.”  “Please bring Yuko back, as well as other instructors who bridge local and global concerns.”

Your Self Defense Leadership Committee is thrilled to report that Yuko Uchikawa will be returning to SDIC-ST 2011 in July to teach a two workshop series on “Transforming Conflicts.”  Yuko received a Master of Arts degree in Education from Teachers College, Columbia University (2007), where she focused on Conflict Resolution and Mediation. Since 2010, she has been working as a mediator at New York Center for Interpersonal Development, co-mediating community conflicts as well as working as a court mediator to resolve small claims cases at the civil court on Staten Island. She co-founded Ruckus Safety Awareness in 1993 and taught self-defense in New York. In 1997 she started a Ruckus branch in Japan, and travels throughout Japan to teach self-defense, train instructors, and lecture on self-defense and conflict resolution. Yuko has been training in the martial arts since 1992.

Please see Yuko’s workshop description, below, and we’ll see you at SUNY Brockport, July 20 – 24.  Go to http://www.nwmaf.org/ to register for SDIC-ST 2011 today!

“Transforming Conflicts,” with Yuko Uchikawa

“Problems cannot be solved at the level of awareness that created them.”  –Albert Einstein

Who we are and how our society views conflict affect how we navigate difficult situations. In litigious societies such the United States, disputes are often handed over to advocates, and a judge makes the final decision. Such conflict systems encourage us to compete when faced with conflict. When we compete, we dig into our positions and cease to understand the needs and interests of the other party. We focus more on what the conflict entails rather than how we are handling the conflict. We lose sight of options and become more invested in the outcome rather than the process.

In this two-part workshop, we will explore conflict through exercises, games, theory, and discussions. We will gain an awareness of our own conflict reactions, understand how our approach may influence the dispute, and consider alternative approaches. By increasing our skills and our understanding of ourselves and the other party, we will attempt to reach another level of awareness and to engage with conflict in a new way.

The path to peace and nonviolence begins with “peacekeeping.” Self defense functions as a way to maintain peace in our lives, thus we learn to be peacekeepers. Conflict Resolution is the next step and functions as “peacemaking.” By learning to resolve or transform conflicts in a peaceful way, we move towards the ultimate goal of building an everlasting peace in our lives, our communities, and our world.





Self-Defense Instructors’ Conference 2011

20 03 2011

The NWMAF’s Self-Defense Leadership Group has been putting together this year’s conference, and it will again be THE premier place for your continuing education.  Sessions on business skills, teaching self-defense to special populations, and adding variety to your classes will be among the offerings.  You will come away with great ideas to enhance your programs, increase enrollment, and take better care of yourself.

The format this year will be a little different from past conferences. “Early Program” SDIC begins Wednesday, July 20th, at 1:00 pm and ends Thursday, July 21st, at 2:00.  However, SDIC sessions will be offered throughout the entire Special Training weekend.  So stay tuned for the schedule and list of trainers!

But if you already know, regardless of the specific trainers and sessions, that this will be one amazing event, then please feel free to register now at the NWMAF website!