Who better understands the needs of women than other women?
I am not built like a man. I am not even built like societies concept of the ideal female. I am not a 6 foot guy that hits the gym several times a week. Nor am I a competitive fitness buff. In fact working out is not exactly anything I look forward to these days. I do work out a bit, but I am lazy. I should do more, and sometimes I do. But overall... I am just an ordinary, everyday 50+ woman, a wife, a mom, and a grandmother.
I trained in the martial arts for a long time, a long time ago. It was during that 20 years of training with the “Cho-Sensei, Shidosha Shihan, Head Master-Guru” guy that I often wondered about the self defense aspects of my traditional martial arts training.
Don't get me wrong, I love the training! I lived for training, driving 100 miles two to three times a week just to train. And then when I built and opened my own dojo, a branch school of our system, I trained up to 6 times a week. I loved our school, system and style, it was the best! However, when it came to the actual self defense aspect, something was unaccounted for. This was a time when it seemed others too, were beginning to realize that self defense was more than a physical skill set. The usual, “avoid the fight if you can” from instructors was always spoken, but never really given the full credence necessary. Nor were any ‘how-tos’ for avoiding the fight specified or practiced.
When I left the traditional martial arts, it began a journey that I did not know I wanted to be on. It was in 2004 that I realized I wanted to teach and educate women about how to protect themselves. I found a person to start me on that quest and who filled in some of the missing aspects of ‘self defensing”.
Catch my interview on Born to Be a Badass Podcast with Cynthia Jolicoeur Rood. Episode 30
In 1982 I began training in traditional martial arts and kept with my core instructor for 20 years. I constructed my own dojo in 1989 and ran the Wells Branch of the TJC for a decade. These gentlemen are my senior ranks, 1996
The system was a comprehensive combination of styles with Kyokushin as the root. Weapons, full contact sparing, grappling, and throws were all done on concrete. 1989 Weapons competition.
Other trainings include practicing various forms of Tai Chi from Shenghong Eikenberry. And learning Chinese Medicine Principles from Bonnie Crotsenberg. Shenghong and I with our friend Kelly, hiking into the Ruby Mountains.
After the martial arts I did summers of work study at Upaya Zen Center in Santa Fe, NM learning from Roshi, Joan Halifax. And with that, opportunities of deep practice such as a Rohatsu and a five day Wilderness Fast happened. It was at Upaya that I realized I wanted to teach women personal safety and defense.
With Roshi, 2003.
Phil Messina of Modern Warrior© got me started as a women’s self defense instructor. Phil is a retired NYPD. Along with training and certifying with him, I've taught at his facility in Long Island, NY.
Phil and I, 2010.
Meditations on Violence sparked me to contact the author, Rory Miller. Thus, began the next stage of learning about real world violence. I have met many allies while training with Rory, they’ve help me become better at educating others.
With Rory 2010.
Training with violence professionals provides opportunities to work with and meet people from all over the world. Guest instructor occurrences include Modern Warrior's FSDW and the 2008 AWSDA Conference in South Carolina.
•Defensive Tactics Instructor Certification at Modern Warrior© 2008•
Training includes lectures as well as working physical drills. Personal safety instruction needs to educate about how violence happens, the different kinds of violence, and how to recognize, react and respond.
•Violence Dynamics PRIME, MN 2019•
Elements of personal defense is so consequential that quality training is priority. Emotional, psychological, physiological aspects along with the probabilities, prospects and outcome all need to be part of the curriculum.
•Tony Blauer Seminar, Las Vegas 2015•
I’ve taught throughout Northeastern Nevada,
Idaho, and even Minnesota. Also, ''Self Defense for Women" was a credited course I offered at Great Basin Community College.
Rory Miller's Chiron Training debuted the first Instructor Development Training in 2018. So much information to help instructors become better instructors.
•IDC in VA, 2018•
What if there was a group whose
goal is give solid effective training in order to change the statistics of violence against women? There is and I am so excited to be a part of it. Moving from strength to strength.