Strategic Living Logo
Strategic Living's News & Views
September 2010
In this issue
UW Scholarship Available
Upcoming Classes

Facebook    Twitter

And, for those of you who've taken my classes, review me on Yelp.

Joanne Factor of Strategic LivingDear ,

I was not a musician.
I can't carry a tune in a paper bag. I've never learned to read music or play an instrument. I've only enjoyed music as a fan and listener. A consumer.

Several months ago I donated self-defense classes to a girls' summer camp. This was not just any summer camp, this was Girls Rock! Camp, where in one week girls ages 8 - 16 learn to play an instrument, form a band, write a song, practice, and play to a raving audience. They also learn about the herstory of women in rock music, media and female body image, electronic music, DJing, zine making, song-writing . . . and self-defense.

AWESOME!!! I was thrilled to work with these girls, as well as also a tad envious. Where was this camp when I was that age?

Then one of the organizers just happened to mention Ladies Rock! Camp. My ears perked up. "Oh, there's another event?" Yes, a long weekend where women (ages 19+) learn to play an instrument, form a band, write a song, practice, and play to a raving audience. No experience necessary.

I signed up. I didn't think twice, and that was alright.

I picked drums as my instrument. As a self-defense and karate instructor I already know how to hit things, so I figured this would be a natural extension. Playing drums was still a stretch and a challenge, and it was one of the most outstanding weekends I've ever had. I learned a lot, and found there's common points between learning to play rock music and self-defense.

First, both are DIY. Do It Yourself, really. Sure if you want adulation and admiration from throngs of adoring fans you'll have to practice a lot and get super-good, and that's just the beginning. But if you just want to hang and jam with your friends, you don't need the chops of Ringo Starr. Similarly, for self-defense you don't need the chops of Jackie Chan, you just need awareness, some evasion strategies, and a few basic moves which will get you out of 99.5% of the badness you're likely to encounter.

Second, both happen in the moment. Practiced musicians often create impromptu lyrics and melody lines. They improvise. And if you should find yourself in a threatening situation you too will have to improvise. You have to be continuously paying attention and adjusting your tactics. And it will help that you've taken a self-defense class and have the basic skills.

Third, you get out what you put in. That means participation, really getting into it. Few things fall flatter than music played without feeling. In learning self-defense, you train like it's for real. So, if it ever does get real, you are ready.

Finally -- and if you've been reading this e-newsletter for a while, you could probably guess this one -- both are LOUD. Rock musicians, even "soft" ones, WANT to be heard! They DO have something to say! And guess what: so do you!

Okay, so maybe Ringo Starr needn't worry about me. And maybe you don't want to put in the time and work to learn how to become a ninja assassin. But, with a little help from your friends, you too can discover your inner rock star self-defender.

Sincerely, Joanne

Scholarship Available at the UW

The Meena Vashee Scholarship is awarded annually to an individual who is a survivor of domestic violence or the child of a survivor.  You must be a University of Washington student to apply.  The scholarship is awarded in the amount of $2500.00.  The scholarship application for 2010-2011 is due September 13, 2010.  Visit the University of Washington Women's Center website for more information and to download an application.

Fall 2010 Classes:

Self Defense Sunday Seminar will be offered on Sunday September 19, noon til 5:00 pm.  Location is 1426 S Jackson St, 3rd floor (studio of the Feminist Karate Union).  Register online at

will next be offered Saturday Sept 18 at North Kirkland Community Center. Register online or call 425-587-3300.

NEWClasses in Burlington this Fall:
At this time, the following classes are being scheduled in Burlington over the first weekend in October:  Seminar for Women on Saturday Oct 2, noon - 5 pm; Self-Defense for Mothers and Daughters on Sunday Oct 3, 11 am - 2:00 pm; and Self-Defense for Teen Girls on Sunday Oct 3, 2:30 - 5:30 pm.  To register phone Burlington Parks and Recreation at 360-755-9649, or email them at

Basic Self-Defense for Women: Wednesday, Oct 13, 6:30 - 9:30 pm, through the ASUW Experimental College.  Location will be on the UW campus, most likely South Campus Center. Registration to open later this September -- visit the Experimental College website for most current info.

Self-Defense 101:
 A five week course that builds progressive skill and prepares you forPoster for Self-Defense 101 at the UW Women's Centerlife's unexpected (and unwanted) moments.  To register for any of these classes, visit for links to each organization.

Five Saturday afternoons, Oct 9 - Nov 6, 1:30 - 3:30 pm, at Bellevue College's North Campus (10700 Northup Way).

Five Tuesday evenings, Oct 12 - Nov 9, 6:45 - 8:45 pm, through the UW Women's Center. Register online at the Women's Center website, or phone 206-685-1090.

Five Friday evenings, Oct 1 - 29, 7:00 - 8:50 pm, at Seattle Central Community College's Mitchell Activity Center.

Self-Defense Weekend Workshop:  This class is for women who want more than a one-evening seminar yet do not have the time to take a multi-week couse. You will practice easy-to-learn and powerful physical skills: releases from grabs and chokes, strikes to critical targets, basic ground fighting and using your voice with impact. More importantly, you'll learn the signs that tell you that you may need to use those skills. Most importantly, you'll also learn to recognize the signs that will let you defuse, de-escalate or evade before an assault ever happens.  Next offered:  Nov 12-14, registration to open in September -- watch the Experimental College website for the latest 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.
Quick Links...
Contact Information
phone: 206.202.0748

You can look me up on LinkedIn, or follow my tweets on Twitter.

Or become a Facebook Fan on Strategic Living's Page.
Join Our Mailing List