Self Defense

Self-Defense: The Mistakes Of Teaching Violence “Prevention” to Women and Girls

textgram_1449536544“Prevention” is a word thrown around a lot in regards to self-defense. I really don’t like using it when I teach a class. Most prevention advice delves into ridiculous victim blame and only encourages females to feel fear. The advice goes something like this:

Don’t flirt too much, don’t wear revealing clothing at a party and don’t go out at night alone or if you do, don’t drink, but if you are drinking watch you drink closely, don’t accept drinks from anybody and never leave your girlfriends and never go home with anybody because if you do, it’s your fault for leading them on.

The real prevention we need to teach is not about being afraid of doing what you want and rarely is it about changing your own habits; it’s about awareness.

Women are more likely to be assaulted by someone they know, a romantic partner, a stalker or coworker. So how can we create safer spaces? By being aware of those around us whether they are close friends or casual acquaintances, both male and female.

  • Pay close attention to how friends treat you AND others.
  • Are they condescending toward you?
  • Do they ask or bully you to do things you don’t want?
  • Do YOU force yourself to change around them so they like you?
  • Do they mock feminism or often joke about women being the weaker sex?
  • Do they insist that rape culture doesn’t exist or that women really should “be careful what they wear or drink”?
  • Do they refuse to acknowledge media objectification of women and find these images “good” entertainment?

Being aware allows us to learn to trust our intuition and as we do so allow our true self to shine through. Because once we are aware of what we’ve learned to ignore and how often we blame ourselves we become stronger.

Sexism fuels violence against women. It gets worse every time we pretend hurtful words are okay and make excuses like, “Boys will be boys”. Our culture enforces many ideas about women being less than men. In this sphere is the idea that we are at fault for being assaulted or raped. It’s pushed forward by those with agendas, fundamental religious dogma and advertising agencies. So much of prevention is dependent upon who surrounds us. It’s what we put up with, what we expect from others and whether or not we are willing to speak up, say no and not put up with ideas and stereotypes that feed this harmful vision of women as less than men.

The other side of prevention, and the most powerful of course will be teaching men and boys how to become aware of how they treat women and girls. No matter how much women work to create change it’s critical that our males change evolve as well.


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When teaching self-defense I always stress the importance of striking vital points! If you gouge the eyes they can’t see where you move next, if you dig your nails into their ears and yank down they suffer tremendous pain, if you punch the solar plexus their breath is taken away and if you “pick the peaches” (grab, twist and pull on the testes) you can bring them to their knees giving you a chance to run for help and call the police. Read more Self-Defense Articles on this blog.

Be aware, don’t live in fear.



I’m a certified self-defense instructor and encourage all women and girls to know their lives are important. You can learn more on the SELF-DEFENSE page. Please share this with your friends. Together we can create safer spaces.

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Empowering Discussions

A Short Rant on Balanced Growth

What we desire is usually good for us because we are all unique and what we want is relevant to our self, experiences and beliefs.  The main problem seems to arise when our desires become unbalanced and then so does our life.

A popular example these days is the fairy tale debate. Do we want girls growing up into women who wait for and rely on Prince Charming to save them? Is it healthy to not fend for yourself? On the other hand are we telling them they have to be so strong they should never let a man help or support them? Should we teach our children to sick to stereotypical roles in life or should we teach them dissent. Personally, I lean towards a lot of dissent and the crushing of stereotypes. Other people lean towards assigned roles. That is fine. We are human and have free will to believe differently then anyone. I will not tell people what they should teach their kids. All I will do is give you another point of view and encourage you to ask questions instead of simply accepting everything as is. What you take away from my words are up to you.

I enjoyed princess stories and the accompanying films as a kid. I am fine with them still being around for future generations because they are fun. It’s the all encompassing addiction society has with girls being pretty little princesses who are oh so devoted to their prince that gets on my last nerve. I was both a tomboy building forts in the woods and interested in cute outfits and playing house. I loved (and still love) math and science as much as cooking and sewing. I love pretend as much as the real world.

For boys it seems to be crassness that is cherished.  Swear words are so cute when said by a 8 year old. Burping extra loud and scratching their crotch is an obvious way to be manly. Then of course there is the unequal treatment of women. Even in children’s movies boys are encouraged to see women as objects of lust or in domestic roles. They constantly see men ogling women, calling them dirty words and focusing on the size of their breasts.  I don’t want my 10 year old thinking that a woman is only as worthy as her cup size.

Let us teach our children instead that there are a variety of roles they can play.  Tell them that being a real man is not based on the size of your fist or how many women you have sex with.  Tell them that girls can be presidents, rescuers and moms when they grow up. Make sure they know that how we look does not equal how good or bad we are. Encourage friendships with the opposite gender at a young age. Lastly let them know that it is up to them to teach their children about how many choices we all have.

Balance is the word of the day people! BALANCE!

Empowering Discussions, Social Action

Don’t Rape Me

I am in love with the message on this shirt. It says “DON’T TELL ME WHAT NOT TO WEAR. TELL PEOPLE NOT TO RAPE”

It’s direct, and to the point. I like a message that is very clear. Funny puns are great, but straight up telling people clearly what you want works even better!

This morning I designed a poster for domestic violence awareness. I was inspired by all those tough little girls on the playgorund that double dare and double dog dare each other to do something crazy, to be brave and have fun.

Buy this mini poster at my gift shop,🙂

Empowering Discussions

Quit Stereotyping Me!

Once again women are under attack for being smart and more of American youth are getting messages that education is stupid. The issue today is clothing with sexist messages used to sell clothing. Could these messages be partly to blame for our nation falling behind the education of other countries? Absolutely.When you hear a message over and over again it becomes part of your life and will form your opinions whether good or bad!

Want to do something? You can sign this petition or at the very least use it to start a conversation. The only real positive change comes from people deciding not to put up with negativity anywhere.

I would be just as outraged over a guys shirt that said “Sensitive is Stupid” or “Real Men Hate Pink”. There is no reason to perpetuate gender stereotypes that make people feel bad because they like something that is mainstream!

What was the last sexist message you absorbed and how did it affect you?