Strategic Living's News & Views

Late Summer 2013

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photo courtesy of Kerry Copeland
Dear ,  

Hard to believe this summer is winding down already, but it is.

I had every intention of sending out a summer issue.  But I got busy with some new and expanding projects that you'll be excited to hear about:
  1. This summer, Self-Defense 101 for Women (the multi-session course) expanded from five weeks to six!  This expansion gives you more time for better proficiency practice as well as adds more assertive verbal skills. 
  2. Spring's Self-Defense 101 through the ASUW Experimental College (on Sunday mornings) was very successful, and will be offered again this fall.  This replaces the old ExCo Weekend Workshop, which is suspended indefinitely.
  3. Students have responded enthusiastically to online enrichment activities for Self-Defense 101 (a/k/a "homework").  These include videos of all the physical skills learned in class, to help with practice. By request, students who have taken these classes will always have access to these web pages and videos. 
  4. The first Self-Defense 101 to be held at the University Heights Community Center in the U District will begin in a couple of weeks.  This class is almost full (registration info at the end of this e-newsletter).  I am looking to offer it again in the winter.
  5. I am also looking into offering Self-Defense 101 at the Phinney Community Center this winter.
  6. For those of you in South or West Seattle, I am scheduled to offer Self-Defense 101 at South Seattle Community College this winter. 
  7. And finally, by popular request, later this fall the first Self-Defense 201 for Women course will be offered!  Based on what you and other students have asked for, topics will refresh and build on skills you've learned, and then add more.  See the article below for more details and how to register.  
That's what I've been up to this summer.  I had planned to send out something in early July, but stuff happened.  I think you'll like the stuff.

Sincerely, Joanne

Self-Defense 201 for Women:  New Classes for Increasing Skills

By popular demand, Self-Defense 201 is coming this fall!  This class is open only to students who have taken Self-Defense 101, or equivalent basic self-defense classes elsewhere.  This initial offering will be a 3 session course, with each session lasting 4 hours.  In these sessions you will learn and practice:
  1. Session 1:   
    • Review of basic physical and verbal skills
    • Review and expansion of physical (3+) combinations, including adding footwork and fluidity to movement 
    • De-escalation and assertive verbal skills
  2. Session 2:
    • Pepper Spray
    • Dealing with multiple attackers
  3. Session 3:
    • Other weapons (defending against and using)
    • Human trafficking (yes it happens here, and why it matters to you) 
    • Keeping your community safer:  education and bystander intervention

You will have three choices when you register:

  1. You can sign up for the first session only, as a review/refresher class,
  2. You can sign up for the first session plus either Session 2 or 3,
  3. You can sign up for all three sessions!

Please note that signing up for either Sessions 2 or 3 alone are NOT options, as basic skills and concepts from the first session will be critical to 2 and 3.  This class will be a bit more physically challenging than was Self-Defense 101. 


To register, visit 

Fundraiser for DAWN

The Second Annual Self-Defense Fundraiser for DAWN (Domestic Abuse Women's Network) took place on August 4th.  You may know that I volunteer Joanne Factor demonstrationg self-defense techniquefor DAWN, initially answering the Crisis and Advocacy phone line and currently training to facilitate an orientation for women new to DAWN's services.  Offering this class is another way for me to contribute to overall community safety, both by teaching personal self-defense skills as well as raising money to support DAWN's critical services.

And DAWN's services are indeed critical.  There is no lack of demand for shelter, for counseling, for legal expertise for those who've experienced abuse and Strategic Living self-defense class fundraiser for DAWN domestic violence.  Yet there is a serious lack of resources.  On so few of the days when I answered the calls of women in crisis was space available in the confidential shelter.  On so few of those days were enough people available to assist with court appearances.  And on so few of those days were there enough hours to keep up with thStrategic Living self-defense class for DAWNe incoming stream of calls.

But back to the class . . . participants learned their strikes to decisive targets, assessing when to use them, and of course the "red flags" of domestic violence.  We practiced what to do when someone meant you harm, when someone was acting inappropriately, and when you needed to set a boundary with a friend.  We had fun!

And we raised funds and awareness for a righteous cause.

PS - Special thanks to Kerry Lynne Copeland, fellow self-defense instructor and avid photographer, for these pictures!

PPS - Even if you missed this class you can still donate to DAWN!

In The News

The Seattle Times ran a major article in the Pacific Northwest magazine section on Sunday, June 30th.  Strategic Living was front and center in both Nicole Tsong's fitness column and Erica Schultz's video for the web (yes I had a very bad cold), as well as featured in Susan Kelleher's article on safety in Seattle.  I think these are fine pieces, and accurately represeJoanne Factor and Kinny Kimlinger demonstrate self-defense technique. Photo courtesy of Erica Schultz.nt the state of the  field.

If you missed these media events, there's no need for despair.  Everything recorded lives forever on the internet.  You can always find them all, and more, on Strategic Living's press page.  
Lovage and Leavage

I vowed this summer to make use of a perennial in my garden -- lovage.  This uncommon herb grows tall, dies back in the fall, and returns with a vengence in the spring.  It's often described as celery-flavored, albeit more muscular than the typical mild-mannered stalk. 

I began by adding finely minced leaves to various side dishes.  It goes very well steamed in rice (quickly stirred in during the last few minutes of cooking), orzo salads, and white bean dishes (in the place of rosemary or sage).  It seems to work most anywhere you could add parsley (but a bit less, as the flavor is stronger).

Where can you find lovage?  I wish I could tell you!  I have not seen it at the local food co-ops, nor at the farmers' markets.  The only source I know of is my yard.  If you're local and want to try it, contact me, soon (it's on the down cycle).  Otherwise, sorry. 

SlutWalk Update  

Seattle's 3rd Annual SlutWalk is happening this Sunday, August 25!

The march will begin at noon at Occidental Square, and make it's way along 4th Avenue to Westlake Center.  The rally at Westlake will begin at 1:30 and features speakers, the consent booth (I don't know what that is either, but will find out on Sunday), and a raffle.  Speakers are Debbie Carlsen (Seattle Counseling Services, social justice advocate, and performance artist), Chris and Ophelia de Serres ((Wo)Men Speak Out), April Lee (ModernSexCulture), and Bonnie McCammond (sexual assault survivor, former Navy).

SlutWalk is an international movement against blaming victims of sexual assault.  It began in 2011 in Toronto, and has exploded in reach and impact in a very short time.

For more info visit the SlutWalk Seattle website. Strategic Living is a proud  SlutWalk Sponsor. 

Class Schedule
Fall 2013:

Self-Defense 101 for Women:
 A six 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.
NEW - Six Monday evenings, 6:30 - 8:30 pm, at University Heights Community Center.  September 9 - October 14. 

Six Monday evenings,
7:00 - 8:50 pm, at Seattle Central Community College. October 21 - December 2.

Six Saturday afternoons, 1:30 - 3:30 pm, at Bellevue College's North Campus. October 26 - December 7.

Six Sunday mornings, 10:00 am - noon, through the ASUW Experimental College.  October 27 - December 8. 
NEW -- Self-Defense 201 for Women

 The long-requested sequel to Self-Defense 101, this 3 session course goes into more depth on a few select topics. Open only to students who've completed Self-Defense 101 (or the equivalent -- contact me if you think you qualify and want to sign up).  Three Sunday afternoons, October 27 - November 10, 1:00 - 5:00 pm. Register online at


Single Afternoon Seminars: This short self-defense basic class is offered in Seattle (usually on Sunday afternoons) on September 15 and December 15.


For Teen Girls Only:  Contact me to arrange your own group class.



KidSafe:  Child-appropriate safety skills (for parents too!), October 5 at North Kirkland Community Center.  



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: Self defense class - striking practice

"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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