In The News: Sensei Jaye Spiro

25 09 2012

This article announces two women’s self-defense classes held on the same day:

One of these September 29th classes will be taught by Sensei Jaye Spiro.  Those of us who’ve been around for a while know that Sensei Jaye is one of the founders of the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation, one of the originators of our Self-Defense Certification Program, and was recognized at our 2012 Women’s Martial Arts Conference with the Founders Honors Award. A pioneer in women’s self-defense, Sensei Jaye has remained at the cutting edge of empowering women and girls.

Her school, Mejishi Martial Arts, offers a full range of martial arts, self-defense, and violence prevention programming. If I were in the Detroit area on Sept 29th, I know where I would go.


In The News: Defend Yourself and Lauren Taylor

25 09 2012

This is a really good article written by a reporter who took the class!

Women from Discovery Fit and Health HQ took a Defend Yourself class, and one summarized four really cool new facts she learned as she practiced her new-found techniques.

Lauren’s classes at Defend Yourself are all over the DC area — be sure to check one out when you’re there.

INCITE!-ful Keynote

15 07 2010

Lauren Taylor, our intrepid on-location reporter, summarizes the Self-Defense Instructors’ Conference keynote address.

Isabel Millan of INCITE! shared these definitions with us:

Violence = abuse of power.
So what is self-defense?
Not something that only happens in response to an attack, but something that happens all the time, something that is active, that is preventative, and that holds us all accountable.

Is your class accessible by public transit, to mobility impaired women, to women with children? Do you address institutional violence, such as that coming via the military, prisons, and such? How do you make it relevant to and safe for  LGBTQ people? These are some of the ways she challenged us to question our own programs.

INCITE! is  a national activist organization of radical feminists of color advancing a movement to end violence against women of color and our communities through direct action, critical dialogue, and grassroots organizing.  INCITE! works to produce educational resources that support grassroots organizing to end violence against women of color and create safer, more liberatory communities. Visit their Resources for Organizing page for more on their programs (including a downloadable Stop Law Enforcement Violence toolkit).

Considering certification?

6 05 2010

Are you considering becoming certified by the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation as a Women’s Self Defense Instructor? If so, you do not want to miss the Self Defense Instructors’ Conference. The conference will feature support for women seeking certification, including:

Consultations with members of the certification board. Bring your application in progress for feedback and advice.

Intensive, facilitated networking opportunities. Plan to meet mentors and peers in our interactive sessions.

Immediately applicable skills and information. Not sure what the Feminist Empowerment Model of Self Defense looks like in practice? There’s a session for that. Strong on physical skills but need a methodology for delivering verbal self defense? There’s a session for that. Still thinking about how feminism, anti-oppression work and self-defense inform each other? There a session for that. Have questions about teaching self defense you’ve never known who to ask? There’s a session for that.

If you’re still wondering what certification can do for you, check out these video testimonials from certified instructors. (You can also look forward to meeting and learning from many of these women at the conference!)

The conference runs from Tuesday July 13-Thursday July 15. Register today at

Another Reason to Come to the Self Defense Instructors’ Conference

29 03 2010

From a 2009 participant:

“I attended the Self-Defense Instructor’s Conference for the first time in 2009 at Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, and it was a wonderful, eye-opening, and validating experience. I learned that I do a lot of things right in my self-defense seminars — and also that I have a long way to grow. As a result of the SDIC, I started a women’s-only self-defense-oriented fitness class, which attracts women who wouldn’t normally attend traditional martial arts classes but who want to get in shape and learn to defend themselves.

During last year’s SDIC, Sifu Sonya Richardson, Head Instructor Hand to Hand Kajukenbo Self Defense Center, Oakland, CA, shared about the many levels of inclusivity — particularly for gay, bisexual, and transgendered women. As I look around today, I am happy to see many openly gay women, and at least one transgendered woman, who feel safe and welcome at our dojang. We continue to be a harbor for women of all walks of life — and a place of healing for those who sadly have found inacceptance at other dojos/dojangs. And to think: I might not have reached out to these women without Sifu Richardson’s wise words.

The SDIC did wonders for me, and I hope to complete my self-defense certification through the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation this year — and thereby do wonders for others in return. If you want to help ALL women tap their inner power through self-defense, this is one conference you must attend!”

Cathy Chapaty
Tao of Texas Martial Arts Institute

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