Strategic Living logo - February

Strategic Living's News & Views
February 2011
In this issue
Valentines, Voices, Vivacity
In the Media - KIRO 7 TV News
Upcoming Classes

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Joanne Factor of Strategic LivingDear ,  

My mother would have been 90 years old this month. In her long life she experienced a lot as a member of the Greatest Generation: the Great Depression, Second World War and the Holocaust, Baby Boom, better living through chemistry, the cultural upheavals of the sixties and seventies, feminism, the Cold War, Reaganomics, undeclared "wars" across the globe, declared "wars" on poverty and drugs. Unprecedented prosperity and change. She got her first computer at the age of 87. She outlived most of her friends.

She never outlived her values.

My mother always knew who she was and what she thought important. Regardless of the mores of the day, her certitude of what was right and what was wrong never wavered. She was not shy about conveying these values to her children. By the time I was 12, I knew precisely what she would reply to any request.

Mom and I disagreed often. She played very safe, which I felt was far too restrictive. I am more inclined to assess challenges and take calculated risks. But despite our differences, what I learned best from my mother was to know your own values and boundaries, and honor those first.

The first items on my Safety Plan worksheet ask about your goals and plans. What gives your life meaning? What do you value most? Because, regardless of their approach to risk, women who are clear on these ideas will keep themselves safer.

Sincerely, Joanne

Valentines, Voices, Vivacity

Raise your hand if you feel there's not enough gratuitous, needless, and random violence in the world. Hmmm, not seeing a whole lot of hands out there. I thought as much.

Valentine's Day is not exactly the first holiday that pops to mind when thinking self-defense training. But it could be.

In all my classes, you use your voice.
You also raise your voice, deploying words like NO and STOP and LET GO and BACK OFF. These are not exactly your positive relationship-building, Valentine-inspiring words. But they are important words to use at the right time.

If you are like virtually all my students, you want to recognize when someone means you ill. You want to have what it takes to say NO to people and events that will negatively impact the quality of your life. And you want to be someone who makes a difference.

You want to be able to say NO some of the time so that you can more confidently, more assuredly, and more enthusiastically say YES to people and events that will engage you, that will offer you growth as a person, that will provide exciting challenges. You want to say YES to good friends and productive opportunities. You want this world to be a better place, and you want to contribute to this work-in-progress.

One of the foundations of this work is in the relationships you forge with others, particularly those closest to you. True, February has become a "Hallmark Moment." But we do not have to wait for marketers to tell us when it's OK to treat one special person extraordinarily well for one evening. If I were Supreme Ruler of the Universe, Valentine's Day would be a Day of Service (similar to the Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service in January) focusing on bringing vivacity and gusto into our spheres of influence.

My challenge to you for today: come up with one way you can make somebody else's today a tad better.

Sincerely, Joanne

PS - As my Valentine's Day gift to you, I've created a new handout on healthy relationships. Feel free to download it and share with family and friends.

In the Media

You may have seen the story on KIRO 7 TV on January 31st, the 11 pm news (and again the next morning). KIRO reporter Gary Horcher interviewed me about safety for women, again in the wake of a series of assaults on women running or walking in some of Seattle's popular parks and neighborhoods. In case you didn't, you can see it on both the KIRO website and on YouTube.


Winter/Spring 2011:

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

Five Tuesday mornings, March 22 - April 19, 10 am - noon, at 1426 S Jackson Street, 3rd floor (studio of the Feminist Karate Union). Register online at  

Five Tuesday evenings, March 29 - April 26, 6:30 - 8:30 pm, through the UW Women's Center. Register online at the Women's Center website, or phone 206-685-1090.

Five Saturday afternoons, April 16 - May 14, 1:30 - 3:30 pm, at Bellevue College's North Campus location.

Five Monday evenings, April 18 - May 16, 7:00 - 8:50 pm, through Seattle Central Community College.

NEWEight Tuesday lunchtimes, April 26 - June 7, noon - 1:00 pm through the UW Women's Center. Perfect for the busy on-campus professional. Register online at the Women's Center website, or phone 206-685-1090.

Self-Defense Seminars: One afternoon seminars, offered on Sundays of March 20th, April 24, or May 15, noon - 5:00 pm. For more info and registration visit

Special offering on Saturday April 2 at Burlington Parks and Rec, noon - 5:00.

Visit the Parks and Rec website for more info or phone 360-755-9649.



For Teen Girls Only:

In Seattle: Sunday Feb 27th, 1 pm - 4 pm. For more info and registration visit 

At the Burlington Parks and Recreation Center: Sunday April 3rd, 2:30 - 5:30 pm. For more info and registration, visit the Parks and Rec website or phone 360-755-9649.


For Teen Girls Only is now also offered through the UW Women's Center on Saturday April 9, 1 - 4 pm. To register visit theWomen's Center website, or phone 206-685-1090. 

For Tween Girls Only:
Saturday March 19th, 1:30 - 3:30 pm. For girls ages 10 to 13, beginning to gain more independence. To register visit

Mom and Me: Self-Defense for Mothers and Daughters (age 13+):
Sunday, April 3rd, 11:00 am - 2:00 pm, through Burlington Parks and Recreation. Visit the Parks and Rec website or phone 360-755-9649.

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 course. 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 learn to recognize the signs that will let you defuse, de-escalate or evade before an assault ever happens. Next offered: March 11-13 through the ASUW Experimental College, register at

  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. 

Scott S., who works with homeless teens, had this to say:  "Joanne did a great job connecting with our youth and answering some very difficult questions. The first thing that she did was to get to know our youth and meet them where they are at. We loved the way that Joanne listened, and she did a great job affirming them. Our youth walked away empowered to defend themselves as well as know which techniques work best for them. We learned all about ways to communicate healthy boundaries and how the word NO can communicate multiple things. It was great for me as the leader to hear our youth getting really into it. It also was a way for our staff to connect with our youth and help to foster great conversations."
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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