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Strategic Living's News & Views
March 2010
In this issue
Lessons from the Olympics: 3 Takesways from the Top
Call for Research Survey Respondants
Awearness: Who's Watching Your Back?
Upcoming Classes

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Joanne Factor of Strategic Living Dear ,

I can't believe that it's been over 2 months since my last enewsletter -- time really does fly when you're busy!

I did make the time to attend the fundraising breakfast noted in the last enews.  The King County Sexual Assault Resource Center had over 900 guests at their 21st annual fundraiser, and raised over $300,000!  As all KCSARC services to sexual assault survivors and their families are provided free of charge, all funds raised are critical to their mission.  (BTW, you can still send in a donation  . . . )

Mary Ellen Stone, longtime Executive Director of KCSARC, had good news: child sexual assault has declined 38% in the last 13 years.  She attributed this to increased awareness of the issue, decreased tolerance for child sexual abuse, and increased support for survivors.  And, in our part of the world, a lot of that increased support comes from KCSARC.

We heard that morning from several survivors helped by KSARC.  Two sisters who were abused by their mother's boyfriend.  Another young woman abused by her mother's husband and urged by some family members not to report.  And Jessie, assaulted by a neighbor, who said, "KSARC helped me get out of the box so I can do good things in this world."

Doing good things in this world is key, isn't it?  Because you are reading this newsletter, I am sure you want to be a positive influence in this world.  Which is why I'm teaching self-defense classes, so that you and your loved ones and friends can go out and be positively effective, while understanding and compensating for the risks out there.  And, to read more about compensating for risk, check out the next article.

Sincerely, Joanne

Lessons from the Olympics:  3 Takeaways from the Top

I hate to admit it, but when at home the last 2 weeks I spent the bulk of my evenings watching the Olympics.  Even though I'm not a big fan of spectator sports, and even though I strongly believe that more of us should go out and DO rather than sit and WATCH, I was mesmerized by the sheer speed, strength and skill of these athletes.

When tenths or even hundredths of a second often separate gold from silver, or being on the podium at all, these highly trained athletes do take risks.  In real life, also, risks abound. Some of those risks involve your personal safety. Here are my top three takeaways from the Olympics about assessing risk and your personal safety planning.

1.  Risk is all around.  Plan for it.

Watching some of these sports was hair-raising.  Downhill skiing, skeleton and luge, snowboarding, ariels, . . . there was no shortage of young women and men hurtling themselves towards imminent danger.  I know if I tried half-pipe tomorrow, the half-pipe would win.

The difference (besides a few decades of age)?  Preparation and planning.  They strengthen their bodies in the gym.  They steel their resolve.  They train sport-specific skills.  And they know the risks.  They also know that if they don't take a prepared chance, they don't go for the gold.

Many of you came to a self-defense class because of a change in your life.  Going off to college, journeying abroad, travel for work.  New beginnings as well as continuous change.  You wanted that change to be positive, and were willing to prepare and plan for unexpected challenges.  Including challenges to your personal safety.  Because you want to go for the gold of doing good in the world.

2.  Persistence is key.

Uncertainty is always part of competition. Top athletes train hard to give them better odds.  American skier Lindsey Vonn said that even when she couldn't see through the fog down the mountain she just fearlessly went forward and trusted her training.  Top athletes look for stronger coaches and trainers, try different regimens, and utilize a range of training tools.  They know there are a wide variety of available means to achieve their goals.

Uncertainty is also part of everyday life.  Assailants won't give you advance notice, and in fact try to catch you in that fog on the mountain. Women who have successfully fended off assailants believed that (a) they could effectively fight back, and (b) tried one technique after another until finding what worked.  They bounced back from the initial shock of assault, and rallied.  And, in most cases, won.  Which brings us to . . .

3.  Even though you plan around risk and safety, sometimes bad things happen.

Sometimes, despite all preparation and planning, the unexpected happens. World-class skiers wipe out.  Skating stars get disqualified. Or, as happened just hours before the Opening Ceremonies, a young man dies when his luge crashed.

In threatening circumstances, sometimes your choice is between bad and worse. Despite all the precautions you take, no matter how keen your awareness, regardless of your physical prowess, it may be that becoming an assault survivor is your better choice.

We heard from several young women at the KSARC breakfast, about recovering from abuse and assault.  They all recognize that they were not to blame for the assaults, that they are owed justice, and they deserve to lead full lives. They are taking action to lead the lives they want, so they may (in Jessica's words) do good things in the world.

Even if you hold no hope of becoming an elite athelete, life is too short to hide in a box. Assess your risks, prepare for them the best you can, and go for your gold.

Request to Help Research Project

Dr. Patricia Rozee, a well known rape researcher, and Michelle McKenzie are conducting a research project on examining characteristics of rape resistance strategies in completed and attempted rapes.  They hope to document the most effective strategies in preventing future rapes.  This research is through California State University, Long Beach. They are looking for women, 18 years old or older, who have experienced rape or attempted rape, to take an anonymous, online survey that takes approximately 15 minutes to complete.

If you would like to see our survey, it is located at the following link:

Who's Watching Your Back?

Proclaim your awearness with these new shirts. Comes in both unisex and ladies styles.  Unisex shirt comes in rich Carolina Blue 100% cotton Gildan Ultra Cotton Activewear, while ladies T is a vibrant Aquamarine 100% cotton Hanes shirt, with V neck and tapered cut.

Front of shirt:  Strategic Living logo (see top of this enews)
Back of shirt:  "Who's Watching Your Back" below Watching Eyes

        Strategic Living T shirt      

Unisex shirt is regularly $15, but through this enewsletter is only $11.99 (plus shipping and tax). 
Buy Now

Joanne Factor of Strategic Living

Ladies shirt is regularly $18, but through this enewsletter only $14.99 (plus shipping and tax).
Buy Now

Sizes available are S, M, L, XL (and 2XL for Unisex only).  When ordering please indicate size in "Note to Merchant" field.
from Self Defense 101 class, Winter 2010
Classes for Spring 2010:

Self-Defense 101:  A four week course that builds progressive skill and prepares you for life's unexpected and unwanted moments.

Four Tuesday evenings, April 27 - May 18, 6:45 - 8:45 pm, through the UW Women's Center.  Register online at, or phone 206-685-1090 (registration will probably open by the end of March).

Four Saturday afternoons, April 24 - May 16, 1:30 - 3:30 pm, at Bellevue College's North Campus (10700 Northup Way).  Register online at

NEW:  Four Thursday afternoons, May 6 - 27, 1:00 - 3:00 pm, at 1426 S Jackson Street (studio of the Feminist Karate Union).  Register online at Registration in advance of the class is required!

Weekend Workshop:  Offered through the ASUW Experimental College, the spring quarter class will be offered April 16-18.  Visit for more information and registration.  Note: this class is often co-ed.

"No Fear:"  A two hour seminar through the UW Ethnic Cultural Center on March 30, 3-5 pm.  While this class is free, it is also limited to 20 participants.  Phone 206-543-4635 or email for more info and to register.

Self-Defense One-Day Seminars:  If you have only a few hours to spare, spend it here. OK, practice time is limited, but you'll learn the most important lesson: that you have choices. In a single session you'll learn about real risks, assailant tricks, crucial targets and how to create an impact, and releases from the most common grabs. Register at

Next offered:

Saturday April 3, 1:00 - 6:00 pm
Sunday May 9, noon - 5:00 pm

KidSafe:  Age-Appropriate Safety Skills for Children:

North Kirkland Community Center:  Next class at this location is April 10.  Phone 425-828-1234 to register.
Self defense class - striking practice
Self-defense skills are like CPR, you should review and practice them annually. 

Register for my Refresher Program at  And if you believe that these skills are crucial for all women, please take advantage of my Referral Program at

Do you work with a non-profit or community organization that holds silent auctions?  Ask me to donate a gift certificate for a private 1.5 hour seminar.

Do you work with a non-profit or community organizations whose staff/volunteers/members/clients would benefit from a safety skills seminar?  Visit for information on requesting partly subsidized training sessions.
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phone: 206.202.0748

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