Monday, December 30, 2013

See Ellen Strike! Strike, Ellen, Strike!

I don't care if this is over 3 years old, it's still funny.  Ellen DeGeneres learns some basic self-defense moves, just in case she finds herself in another dancing situation.  Good for her being proactive about her personal safety in front of all those cameras and audiences!




If you can't see the above video on your device, watch it directly on YouTube.

Hey -- you want to practice those moves?  You can here! (Chris Matthews dummy not included.)

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Happy New Year!

Best wishes to all for a happy, healthy, and fulfilling 2014!

Another little ditty to herald in the new year.  Again, written, performed and recorded by Kinny "Special" K.  Post-production by moi.

Remember, to be your most fulfilled and awesome self, you will need to occasionally set some boundaries.  Most of the time, the other person will not have realized they crossed the line and will apologize.  They mean well, they like and value you, and did not mean to offend you.

However, on rare occasion you will encounter someone who does mean harm.  And for those special occasions, you will be ready to enforce your boundaries.

Happy New Year!

PS - is one of your resolutions to finally take that self-defense class you've always wanted to sign up for?  Now is a good year. 

Monday, December 23, 2013

When Fighting Back Worked: Self-Defense Success Stories

Once again, ripped from the headlines (actually, more often inside pages) from the web.  These are all stories of women and girls successfully using safety skills.

This first one is from West Seattle, where a high school girl fights back against a dude who grabs her.  She breaks free, runs to safety, and calls 911.  Way to go!  From King 5 News: http://www.king5.com/news/cities/seattle/Teenage-girl-grabbed-by-man-near-West-Seattle-High-School-235301801.html

How about this one, from our neighbor to the south (that's Portland, OR).  A guy demands a Portland State University student's backpack and punches her.  She turns and punches him back, and he goes running!  From KXL FM News Radio:  http://kxl.com/2013/12/12/female-student-hit-in-the-face-fights-off-attacker/

Now from South Carolina, where this guy picked the wrong target.  What he did not know was she's trained in martial arts.  Whoopsie!  She fights back, and again he goes running (do you see the pattern here?).  http://www.opposingviews.com/i/society/animal-rights/man-attacks-woman-walking-small-dog-myrtle-beach-she-has-black-belt-fight  (Pssssst -- you don't need a black belt to fight back like she did -- you can learn the same techniques in Week 3 of Strategic Living's 6 week self-defense course.)

Let's jump across the Atlantic for this story out of the United Kingdom.  Woman kicks guy in crotch, and he runs away.  http://www.newmarketjournal.co.uk/news/latest-news/woman-38-fights-off-mobile-phone-thief-1-5757252.  Almost surprised he was able to still run.

And, finally, we return to the greater Seattle area.  Woman fights off attacker on a popular trail in the middle of the afternoon.  She was attacked from behind, and she escaped by fighting back.  http://q13fox.com/2013/12/19/woman-reports-assault-on-north-creek-regional-trail-in-bothell/#axzz2o2Fx8aC6.

Did you see a story in the news, or want to share one of your own?  Contact me!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Blast from the (Recent) Past

This afternoon I taught a class for tween girls (and a mom or two), and afterwards one mom and I were talking about this "blaming the victim" of rape nonsense.  She mentioned that one of her friends, many years ago, was raped right after her high school graduation.  The girls was at home in bed, and a robber with a gun broke into the house. He raped her.  The police later asked her what she was wearing.

I remembered a speaker from the 2011 Seattle SlutWalk with the same story.  I asked if the women spoke at SlutWalk and the mom said yes.  Got the speaker's name, found her on YouTube, and here she is, just as I remembered.




If you do not see a video here, or it is not playable on your device, you can view it directly on YouTube.

And the most important takeaway is that she was raped because a rapist made a choice to commit rape. True then, true now.  True always.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Self-Defense Christmas Carol

Christmas is almost upon us, and what can be more cheery and bright than a rousing, empowering self-defense Christmas carol?

Wanna hear it?  Play now.

Feel free to share, and please give credit where it is due.  Written, performed, and recorded by Kinny at Strategic Living, LLC.

Now is also a good time to plan for the coming year -- the first of this winter's six-week courses will begin Tuesday, January 7, at Phinney Neighborhood Center.  There's room for about 4 more students.  Find out more at Strategic Living's Self-Defense 101 page.  Today.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

See You In The Funnies?

One of the first things I do Sunday morning is sit down with the Sunday comics and a mug of coffee.  Most of the time it is pure leisure.  This week I found two timely toons.  One, unsurprisingly, is Doonesbury on the reporting of sexual assault in the military through the chain of command -- and why it remains a bad idea.

(http://doonesbury.slate.com/strip/archive/2013/12/8)

The next was a surprise.  It's a strip called Baby Blues, and it's about a family with small children.  The dad was teaching his son about field goals, and recollects an older, very popular cartoon.  Peanuts, as you probably know, would often feature Lucy holding a football for Charlie Brown, and yanking it away at the last minute.  The dad in Baby Blues finds that hilarious.  The son slumps inside, and tells his older sister that Dad finds bullying funny.

(http://www.babyblues.com/index.php, from Dec 8, 2013)

Considering the popularity and longevity of Peanuts, this felt like a jolt.  But a "right on" kind of jolt, when some behavior you'd taken for granted even if uncomfortably gets a label and suddenly is more clear (even if it is cartoon characters).

I'm certainly not saying we should toss Peanuts in the trash, far from it!  Everyone, at some point, feels like a Charlie Brown.  And you may know a Lucy Van Pelt (I worked for one once, and I sure did feel like good ol' Charlie more than every so often back then).  It's a reminder that there are callous folk out there who make promises and renege on them, for their own amusement.

And this was a comic.  And it was funny and poignant.  And some adults have a hard time recognizing bullying (unless they directly see the pain it causes to their own children, and even then not always).  Because it was OK as in normal, typical, kids will be kids.  They'll get over it. 

Most will.  Some won't.

How do you recount your past to the next generation?


Sunday, December 08, 2013

Success Stories: Fighting Assault that Worked

I'm going to be posting every week or two a smattering of stories ripped from the headlines.  They all will be on women or girls who were attacked and thwarted the evil-doer's dastardly plans.  They all, preferably, will give some details on what the defender did that worked.

For this week, our first story is close to home (Seattle, that is).  A young woman bit her attacker's hand, continued fighting, screamed for help, and ran for help.  This story was in The Seattle Times, and you can read it at http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2013/11/young-woman-fights-off-attacker-in-south-seattle/http://blogs.seattletimes.com/today/2013/11/young-woman-fights-off-attacker-in-south-seattle/.

For our second story, we travel to our neighbors north, to Canada.  In separate incidents on the same night, one guy attacked at least two women.  Each woman did the same thing, according to the new story:  screamed and fought him off until he fled.  This one was apprehended by the police.  You can read the Edmonton Sun article at http://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/11/27/two-19-year-old-women-fight-off-attacker-man-arrestedhttp://www.edmontonsun.com/2013/11/27/two-19-year-old-women-fight-off-attacker-man-arrested.

Our third story is from the other side of the Atlantic.  A man attacked a young woman after she dropped her child off at school.  This woman fought, kicking her attacker in the groin.  And he fled.  You can read the story in the Manchester Evening News at http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/pictured-sex-attacker-fought-woman-6350863.

And our final story is from our nation's capitol.  A woman attacked while taking out her trash fights of attacker (good job on getting rid of the trash).  You can read this brief story on the WTOP site at http://www.wtop.com/58/3515082/Capitol-Heights-woman-fights-off-attacker

If you come across any self-defense success stories, or have stories of your own you want to share, please contact me.

Thursday, December 05, 2013

Spotlight on Self-Defense Weapons: The Hand Grenade


No, I am NOT advocating to my self-defense students that we consider this a viable self-defense weapon.

But self-defense does take on a different timbre in other locations.  Such as Libya.

Souad Soltan, a congresswoman in Libya, carried a hand grenade for self-defense.  It was found via metal detector as she entered Tripoli's City Hall for a meeting.  It was confiscated.  On her way out she asked for it back, claiming she needed it for self-defense.  Her request was denied.  I don't know if she's since replaced it with another, or with some other weapon.

Check out this article on why she's carrying that grenade.

There are several pros and cons for her choice.  First, she's only got one chance to use it.  It's blast is indiscriminate, so she or bystanders could also be injured.  And it will only go as far as she can throw it.  On the positive side, it seemed to fit well in her handbag, and it could take out a number of attackers at once (which probably was why this is her weapon of choice).

Your self-defense will look different in different places.  Since the fall of long-time ruler Col. Quaddafi two years ago, civil protection has weakened.  More people have access to weapons, and some are using those for harm.  Anyone involved in politics is someone else's target.  Your precautions under those circumstances not be as carefree as most of us in Seattle (where it is common to cross a street while staring down at your phone).

And carrying a concealed grenade is probably illegal in Washington State.  So don't do it -- there are better options for you.

Tuesday, December 03, 2013

Self-Defense Success Story from "O Magazine"


Alert reader Donna saw this article in Oprah's magazine.  It recounts how one woman out jogging used the self-defense skills she had learned in a class long ago. 
As I was reading October’s issue of “O” Magazine on a bright, sunny Seattle morning this weekend, I came across an article written by Kris who describes how the self-defense skills she had previously learned in a women’s self-defense class came in handy one dreadful day when she was almost raped.   Fortunately, Kris had remembered the physical and verbal defense skills she had learned and put them to work when she was attacked.   Physical self defense tactics are one of the most important skills a woman can learn. 
You can read Kris' story online.

Kris recognized the reality of imminent physical harm, used decisive targets, and used her voice effectively.  Kudos to Kris!

And thanks to Donna for sharing.

PS - do you want to learn what Kris knew?  A new cycle of six week self-defense courses will be offered beginning this coming January.  Can't spare 6 weeks?  Try the five hour self-defense seminars -- next one is December 15.



Monday, December 02, 2013

New Use for Old Taser

Do you own a taser?  Have you never used it, are considering not carrying it around any more, and are now wondering what to do with it?

Zap your veggies.

Today I heard on The Splendid Table that a scientist in Japan found that "stunned" potatoes are healthier for you.  Apparently shocked potatoes produce more antioxidants.

You can hear it here too, it is the first 50 seconds of the program.

The scientists, however, used a low charge for up to half and hour.  Not exactly what your stun gun was meant to do.  You can read an article about it in the Daily Mail.

DISCLAIMER:  I am NOT recommending you try this at home.  And, if you do so, I bear no responsibility. Take a self-defense class instead.

Sunday, December 01, 2013

Using Their Super Powers for Good: Bikers Against Child Abuse

Sometimes the weight of the legal system is not enough.  Even when it is on your side.

Sometimes you need a larger-than-life hero (or shero).

That's where Bikers Against Child Abuse come it.

Bikers Against Child Abuse (BACA) are bikers, no doubt about it.  They may not be outlaws, but they sure leverage that image to great effect.  They protect children who have been abused.  Literally.

Members of BACA "adopt" children who are afraid of their environment due to physical or sexual abuse.  Perhaps the abuser is still hanging around, sometimes the abuser is in jail, or maybe the abuser now lives far away.  The abuser need not be physically present to make their presence felt via threats, nightmares, and proxies.  Members of BACA are there for the kids, physically.  They show up when their adopted child is having nightmares, is afraid to walk to school, or is being stalked/harassed by the abuser or his family. They accompany the child to court to give the child courage and backup when testifying against the abuser.

They are there so the kids don't feel so alone or powerless.

They show up.

This article about the Arizona BACA chapter give a lot of detail and story about how they operate.  Locally, King County Sexual Assault Resource Center partners with BACA.

The AZ Central article  depicts a variety of ways BACA members help.  Some can offer advocacy to navigate the child welfare system or file for a protection order.  They spend time with their children.  They will even provide a security line in case the abuser's family members decide to harass the child.

They want the child to be empowered, to live healthy and fun lives.  Without fear.  Because they have a family who has their back.