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boosting the signal - when you don't know what to do...
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boosting the signal
I don't know if too many people I know will be able to take advantage of this, but my sensei, Kevin Pence, is running a one-month women's self-defense class starting April 1. The class is Mondays and Wednesdays from 9-10 am, and costs $99. The hope is that this will develop into an on-going thing, but for now, it's through the end of April. If my job situation stays as it is, I will be there as well, as your friendly neighborhood crash test dummy. Dress is workout gear. No uniforms, no belts, no bowing, just good training.

The class is taking place at Pence Self-Defense Academy, 226 Cambridge St, Burlington, MA, 781-272-9709.

So even if you can't make it, if you know someone who can, spread the word. I'd love to see this take off. And if you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

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i feel: good good

8 trips or shoot the rapids
cvirtue From: cvirtue Date: February 27th, 2013 02:11 pm (UTC) (base camp)
How able do people have to be? I'm moderately fit, moderately fat, with really bad knees.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: February 27th, 2013 02:35 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Self-defense is about finding the techniques that work for you. I know that Kevin will work to your strengths and weaknesses; just let him know up front about any concerns or conditions.
goldsquare From: goldsquare Date: February 27th, 2013 06:04 pm (UTC) (base camp)
We are very likely signing Anna up for a slightly different sort of program that is also about safety - but less about physical defense. It's through ImpactBoston.

No negative implications intended: there is more than one route to these things, and Anna's needs in this area are far more emotional and social than physical. If all she wanted was training in useful physical self-defense, I'd be interested in following up this lead instead or as well.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: February 27th, 2013 06:10 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I admit I don't know for sure if Kevin has plans for anti-bullying techniques or safety strategies, but it seems to me that he would; such a class would be incomplete without them. But at the end of the day, he is a big burly man, and many women feel more comfortable getting non-physical training in street strategies from a woman.
goldsquare From: goldsquare Date: February 27th, 2013 06:21 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Someone like Anna actually needs the prequel first. The sure and certain knowledge that it is not only OK to say no and defend yourself, but that it is important.

Plus, lacking a lot of street-smarts, knowing how to avoid most situations, is also critical.

The ImpactBoston programs are being taught by trained therapists, who also have excellent training in self-defense.

One of the classes I hope to sign her up to take, has absolutely ZERO physical component at all, but is all verbal. The class with physical contact has that as only a small component. They are as much about feelings and self-esteem and empowerment as anything else.

For someone like her, I suspect that Kevin's class would be something to consider subsequently. Of course: I don't know Kevin except from some of the blog entries you have made, and I reserve the right to be humiliatingly wrong. :-)
tashabear From: tashabear Date: February 27th, 2013 06:27 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I think you're taking the absolute right approach, especially if Anna hasn't yet internalized the idea that protecting herself is a right and desirable thing to do. I don't know how close you are to Burlington these days, but when you're ready, Pence has a thriving youth program, and Kevin has decades of experience working with students of all sorts of abilities (IIRC, Anna has a small coordination disability?). He runs the school like a club, almost a family, rather than a for-profit business. At least one of the students in the adult class has been with him since he was seven or eight years old.
goldsquare From: goldsquare Date: February 27th, 2013 06:33 pm (UTC) (base camp)
I don't know if she has or has not internalized that feeling. Given the whole story, I'm going to proceed as if she has not. She is slowly building confidence and self-esteem. (One of her therapists actually suggested such a program as part of self-esteem.)

Anna does have coordination issues. From trauma at birth, she has some brain injury that makes the coordination of her volitional muscles difficult, and hard to automate. That makes her weak, and clumsy.

She did, once upon a time, take karate classes at the local boys and girls club, and she loved them. Those stopped when her mother moved her out of town. Anna is very focused on her school sports and other after-school programs - as well as near-daily weight training when not at a practice.

We're just 20 minutes from Burlington: in fact, I work in Burlington. :-)
tashabear From: tashabear Date: February 27th, 2013 06:35 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Well, we'll be here if you decide you need us. :-)
8 trips or shoot the rapids