Who better understands the needs of women than other women?
Overall, I am just an ordinary, everyday, 57 year old woman, a wife, a mom, a grandmother, and a hermit.
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. Many long hours training and many more miles traveled. I loved it. I even built my own dojo, and taught.
I didn’t think much of all I was learning and doing at the time. I thought if I could do it any one could. However, when it came to the actual self defense aspect, something was unaccounted for. There seemed to be a small, but growing group that appeared to be feeling the same absence.
The usual lip service of, “avoid the fight if you can” came from instructors, but was never given the full credence necessary. There were never 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 women how to protect themselves. But I had to expand my own education first.
Luckily, I found a person to start me on that quest. He filled in some vital missing aspects of ‘self defensing” and pointed me the direction I needed to go to get an even deeper understanding of self protection and personal defense knowledge.
The education never stops. If I can do it, anyone can.
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.