10th grade lrt

Lauren in 10th grade.

Lauren's story, and about Empowerment Self-Defense

"I was always afraid of being raped growing up—and street harassment was a constant reminder of my vulnerability. I believed that if someone tried to rape me, there would be nothing I could do, because they would definitely be bigger and stronger than I am.

"When I took a self-defense class, I found out I was wrong. There were things I could do. I could knee them in the groin, poke their eyes, smash their nose, stomp their feet. I could yell really loud. I COULD STOP A RAPE."

-- Defend Yourself director Lauren Taylor in The Power of Feminist Self-Defense, Ms. magazine. Read the whole story to learn more about Empowerment Self-Defense: what it is and what it isn't.

cat with boys n girls club

CLASSES: Get Empowered! A self-defense happy hour

Two more opportunities to get some basic assertiveness and physical skills (or review what you know) left this year: Sept. 11 and Nov. 13. The September class is for all genders! Find out more and sign up here.


CLASSES: On My Own: Growing Independence for Tweens

Parents: Is your child—late elementary school or early middle school—heading to school on their own? Walking alone or with other kids? Beginning to take public transit? Staying home alone for longer stretches?

In this workshop, 9- to 12-year-olds will learn skills to help them be logistically, mentally, and emotionally ready for these and other situations, as well as strategies for if something doesn’t go as planned. Parents are encouraged to participate.

For details and to sign up, go here. Thanks to our partners, Willow Street Yoga, for hosting!

best places to hit

Learn something now: Run, Yell, Tell, Hit, + Go Along

Hit, cont'd

If you’re being physically attacked, you may need to hit the attacker to protect yourself.

There are six primary targets on the human body that you can hit to cause excruciating pain or temporary disability: eyes, nose, throat, groin, knees, and feet.

You’ve probably felt the effectiveness of some of these, like if you’ve ever dropped something on your foot or gotten something in your eye. Now, imagine someone doing that with lots of force and on purpose – it hurts!

I (Lauren) was once bumped in the nose in a martial arts class by a small 10-year-old who wasn’t hitting hard or on purpose. It was just like in the cartoons--everything went black and I saw stars!

And anyone who’s done sports knows how easy it is to damage a knee. Knees are only made to go one direction, so pressure in any other direction can cause temporary disability, and then the attacker can’t run after you.

We hit only when there’s physical danger and when Run, Yell, and Tell (covered in previous newsletters) didn’t work or aren’t available.

The goal of hitting (or any other self-defense technique, including Run, Yell, and Tell), is to give you enough time to get to safety (usually where there are other people).

Next newsletter we’ll talk about simple ways to hit the eyes, nose, throat, groin, knees, and feet. Stay tuned!


For all classes, contact us if you can't pay the full fee. All classes are held in wheelchair accessible spaces. Contact us to arrange ASL interpretation.
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