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SDIC 2013 Conference Schedule

Self-Defense Instructor's Conference

North Central College

Naperville, IL

July 17-21, 2013


CEUS Available for Social Workers

Wednesday July 17,2012
10:00 AM Conference Opening
with your SDIC Conference Coordinators and NWMAF Board Liasion
10:30 am

Workshop #1: "Energy Awareness and Self-Defense"
with Shura Gat
Our energy bodies need attention and training as much as our physical bodies. By attending to our own energetic systems on a regular basis, we are better able to defend ourselves and less likely to need to defend because we are more aware, more present and more grounded. In addition to stance, breath, blocking and striking, basic energetic tools are essential elements of self-defense. By learning new ways of thinking about and relating to energy, we are better-equipped to deal with stress, to recognize areas of potential vulnerability and to make conscious choices. As teachers, noticing how energy shifts and changes and extending awareness from the single body to the group allows us to meet people where they are and to honor different histories and experiences. This creates a sense of belonging and receptivity that facilitates more effective learning.

Course Objectives:
  • Get people thinking and moving differently so they can sense how energy flows
  • Learn to use energy awareness as a teaching tool to help people calm and focus attention
  • Choose appropriate techniques to mitigate emotional stresses that may surface in self-defense
  • Practice a series of exercises to (re)establish and maintain a vibrant, balanced energetic system



1:30 pm

(90 min)

NASW:      1.5 CEUs

Workshop #2: “Does Self -Defense Really Work? Experience, Evidence, and Research
with Katy Mattingly and a  panel including Darlene DeFour, Jennifer Keller, Silke Shultz, Lee Sinclair, and Martha Thompson

Most instructors have heard the question "Does self-defense really work?" or variations on it like "What's the evidence-base?" or "What does the research tell us about prevention outcomes?" So, how do you respond? As women who have trained in self-defense and taught for many years, we, and our students, are living proof of the many benefits of this work. But how do we share our understanding with others in a way that promotes greater access to resources?

This panel features experienced researchers, academics, faculty, and instructors who are passionate about women's self-defense. They are self-defense instructors, martial artists, and academics who have taught self-defense in a variety of venues and formats – from local, introductory workshops to semester-long classes, and multi-year, multi-site international programs. Come hear how they respond to these types of questions, get an update on their research, and leave with some ideas about how you could conduct or expand research evaluations of your own. Appropriate for both experienced and new teachers, practitioners and researchers. We'll have plenty

Course Objectives:

  • Gain knowledge of key statistics in support of self-defense education and obtain an up-to-date bibliography of important publications 
  • Learn about research definitions (quantitative, qualitative, anecdotal, primary prevention, etc.) and their importance to various communities
  • Understand different ways to study the diverse learning outcomes for self-defense and empowerment training 
  • Have the opportunity to ask experts in the field questions about reading, conducting, analyzing, and publishing research on self-defense 

3:30 PM

(90 min)

Workshop #3: "One Armed Self-Defense"

What if one arm was incapacitated while you were defending your life against an attack. Would you be able to block or deflect the attacks? Would you be able to execute multiple strikes with speed and power using only one arm? Could you execute a joint lock, takedown, or throw? Participants will practice several exercises to work on blocking & striking. They will also learn how to use the legs and body to take the place of the incapacitated arm. Come to this class and discover the possibilities!

Course Objectives:

  • Develop more advanced physical self-defense skills as instructors
  • Understand some of the challenges facing our students with disabilities and how to modify techniques for them
  • Explore defense strategies and techniques when able to use one arm only
  • Have the opportunity to work out with other self-defense instructors

5:00 PM

Dinner and Trainer/Presenter Dinner


(90 min)

NASW         1.5 CEU's Option 1 or 2      

Workshop #4:

"Sex Positive Self-Defense"

Sex positive self-defense means being able to recognize boundaries and limits and to develop skills to communicate wants and needs clearly. It means learning to say “No” to what you don’t want and “Yes” to what you do want. To do this, you have to have words to describe your experience, to name behaviors, both positive and negative. We learn to read subtle cues in the external environment and within our own bodies, to trust our instincts, and apply these skills to situations that are threatening or dangerous as well as situations that involve attraction or desire. An awareness of personal needs and preferences, informed by physical and emotional responses, is essential for self-care and maintaining healthy relationships. It gives us more agency and choice and, like any skill, it gets easier with practice. Note: This class does not contain sexually explicit material.
Course Objectives:
  • Practice simple activities designed to increase body awareness
  • Get more comfortable talking about consent and sexual negotiation in a self-defense classroom
  • Explore ways to use breathing, touch and movement to regulate physiological states such as fear, anxiety, or excitement
  • Adapt role plays to explore both defense and positive social engagement


"Teaching Self-Defense to Blind/Visually  Impaired People

with Joy Williamson

In this class, we will explore the challenges sighted teachers face in adjusting their self defense programs for blind/visually impaired (B/VI) students. We will review the basic cultural differences and assumptions that may affect our teaching, and practice a variety of ways to make our curriculum relevant and empowering. These skills include managing classroom logistics when gesturing or demonstrating isn't an option, teaching physical techniques effectively, and designing appropriate role-plays to practice awareness and verbal strategies. We will practice responses to several harassment/abuse scenarios commonly experience by B/VI people, and you will leave with a concrete list of plans to create your own class.


Course Objectives:

  • Identify basic differences in teaching blind/visually impaired students compared to sighted students
  • Manage logistical challenges in setting up classes/partnerships, such as ways to describe and model techniques without relying on visual demonstrations
  • Look at language we can use to make our teaching relevant and sensitive to student needs and experiences
  • Practice specific role-plays to address common types of abuse/harassment faced by B/VI people

8:45 PM

Social Networking & Snacks
Handout & Skill Swap
Join us for an exciting opportunity to network and share skills, activities and handouts with other self-defense teachers.
Thursday July 18, 2013
7:00 am


8:30 am

(90 min)

NASW:      1.5 CEUs

Workshop #5: "Understanding and Explaining Trauma to Self-Defense Participants"
We have all experienced trauma in our lives, and so have the participants in our self-defense workshops. Traumas may result directly from injury or abuse or from more insidious social injustices like racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of oppression. As self-defense instructors, we are working directly with innate protective responses that surface in response to threats. It is important to have clear, simple ways to talk about and normalize the range of trauma responses that may emerge in a self-defense classroom. This helps participants feel more comfortable in our workshops and helps us feel more confident as instructors. This workshop will present current research on physiological responses to trauma, which occur at the actual time traumatic events occur or when memories of unresolved traumas are triggered. We will briefly explore interventions used in post-trauma therapy (e.g. EMDR, Somatic Experiencing, Exposure Therapy), and discuss how elements of these practices can be incorporated into self-defense curriculum.

Course Objectives:
  • Understand what happens in the body and mind during stress and trauma
  • Recognize signs of trauma and talk about them in clear, straightforward language
  • Identify post-trauma signs and symptoms in self-defense participants and yourself
  • Develop tools and strategies to minimize trauma re-activation and to regulate emotions and body reactions during self-defense practice

"Safety Superheroes: Self-Defense Instruction for Kids"

How do we introduce safety skills to young people without increasing their fears? How can we share activities that both challenge them and provide opportunities for success? Children have vivid imaginations, and it’s important to use this to our advantage to create fun, engaging activities to build safety skills. Whether connecting with the power of superheroes or special qualities of animal friends, we’ll explore games and activities that build on kids’ strengths and interests and encourage creative problem solving. We will learn tools to help kids be more confident in dealing with bullies and physical threats. We will explore ways to teach young children to recognize and respond to risky or dangerous situations and to seek help from trusted adults. 

Course Objectives:
  • Identify ways to adapt safety strategies for ages 4-10
  • Implement age-appropriate games and activities to improve verbal and physical confidence
  • Understand ways to make learning fun and accessible to children
  • Recognize differences in communicating safety to children versus teens/adults

10:30 am

(90 min)

NASW:      1.5 CEUs

Workshop #6: "Working with Men and Boys"

This panel explores the role of men and boys in self-defense programs first started by women to protect themselves from male violence. How do men and boys participate in an empowerment model of self-defense as students, teachers, and allies? What roles do they play in preventing and interrupting cycles of violence? How does our understanding and experience of gender-based interpersonal violence and other types of oppression inform our approaches to education and outreach? How do today’s social realities and cultural factors influence intervention efforts? Hear from women’s self-defense experts about the unique benefits and challenges of working with men and boys in martial arts schools, campus prevention programs, self-defense workshops and international initiatives.
Course Objectives:

  • Explore the unique challenges and opportunities in working with men and boys
  • Improve skills and confidence to work with men and boys more effectively
  • Discover how initiatives designed to reach men and boys can increase the impact and success of self-defense programs
  • Learn how empowerment programs that include men and boys are being developed and implemented nationally and internationally

12:00 pm

2:00 pm
(30 min)

SDIC Early Program Closing and Bridge to ST-SDIC


4:00 pm

ST-SDIC Camp Opening

5:30 pm



7:30 pm

(90 min)

NASW:      1.5 CEUs

"SDEMC1: The Five Fingers of Self-DefenseundefinedAn Empowerment Model Framework"

The first session of the Self-Defense Empowerment Model Course (SDEMC) uses the framework of the Five Fingers of Self-Defense to highlight core themes of gender-based violence and self-defense. We explore the “big picture” of the culture of violence and self-defense, and examine how gender socialization relates to gender identity, race, culture, sexual orientation, and age and how it impacts our self-image and the ways we relate to others. We also introduce and practice awareness tools (think), verbal assertiveness skills (yell), effective positioning strategies (run), basic physical techniques (fight), and sharing of healing strategies and resources (tell).

Course Objectives:

  • Identify the core elements of the Five Fingers of Self-Defense within an empowerment model of self-defense
  • Understand gender socialization and intersecting oppressions and their role in violence
  • Define assertive communication strategies
  • Describe strong tools on a defender’s body and demonstrate strikes into an assailant’s vulnerable targets 
Friday July 19, 2013
7:30 am


8:30 am
(90 min)

"SDEMC 2: Verbal Self-Defense Skills Across the Spectrum of Violence"

This session explores verbal self-defense skills across the spectrum of violence from irritating to dangerous levels. Through an array of role play scenarios, we deepen our practice of assertive communication skills including boundary setting, de-escalation, and intervention. We discuss topics of harassment and intimate relationship violence to expand our knowledge of these issues and provide guidelines and prevention options.

Course Objectives:

  • Define the spectrum of violence as it relates to personal safety
  • Articulate core facts of stranger, acquaintance, and intimate partnership relationships
  • Demonstrate boundary setting, de-escalation, and intervention skills
  • Understand prevention tools and personal safety strategies for intimate relationship violence

10:30 am
(90 min)

NASW:      1.5 CEUs

Workshop #7: "Introduction to IMPACT Self-Defense"

Full-force self-defense against a mobile attacker creates different challenges and opportunities than working with a stationary target, a sparring opponent, or someone holding a pad or board.  A padded attacker is mobile, vulnerable targets are not off-limits, and a defender focuses on generating effective power rather than achieving precision or perfection. In this workshop, we will focus on three basic self-defense strikes (palm heel, elbow, and knee) in scenarios where a defender is grabbed. We will demonstrate each scenario, and teach/review and drill these strikes. Each person will then have the opportunity to participate in scenarios where she is grabbed and defends herself, with the enthusiastic support of a personal coach/referee and a group of strong women cheering her on.

Course Objectives:
  • Learn/practice three basic self-defense strikes (palm heel, elbow and knee)
  • Heighten awareness of what close in fighting feels like
  • Deliver powerful strikes and kicks to vulnerable targets
  • Leave with an increased sense of power in one's body


"Self-Defense Techniques from Tai Chi"

with Michelle Dwyer

This class is designed for martial artists and non-martial artists alike. The warm up exercises allow us to be more in our bodies while energy exercises help us calm and focus our minds. During some of the class we will be moving in "walking lines" across the floor, although the same exercises can be done sitting or standing stationary. To examine how tai chi principles are fundamental in self-defense exercises, we will work on "Getting off the Line" as a way of avoiding. We will also explore the spiraling power of the circle to understand how to deliver self-defense techniques, after which we will work up to using the full power of our bodies to ward off attacks. We will have the opportunity to work with partners as well as practice on our own. Techniques must be practiced regularly, and the "lines" give one a pattern to keep, practice, and integrate deeply over time.
Course Objectives:
  • Learn energy exercises to foster presence and calm and focus the mind
  • Understand how to yield to a strategic place of power
  • Train the Tan Tien to provide the power behind techniques
  • Learn a training program to develop 3 self-defense tools
12:00 pm



1:30  pm
(90 min)

NASW:      1.5 CEUs

Workshop #8: "Balance, Healing, and Power:  Working with Older Adults"

As we age, we change. We might welcome some changes and chafe at others. Teaching self-defense to seniors requires awareness of the challenges we all face as we age. Common concerns include: loss of physical ability and independence, decreasing memory, and an increased risk of neglect, physical abuse, and financial exploitation. Seniors come to class with a range of physical and emotional pains, with worries, doubts and fears as well as incredible gifts of joy, fun, and resilience. Exploring creative ways to deal with situations that feel unsafe or uncomfortable provides both immediate and preventative results. Power is not just strength, but includes the ability to care for oneself. Let's expand our current notions of self-defense to include a variety of self-care activities that have a protective function. For example, brushing your teeth is good defense against gum disease, just like doing exercises that improve balance protects against falling and getting out of the house protects against isolation. By addressing primary health-related risk factors while teaching more "traditional" self-defense skills, we reinforce new skills and build healthy habits which can help people greatly improve their function and restore a sense of efficacy.

Course Objectives:
  • Learn about some of the common physical, mental, and emotional challenges of aging
  • Practice exercises to increase body awareness, social connectedness and physical confidence
  • Learn to design and adapt curriculum to follow the pace of the class and build on existing strengths
  • Make connections between self-defense practice and everyday health and wellness 

3:30 pm
(90 min)

NASW:      1.5 CEUs

"SDEMC 3 - Physical Self-Defense Skills: Grab Releases and Ground Fighting"

with Susan Barney and Kate Webster

This session introduces the concept of fighting back and the mindset and goals involved. We discuss the decision making process; is it safe to fight. and what are our options? We review the strong tools on our body and vulnerable targets on an assailant and practice evasion techniques and a wide range of strikes and kicks. We introduce strategies to get out of grabs including releases from wrist, neck, hair, lapel, and body holds. We discuss what to do if we are pushed to the ground or attacked on the ground. We practice stances and strikes from the ground and how to get away to safety.

 Course Objectives:

  • Assess safety and identify evasive and defensive tactics
  • Apply a range of basic physical self-defense skills
  • Define and demonstrate a variety of grab releases
  • Define and demonstrate different ground-fighting techniques

5:00 pm


7:15 pm

NWMAF Membership Meeting

Saturday July 20, 2013

7:30 am


8:30 am
(90 min)

Workshop # 9: "De-escalation for Violence Prevention' "

with Joy Williamson

De-escalation can be a powerful tool in our self-defense toolkit. In this class, we will practice centering, body language and verbal skills to keep ourselves calm and manage conflict when faced with an angry person. De-escalation can be an effective technique for preventing violence in a variety of situations. We will practice with role-plays, and participants are encouraged to bring their own scenarios to try out as well.
Course Objectives:
  • Identify situations in which deescalation may be a good strategy
  • Review options for staying calm and centered when under pressure
  • Practice body language and verbal skills to calm/redirect
  • Role-play scenarios to practice skills and troubleshoot


"'Uh, What Do I Say Now?' A Verbal Response Practice Session to Help Deal With Microaggressions"

with Sally Van Wright

Martial artists are freedom fighters, so we must use our skills to make the world a better place. What do we say or do when we encounter oppression in everyday life? How do we effectively support people (ourselves and others) who are hurt by microaggressions? How do we stand accountable and present, so that we can help repair, learn and strengthen connections when our own actions have hurt others? This is a practical session designed to support our best intentions to value diversity. It will benefit people who attended recent microaggression classes with Dr. Darlene Defour and those who have not. We will do our best to create a safe space to increase both awareness and skills through drills, repetitions and applications of principles from our arts.
Course Objectives:
  • Learn simple techniques to respond rather that react to microaggressions
  • Explore practical tools for self-reflection and active listening to foster a deeper sense of connection
  • Build capacity to tolerate discomfort when exploring personal and collective experiences of racism, sexism and other forms of oppression
  • Increase compassion for yourself and others


"Attack of the Car People' "

with Su Strong

This is your chance to practice car defenses in all situations, using a car that won't mind taking a few bruises to prove the point that women are pretty resourceful. Class starts with an homage to TV/movie stereotypes, which we will soon debunk as you discover how much more dangerous it is to attack than defend. We will practice defenses as a pedestrian, stationary car attacks and defenses, defenses for inside the car (driver or passenger), outside the car (i.e. pulled/pushed into car or trunk) and all around the car (under, back seat, etc). You can play the role of “attacker”, “defender” or just watch and learn. For the more advanced (dangerous) attacks, instructor will play the attacker. (Handouts will be provided.) Bring long pants and your acting skills. Suitable for adults, teens, YMA, 6-12. Phys. Challenged.
Course Objectives:
  • Demystify scenarios that the media deliberately portrays as scary / no-win encounters and turn them around
  • Respond effectively to “stranger danger”, or an outside attacker attempting to pull you into a car
  • Manage threats from acquaintances, people you know attacking within a car
  • Gauge the level of threat and respond with a range of effective verbal and physical techniques

    10:30 am
    (90 min)     NASW         1.5 CEU's

    "SDEMC4 - Weapons and Self-Defense: Defending With Them and Against Them"

    with Susan Barney and Kate Webster

    In this session, we broadly discuss the topic of weapons: weapons a defender can use, and those an assailant might use against us. We highlight weapons we can use to stay safe and the options and limitations of commercial devices. We learn how to invest everyday objects with weapon status and how to effectively use these “weapons” against an assailant. We also share statistics on commonly used weapons and effective compliance and resistance strategies.

    Course Objectives:
    • Become familiar with common weapons assailants use and strategies to defend against them
    • Determine when to use a weapon against an attack and how to defend against an assailant with a weapon
    • List typical commercial self-defense weapons, how to use them, and their limitations
    • Invest everyday objects with weapon status and know how to use them to stay safe


    "Community Class:  Basic Self-Defense"

    with Kore Grate and Sonya Richardson

    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, fight back 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
    12:00 pm Lunch

    1:30 pm
    (90 min)

    "Workshop #10: "Intervention for Violence Prevention"

    Have you ever witnessed violence, abuse or harassment? Even when we feel confident in our self-defense skills, the thought of intervening in someone else's conflict can be intimidating. In this class, we'll consider when we might want to intervene, options for safely responding to conflict, and how our actions might contribute to greater peace and justice. We will practice specific scenarios, and participants are encouraged to bring dilemmas!

     Course Objectives:

    • Create guidelines for determining how and when to intervene        
    • Review options for intervening safely
    • Role-play a variety of situations we may be able to affect positively
    • Discuss intervention within the framework of social justice

    3:30 pm
    (90 min)

    "SDEMC5 - Embodied Empowerment:  Real Life Self-Defense Practice"

    with Susan Barney and Kate Webster

    In this session of the SDEMC course, we provide a fast-paced practice of techniques to simulate real-life situations and fully embody verbal and physical self-defense skills. Through a circuit of exercises, skilled self-defense practitioners and martial artists take on assailant roles in a variety of situations across the spectrum of violence. Participants experience a high adrenaline state to practice techniques and better embody and integrate their skills.

     Course Objectives:

    • Demonstrate verbal and physical skills for use across the spectrum of violence
    • Build physical and emotional confidence through practice
    • Experience self-defense in a simulated real-life situation
    • Assess the power of adrenaline in self-defense skills

    5:00 pm

    7:00 pm

    NWMAF Demo

    8:30 pm

    Bazaar and Social
    Sunday July 21, 2013
    7:30 am Breakfast

    8:30 am
    (90 min)     NASW        1.5 CEUs

    "SDEMC6 - How and Why Do You Do It That Way?  Building a Stronger Self-Defense Course"

    with Susan Barney and Kate Webster

    In sessions one through five of the Self-Defense Empowerment Model Course, participants have been exposed to the core elements of an empowerment model of self-defense, highlighting strategies for verbal and physical self-defense. In this session we discuss in greater detail how the curriculum is “scaffolded”, or intentionally designed, so that skills build on each other to produce the most successful learning outcomes. This session also addresses the “how to” and “why” questions that may have surfaced over the course of the SDEMC.

     Course Objectives:

    • Understand methods to construct a logical and effective sequence of self-defense exercises
    • Implement a variety of teaching strategies to effectively teach verbal and physical self-defense skills
    • Demonstrate skill building strategies and how to scaffold verbal and physical self-defense techniques
    • Create an outline of an empowerment based self-defense course guided by an understanding of gender-based violence


    Workshop #11: "Healing Arts Sampler"

    with Shura Gat, Johanna Hattendorf, and Diane Long

    For many of us, healing arts are woven into our practice of martial arts and self-defense. These practices allow us to foster self-care habits and find balance in busy lives. Working with touch can offer a type containment that helps to focus attention and invite positive change. Somatic therapies connect us to healing resources from imagination and memory that can help us shift our physiological states in tangible ways. The Eden Energy Medicine (EEM) Daily Routine is a series of exercises to establish and strengthen our basic energy systems. Discover how to apply these exercises to daily life when thinking is scrambled, when feeling anxious or overwhelmed, etc. Experience a simple Craniosacral Therapy (CST) technique and learn to “reboot” your own cranial rhythm. (Self-care and partnered activities for all ages and all levels of experience. Wear comfortable clothing.)

     Course Objectives:

    • Learn a series of exercises to establish and strengthen basic energy systems
    • Connect with internal resources to better manage physical tension or stress
    • Explore your own craniosacral rhythm and “reboot” your system
    • Discover ways to incorporate touch and energy awareness into a class setting

    10:30 am
    (60 min)

    SDIC-ST Camp closing

    12:00 pm



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