Santa Cruz Indymedia :
Santa Cruz Indymedia

Announcement :: [none]

Free Self Defense Workshop

(re)Claim your power! Learn martial arts-based self defense this Saturday, December 11th. A free workshop offered from 1-4 PM will include basic escapes, strikes, and exercises to increase awareness of your own body and your abilities to defend it.
Click on image for a larger version

mellow SD work Flyer
SELF DEFENSE for your community

This Saturday, December 11th from 1-4 PM
at San Lorenzo Park [the park across the river from downtown].
The workshop will be near the pedestrian bridge over the river from downtown SC.

Each of you is capable of defending yourself if necessary. Within a community of resistance, we should be comfortable with our bodies--feel
safe in them--and be confident in our physical strength as much as possible.

Self-Defense for Pacifists? This is a dangerous world. Being prepared for confrontation is different than creating it. It's a question of
preparation. Come alone, bring a friend, *bring five*. In a casual, non-competative space we should be able to help each other learn how to
defend our bodies and be more comfortable with our physical abilities.

Saturday, December 11th from 1-4 PM at
San Lorenzo Park near the pedestrian bridge.
Wear warm, comfortable clothes and leave any leftover macho/ego/competative/fighting stuff elsewhere.

No partner necessary, so bring a friend or don't.

New Comments are disabled, please visit


Re: Free Self Defense Workshop

Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity. Violence is a disease that lives in the heart. Dont poison yourself like this.

Re: Free Self Defense Workshop

Defending yourself is NOT fighting! Fighting is an act of agression committed by the person who chooses to attack YOU!

Self -defence is NOT violence! Violence is an unprovoked attack upon your body!

Are you going to allow someone to try to hurt or event kill you without *defending* yourself?

Do you care thatlittle about your own precious life?

Even tiny bugs and spiders scurry away to save their own lives when threatened!

Re: Free Self Defense Workshop

Stop feeding into the cycle of our violence-obsessed culture! Sugar coat it however you lie, youre still hurting people and promoting a culture of conflict instead of conflict resolution. Youre only going to get yourself hurt worse by aggravating an attacker. Who do you think you are, Rambo? Youre not going to win against someone who surprises you with a gun or a knife, someone who attacks people for a living. If you dont care about yourself, care about the other people you will hurt by starting a fight and getting some guy all worked up. It takes two to tango. We have to stop the circle of violence and that means the buck stops here. Become a peacemaker, not a hater.

Re: Free Self Defense Workshop

If I could talk to my attacker, before he attacks, so he may rethink his decision to attack me? What Utopia world do you live in?

I know how to protect myself and I don’t go around provoking violence on others. If we lived in your Utopia, I would have to agree with you, violence is bad, but unfortunately we don’t. No matter how hard we try to have a violent free world it will never happen.

I have no control over what other people do, but I do have control over what they do to me, why is that wrong?

I am a survivor, I was taught self-defense, which unfortunately, I have had to use. I was attacked and I got out of it and got away, I also left him lying helpless on the ground and now he is in jail. That, was my conflict resolution!

People are not going to take this class, then go looking for a fight, that’s not what this class is about. This is about knowing what to do once you are in that situation and knowing what to do to protect yourself and to get out of the situation.

So please just go back to your beauty pageant life of “World Peace? and leave us realistic people alone.

Re: Free Self Defense Workshop

Oh what next you want to carry an assault weapon in your gun rack for self defense! Violence begets violence and it is high time we began to treat this disease by stopping it from spreading.
Do you not hear the anger in your heart? An eye for an eye leaves everyone blind. As a survivor myself of domestic violence and a single parent I want my children to learn that life is not like Mortal Kombat games. Please stop spreading anger in our community BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS!!!! As a progressive community we must rise above, or I fear for our future and our children future.

Re: Violence and Conflict

We can only be comfortable stepping away from conflict if we are in control of our minds and bodies. Have you noticed that a lot of violent conflict comes from a lack of confidence when confronted? People who are uncomfortable being confronted because they are unsure of their abilities to defend themselves often are the quickest to lose physical control and respond with violence because they fear being seen as inferior. We can learn to accept being seen as weak if we are confident in our strength. This is what I hope to share.

This is a positive dialogue, one that I want to address and discuss on Saturday. I encourage people to come to the workshop with an open mind, ready to hear and discuss these ideas and others with respect for one another and a readiness to listen to perspectives that might differ from your own.

Through practice focused on learning the strengths and weaknesses inherent in our bodies, I believe we can actually avoid conflict and violence. By being aware of our bodies and our abilities, we can build a community that is confident and strong in its resolve to end violence.

To answer earlier comments, I do not believe that this is promoting a "culture of violence," as I do not believe that would-be victims of rape are feeding into a cycle of violence obsessed culture by fighting back. Studies and statistics show clearly that women who fight back are often able to escape their attackers. I will not be advising anyone to fight against a gun or a knife. In fact I will not be advising anyone to fight--simply to understand how basic self defense works so that people can make an educated decision when it is an effective tactic to fight back and when it is not. I want to give peole the tools necessary to make an informed decision.

If you are interested in pushing your physical abilities out of your santa cruz comfort zone and working through some of these tough questions in a comfortable group setting, I encourage you to come to Saturday's workshop. We will try to focus on instruction that is accessible to all attendees, check-in on how people feel about some of the exercises, and discuss what it means to be a peaceful person.

Re: Free Self Defense Workshop

personally i think this non violent pacifist commenter is the violent one. instigating a fight and trying to disempower people.

Re: Free Self Defense Workshop

Violence should be seen as a tactic, not a way of life (as our friend the pacifist is trying to insinuate). Likewise, nonviolence is sometimes a legitimate tactic, depending on the situation. Self defense, while it may be violent, it absolutely necessary in many situations. Would you rather be raped or defend your body? Would you rather be left to bleed on the sidewalk or walk away with your didnity intact? Pacifists would have you believe that communicating with your attacker will somehow resolve a potentially violent situation. While nonviolent solutions may be valid in some cases (for example handing over your wallet to avoid a fight), if an attacker is dead set on using violence, you have no choice but defending your body.

Re: Free Self Defense Workshop

with your *dignity* intact, not didnity intact. sorry

Re: Free Self Defense Workshop

Blessed are the peacemakers. I love Jesus, Ghandi, Martin Luther King, and all the other activists of their ilk. They were all wonderful people, sincere, and brave in their own way. Nevertheless, I do not consider it a coincidence that they all ended up dead, leaving the same violent world behind them. Also, self defense, using as little force as possible, does not constitute an "eye for an eye." That attitude is no good for self defense anyway, because, of course, it "makes the whole world blind," and escalates conflict, thereby escalating danger. On the other hand, if the helpless embrace their helplessness in the face of extreme, unappeasable violence, helpless is all they will ever be. Allowing people to beat or torture you to death does not constitute effective resistance to violence. You are removed from the struggle, and the media portray you as violent anyway, as with the nonviolent protestors in Seattle some years ago. Also, revenge killings will often be perpetrated in your name, as with Jesus, Ghandi, and Dr. King, and they are often worse than the original injustices. Complete submission and appeasement of violence does not "break the cycle of violence," as it fails to reverse human nature, or for that matter, nature itself. A truly nonviolent person knows how to balance appeasement, negotiation, nonviolence, and necessary force as the situation requires. Also, a nonviolent person knows how to pick their battles. Inflexible dogmas like "Might makes right" or "Violence is never the answer," rarely bring peace or justice, as the world is far more complicated than a single principle.

Re: Free Self Defense Workshop

We're all for peace and social justice, and I personally am all for nonviolent protest. However, violence is all around us, and we all have seen state police force fight us and innocent bystanders as demonstrations. Nonviolent resolutions of conflict is great, but it doesn't always work. All Zapatistas would have been dead already if they had confronted the Mexican military purely in a nonviolent way. So would the Bolivian water protesters.

Moreover, let's realize also that police is less inclined to hurt white people that look like them, and they can identify with. Go be nonviolent and peaceful when 5-0 is mobbing it up in the ghettos and barrios.

Finally, I don't think the power elite in this country will just roll over and give up when the revolution comes. Self-defense is an essential tool, and essential right in preparation for the confrontation that will inevitably come.

Re: Free Self Defense Workshop

Jay has a point in that how effective nonviolence is depends a lot on who you are, what you're protesting, and where you are. In Britain, for example, it's highly unlikely that there would ever be a Seattle or Chiapas-type situation under current conditions. Actually, in Britain, I'm much more scared of the anarchists than the police. :-) Most of the time, when people study self defense, they aren't worried about the police anyway. Even in politics, leftist activists have as much to fear from random Nazis, Klansmen, etc., as the police. Sometimes, the police are helpful, and I've even been to many anti-war demos where we had police protection. I've also had family members in the police. :-)In this sense, most of these posts are way off topic. One of the best arguments for self defense is that people won't feel completely dependent on sometimes-corrupt police forces for protection, and won't be as willing to sacrifice civil liberties for some false hope of "protection."


Let's put our button slogan ideals aside for a moment and think about the reality of this: if someone is trying to kill or rape you, are you just going to lie in protest singing "We Shall Overcome" and put flowers in rapists urethras? If someone tries to hurt me or a loved one, I have no issues with defending myself. As mentioned before, this is a SELF-DEFENSE class, not an afternoon at the shooting range.

Did the Workshop Come Off?

Wondering how the workshop went. When I went by at 1 PM at San Lorenzo Park, there wasn't anyone in the Benchlands (i.e. under the bridge) other than some locals. When I passed by again around 6 p.m., one of the same locals said that no one had shown up. What happened?

Re: Free Self Defense Workshop

I will say that in a way one must know how to protect one self from being atack ,but in a real situacion is different when you are being atack and the person is moving as well it takes many years of training every day at least 2 hours and very intense training not something that you go once a week and go home and watch tv you got to think about it every day do it with different people of many sizes and weight speacialy if you try to go to a protest ,one must be organise and dicipline be straight in your head when you are there , like don't be stone or hang over from the night before be fit and work out every day like I said before.
I know this Iam doing it , so I should know is not easy to fight some one when he is after you.

Misconceptions About Self-Defense

If the extreme pacifists posting above are indeed sincere, they are misinformed about the nature of self-defense. Self-defense is not *attacking* others, but proactively responding to violent nonverbal communication. One of the best techniques I know is called Aikido , a Japanese martial art which roughly translated means "the art of harmony." I like to think of it as the Road Runner approach because it emphasizes turning the striking energy of the attacker back against him(her)self. When first exposed to it, I was incredulous, but have come to appreciate it as an effective nonviolent tool for self-defense. As an advocate for victims of domestic violence, I encourage all women to get basic training in self-defense techniques so (like Blue Zappa advocates) they don't feel helpless or defenseless as individuals. For those who experience violence in their everyday lives, empowering one's body can translate into a strengthened resolve to leave an abusive situation. In addition, self-defense techniques can teach you how to correctly receive a body blow to minimize harm, thus potentially preventing severe permanent injuries. The important thing to remember is that you *can* practice SELF-DEFENSE and still be NONVIOLENT. DanielSan -- I hope there will be more workshops like this in the future. This is a resource that is needed in our community. Thank you!!!! (If attendance was less than you might have liked, chalk it up to the time of year and don't be discouraged.)

an issue of priviledge

It is often people of priviledge (white people, men, upper class people, etc.) who take stances of strict pacifism and criticize those who practice and advocate self defense. If you havent had your body, your life, your home, your children, threatened then you might not understand why violent tactics can be necessary and effective tools for political change. Please recognize that non violent tactics arent always realistic and are often a priviledge...and read about the Black Panthers, fool.

It is often discouraging to come across posts that seem totally unrealistic. Speaking, as a survivor, and a woman, who is constantly on guard it is realistic to want to know how to defend my self and my body. Because one chooses to learn self defense skills does not mean that they condone violence, however, we do live in a culture that perpetuates violence on a daily basis. There is a constant attack on women and their bodies, and it's empowering to know how to, if the situation arises (which it probably will--being that one in every 3 women is raped in her life time) I might be able to get out of it, or protect myself and my sisters. It fucking enrages me that men can tell me what is and is not appropriate in terms of defending myself. Until you know the reality of being afraid every day of your life, then you can't tell me otherwise. That's just not our reality folks.

We don't live in a black and white world. There is no one appropriate response to any given situation. It's immature and ignorant to assume that non violence is always the right choice.

Did the Workshop Come Off?

Did this workshop actually happen? Anyway, when is the next scheduled one?

Re: Free Self Defense Workshop

To Moon Water House, I agree! Its easy for patriarchal men to yelp about not being "violent" (defending ones self) in a world run on universal male privilege.

If you keep on turning the other cheek, you soon run out of cheeks!

Rapists are the storm troopers of patriarchy and batterers are the occupying forces.

Every women alive today is either enslaved or decended from female slaves. Being free and the concept of being truly free from rape or male violence has been eradicated from womens living memory—for 5,000 years (Read the Chalice and the Blade)

For 5,000 years since the destruction of the Goddess societies, women have been beaten into submission both physically and spiritually by patriarchal men and their dysfunctional punishing "father gods"
Women and men of peace (a minority) have been beaten and ridiculed.

According to the US Surgeon General, the most common "health" affliction of women is being beaten up by MEN.

I think rapists and molesters should not go to jail since us taxpayes must pay to feed and house their lousy asses.

These perverts should be put in stocks, smeared with dog shit and then have their noses removed so the world will recognize them for the scum they are and so they cant hide by blending in with men of peace.

So, you think this is "cruel and unusual punishment"? How about the terrified child who is molested and the women who are beaten and raped? This is cruel and unusual punishment.

Re: Free Self Defense Workshop

Will there be another sounds interesting...


No events for this day.

view calendar week
add an event


Media Centers

Syndication feeds

Account Login

This site made manifest by dadaIMC software