national Women's
Martial Arts Federation

Self-Defense Instruction Conference 2014

 PeaceWorks violence prevention path

North Central College

Naperville, IL

July 16 - 20

CEUs available through NASW*

Also see the full PeaceWorks Schedule

Register for PeaceWorks


Wednesday July 16,2014
9:30 - 10:30 AM Conference Opening
with your SDIC Conference Coordinators and NWMAF Board Liasion
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM

Workshop #1: "They Just Don't Understand Us": Why Self-Defense is Undervalued and How to Get Our Message Out
with Nadia Tesley and Lauren Taylor
Part 1 of a 4-part series: "Bridging the Divide: Engaging with Critics of Self-Defense
1.5 CEUs 

Feminist, empowerment-based self-defense challenges existing power structures and so historically has faced opposition. We as teachers also face misunderstandings about what empowerment self-defense is and controversies about its place in violence-prevention work. These roadblocks affect our work’s viability -- including opportunities for funding, alliance-building, and outreach to potential students. All of these obstacles present us with an opportunity to refine our definitions of self-defense and to educate our communities about the empowerment model of self-defense and the benefits to those who study it. We aim to replace debate with skills for building trust and respect among those who do violence-prevention work. Using discussion and interactive exercises, we will explore the “opposition's” arguments, identify their likely sources, and seek common ground. This workshop is designed for anyone who teaches self-defense, would like to teach self-defense, or who is concerned about the role of self-defense in anti-violence movements.

Course Objectives:

  • Develop a greater understanding of the of the multiple perspectives held by those who challenge the teaching of self-defense
  • Lay the groundwork for constructive engagement with critics of self-defense
  • Increase awareness of research that shows the efficacy of our work (for use in outreach and bridge-building)
  • Gain additional tools for engaging in the discussion about what constitutes prevention

1:30 PM - 3:00 PM

Workshop #2: Supporting Those on the Front Lines: Violence Prevention Training for Staff who Work with LGBTQ Youth
with Annie Ellman and Susan Moesker

1.5 CEUs 

Community Alliance Against Violence, a 3-Year project, has a multi-layered approach to addressing the crisis of violence in the lives of LGBTQ youth. One layer is in-depth trainings for service providers at partner organizations. This includes positive interventions to respond to clients, as well as violence-reduction exercises. The other aspect of the trainings is self-care strategies for staff. We will examine the menu of staff trainings offered by CAE, which include workshops in three areas: (1) de-escalation; (2) staying safe in physically volatile situations and (3) self-care. Facilitators will also share most popular staff training activities with the group, including interactive activities taken from the curriculum, such as Stress Reduction Interviews with partners. The workshop is suitable for people who work with LGBTQ youth, or who do staff or workplace self-defense and violence-prevention training. We also welcome anyone who wants to learn more about staff training.

Course Objectives:
  • Explore the unique challenges and opportunities in working with social services staff
  • Learn the way CAE melds self-defense concepts and social work practice to make our work more accessible
  • Experience some popular staff training activities “hands-on” in pairs or small groups
  • Share and discuss the process (as well as pluses and minuses) of obtaining large foundation funding requiring collaboration with partner agencies


Media Portrayals of Violence and Implications for Self-Defense
with Martha Thompson and Alena Schaim
1.5 CEUs 
Part 2 of a 4-part series: Bridging the Divide: Engaging with Critics of Self-Defense

Media images perpetuate myths about who and what is dangerous.  The “bad guy” is portrayed as a stranger hiding in the bushes, whereas the reality is usually closer to us and more complicated. Images reflecting cultural beliefs about race, class and gender create misinformation about who perpetrates assault and how. We will examine media portrayals of sexual violence and self-defense and their connection to reality. We will build upon an empowerment-based model of self-defense to guide our analysis and to offer direction for social change and social justice. Discussion and interactive exercises are accessible to all levels of experience

Course Objectives
  • Analyze media images for portrayal of sexual violence and self-defense.
  • Examine assumptions underlying images about who and what is dangerous
  • Identify gaps between reality and images of who and what is dangerous
  • Critique and reframe media images using an empowerment-model of self-defense

3:30 PM - 5:00 PM

Workshop #3: Sources of Strength: a Violence Prevention Curriculum for Middle School Boys
with Lee Sinclair and Jennifer Keller 
1.5 CEUs

Sources of Strength (SoS) is a gender-based violence prevention curriculum designed for boys ages 10 to 13.  This curriculum peels back the layers of gender-based violence to explore the journey to manhood.  This is the age where this journey takes central focus in most boys' lives, and unfortunately the current journey is often one of violence, fear and shame.  With Sources of Strength, we can instill in boys a new way to look at themselves and equip them with a powerful set of skills and perspectives to put themselves on a different path. This is a path of personal safety and strength, of kindness and of respect towards themselves, other boys and the women and girls in their lives. Current research and the adaptation of international programs for use in the U.S. will also be discussed.  Workshop includes free curriculum, SoS exercises and activities, discussion and time for Q and A.

Course Objectives

  • Become familiar with Sources of Strength (SOS), a free, effective, primary rape prevention program for boys ages 10-13
  • Gain foundational knowledge and increase confidence in working with boys
  • Implement age-appropriate tools and activities for middle-school boys including the Sources of Strength Continuum
  • Apply an understanding of existing programs and research to the self-defense classroom


Making it Real: Training for Dealing with  Adaptive Attacker Scenarios
with Lori O'Connell

In many self-defense and martial arts classes, it is necessary to break things down so that students can learn how to apply certain skills against certain types of attacks, especially when they are first learning. In reality, attackers may adapt or change their attack in reaction to physical defense. As such, it's important to learn to deal with these types of changing circumstances and the pressures they present as you gain more confidence in your skills. In this course, you'll learn safe ways of training to prepare you deal with the adaptiveness and resistiveness you might have to face when handling a real attack. You will learn to understand and apply the concept of "commonality of technique" to reduce the possibility of brain stalls when under pressure so you can mount an effective defense against an adaptive attacker (or any attacker) more quickly and efficiently.

Course Objectives
  • Become more aware of the various ways attacks can change unexpectedly.
  • Learn specific techniques for defending against various types of attacks, as well as common adaptations to those attacks.
  • Learn safe training methods for developing mental and physical skills that can help a person defend against the adaptiveness of a real attacker.
  • Increase the ability to respond creatively under pressure

7:30 - 9:00 PM

Workshop #4:  Gang Behavior/Gang Dynamics

with Andra Medea

You’ve seen Xena: Warrior Princess fight multiple attackers, but do you know how multiple attackers move in real life? We’ll examine gangs from the perspective of group dynamics, along with the ways roles assert themselves in aggressive situations. We’ll examine ways that gangs target individuals, and make joint decisions. Once we’ve broken down the different dynamics, we’ll go through practical ways to disrupt gang behavior. You will learn what to look for, where to position yourself, how to improve your strategies. Learn how multiple attackers plan out an attack, and learn to disrupt those plans. Appropriate for anyone.

Course Objectives:
  • Identify key roles in a multiple attack
  • Identify communication patterns within a gang
  • Disrupt gang patterns
  • Use your head, even while outnumbered


Applying Community Educator Theories to the Field of Self-Defense

with Carmel Drewes

1.5 CEUs

Community education is based on the philosophy that the people best positioned to bring about change in any community are the natural leaders who are already there. These natural leaders have the "real world" knowledge about their communities that outside experts often lack. When outside experts (in our case, self defense and violence prevention educators) partner with a community’s natural leaders, there is greater likelihood that information will be integrated and used. This approach also meshes well with the idea that empowerment comes from within, not from outside authorities. The presenter will share concepts around peer-to-peer education and community-based education from public health and other disciplines. Workshop participants will have time to outline how they would teach someone to teach a self-defense skill and time to practice teaching one another. The workshop is geared towards experienced self-defense instructors. Low exertion. 

Course Objectives:

  • Understand the theory, practice, and benefits of community education
  • Apply community educator theories to the field of self-defense
  • Analyze familiar self-defense concepts and formulate plans for how to teach someone else to teach those skills
  • Conceptualize a community self-defense program for your own community
Thursday July 18, 2014
8:30 AM - 10:00 AM Workshop #5: Community Alliance against Violence: an Intensive Violence Prevention Program for LGBTQ Homeless Youth
Annie Ellman and Susan Moesker
1.5 CEUs

This workshop will introduce participants to the youth-serving component of CAAV, a 20-session course with the goal of helping youth prevent, interrupt and heal from the many forms of violence that they face. We will touch on specific units from the curriculum, including safety planning; de-escalation strategies; and physical skills to defend themselves when attacked. Staff will review format and content for each session. Presenters will share the “Power Action Self-Defense Rainbow” unit, created especially for this course. This activity shows how using your voice, processing emotions and learning physical SD strategies all connect to help individuals break isolation, build community and work for social change. There will be time for others who work with LGBTQ youth to share their work and best practices.

Course Objectives:
  • Identify ways to create/adapt self-defense curriculum to serve the needs of LGBTQ homeless youth, and review the evaluation tools we used in order to quantify and qualify participant learning
  • Learn the “Rainbow” Concept: a simple, visual, “youth-friendly” way to teach the personal and collective aspects of Self-Defense
  • Explore the unique challenges of working with LGBTQ homeless youth, including some of the Best Practices we have learned from this 3-year project
  • Share and discuss the process (as well as pluses and minuses) of obtaining large foundation funding requiring collaboration with partner agencies


A Model for Engaging with Social Service Agencies to Provide Safety Trainings for Staff
with Jaye Spiro
1.5 CEUs

 Of the many mandatory programs social services providers attend yearly, they often report enjoying the Personal Safety Skills course most. Basic safety skills can greatly improve the comfort and security of workers who encounter risk daily. This workshop provides a template to do individualized safety assessments and tailor interventions to meet the needs of specific environments. Armed with a clip board and hand-held voice recorder, I do site visits and evaluate hallways, parking lots, etc. and then make safety recommendations and adapt tools to best serve each agency. Initial and/or periodic inspection of the premises to increase security can help agencies qualify for funding or maintain licensing. Many agencies pay high hourly rates to security consultants. As experienced self-defense teachers, we not only assess the risks; we can offer tools to effectively respond to threats in a way that both satisfies the need for providers to handle volatile situations as well as management requirements to protect client rights. This lecture/discussion is suitable to adults who wish to reach out to non-profits working with at- risk populations as well as those working in social services who want to learn more about personal safety.

Course Objectives
  • Describe the risks faced by social service professionals working in the field and in office settings
  • Gain awareness of safety habits which increase staff safety
  • Learn to assess agency buildings, parking lots and surrounding areas
  • Identify appropriate verbal and physical techniques which could be employed on the job and in high-risk situations
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM Workshop #6: The Power of Storytelling in Teaching Self-Defense
with Nadia Telsey
1.5 CEUs

Everyone loves a good story! Stories are like coat hooks upon which we hang information and ideas. They are powerful teaching tools that help people better understand and retain material.  Stories can be used to illustrate key concepts, such as victim conditioning and the stages of assault, as well as strategies for self-protection, such as intuition and negotiation. Through stories we name common experience, thus countering feelings of shame and isolation as we foster compassion for ourselves and others. In this way we increase the comfort level of class participants and build unity. We will explore the characteristics and benefits of a story used as a course centerpiece and will discuss criteria for choosing your own such story. Participants will have an opportunity to share shorter stories to illustrate concepts of self -defense. This workshop is for anyone teaching or wanting to teach self-defense.

Course Objectives

  • Increase understanding of how stories function in learning
  • Explore the appropriate use of story and disclosure to support class goals
  • Identify the criteria for personal stories that can be a centerpiece for teaching self-defense
  • Gain a collection of stories and resources


Knife Defense on the Ground

with Lori O'Connell

In this course, you'll learn how to make the best of the bad situation of being on the ground defending against a knife attack. Drawing from her book, When the Fight Goes to the Ground, Lori will teach about the dangers of facing a knife (and why it's that much more dangerous on the ground), as well as tactics/techniques for neutralizing the knife & getting to your feet as safely as possible. You'll learn practical drills for developing the skills particular to knife defense on the ground, as well as specific self-defense applications that are easy to learn, apply and adapt for various types of attacks of this nature.

Course Objectives

  • Understand the inherent risks and challenges of knife defense on the ground, and how to minimize/overcome them
  • Learn how to control the weapon arm in a ground-based knife attack
  • Develop a sense for how to apply attacks to vital targets in combination with body shifting to defend against knife attacks on the ground
  • Achieve a base of ground-based knife defense to build upon with further training, as well as a healthy respect for the high level of risk this situation presents
1:30 - 2:30 PM Early Program Ends / Bridge to Main Program


7:00 - 8:30 PM

Workshop #7:  Constructive Dialogue in the Midst of Conflict: Tools for Collaborative Action
with Yuko Uchikawa

This highly experiential workshop will focus on how to engage in dialogue. In conflict, discussions can quickly turn into debates and debates into shouting matches. Dialogue is a pathway to collaborative thinking, and that leads to understanding, creativity, and action. How we engage matters. Releasing ourselves from “win/lose,” “right/wrong,” or “good/bad” stances, we will move through complexity and chaos and learn to retain and respect our views, but also the views of the other. Dialogue can lead us to discover options and shift what we thought was unmovable ground. What are the tools and techniques to dialogue effectively? We will begin with defining dialogue and understand the theories of conflict resolution. Through exercises and role-plays, we will use arguments raised by critics of self-defense to practice the art of dialogue and prepare ourselves for collaborative action.

Course Objectives

  • Understand what dialogue is and how it is different from discussions and debates
  • Explore and understand our reactions to conflict and learn to see conflict in a new way
  • Develop skills to engage in dialogue
  • Discover how dialogue can lead to collaborative action
Friday July 18, 2014
8:30 - 10:00 AM Workshop #8: Crisis De-escalation
with Andra Medea
1.5 CEUs

We’ll explore the 5-stage de-escalation model used by the Chicago Police Crisis Intervention Team, the special team trained to safely manage mental health crises. The 5-stage model originated in studies from the Memphis Crisis Intervention Team, and has become a core skill used by mental health and psychiatric facilities around the country. Apart from managing mental health crises, this de-escalation model can also be used to de-escalate situations of domestic violence, explosive strangers or school violence. You will learn how to tell if a situation is growing more dangerous or less so, and how to recognize verbal cues that signal escalation or de-escalation in a potentially dangerous situation. Appropriate for anyone.

Course Objectives

  • Recognize cues that show if a situation is escalating towards violence, or de-escalating away from violence
  • Identify verbal markers for each stage of the de-escalation cycle
  • Spot ‘red flags’ that show when someone is considering violence
  • Examine choices for every stage in the 5-stage de-escalation model, including choice of body language, tone of voice, and listening skills


Teaching Youth to Lead: the Center for Anti-Violence Education's Model

with Brenda Jones and Susan Moesker
1.5 CEUs

CAE staff Brenda Jones and Susan Moesker will present a workshop about our model of Peer Education, which teaches young women ages 12-25 to work with adult Self-Defense instructors to bring our unique brand of self-defense to young people at NYC area elementary and secondary schools, colleges and universities, and social service organizations, community groups and religious institutions. Peer Educators begin their anti-violence training in our PACT (Power, Action and Change for Teens) program, and are selected for Peer Educators based on their commitment and interest in sharing their knowledge with their peer group. The workshop will present an overview of CAE’s Peer Education Program, which has been carefully designed to:

  • educate young people about their rights with respect to gender-based violence, regardless of what their lived experience may have taught them;
  • further develop and promote peer education (youth-to-youth teaching) as a best practice for preventing gender-based violence among youth as well as promote their active involvement in developing a safe and protective environment for themselves and their peers.
The workshop is suitable for those already running teen programs, and for those contemplating doing so. Youth workers from other fields are also welcome.
Course Objectives

  • Learn how students are selected for CAE’s Peer Educators program, and what the initial and ongoing training process looks like
  • Examine the positive benefits of peer education for the Peer Educators, the youth they teach, and the staff (CAE, as well as the staff of our community partner organizations) with whom they work
  • Explore how a violence prevention Peer Education program is tied into Positive Youth Development (PYD) theory
  • Discuss the transition from Peer Educator to Peer Educator Graduate to Adult Teacher, and how the Peer Education process facilitates this process, and allows us to keep youth leaders engaged and employed.
10:30 AM - Noon Workshop #9:  Curing Violence in Urban Communities: Field Workers Speak
With Patricia Broughton (facilitator) and Janell Sails, Cure Violence Program Services Specialist; Guadalupe Cruz, Cure Violence Community Affairs Specialist; Angalia Bianca, Cure Violence Implementation Specialist

1.5 CEUs

What does it take to walk the streets of a violence-plagued neighborhood and interrupt violence before it becomes lethal?  What does it mean to take a health approach to reducing violence? What can we learn from women who put their lives on the line to stop killings and shootings in urban communities? In this session, three Cure Violence community health workers, trained as violence interrupters and outreach workers, will talk about their lives, their work, and the passion that drives their commitment to "curing" violence.  Hear their personal stories of interrupting violence, and their experiences training other violence interrupters in Chicago, U.S. cities and internationally. Consider what implications this approach may have for your life, work and/or community.

Course Objectives

  • Understand the impact of violence on residents living in neighborhoods plagued by this epidemic
  • Explore the world of community health workers engaged in reducing urban violence
  • Learn what tools Violence Interrupters use to stop potentially lethal conflicts
  • Have the opportunity to ask experts in urban violence prevention about the practical application of a health approach to stopping shootings and killings


Preventing Date Rape and Alcohol-Fueled Sexual Assault

with Meg Hinkley
1.5 CEUs

Most people are surprised to learn that 90% of sexual assaults in the 16-24-age range happen under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In addition, the assailant is usually someone known by the victim instead of a stranger. Understanding alcohol fueled sexual assault changes how we think about and teach self-defense to young women. The risk reduction strategies and physical defenses are completely changed in light of this knowledge. Participation in small discussion groups with students can be an effective way to empower students to design their own risk reduction and prevention behaviors in this area.

Course Objectives
  • Gain understanding of the environment and culture around alcohol fueled sexual assault and date rape.
  • Define general characteristics of sexual predators who use alcohol/drugs as a weapon.
  • Discuss society’s past and current response to the assailant and the survivors of date rape/alcohol-fueled assault.
  • Outline successful risk reduction strategies and bystander interventions.


Learn to Teach Self-Defense

with Carmel Drewes (Young Martial Artists Path)
1.5 CEUs

Have you ever wanted to teach your friends some of the awesome things you learn in your martial arts classes? Sometimes we know how to do things really well but then when we try to explain it to someone else, it gets all confused. It takes years of practice to learn martial arts but we can teach people self defense really quickly. Come to this class and learn how to teach other people ways to Think/ Yell/ Run/ Fight/ Tell so they can feel safer and stronger. We will have lots of time to practice teaching and help everyone get better at it.

Course Objectives
  • Describe the 5 Fingers of Self Defense and be able to explain what they mean
  • Be able to show one thing to do for each of the 5 Fingers
  • Learn good ways to teach other people new things
  • Feel more confident about your ability to teach others
1:30 – 3 PM Workshop #10: "Self-Defense & Empowerment Model Course (SDEMC), Session 1: The Body: Physical Skills Self-Defense, Body Language and Choice of Voice"
with Joanne Factor
1.5 CEUs

The physical skillset is one of the foundational tools of effective self-defense. These are your tools of last resort, but if you do need them there is really no substitute. If you need to resort to physical skills, your one and only aim is to disable your assailant long enough to escape to safety. These skills are taught first because knowing they are available will give students more confidence to use other boundary-setting tools first and to use then effectively. Among the core skills taught are:

  • Strikes and vulnerable targets.
  • Elements of effective body language.
  • Using one’s voice.
  • Putting various techniques together into 3 or more combos to achieve the one and only aim.
  • Situational assessment.
  • Using these tools in ways to keep our students safer.

Course Objectives

  • Develop a progressive skill-building method for teaching non-martial artists how they can effectively learn and use physical moves
  • Bundle assertive body language and voice techniques into physical skills, making the wielder’s physical techniques stronger and her presence bigger and more confident
  • Examine the range of responses to deal with varying degrees of threat
  • Use stories and metaphors so students more easily learn challenging material


Grabs and Escapes

with Michelle Dwyer

Chan Tsu Gong or Silk Reeling is a part of internal energy training. Starting at the head and passing through every joint down to the feet, these therapeutic rotations increase the range of motion in joints and teach the body to move in a unified way. Movements connect all parts of the body to the middle Tan Tien, the navel center, so the chi or internal energy can spiral through the body to deliver power. This takes practice to achieve. Bumping is a partner practice that helps articulate all parts of the body for self defense while safely giving and taking impact. In Tai Chi all parts of the body are considered as weapons. Starting with the eyes, then lower arms, elbows, shoulders, flanks, abdomen, hips, butt, thighs, knees and feet, partners follow a lively rhythm bumping each other in a controlled, safe way. This can be done mildly or with more vigor. These exercises show how different parts of the body can be used for self-defense. It’s a fun and stimulating practice with the added benefit of knocking minerals from our systems into the bones, making them stronger. This class is open to all levels and abilities.

Course Objectives

  • Introduce some grabs and joint locks
  • Show possible solutions for escapes
  • Increase sensitivity to a partner’s movement
  • Give people tools for self defense and empowerment
3:30 – 5 PM Workshop #11: Self-Defense & Empowerment Model Course (SDEMC), Session 2: The Mind: Awareness, Options and Boundaries
with Joanne Factor
1.5 CEUs

Awareness of boundary violations, as well as the confidence to appropriately and effectively deal with the violator, is fundamental to self-determination and safety. In this session we will look at a few ways to present the dynamics of violence and why self-defense for women is highly effective. Learn how to help students distinguish between an assailant, an ass, and someone with a different sense of boundaries, with strategies and tactics for dealing with each. Examine how social “trust accounts” are created and exploited by those who mean harm. Practice pro-active boundary testing, with an emphasis on understanding your needs and wants. Apply releases from grabs as a key tool in boundary-setting.

Course Objectives

  • Understand and apply a range of boundary-setting skills
  • Assess when to use boundary tools
  • Understand why some participants may find this work challenging.
  • Emphasize how setting boundaries with others enhances connections


Recognizing and Responding to Trauma Reactions in Martial Arts and Self Defense Classes

with Carmel Drewes
1.5 CEUs

A self defense participant bursts into tears and can’t stop crying. A 10-year-old martial arts student is all over the place, punching, kicking, and jumping when that isn’t what you’re teaching. A teenage student keeps to the outside of the group, doesn’t participate, and won’t make eye contact. Each of these may be manifestations of a trauma reaction to which we, as instructors, need to respond. Traumas may result directly from injury or abuse, or from social injustices like racism, sexism, homophobia, poverty, and other forms of oppression. Trauma changes the development and functioning of our brains and nervous systems. Children’s expression of trauma can look like inability to concentrate, aggression, or other oppositional behaviors. When we teach fighting skills and physical defenses, we can trigger the innate protective responses people naturally employ when they feel threatened. This workshop will help SD and MA teachers plan their classes with a eye towards reducing potential for trauma triggers and then feel knowledgeable and comfortable identifying and addressing a trauma reaction when it does happen. We will discuss the neurological, biological, physical, and psychological aspects of trauma.

Course Objectives

  • Understand what happens in the body and mind as a result of stress and trauma
  • Recognize signs of trauma and talk about them in clear, straightforward language
  • Identify post-trauma signs and symptoms in martial arts and self-defense participants (including yourself!)
  • Develop tools and strategies to minimize trauma activation and to regulate emotions and body reactions during MA or SD practice
Saturday July 19, 2014
8:30 – 10 AM Workshop #`12: Community Action Planning: Raising the Profile of Empowerment Self-Defense
with Katy Mattingly, George Schorn, Lee Sinclair
(This is the final class in a four part series: Bridging the Divide: Engaging with Critics of Self-Defense)
1.5 CEUs

Many feminists and others now assert that providing self-defense education to populations at risk of being targeted is a “victim blaming” approach, fearing that it puts too much emphasis on changing the behaviors of those targeted, and not enough on changing those who perpetrate. This is a common misunderstanding of the now popular Public Health approaches to the prevention of gender-based violence. Some self-defense instructors and methodologies promote this misunderstanding by failing to incorporate social justice, power and privilege, or the empowerment of at risk and marginalized populations in their framework. Via recent national and international case studies, this session will provide grounding in the language and tactics used to discredit self-defense instruction. Attendees will also explore diverse opportunities for local, regional, national, and international community organizing and collective action including: Public Speaking, Social Media/Marketing Campaigns, Resource Development, Direct Action, One to One Interventions, etc.  We will endeavor to leave the session with action steps in hand; let's think big and make sure we're at the table with all those who wish to end gender-based violence!

Course Objectives

  • Identify opposition ideology and language when expressed in their own communities
  • Find multiple avenues for effective response
  • Identify those community organizing strategies which best fit with their own style, focus and strengths
  • Plan future actions and collaborations to raise the profile of empowerment-based self-defense

10:30 AM – Noon Workshop #13: Self-Defense & Empowerment Model Course (SDEMC), Session 3: The Heart and Soul: Self- Care, Domestic Violence, and Community Safety
with Joanne Factor ( Women Only)

1.5 CEUs

To effect real and lasting social change, self-defense instructors need to go beyond singular incidents and individual crime reports. In this session we will look at three specific areas and tie them into the NWMAF’s Feminist Model of Self-Defense.

  1. Self-care is often viewed as indulgent or even “selfish,” especially by women. However, effective self-defense depends on a good measure of recognizing the real relationship between you and someone else, knowing what you want/like, giving yourself a good dose of priority, and why this is important in self-defense.
  2. The single biggest and most consistent risk of violence facing women is domestic violence. As self-defense instructors, we have to understand the dynamics of abuse and how that changes self-defense, local law, “victim-defendants,” and the intersection of DV with race, religion, sexual orientation, and gender expression.
  3. Self-defense on the individual incident level is essential, and it is not the whole picture. Self-defense as a community project takes into account how individuals can hurt or help in the wake of trauma, advocacy and empowerment, and what students can do after leaving your self-defense class.

Course Objectives

  • Better understand how our work can have immediate impact on others’ lives.
  • Model effective self-care
  • Forge our own broad-based connections and referral networks
  • Distinguish advocacy models from the legal justice system

Let’s Talk about Anger, Incarceration & Empowerment
with Sally Johnson Van Wright  (All Genders Welcome)
1.5 CEUs

We all have anger. Is it possible that anger is a great pathway to healing, inner strength, and even joy? Could anger, addressed skillfully, be a handle on empowerment? What can we learn from folks whose anger and rage has resulted in violent aggression?   US citizens would do well to consider whether mass incarceration is itself a form of violence (usually racially targeted), and how it can sometimes be a paradoxical window to freedom. What opportunities does the Prison Rape Elimination Act (a federal law since August 2013) create for Self-Defense Instructors? How does all this matter to Self-Defense Instructors and Peace Builders? NWMAF-Certified Self-Defense Instructor Sally Johnson Van Wright will present lessons learned from 21 years of anger group work with incarcerated women and recent work with post-incarceration women and men with histories of aggression. We will collaboratively generate some strategies for better addressing anger.

Course Objectives

  • State 3 underlying issues common to women and men who have behavioral aggression problems
  • Describe 3 strategies for class facilitation when participant(s) appear to be experiencing trauma triggers
  • Lead 2 activities that promote the development of healthy anger skills
  • Recognize the incidence and trends of mass incarceration in the US today and Identify several reentry strategies proven to help reduce incarceration


Community Self-Defense Workshop
with Kore’ Grate and Sonya Richardson  (Women only)

NWMAF-Certified Self-Defense Instructor Koré Grate, Executive Director and Head Instructor of F.E.M.A. in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and Sonya Richardson, Head Instructor of Hand to Hand Kajukenbo Self Defense Center, in Oakland, California will co-teach a 90-minute Basic Self-Defense Class for women and girls from the local community. It is also open to participants of ST and SDIC. Based on 5 universal self-defense principles, it teaches the use of mind (environmental awareness), voice, ways to avoid/escape danger, fightback and tell others what happened to elicit support. The class presents a range of fun, empowering verbal, emotional and physical strategies including boundary setting, conflict resolution exercises and simple physical techniques. (Ages 12 and up. Free ticket to evening martial arts demo with attendance!)

Course Objectives

  • Learn 5 universal principles for self-defense
  • Gain tools to assess safety and interrupt harassment, intimidation and violence
  • Be able to use basic verbal and physical skills effectively
  • Have fun and feel more empowered to make healthy choices

1:30 – 3 PM Workshop #14: Reeling and Bumping
with Michelle Dwyer  (Women Only)

Chan Tsu Gong or Silk Reeling is a part of internal energy training. Starting at the head and passing through every joint down to the feet, these therapeutic rotations increase the range of motion in joints and teach the body to move in a unified way. Movements connect all parts of the body to the middle Tan Tien, the navel center, so the chi or internal energy can spiral through the body to deliver power. This takes practice to achieve. Bumping is a partner practice that helps articulate all parts of the body for self defense while safely giving and taking impact. In Tai Chi all parts of the body are considered as weapons. Starting with the eyes, then lower arms, elbows, shoulders, flanks, abdomen, hips, butt, thighs, knees and feet, partners follow a lively rhythm bumping each other in a controlled, safe way. This can be done mildly or with more vigor. These exercises show how different parts of the body can be used for self-defense. It’s a fun and stimulating practice with the added benefit of knocking minerals from our systems into the bones, making them stronger. This class is open to all levels and abilities.

Course Objectives

  • Therapeutic joint rotations will increase range of motion and good health
  • Provide exposure to an internal energy training method
  • Introduce a practice that trains all the body to be a weapon
  • Learn how to take and give impact safely, physically and emotionally


Workshop #2: Your Moment of Truth (YMoT): a Violence Prevention Curriculum for High School Boys
with Lee Sinclair and Jennifer Keller (All Genders Welcome)
1.5 CEUs

Your Moment of Truth is the No Means No Worldwide curriculum for high school age boys and young men. Piloted in Kenya, the YMOT is being adapted for use in the U.S. by Jennifer Keller. The YMOT goal is to help young men question conditioned beliefs and behaviors and learn effective intervention strategies. This curriculum goes a bit upstream from the current bystander intervention model for men and asks boys to be keenly aware that though they may not be the target of the violence, the fact that they stand witness makes it a moment of truth for them. YMOT is a skills-based class that uses many of the practical strategies that women and girls have been harnessing for years. Things like awareness, negotiation, de-escalation, lying and trickery prepare young men for real-life situations they are likely to encounter. Scenarios focus on ways to take action in extreme risk environments where harassment and sexual assault are widespread.  Exercises and discussions are designed to counter strong cultural and social messages that perpetuate violence against women and girls.  In addition to curriculum overview and hands-on practice, research findings on the use of this curriculum will be discussed.

Course Objectives
  • Become familiar with Your Moment of Truth (YMOT), a free, effective rape prevention program for high-school age boys and young men
  • Apply tools for intervention including the Intervention Continuum
  • See how an Empowerment Model of Self Defense can be harnessed to prevent rape through the actions of men and boys
  • Investigate and dialogue with others on the pros and cons of adding a boys component to your current programming
3:30 – 5 PM Workshop #15: Can We Cure Violence Using a Health Approach?
with Patricia Broughton and Candace Kane (All Genders Welcome)
1.5 CEUs

For the past 13 years, Cure Violence (formerly known as CeaseFire) has been using a health approach to stop shootings and killings in communities plagued by violence. This health approach uses trained community residents to 1) identify and interrupt the transmission of violence, 2) change the thinking and behavior of the individuals most likely to be engaged with violence, and 3) shift community norms so violence is no longer accepted or expected. In this forum, leadership from Cure Violence will present the science behind a health approach to violence prevention and engage attendees in an interactive discussion looking at the following questions:

  • What are the implications of seeing violence as a health problem?
  • How does this worldview change the way we approach violence?
  • What are the points of intersection between an empowerment model of self-defense and a health approach to violence?

Course Objectives

  • Understand a health approach to violence prevention
  • Learn about a health approach that successfully reduces urban violence using disease control and behavior change methods
  • Reflect on how a health approach changes the way one views and responds to violence
  • Gain knowledge of the scientific connections between urban violence, trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, and violence reduction


Gender Socialization and its Connection to Violence
with Kate Webster  (Women Only)
1.5 CEUs

In this class, participants will explore society-wide issues of power, privilege, and patriarchy and the ways they intersect with race, class, and sexual orientation to inform gender roles, norms, and stereotypes. Participants will unpack these gender stereotypes and examine how the process of socialization impacts our self-defense practice and violence prevention work. Participants will assess how these gender stereotypes about what it means to be masculine or feminine perpetuate victim blaming ideology and toxic masculinity, and connect to violence and rape culture. Through discussions and interactive exercises, participants will learn ways to approach and present these topics in an Empowerment Self-Defense program. This class is suitable for all ages, experience levels, disciplines, and backgrounds.

Course Objectives:

  • Identify gender stereotypes in our lives and how they intersect with race, class, and sexual orientation
  • Describe how gender norms that define masculinity and femininity impact our gender identity process and affect our personal safety
  • Recognize how gender norms and stereotypes connect to victim blaming, toxic masculinity, and rape culture
  • Learn three exercises to demonstrate how gender stereotypes contribute to gender-based violence


Upstanding Kids
with Joy Williamson (Young Martial Artists Path)
1.5 CEUs

Have you ever seen someone teasing another person? How did that make you feel? Sometimes we want to intervene, but don't know how. In this class, we'll review ways to use our voices to stand up for ourselves, and then practice speaking up for other people. We'll do lots of role-plays to get used to the idea of interrupting rude, mean, or scary behavior. This class is open to all ages. We'll focus on situations for kids and teens, but all adults who work with youth are welcome to join in and practice exercises to take home with them. We will brainstorm options for a variety of role-plays in small and large groups, and all participants will get to practice speaking up in all kinds of situations.

Course Objectives:

  • Learn to use your voice to speak up for yourself and others
  • Assess a situation to determine whether it is safe to intervene
  • Practice verbal strategies to interrupt harassment and bullying
  • Engage other bystanders to create peaceful outcomes
Sunday July 20, 2014
8:30 – 10 AM Workshop #16: Self-Defense & Empowerment Model Course (SDEMC), Session 4: “Why Do You Want to Teach Self-Defense?”
with Joanne Factor and Joyce Mende Wong
1.5 CEUs

Teaching self-defense is indeed important, yet there is no shortage of equally important and worthy causes and issues. In this session, we will be looking at ourselves, deciding why this work is important for us to be doing, and how we will practice self-care so we can be effective for our students for a long time. Questions we will discuss include:

  • Why is self-defense important/meaningful to you?
  • Why you – what do you have to contribute?
  • Why teach? (i.e., why not become a prosecuting attorney or cop?)
  • What is your strategy to stay sustainable?
Course Objectives
  • Increase self-awareness and self-knowledge
  • Look at self-defense teaching as a part of community-building
  • Recognize when we need to practice self-care
  • Develop better prospects for self-care and longevity in the field


A Report on the Center for Anti-Violence Education’s PACT Program for Teens: Curriculum and Methods
with Brenda Jones
1.5 CEUs

PACT Instructor Brenda Jones and will present an overview of PACT, CAE’s after school program for teen women. Presenters will share how program interweaves content areas, including martial arts (goju karate), self-defense and youth activism, as well as providing a springboard to CAE’s Peer Educator program. The workshop will explore both the curriculum and program structure of PACT, and the activism component. We will also explore the idea of collaboration with other girls’ empowerment organizations in order to mutually strengthen our programs and give girls more activist opportunities. There will be an in-depth look at various PACT Activist Projects from over the years, including the following: Poster and mural projects, V-Day presentation, and Teen Domestic Violence Awareness Walk and Rally. Lastly, the presenters will do an overview of the evaluation process currently in place, and what we have learned from the PACT students, in their own words. The workshop is suitable for those already running teen programs, and for those contemplating doing so. Youth workers from other fields are also welcome.

Course Objectives

  • Hear about and discuss “formulas” for a successful teen program serving girls and trans-youth, and improve skills to work confidently and effectively with this population
  • Learn about CAE’s collaborations with other youth-serving organizations (Girls for Gender Equity, Brooklyn Girls Collaborative) and how these enable us to extend the reach of our own programming, as well as opportunities for "cross-pollination"
  • Explore the role of activism, both as a tool and a goal for teen programming, including a review of CAE’s most successful teen activist projects, that you can use in your own work
  • Review CAE evaluation practices, and the feedback we’ve received from our own teens
10:15 – 11:45 AM Workshop #17: Training Across Borders: Aikido Peace Projects
with Jamie Zimron

1.5 CEUs

Aikido practice was envisioned by the Founder, Morihei Ueshiba O'Sensei, as `medicine for a sick world' and `a great Way to help all human beings live as one family.' Jamie Sensei will share her experiences utilizing Aikido in Russia, the Middle East and Ethiopia as a vehicle to create new contact, understanding and cooperation between people locked in violent struggle.   Just imagine martial arts as `Peace PE': Physical Education for both kids and adults to embody peace and spread non-violence! Through a variety of stories, short videos, and interactive Aikido Peace Practices, Sensei hopes for everyone to leave feeling inspired and with an expanded sense of the power, meaning and potential of our training in contributing to peace on earth. All levels and ages welcome, gis not required.

Course Objectives

  • Raise awareness about the Middle East conflict and 'Citizen's Diplomacy' efforts to help bring warring people together.
  • Describe current, living examples of martial arts applications in real-world work
  • Inspire others to initiate or participate in non-violent empowerment and conflict resolution projects to educate a new generation of peace leaders
  • Contribute to somatic-based education to build bridges, better relationships and mutually beneficial outcomes in conflict situations


Ground Tactics to Get You Back on your Feet
with Lori O’Connell

In this course Lori teaches the fundamental street-oriented approach to ground defense from her book, When the Fight Goes to the Ground. This approach combines attacks to vital targets and body shifting techniques against common attacks on the ground, such as kicks to the head, mounted position, and sexual assault positions (attacker between the legs). You will learn practical drills for developing the skills, as well as specific self-defense applications that are easy to learn, apply and adapt for different body types and attack scenarios.

Course Objectives

  • Understand the inherent risks and challenges of ground defense, and how to minimize/overcome them and get back to your feet
  • Become more aware of various vital targets that can be attacked to enhance ground defense effectiveness
  • Learn how and when to apply ground-based body shifting techniques for self-defense
  • Achieve a base knowledge of ground defense that can be expanded on with further training

*CEUs available through a partnership with NASW Ohio. Practitioners should ensure reciprocity in their own states.


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