I've had a complex relationship with adrenaline my whole life. I got into what some call "extreme sports" very young. At twelve, I started snowboarding religiously. I'd be on the slopes alone every weekend, pushing myself to go faster, to tackle harder terrain, to hit bigger jumps and longer rails. I loved nothing more than … Continue reading Adrenaline

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