Get to Know Our Executive Director, Ellen Krause-Grosman

We are delighted to have our executive director, Ellen Krause-Grosman, visiting the blog today. She's here to tell you about some of ESD Global's hopes and goals, and give you a behind the scenes look at what we're working on.

Welcome, Ellen!

Q. What, in your opinion, is the most important reason that empowerment self-defense training needs to become as accessible as CPR certification and swimming lesson? Why does ESD deserve to have its own global movement?

A. Empowerment Self-Defense needs its own global movement because it is the one proven intervention that works to:

  • Reduces the incidence of gender-based violence by up to 50%,

  • Increases a woman or girl’s chance of deescalating a bad situation before it turns violent,

  • Provides women and girls with the tools to end a physical assault,

  • Reduces the time it takes for survivors of violence to heal because they know they did everything they could to protect themselves,

  • Increases women and girl’s self-esteem and efficacy in all of their endeavors including academics and social relationships

Add this intervention can be taught locally and cost effectively by trained women in 12 – 20 hours in communities worldwide.

Empowerment self-defense is to women's empowerment as exercise and good nutrition are to good health.

It is a must.

Q. ESD Global is a relatively new organization. What are some of your goals for the organazion as a whole? What are you looking forward to as we watch the organization grow?

A. Our goals are to grow a movement to scale access to empowerment self-defense classes globally and to provide a professional organization for ESD instructors and practitioners.

In August we will run our 2nd camp to train ESD instructors. We have participants from 13 countries who are committed to teaching women in their communities and helping to get more instructors trained in their communities.

We are developing a membership structure so that we can tap into the talents of our members, and provide them with resources, including teaching and research materials.

We are also doing outreach to collaborators and funders so that we can educate them about the benefits of ESD and support them in creating access in their communities and institutions.

Q. What are some of the challenges ESD practionsers face? How can ESD Global help make those challenges easier to overcome?

A. Many ESD practitioners are the only ones in their communities teaching ESD. They are thrilled to have a professional organization to belong to which will offer online community forums, resources and a sense of being part of a big, important project to improve women's lives

Q. ESD is about so much more than palm strikes, elbow strikes and kicks. Are there any lessons you’ve taken from your own ESD training that you use in your daily life?

A. Setting boundaries is an important lesson that we all need to use everyday. When our family or coworkers ask if we can do one more thing, sometimes the answer needs to be no.

Empowerment self-defense training gives us the grounding to take care of ourselves with respect in the face of daily challenges.

Q. Do you have any other thoughts or words of wisdom that you’d like to leave us with?

A. Helping women and girls experience their power and develop the skills to take care of themselves is such a joy.

Thank you so much, Ellen!

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