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!”
Tao of Texas Martial Arts Institute