Strategic Living's News & Views

Spring 2013

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Cherry blossom Dear ,  

Finally, it's April!

A lot gets packed into this one month. Daffodils, tulips, and cherry blossoms. Rebirth and renewal, sun and barbeques. And, of course, Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention.

Because  April is Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month. While sexual assault is not the most common kind of attack on women, it often results in the most long-lasting and profound effects. The deleterious aftermath of rape and attempted rape are too often magnified by either enforced silence or targeting those who speak up for justice.

You can read more on sexual assault, including some pre-assault indicators you can watch for and local resources, on my sexual assault education page.

The UW's Sexual Assault and Relationship Violence Activists have a month of activities planned, including a Take Back the Night March, relationship skills classes, and bystander intervention training. The more you know, the more you can act and talk and create the kind of environment where survivors can more safely come forward and seek justice.

What are your plans for this month?  Please take this VERY short survey of actions around sexual assault awareness and prevention. You may even learn of more things you can do.
My plans:  teach more self-defense classes.  Three sessions of Self-Defense 101 will begin this month (a fourth will begin in May).  See the end of this email for the schedule.

Violence thrives in silence. We can all lend our ears to those who have been targeted, and our voices so they can be heard. 

Sincerely, Joanne

PS - these photos are taken by me, in or near my yard. Because light is a wonderful thing.

In The News

In the last month or so I've been in media several times:  twice on KIRO TV, once on KIXI-FM's Chat with Women show, and on KUOW-FM's The Conversation with Ross Reynolds. If you missed these media events, there's no need for despair.  Everything recorded lives forever on the internet.  You can find them all, and more, on Strategic Living's press page.  

New Classes for Increasing Skills

I've been asked about continuation and refresher classes so often, I will finally be adding them to the calendar.

First is Self-Defense 102, the refresher class.  This will be a single session to cover basic physical and verbal skills.  Then you will have the option of continuing on to Self-Defense 201, 202, or 203 (whichever is offered that term). These will cover various topics that will build progressively more challenging skills. Some of these may be: 
  • weapons
  • multiple attackers
  • assertiveness training
  • de-escalation
  • more 3+ combo refinement
  • using pepper spray
  • bystander intervention

This is very much a work in progress, so feel free to contact me if there's a particular issue you'd like to make sure gets in. 

DAWN: Not Just for Early Birds

I had been intending to sign up for the Domestic Violence Training Program given by Domestic Abuse Women's Network (DAWN) for several years.  A year went by, then another, and another. It is an intensive program and I had not figured how to fit it in my schedule.
Early spring tulip
And it finally dawned on me that I could not just squeeze it in, I have to really make the time.  Because we always do make time for what really matters to us. I signed up this winter.

It really matters because domestic violence is the single largest assault risk facing women.  It is the single largest source of homicide of women. I owe it to my students to stay up-to-date on not only risks facing them, but on solutions. 

Domestic violence does not have a simple solution.  Most abusers do not come across as immediately abusive.  It take a while, of building the relationship and enmeshing emotionally, until the controlling aspects become obvious.  The relationship wasn't built overnight, and the solution likewise will take time to untangle.

After 50 hours of training, I am now staffing the advocacy and crisis phone line once a week.  Hopefully you won't be needing to phone that line.  But you can be sure that we will be including more education around DV in self-defense classes. 
RCRC Stories - Body Power
RCRC Stories - Body Power

And Now A Blatant Plug for One of My Favorite Non-Profit Organizations

I just met with the staff at Rain City Rock Camp for Girls, where I will be volunteering to teach self-defense (a/k/a Body Power). They will be running two week-long sessions this summer, and there are still openings for girls ages 14-17.  (All slots for girls ages 8-13 were taken on the first day registration opened.) If you know of a girl who would love the experience of learning an instrument, forming a band, writing a song, and performing at a real venue (last year it was Hard Rock Cafe), get her involved!  This will be a week that girl will remember and relish for years to come.

Check out the short video showing some of what we dd last year.  Visit the RCRC video page to see more cool videos, including the music!

Website Updates 

I am still adding more instructional pages to the Strategic Living website. Most of these are "enhancement activities" (a/k/a homework) to accompany the 5 week course, Self-Defense 101 for Women. Then include a recap of the prior lessons, readings, videos, and activities for students to practice during the week.

A few pages are in the pipeline for general viewing. The latest is on using your voice in self-defense, and includes some audio from the Free to Fight project.  Upcoming pages will be on combining your strikes and targets into your 3+ combos, what you can do when you think you are being followed, and using pepper spray. These should go live in the next 6 months.

Do you have any topics you'd like to see online?  Contact me. 

Class Schedule
Spring 2013:

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 and class registration.

Self Defense 101 poster Sp 2013
Five Monday evenings, 7:00 - 8:50 pm, at Seattle Central Community College. April 15 - May 13.

Five Tuesday evenings, 6:30 - 8:30 pm, through the UW Women's Center (class held at the Bryants Building on Boat Street). April 16 - May 14.

Five Saturday afternoons, 1:30 - 3:30 pm, at Bellevue College's North Campus. April 20 - May 18.

- Five Sunday mornings,   
10:00 am - noon, through the ASUW Experimental College. May 5 - June 9 (no class May 26 for Memorial Day weekend).

Single Afternoon Seminars: This short self-defense basic class is offered in Seattle (usually on Sunday afternoons) on April 21, May, 12, and June 9. It will also be offered at North Kirkland Community Center on Saturday June 1.


For Teen Girls Only:

Contact me to arrange your own group class. Or check back to the Teen Girls Self-Defense page in late April for to-be-scheduled public classes. 



Self-defense skills are like CPR, you should review and practice them annually. 

If you've already taken a class and want to keep it fresh, Strategic Living offers a 50% discount on select classes. And, if you refer your friends to a Strategic Living class and they sign up, I will donate $25 to one of three awesome organizations for women and girls. Visit my Paying It Forward page for details.

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 organization whose staff/volunteers/members/clients would benefit from a safety skills seminar? Visit for information on requesting partly subsidized training sessions. 

Hazelruth A, who works with teen girls in foster care, said this about the session she arranged:

"Strategic Living graciously donated class time to come to last month's event and it was amazing! Joanne did a wonderful job talking about tough issues in a way that was both approachable and fun. The girls had a great time and learned a lot! The donated class allowed the girls we work with to learn self-defense techniques and prevention skills--skills that will help them not only now but into their adult lives. I am incredibly thankful to Strategic Living since without the donated class the girls would not have had this wonderful and empowering opportunity.

"I think it is especially important for young women to have the know-how and the confidence to stand up for themselves in bad situations. The Strategic Living self-defense class helped give the young women in our program the skills and confidence to do just that. "

Contact Information
phone: 206.202.0748

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