Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Is It Empowerment Self-Defense?


                                               

Is it Empowerment Self-Defense?
A checklist for assessing in what ways a self-defense program meets standards of an empowerment self-defense(ESD) program. In an ESD program, most elements of philosophy, pedagogy, and methodology fall in the ESD column.
Where there are gaps point to room for development.

Non-ESD Program
ESD Program
Philosophy 
(the underlying thinking)


Attention to social context of violence
Little to no attention
High attention
Source of violence
Individual problems (e.g. bad people)
Social issues (e.g. social structure of privilege & oppression)
Targets of violence
Little to no attention to social characteristics; focus on individual behaviors
Attention to intersections of gender, intellectual and physical abilities, race, sexual orientation, social class.
Perpetrators of violence
“Bad” people different from others
Indistinguishable from others—focus on behavior not on appearance or social status
Framing violence
Physical violence
Continuum of violence
Pedagogy 
(the practice of teaching)


Students’ capabilities
Expose their weaknesses
Reveal their strengths
Respect
Hierarchical with the head instructor the most respected     
Respect for all and what each brings
# and ease of learning tools
Many and takes time to learn and retain
Few and accessible  
Types of tools
Physical fighting tools are the focus
A range of tools--awareness, assessment, verbal, physical tools, (breathing, escaping, fighting)
Application of tools
The instructor provides the mindset: “If this, then…”

Toolbox approach--defenders apply strategy, tools, principles based on their assessment of the situation.
Attention to trauma
Limited
High
Responsibility for violence
Risky behavior of target; morals and mental state of perpetrators
Perpetrator is responsible and focuses on those perceived as socially vulnerable and who likely will not be believed
Methodology 
(the means of developing a self-defense system)


Source of knowledge
Tradition, instructors’ experiences
Research and evidence, students’ experiences
Process
Internal, closed, isolated from practitioners from other systems
Collaborative, open, networking
Goals
Making a name or a profit for oneself or system
Social justice and social change
Dealing with disagreement, conflict
Attacking, bullying, one-sided
Dialogue, Non-violent communication
Martha E. Thompson  

First published 2/26/18 in "Empowering ≠ Empowerment Self-Defense"
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. You may share (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format) or adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially) under these conditions: Attribution—give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made and ShareAlike—If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, distribute your contributions under the same license as the original. For more details about the license, visit Creative Commons here.


Monday, February 26, 2018

Empowering ≠ Empowerment Self-Defense

All kinds of educational environments have the potential for that rush of feeling empowered but that feeling does not then make it empowerment self-defense. The Empowerment Self-Defense movement is gaining traction and more and more people who have been teaching self-defense and martial arts are using that designation. I’m motivated to write this blog to clarify that an empowerment self-defense program is more than a feeling of empowerment.
         “Empowering” refers to that exhilarating feeling that arises when an activity or experience builds our confidence, skills, or independence.  Examples that can result in that feeling include climbing a tree or climbing a mountain; jumping double-dutch or jumping a stream; learning to read or learning to weave.
I became involved in the women’s liberation movement at Kent State University in January 1970. I was heady with feelings of empowerment though I didn’t call it that then. I was also aware that I needed more and drew what seemed to me to be a very logical conclusion: if I’m going to challenge male domination, I need to be able to protect myself. In the context of the Civil Rights, Black Power, and the Anti-War movements, it seemed certain that working to dismantle patriarchy would, just like these other movements, entail physical risks and I wanted to be prepared.
In the summer of 1970, I signed up for a karate class to become stronger and learn self-defense. There was one other woman in the program and the men, from beginners to black belts, did what they could to humiliate us. In the midst of this mistreatment, I got to practice kicking and punching. No, I didn’t like how I was treated but I was elated I could see my biceps and deliver powerful kicks and strikes.
I’ve had other experiences since then where I’ve been in an excellent, mediocre, or crummy learning environment and felt that exhilaration of learning a new skill, feeling more confident, or building my independence. 
Empowerment Self-Defense is More Than a Feeling
Empowerment Self-Defense (ESD) is a philosophical, pedagogical, and methodological approach to addressing violence. It is rooted in the women's movement and feminism with a focus on ending violence against women and girls. As feminism and ESD developed, so has awareness of and attention to how intersections of gender with other systems of oppression, such as ability, race, nationality, sexual orientation, and social class affect expressions and framing of violence. 
         Below is a chart for a self-assessment list of sorts—the list is not exhaustive and I'm hoping others will contribute to expanding what sets ESD apart from other approaches. I was motivated to develop this chart not to keep people out but to draw people in. No program is perfect but if we want to call ourselves ESD instructors, then we are aiming for most of our work to fall consistently in the ESD column. Noting where our work doesn’t fit can give us a guide for areas to develop. If the items in the non-ESD Program column more accurately represent our approach and we have no interest in changing, then we are teaching self-defense but not ESD.           

Is it Empowerment Self-Defense?
A checklist for assessing in what ways a self-defense program meets standards of an empowerment self-defense(ESD) program. In an ESD program, most elements of philosophy, pedagogy, and methodology fall in the ESD column. 
Gaps point to room for development.

Non-ESD Program
ESD Program
Philosophy (the underlying thinking)


Attention to social context of violence
Little to no attention
High attention
Source of violence
Individual problems (e.g. bad people)
Social issues (e.g. social structure of privilege & oppression)
Targets of violence
Little to no attention to social characteristics; focus on individual behaviors
Attention to intersections of gender, intellectual and physical abilities, race, sexual orientation, social class.
Perpetrators of violence
“Bad” people different from others
Indistinguishable from others—focus on behavior not on appearance or social status
Framing violence
Physical violence
Continuum of violence
Pedagogy (the practice of teaching)


Students’ capabilities
Expose their weaknesses
Reveal their strengths
Respect
Hierarchical with the head instructor the most respected     
Respect for all and what each brings
# and ease of learning tools
Many and takes time to learn and retain
Few and accessible  
Types of tools
Physical fighting tools are the focus
A range of tools--awareness, assessment, verbal, physical tools, (breathing, escaping, fighting)
Application of tools
The instructor provides the mindset: “If this, then…”

Toolbox approach--defenders apply strategy, tools, principles based on their assessment of the situation.
Attention to trauma
Limited
High
Responsibility for violence
Risky behavior of target; morals and mental state of perpetrators
Perpetrator is responsible and focuses on those perceived as socially vulnerable and who likely will not be believed
Methodology (the means of developing a self-defense system)


Source of knowledge
Tradition, instructors’ experiences
Research and evidence, students’ experiences
Process
Internal, closed, isolated from practitioners from other systems
Collaborative, open, networking
Goals
Making a name or a profit for oneself or system
Social justice and social change
Dealing with disagreement, conflict
Attacking, bullying, one-sided
Dialogue, Non-violent communication
Martha E. Thompson  2/26/2018
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. You may share (copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format) or adapt (remix, transform, and build upon the material for any purpose, even commercially) under these conditions: Attribution—give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made and ShareAlike—If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, distribute your contributions under the same license as the original. For more details about the license, visit Creative Commons here.

Thank you to Donna Chaiet, President, Prepare Inc, for her suggested revisions on an earlier version of this blog. You can find a copy of just the chart "Is It Empowerment Self-Defense" here.

Martha Thompson
IMPACT Chicago Instructor
NWMAF Certified Self-Defense Instructor
Member, ESD Alliance
Participant, 2017 ESD Global Incubator

Recent IMPACT Chicago Blogs About Empowerment Self-Defense
Harmon, Julie. Principles of Empowerment Self-Defense. September 25, 2017.
Jones, Amy.
McDonald, Mona. What Do Empowerment Self-Defense Students Learn? October 30, 2017.
Thompson, Martha

Monday, February 19, 2018

A Strong NO is Universal

In "A Strong NO is Universal: Resistance Training as Sexual Assault Prevention for Students Studying Abroad," authors Jill Swirsky and Tiffany Mancantonio along with contributors Jill Cermele, Karen Chasen, and Martha McCaughey address missing pre-departure preparation for students studying abroad: sexual assault prevention training.

The authors have identified this gap as a major problem because the risk of sexual assault of American women studying abroad is 3 to 5 times greater than that of their peers who remain in the States. The research that has been done has not identified if the perpetrators are citizens in the countries the women are visiting or are other students studying abroad--so there is a gap in the research as well.

The authors outline the reasons for women to take a resistance training program (e.g. IMPACT) before studying abroad. For the details, check out pages 2 and 3 in the Winter 2018 issue of The Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality.


Monday, February 12, 2018

Recognizing Domestic Violence

Marie Miguel was doing a free mental health project and came across the IMPACT Chicago website (see her bio below). What caught her eye was the IMPACT Chicago blog on “Responding to Self-Defense Critics.”  Marie offers her thoughts about recognizing domestic violence.

Did you know that almost 20 people every minute in the United States who are physically abused by a domestic partner? That is more than 10 million people per year. Although women are far more commonly victimized, 1 out of every 4 men has suffered from some type of domestic abuse. Also, one in 15 children is subjected to domestic violence every year. These are horrifying numbers. What can we do about it?

Learn the Signs of an Abuser
     There are different types of abuse. Although many believe that physical abuse is the worst, emotional and psychological abuse last much longer. The types of abuse include:
·       Psychological abuse includes intimidation, threats, destroying property, and isolation from others.
·       Economic abuse consists of any way to make a person dependent on the abuser, including withholding money, not allowing you to leave the house, and controlling all finances.
·       Emotional abuse is the act of making a person feel like they are not worth anything. The abuser will chip away at your self-esteem by criticizing you, calling you names, telling others you are a loser, and making you believe nobody else wants you.
·       Sexual abuse includes any kind of sexual act without your consent. This can include rape, harming parts of your body, forcing sexual intercourse after violence, and sexually humiliating you. 
·       Physical abuse can include any type of harm to someone including biting, kicking, shoving, slapping, hitting, punching, cutting, pulling hair, and even denying you medical care when needed.

Listen to Your Intuition
Believe it or not, there are some warning signs that a loved one may be an abuser. Of course, not everyone shows the signs, but it may help to know what to look for. If you feel scared or nervous but cannot figure out why listen to your instincts and notice if a loved one is:

  • Getting overly angry quickly
  • Yelling at you
  • Calling you names
  • Making a fist
  • Constantly criticizing you
  • Extreme jealousy
  • Isolating you from family and friends
  • Makes you feel guilty about doing things you like
  • Takes away your money and controls the finances
  • Tells you what you can and cannot do
  • Threatens you
  • Stops you from working or going to school
  • Tries to get you to do drugs or drink alcohol
  • Tries to pressure you into having sex when you do not want to
Support and Resources
The Domestic Violence Resource Center offers resources for support.
  • Community Advocacy
  • Professional Counseling
  • Confidential Shelter Servies
  • Transitional Housing
  • Safety Planning
  • Community Education
And a 24-Hour Hotline: 503-469-8620 or 1-866-469-8600 
Marie Miguel


Marie Miguel is an avid internet researcher and she likes to write about a lot of topics namely, social media marketing, healthcare, and business. She has a college degree in Communication with Specialization in Integrated Marketing Communication. She has more than 10 years work experience in various fields namely, social media marketing, as well as, research for fast-moving consumer goods. Currently, she is working as a Marketing Associate in the fast-growing industry of solar energy. In her free time, she writes content for different websites and blogs, so that she can share her knowledge of her field and of other topics that she is interested in. Marie also likes to travel and her adventures allow her to have a broader worldview. Finally, she has four kids, who inspire her with her work and her writing.

Monday, February 5, 2018

Donors Make an IMPACT

Tuition covers about 65% of the costs of the Core Program and IMPACT for Girls. Donors cover the rest. Thank you to all those who supported the IMPACT Chicago 2017 Fund Drive! Your generosity enables to bring self-defense training to more women and girls.

Names                                                                         Designation
Anne Gendler
& David Leib
Jeanne
Adams
Barry
Alberts
David
Altman
Amazon Smile
Amazon Smile
Lisa
Amoroso
Dianne Costanzo Fund
Lisa
Amoroso
In recognition of Tara, Kathleen & Laura
Laney
Amoroso
In recognition of Lisa Amoroso
Amy
Amoroso
Jeanette
Andrews

Anonymous
Lucinda
Ballet-Stanley
Elizabeth
Beyreis
Dolores & Glenn
Bjorkman
Susan Blessing
Kevin Sossong
Jill
Britton
Patricia
Broughton
In honor of Martha Thompson
Sheila & Steve
Carson
Darcy
Chamberlin
Courtney
Childs
Aaron
Christensen
Wesley
Clifton
Nancy & Ira
Cohen
Christina
Collins
Dorianne
Conn
Dee
Costanzo
memory of Adrian Costanzo
Elyse
Dawson
Tammy & James
DeBoer
Carla
Eisenberg
Happy anniversary!
Rebecca & Thaddeus
Engle
Cheri
Erdman
Madeleine
Fallon
Carol
Ference
Tam
Fletcher
Follett
Kira
Freigang
Micah
Gates
Eileen
Gelblat
Good Done Great
Robyn & Tijuana
Gray
Debb
Harp
Margit
Henderson
Victoria
Herbert
Nancy
Hornak
In recognition of Cameron & Zoe Schwartz
Irving Harris Foundation
Ioretta
Jackson
Valerie
Jenkins
Carol
Jennings
Pam
Jurkowski
June
Kirk
In honor of Martha Thompson
Kasey
Klipsch
Micah
Labishak
Susan
Landwer
Yukiko
Leggit
Ruth
Lipschutz
Mary
Loftus
Mary
Loftus
Dee Costanzo Fund
Naomi
Love
Shirley
Ma
Leigh
Martin
Carmen
Maso
Susan
McConnell
Ellyn
McNamara
recognition of Dee Costanzo
Deb Mier
& Sheila Hickey
Jeannette & Terry
Mostrom
Kelly
Nespor
Shiyu & Anthony
Nitsos
Clara
Orban
Lauren
Perez
Liz
Pfau
Rachel
Pildis
In recognition of Martha Thompson
Lisa
Pines
Sara
Polonsky
Jennifer
Poulin
tzedakah
Don & Judy
Rosedale
Emily
Ruehs
In recognition of Katie Skibbe
Rene
Ruelas
Roger
Safian
Alexandra
Sandin
Asha Sarode
& Geetha Pundaleeka
Lisa
Scheff
Tess
Schmieg
Gail
Schubert
Janette
Scott
Katie
Skibbe
Susan
Stall
#meat14 and #metoo
Linda
Stawicki
Kevin
Theis
In honor of Jill Britton and Henry Borczyk
Martha
Thompson
In honor of Kathleen, Katie, Laura, Lisa, & Tara
Marge
Tomasik
Carrie
Villa
Iris
Waichler
Sharon
Wallin
Katherine
Walton
In honor of Amy Wallin
Frederick
Warner
Laura
Weiss
Donna
Wilkens
Kathrynne Ann
Woolf
Kimberly
Wright

Daphne
Zaborowski



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