Webinar Resource on Domestic Violence and Healthy Relationships

21 01 2014

The Northwest Network (in Seattle) is now offering a series of free webinars on various topics related to domestic violence and beyond.  I participated in the first one, which was a powerful combination of DV101 and empowerment model advocacy.  They also have a library of on-demand webinars that are directly relevant to any self-defense instructor  — among the topics are strangulation injuries, and intimate partner stalkers, and battered women charged with crimes.


From their website:  Founded in 1987 by lesbian survivors of battering, the NW Network works to end abuse in our diverse lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans communities. As an organization founded by and for LGBT survivors, we’re deeply committed to fostering the empowerment of all survivors of abuse.  The NW Network increases our communities’ ability to support the self-determination and safety of bisexual, transgendered, lesbian and gay survivors of abuse through education, organizing and advocacy. We work within a broad liberation movement dedicated to social and economic justice, equality and respect for all people and the creation of loving, inclusive and accountable communities.


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: 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!

Seeking Super Sheros: The Contest

1 02 2012

If you could have one self-defense super power, what would it be? When would you use it, and who would you save?

Strategic Living needs to know!

This is a contest, and there be prizes (first prize is an iPod shuffle). Check out this video for more info.

Now go to the Strategic Living site for how to submit your AWESOME entry!

Self-defense instructors, please share this with your colleagues and students. Or start your own contest.

PS – Deadline is April 15th, 2012.

Amy Cuddy – powerful body language video

21 11 2011

This video from Harvard’s Amy Cuddy shows how powerful body language is effective. How, in just TWO MINUTES a day, you can change how you are perceived and treated by others.

Amy Cuddy: Power Poses from PopTech on Vimeo.

I’ve been teaching some of this for a while, and it’s good to see this as a resource. AND it can also influence how we are seen as self-defense teachers. Even though Cuddy’s work is more about business, it is easy to translate into a self-defense and personal safety context.

Must-Reads for the Month

7 09 2011

Here are a few items for your reading pleasure.

From the King County Sexual Assault Resource Center (in Western Washington), we have the first publication discussing how to talk with your child about sexual assault. Still highly relevant today, and He Told Me Not to Tell is now available as a free downloadable PDF:


If you want more from KCSARC (including shorter brochures/handouts), then check out this page of PDFs:  http://www.kcsarc.org/content/publications-for-parents-and-caregivers

American Journal of Lifestyle Medicine’s current issue is on the impact of violence on daily life. And, for a short time, you can download/read the articles for free. Great academic resource!


And, on a less academic note, does confronting men on sexist comments really make them nicer? You decide: http://jezebel.com/5837624/study-says-confronting-men-about-sexism-makes-them-nicer

Happy reading!

Resource: Downloadable Self-Defense Manual for Feminists

2 03 2011

Just surfing the web this morning, and came across this not-so-little “brochure.”  I haven’t had a chance to really read it yet, but just picking through some of the pages, this looks like an awesome resource! Here’s an excerpt from the Preface:

This important manual developed by Marina Bernal, Artemisa, and Elige, is a valuable asset for all women
engaged in the task of constructing and inhabiting a world in which all of us can fulfill our best potential. An
indispensable tool, it invites us to stand our ground while attempting to undo the injustices meted out to us,
and nurture the inherent resources that are so easily depleted: our bodies, affection, intelligence, creativity,
spirituality…and ourselves.

For many of us the word “ourselves” brings a certain sense of discomfort, while the daily battle against
discrimination and living life on fair terms leaves us with no time or inclination to deal with any issue that
may not be of the utmost urgency. It also seems selfish, unpardonable and even cowardly to focus on
ourselves. But sooner or later our bodies are afflicted with migraines or paralytic strokes; or the woman, man, or trans person whom we love, leaves us because he or she is tired of seeing us for only a few hours in a year or a day. Suddenly, we turn 70 and discover that our activism did not automatically entitle us to a
pension…and then we crumble or continue to plod on as mere shadows of ourselves.

A unique feature of this manual is that it talks of realities that are almost always never understood, such as
the breach that exists between our discourse on human rights and social justice, and the reality of the labour
practices adopted by our organizations and work spaces. It is imperative that we recognize ourselves as
workers with rights and duties and break free from the rhetoric of “sacrifice”, which only serves to justify
forms of violence that we would never accept in a factory or workshop, yet continue to live with every day in
NGOs, collectives, and groups.

Self-Care and Self-Defense Manual for Feminist Activists

It’s copywrite jointly held by three organizations:

Artemisa, Grupo Interdisciplinario en Género, Sexualidad, Juventud y Derechos Humanos, 2006.
Artemisa is an interdisciplinary group working on gender, sexuality, youth and human rights in Mexico.

Elige, Red de Jóvenes por Derechos Sexuales y Reproductivos, A.C., 2006
Elige, a feminist youth organization comprised of young women and men, is a leading advocate for young people’s sexual
and reproductive rights in Mexico and throughout Central America.

CREA, 2008.
CREA advances women’s human rights and the sexual rights of all people by building leadership, influencing social
movements, expanding discourses, and creating enabling social and policy environments.

PS – My anti-virus program says this document is OK.