When Life Gives You Lemons. . .

We have all heard the phrase “when life gives you lemons…..” right? Well, making lemonade is not always the easiest thing to do, especially when the lemons seem to be too sour to do anything with. But the hidden messages behind the phrase have helped me understand what I have been recently been deeming the “ouch” moment - that moment when you slip on a lemon and bang head-on into a wall. Ouch! A little over week ago, I needed to make a decision as to whether I should embark on a business trip or abort. Ouch. This is not where I wanted to be. There were good arguments for both sides, but I was standing in front of a wall that I had hoped would not be there. Ouch. ​​While you can make lemonade

Turtle Mountain Team Starts their Journey to Becoming an IMPACT Program

"Impact International officially approves your entry into the process of becoming a certified chapter." ~ IMPACT International Chapter Development Committee Since attending ESD Global’s very first instructor training in 2017, Shanda Poitra and Sara Rae Davis have been offering empowerment self-defense workshops for girls and women on the Turtle Mountain Reservation in North Dakota. But now, thanks to ongoing support from IMPACT Boston and ESD Global, they’ll also be offering IMPACT training, a personal safety, assertiveness, and self-defense program. From the moment they discovered IMPACT, Shanda and Sara knew they wanted to teach it and help the women in their community connect with their i

Assertiveness vs Aggression

“Today, we’re going to hear stories about knowing when and how to fight. I don’t know about you, but when it comes to physical fighting, I’m not that up to the task.” This declaration is how Catherine Burns began a recent episode of The Moth, one of the world’s most popular podcasts. Those of us in the self-defense field hear comments like this all the time. “I’m not comfortable with violence.” “I don’t believe in fighting violence with violence.” “Self-defense isn’t for me. I’m not an aggressive person.” When we dig a little deeper, we often find that the women saying these things aren't interested in learning to deal with conflict, whether verbal or physical, because they’re afraid of beco

A Feminist Response to Critique of Self-Defense

This past October, at a high school gym in Astoria queens, the girls in the junior and senior classes had the opportunity to participate in a self-defense class. But while most of the students were practicing techniques for getting out of a hair/hijab grab or a grab from behind, a student named Batoul Saleh looked on from the sidelines. In an article entitled “A Feminist Critique of Self-Defense,” Saleh explains that her reasoning for skipping the class was that she considers herself a pacifist. Due to her curiosity and the fact that she also considers herself a feminist, she chose to stay nearby and listen to what the instructor had to say. Long story short, she was not impressed. Saleh wou

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