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Strategic Living's News & Views
March 2011
In this issue
Between Another Rock and a Hard Place
In the Media
Upcoming Classes

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Joanne Factor of Strategic LivingDear ,  

Rarely do I come across a resource of this caliber (and, believe me, I look).  Even less frequently is anything of this high quality so easily accessible.  Yet this e-book is one of those exceptions.

The Self-Care and Self-Defense Manual for Feminist Activists is a truly amazing on-line resource.  A small book, it is easily available for download in PDF form.  Well organized and written, this manual takes you through recognizing different forms of violence faced today and strategies for dealing with them.

Even if you don't (explicitly) identify as either feminist or activist, this is still a valuable resource for you. After all, the vast majority of people who take self-defense classes (female and male alike) want to be able to go about their lives in peace and security.  I'll bet you do too. Virtually all self-defense students want to be engaged, active people who will make a real difference in this world. Doing good is just as important as doing well, if not more so. And this little book will help you take care of yourself along that path.

So give it a read today, and let me know what you think.

Sincerely, Joanne

Between Another Rock and a Hard Place

When can no "no" = yes?


When someone does not clearly communicate a lack of consent to sexual acts. At least under the law, according to the King County Prosecutor's Office.


I don't closely follow sports, but you'd have to be living under a rock in Seattle to miss the story of UW basketball star player Venoy Overton allegedly providing alcohol to two 16 year old girls and engaging in sexual acts with them. 


You can read the Seattle Times' story of his arrest for providing alcohol here: Please note that Overton has not been charged with sexual assault, because:

King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Carol Spoor called the case "highly problematic" because the girl participated in sex acts under "situational pressure."

State law, Spoor wrote, "places the burden on the victim to clearly communicate a lack of consent to the suspect, which she did not do."

Most of the articles on this incident focus on the loss to the team of this player, at least for the Pac-10 tournament.  However, UW basketball coach Lorenzo Romar is quoted as saying he'd put Overton back on the team roster should they be invited to the NCAA tournament (otherwise known as "March Madness").  Because his guy made a mistake, and this is a teachable moment.


As a teacher, I'm all for the teachable moment. Some mistakes, however, are more far-reaching than are others, and I am also all for appropriate consequences. For the girl who feels coerced, this experience will likely be deeper and longer-lasting than any repercussions felt by either the Huskies or Overton.


Every teenager and young adult will face "situational pressure."  (Heck, EVERY person will face situational pressure, over and over, in their lifetimes.)  These instances can feel like being stuck between a rock and a hard place: the choice often seems to be between going along with the group or not having friends. How do we help young people recognize what they want for themselves, honor that, and still live fulfilling social lives? 


This should be a teachable moment for young people, male and female, about consent.  But we won't be seeing that in the sports pages -- or any other media pages -- anytime soon. Sexual assault is the social-issue wolf disguised in the individual-sheep's-problem clothing.


Madness, indeed, is not limited to March.


PS - Learning to assert boundaries is sadly lacking in too many teen girls today. This kind of sensible savvy is practiced in Strategic Living's For Teen Girls Only Self Defense classes. Next session will be April 2 in Burlington WA, and then April 9 in Seattle on the UW campus.

In the Media

Last month I was interviewed by Kassi Rodgers of Seattle U's paper, The Spectator, of course about self-defense in and about Capitol Hill. In light of recent assaults on women in Seattle (and one incident involving a Seattle U student), the conclusion many are coming to is that self-defense training is an asset if you want to feel more secure in moving about the city.  You can read the entire article here:

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:

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: May 20-22 through the ASUW Experimental College, registration will open in a few weeks .

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). 
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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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