Queer Toughness

I had a really great conversation after today's self defense talk that solidified a lot of floating ideas I had about why we need queer spaces for teaching this stuff. One of the things we discuss a lot in the "observation" material of our talks is body language. How unconscious cues can betray a person's … Continue reading Queer Toughness

Violence Dynamics and Gender: Unsorted Thoughts

I've been doing a lot of thinking about violence lately. I've just started teaching another round of our women's self defense course at Valkyrie; I'm working on a writing project that touches on how we need to be able to categorize and break down different kinds of violence to train for them; and I've started … Continue reading Violence Dynamics and Gender: Unsorted Thoughts

Realism in Self-Defense: It’s Probably Not What You Think

There's been a video bouncing around my social media circles that criticizes women's self-defense courses for making things too comfortable for their students, at the cost of realism and safety. It's a good argument, and a real problem. All too often I see videos for self-defense techniques that rely on a compliant or practically inert … Continue reading Realism in Self-Defense: It’s Probably Not What You Think

When Equal isn’t Equal, or ‘Why doesn’t my school have more women?’

There's an old refrain that pops up in discussions of gender in the Historical European Martial Arts community: that running events aimed specifically at women (whether they be introductory courses, ongoing classes, or tournament categories), or modifying ones' teaching to appeal more to women, is discriminatory. The theory goes that singling out a specific group … Continue reading When Equal isn’t Equal, or ‘Why doesn’t my school have more women?’

This Pride Season

I've always had an arms-length relationship with Pride. As a teenager who thought she was straight, I didn't think Pride was for me. My social circle was aggressively heterosexual and often consumed by petty teen rivalries over boys, and we saw Pride parades as cool things happening somewhere outside of our bubble of interests. I … Continue reading This Pride Season