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Strategic Living's News & Views
July 2010
In this issue
There's an App for THAT?!?
Upcoming Classes

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Joanne Factor of Strategic LivingDear ,

As humans, we are unique in many ways.
You may have learned that we are the tool-building, language-using, naked apes. All these attributes, so we're told, gave us advantages that have led to our dominance over all other species.

But there is one uniqueness that is not so adaptive. We do not, as a matter of routine, teach the female of our species to defend herself. Not only that, we consistently and deliberately spread misinformation about women's and girls' abilities to fend off assailants. But wait, there's more: in some corners on this planet, we punish women and girls who dare to successfully defend themselves.

A few weeks ago I saw this video of a mother deer trying to ensure her fawn's safety. [WARNING: video contains disturbing images. PS: the newscast reported that the dog in the video was okay.] I'll bet that mother didn't have to take a class, or endure disparaging comments from bucks and other does, on her innate inability to assess and fend off threats to herself or her offspring (too bad deer aren't as decisive when face-to-face with automobiles).

Here's biggest secret to safety: most women who do choose to fight off their assailant DO prevail. The studies I've seen indicate that about 80% of women who only yell and run will evade their assailant. Knowing which targets are most effective to strike, being able to identify your choices and tools, and even how to recognize when someone's planning something nefarious, all increase your success rate.

So where do you want to be? Would you rather know how to recognize threats and deal with them (hoping you'll really never need to fight off a thug), or would you rather stand like a deer in the headlights?

Sincerely, Joanne

There's an App for THAT?!?

The Seattle Police Department recently unveiled their new website for looking at neighborhood crime. This graphic-intensive site marks reported crime scenes with color-coded icons. In theory you can tell at a glance the recent prevalence of robbery or drug-dealing or purse-snatching. Interesting and colorful as it may be, I wonder how useful this information is (and that's a topic for another day).

Some of us are venturing off our laptops and taking our information-gathering even more mobile. Can we get the same information via our smartphones? Turns out, sort of. iPhones and Droids readily access information about where we are heading, or where we are, or where our friends are, as we are getting there. Often we're trying to locate a restaurant, a theater, or a friend. But maybe, on occasion, we could be trying to locate security. Can we accurately locate our restaurant, or theater, or friend, while reducing our exposure to assault. Is there an app for that?

Several, in fact.

I spent some time looking at some from the Droid Marketplace. Safe Neighborhood pinpoints your local sex offenders, using information from the National Public Sex Offender Registry. Don't Go There lets you find a destination of interest and gives you a color-code assessment of the neighborhood safety, based on a variety of local and national crime rate indicators. And Layar, the "augmented reality browser" better known for finding local eateries, bands, and Tweeters, contains SpotCrime, a map marking crime scenes (similar to the above-noted SPD map, but not as complete).

Any app (or website) is only as good as the reporting that fuels it. Don't Go There comes with the caveat that "the application is for novelty purposes."  My test kitchen results on these apps is that you are far better off raising your gaze up from your phone to your surroundings.

All that iconographic color-coded comparison left me with a headache.  Fortunately, there was a nap for that.
Poster for Self-Defense 101 at the UW Women's Center, Summer 2010
Poster for Self-Defense 101 at the UW Women's Center (click to download)

Classes for Summer 2010:

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

If you click on these two poster images, you will be able to get the whole poster.  Please post them, email them, or hand them to anyone you care about who could benefit from some personal safety classes!

Four Saturday afternoons, July 17 - August 7, 1:30 - 3:30 pm, at Bellevue College's North Campus (10700 Northup Way). Register online at

Four Sunday afternoons, July 18 - August 8, noon - 2:00 pm, at 1426 S Jackson Street (studio of the Feminist Karate Union).  Register online at Registration in advance is required!

Poster for Self-Defense 101 at Bellevue College, Summer 2010 (click to download)
Poster for Self-Defense 101 at Bellevue College
Tuesday evenings, July 20 - August 17, 6:45 - 8:45 pm, through the UW Women's Center.  Register online at, or phone 206-685-1090.

*Beginning in Fall 2010, all Self Defense 101 classes will be 5 sessions.  Assertion, confrontation, and de-escalation skills will be added to the curriculum.

NEW: One-Day Seminar: Offered only this once this summer, on Sunday, August 15, noon til 5:00 pm. In a single 5 hour 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 online at

For Teen Girls Only:
  Three hours will provide young ladies the education and awareness to avoid and escape potentially dangerous situations. We will cover dating violence, how assailants target and test potential victims, personal safety and much more. Students will learn physical techniques, strikes and releases to safely remove themselves from dangerous situations. It is a great class to take with a friend!  Classes are offered on:
  • Tuesday, July 6, 1:00 - 4:00 pm, in Seattle. 
  • Tuesday July 27, 1:00 - 4;00 pm, at Bellevue College.
  • Sunday, August 4, 1:00 - 4:00 pm, in Seattle. 
Visit for more info and registration.
Joanne Factor of Strategic Living
KidSafe:  Age-Appropriate Safety Skills for Children ages 5-9.  A single 1 1/2 hour session works with young attention spans. Children will practice the 'five fingers' approach: think, yell, get free, run, and tell. Parents learn tools to continue the conversation, as well as to sort through all the information and misinformation on keeping their children safe. Learn about risks facing your kids, how to frame the discussion with children, and recognizing when someone may be targeting your family.

Next offered:  Sunday, July 11, noon - 1:30 pm in Seattle.  Visit for more information and registration.

Self Defense for Tween Girls Only!  For girls too old for KidSafe but not quite a Teen . . . offered only July 11!  Visit for registration and more info. 

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 Self defense class -  striking practiceauctions? 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. 

Melissa W., a Program Manager for Girl Scouting in the School Day, had this to say:  "Joanne came to my Girl Scout troop and taught girls important physical skills, but more importantly, she told them to love themselves, be aware of their surroundings, and use their minds.  It was a successful approach for any age, and I'm glad to know the girls are more able to keep themselves safe because of Joanne's class."
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.
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phone: 206.202.0748

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