2010 Recipient: Founder's Honors
The NWMAF is pleased and privileged to award Nadia Tlesey with Founder’s Honors in recognition of her long and distinguished career as a martial artist, a teacher and pioneer for the empowerment of women in the field of self-defense and martial training.
Nadia Telsey has been teaching self-defense and has been part of the anti-violence movement since the 1970s. Even just a partial list of accomplishments is a reflection of her core beliefs and commitment to action:
- Co-founder of Brooklyn Women’s Martial Arts (also known as The Center for Anti-Violence Education)
- Instructor at numerous Special Trainings and PAWMA camps
- Co-founder of NWMAF
- Self-defense instructor at the University of Oregon
- Member of the instructors certification board of NWMAF
- Director/outreach coordinator of a rape crisis center
- Member of the Oregon Coalition against Domestic and Sexual Violence
- Member of the Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force
- Co-founder of Breaking Free (working with a team to develop a curriculum for people who have developmental disabilities)
Her experience in dialogue comes primarily from participation in a six-month dialogue group around the issues of gay rights following a divisive ballot measure in Oregon in 1994. She participated in dialogues around other issues such as feminism, racism, and Israel/Palestine.
Other honors and awards include
- Lifetime Achievement Award (PAWMA)
- Human Rights Award (City of Eugene)
- Diane Award (University of Oregon)
- Change Award (Oregon Attorney General’s Sexual Assault Task Force).
From Nadia Telsey on “The Why of NWMAF: A Force for Good in the World” (NWMAF Summer 2010 Newsletter)
I would also encourage the NWMAF to continue the commitment to diversity of all kinds: economic, intellectual, as well as gender and racial. I’ve been doing some work with individuals with intellectual disabilities, and there is a real need there for empowerment as well.
I hope and wish for the NWMAF to be about good will and cooperation, and not about superstars. Take what people have to offer and continue to share – share teaching and skills and techniques…
It would be my wish for the NWMAF to continue to be a force for good in the world. Martial arts to me is about setting things right – empowering individuals – men and women – to direct their own lives.