Strategic Living's News & Views

Winter 2014

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And, for those of you who've taken my classes, review me on Yelp
Dear ,  
Joanne Factor of Strategic Living

I'm looking for success.

Yeah, you're thinking, aren't we all?

More specifically, I'm looking for success stories.  Real-life accounts of people using their skills and knowledge and gut feelings to keep them out of harm's way.  While still living, loving, and overall engaging in life.

One such story belongs to Alyssa Royce.  If you were at Seattle's first SlutWalk in 2011, you heard her speak.  She was raped as a teenager, by a stranger who broke into her home.  She now does a lot of stuff, including CrossFit coaching, writing, and speaking with a focus on women becoming comfortable with their own sexuality.  She said, over and over, that she was raped because someone made a choice to commit rape.  And, really, that's the only reason anyone gets raped.

Check out her Seattle SlutWalk speech:

Slut Walk Seattle 2011 Alyssa Royse
Slut Walk Seattle 2011 Alyssa Royse

This is a self-defense success story.

I can already hear a few sputters.  "But . . . but . . . but . . . she was raped!  How can that be a self-defense success?"

But I also see many more nods of agreement.  Yes, this is indeed a real self-defense success story.

This as a self-defense success story because she did what she needed to for survival, and she now has a rich, fulfilling, engaging life. 

Oscar Wilde said that living well is the best revenge.  I say define for yourself who you are and how your past experiences, including the traumatic ones, inform your current choices.  You do not have to center your life around being a victim, you do not have to let any attacker or rapist live rent-free in your head.

The goal in self-defense is not beating up the bad guy.  The goal in self-defense is to have the skills and confidence to live your good life.

Sincerely, Joanne

Do You Have a Story?

I am collecting self-defense success stories.  And sharing them.

I'm finding them via Google Alerts and Facebook and Twitter.  Learning from students in my classes.  Panning for gold in blogs and online communities. 

I'd like to hear about your safety successes.

I've been posting success stories on my Facebook page (you don't have to 'like" me, or even be a Facebook member, to check out my page).  In December I began collecting some links and putting them on my blog.  Take a look at these two posts:
I think it's important to share success stories, however you define success, because the tales we tell matter.  It's important to tell about success, about life, about awareness and clarity and focus. 

Nothing good comes from violence
-- good comes from strength and survival and support.  And knowing that it's possible.

Over the last few years I've been adding success stories in classes, and students have been appreciating that mode of learning.  After all, story-telling is still probably the best way to learn.

Did you thwart a thug?  Did you cause a bully to back down?  Did you come to the aid of someone being harassed?  Or did you successfully set boundaries with people you care about and improve your relationships?

I want to hear from you.  Contact me, if you've got something to share.

Class Schedule
Winter 2014:

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 Tuesday evenings, 6:30 - 8:30 pm, at Phinney Neighborhood Center.  January 7 - February 11.

Six Monday evenings,
7:00 - 9:00 pm, at Seattle Central Community College. January 27 - March 10 (no class February 17).

Six Saturday afternoons, 1:30 - 3:30 pm, at Bellevue College's North Campus. February 1 - March 15 (no class March 1).

Six Sunday mornings, 10:00 am - noon, through the ASUW Experimental College.  February 2 - March 16 (no class March 2).  

NEW - Six Thursday evenings, 7:00 - 9:00 pm, at South Seattle Community College (in West Seattle). February 6 - March 13. 
Six Monday evenings, 6:30 - 8:30 pm, at University Heights Community Center.  March 17 - April 21. 


Single Afternoon Seminars:

This short self-defense basic class will be offered this winter on January 26, February 23, and March 23 (Int'l District) and January 11 (North Kirkland Community Center).  



For Teen Girls Only:

New this year are age-segmented classes.  We have classes for tween girls ages 10-12 (March 9), girls ages 12-14 (Feb 9), and girls age 15 and over (March 16).  More are on the Spring calendar.  Visit the Self-Defense for Teen Girls info and registration page.  Or you can still email me about a class for your group! 



KidSafe:  Child-appropriate safety skills (for parents too!), January 18 at North Kirkland Community Center.

Self-Defense 201 for Women:  A follow-up to Self-Defense 101.  Tentative dates are March 22 through April 12.  More info will be emailed to students who have taken the 101 class and are ready to refresh their skills and learn new ones.  Contact me if you want to learn more.



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. 

Liz J's staff had this feedback from their session: Self defense class - striking practice

"I really enjoyed the training.  It reinforced the notion of trusting your instincts and being aware of your environment.  I thought the physical techniques we learned were easy to remember and very practical."
"I thought it was a great training.  It has made me more mindful about my presence in the world.  I've been practicing acknowledging people (men) when I'm by myself by making eye contact but not smiling at them.  I used to feel like I had to smile to "be nice".  I've been conscious of my posture as well.  Also just being aware of my surroundings.  I haven't actually thought about using any of the self defense methods other than remembering what they are."
"I thought the training was helpful to remind me to continue being aware of my surroundings and feeling confident that I have the right tools to handle myself in any situation that comes my way."
"Role playing was very valuable (especially in getting a bigger voice out of my quiet one) and also it was great to practice the defensive moves. I thought we could have done more of that - there was a lot of dialogue which was helpful too but for me practicing something ingrains it in my brain more. The one thing that really stuck with me was walking around the car to create space between me and my possible attacker.  I do feel I recognize when I'm not walking big. I correct my stance more to walk taller and keep my hands by side more when I'm out and about by myself. So I'm ready!"
"I loved this training. I think about the moves that we were taught when I start to feel nervous when I'm out at night, etc. And it's helped to reinforce positive things I was already doing - like walking tall, making eye contact, etc. Really great!"   
Contact Information
phone: 206.202.0748

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