Strategic Living

Safety Resources Across the USA

Maybe you'll be moving soon, or your daughter is off to college, or your experience taking a self-defense class was so awesome you urge all your friends to do the same (but they live in Chicago). Here is a list of other really solid classes across the USA.

First, how do you find a good class? The National Coalition Against Sexual Assault's guide for self-defense programs is one excellent standard for assessing quality. The National Women's Martial Arts Federation's Feminist Empowerment Model is another.

The National Women's Martial Arts Federation certifies a select group of self-defense teachers. All of these instructors are highly qualified; in fact, a number of them are founders of modern women's self-defense.

The Association of Women's Self Defense Advancement also maintains a list of self-defense instructors.

Girls Fight Back! based in Denver, Colorado, provides speakers to colleges. has an online library of pertinent articles.

The Safety Chick site has interesting and short articles on (duh) safety.

I Believe You contains a wealth of information on resisting sexual abuse in adults.

More specifically, these are schools with which Strategic Living's owner Joanne Factor is personally familiar and highly recommends:

Thousand Waves Martial Arts and Self-Defense in Chicago, IL. (Two recent articles from their newsletter, one on non-violence and self defense and the other on self defense and activism, articulate the spirit of active non-violence.)

Center for Anti-Violence Education in Brooklyn, NY

Five Elements Martial Arts (FEMA) in Minneapolis, MN

Sun Dragon Martial Arts and Self-Defense in Austin, TX

Valley Women's Martial Arts in Easthampton, MA

Hand-to-Hand Kajukenbo in Oakland, CA

Other schools whose programs have good reputations:

Wen-do Self-Defense for Women offers classes primarily in Toronto and Vancouver, Canada

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