Monday, December 29, 2014

The IMPACT Chicago 2015 Program Schedule

Core Programs
  • Fri/Sat/Sun February 20, 21, 22; Fri 5:30-9:30; Sat/Sun 9-6; Knapp Center, 3145 W. Pratt Blvd Chicago
  • Sat/Sun April 18, 19, 25, 26; 11 am – 5 pm; Lin Shook Studio, 4057 N. Damen Ave Chicago
  • Fri/Sat/Sun June 26, 27, 28; Fri 5:30-9:30; Sat/Sun 9-6; Hull House, 800 S. Halsted Chicago
  • Fri/Sat/Sun July 10, 11, 12; Fri 5:30-9:30; Sat/Sun 9-6; Des Plaines Park District 
  • Fri/Sat/Sun September 25, 26, 27; Fri 5:30-9:30; Sat/Sun 9-6; Knapp Center, 3145 W. Pratt Blvd Chicago 
  • Sat/Sun October 31, November 1, 7, 8; 11 am – 5 pm; Lin Shook Studio, 4057 N. Damen Ave Chicago

IMPACT for Girls
  • Sat/Sun March 21 and 22; 10 am – 2 pm; Knapp Center, 3145 W. Pratt Blvd. Chicago
  • Sat/Sun August 1 and 2; 10 am-2 pm; Lin Shook, 4057 N. Damen Ave Chicago

  • Reconnect and Review; Sat May 16, 11 am – 2 pm; Lin Shook, 4057 N. Damen Ave Chicago
  • Defense Against Multiple Assailants; October 17 and 18; 11 am – 5 pm; Knapp Center, 3145 W. Pratt Blvd Chicago

For more information about our programs, visit or contact

Monday, December 22, 2014

Do's and Don'ts

Check out this great post by Kidpower Founder and Executive Director Irene van der Zande on how negative prevention advice (don’ts) differs from empowerment-based safety strategies (dos).

Monday, December 15, 2014

Does self-defense increase a woman’s risk of injury?

Excerpt from Jocelyn Hollander, Ph.D. University of Oregon
“Women’s Self-Defense Frequently Asked Questions,” September 15, 2014. 

No. There is an association between resistance and injury, in that women who resist a sexual assault are also more likely to be injured. But research that looks at the sequence of events has found that in general, the injury precedes the resistance. In other words, women resist because they are being injured, rather than being injured because they resist. On average, resistance does not increase the risk of injury.

Ullman, Sarah E., and R. A. Knight. 1992. “Fighting Back: Women’s Resistance to Rape.”Journal of Interpersonal Violence 7:31–43.

Ullman, Sarah E, and Raymond A Knight. 1993. “The efficacy of women’s resistance strategies in rape situations.” Psychology of Women Quarterly17(1):23–38.

Monday, December 8, 2014

I acted upon my assessment: A Self-Defense Story

I am pretty sure I averted a robbery last night in the Mexico City metro. My family and I were about as ridiculously conspicuous as could be, the only people dressed in formal wear on the train platform (we were here because my spouse was to officiate at a wedding and we were on our way there).

A group of three people standing about 10 feet away from us went from speaking quietly with one another to one person tilting their head towards my husband, and then moved to within 2 feet of us on an otherwise not crowded platform. I told my spouse and son to move down as the train arrived, so we could just get on another car (hoping this was all in my head and would just be over once we moved), so as the train arrived, we moved down about 20 feet to get on one car down.

The three people ran to get on the same car as us (neither car was crowded when the train arrived) and split up, entering the car behind us through both doors and sitting spread out from one another across the car. I made very solid, uncomfortably long and serious eye contact with the individual sitting nearest to me (while I stood with my back against the doors). Scanning the train, I also saw that a train security officer was in our car. I made eye contact with him as well.

When we left the train, I was prepared to make noise, and the security officer held up the train, making eye contact again with us (I nodded and said in Spanish that we were okay) before the train pulled off with the three people still on it.

I'll never know whether they intended to rob or otherwise harm us, and I am fine with that. It was an uncomfortable situation where my first benefit-of-the-doubt assessment revealed that something was not right about the situation, and I acted upon that assessment. We've ridden the metro several times since then with increased awareness and have encountered nothing but grace from our fellow riders.

Thank you to everyone who has taught and practiced self-defense with me for helping me manage this situation, whatever it was, and helping me develop tools to make myself and others around me safe in the places where I want to be. Thank you Sei Shihan Nancy Lanoue, for having us practice physical self-defense last Wednesday in black belt class!

Kate, Thousand Waves Martial Arts and Self-Defense Center

Monday, December 1, 2014

What if Every Woman and Girl Had Self-Defense Tools?

“IMPACT is not about ‘kicking butt.’ It’s about learning to ‘look’ at my surroundings, ‘assess’ my situation and take appropriate action. This makes the world a safer place for me and for all those I encounter.” Tess
Imagine if every girl and woman had self-defense tools and the confidence to act upon their assessment of situations in which they found themselves!

Your Donation Matters!

If you've been around, you know the drill. If you’re new to IMPACT, here's the drill: IMPACT asks for financial support once per year. Donations of all sizes matter! They have allowed us to move to a Sliding Scale for the Core Program this year. Also, we have been able to offer free or reduced workshops to organizations serving lower income women and girls. Please donate today.

Self-Defense Training Empowers!
Women who have had self-defense training are more likely to stop rape and sexual assault than women who have not. Learning self-defense is not victim-blaming or shaming — it is empowerment and increases women’s options.

Word of Mouth Works!
Sharing your experience is one of the best ways to help IMPACT fulfill its mission to bring self-defense to all women and girls. Our new Referral Program recognizes you for encouraging other women to take IMPACT by giving you 25% off an Advanced Program.

For more information about IMPACT Chicago:
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