ABOUT STREETWISE SELF DEFENSE
Streetwise Self Defense has been in operation since 2014, and has provided workshops and skills clinics for somewhere between 1,200 and 1,500 students from urban and rural communities to include: students from the general public; survivors of domestic violence, rape & human trafficking; groups from churches; Girl Scout troops; high school PE departments; community fitness groups; corporate offices; refugee centers; patient groups from counselors & therapists, and many others. In 2017 & 2018, Streetwise worked with a local acute sexual assault and domestic violence trauma/crisis intervention center, supporting survivors of sexual assault, domestic violence, child abuse, & sex trafficking; helping those survivors to begin to reclaim their self esteem and self confidence and their lives.
Through work with the trauma and crisis intervention center, our classes and workshops have become “trauma aware”. We fulfill many of the requisite characteristics to be considered “trauma informed”, but it is my opinion that labeling a practice or set of processes as “Trauma Informed” should require that the process in question consciously avoid asking/forcing survivors to relive their trauma during our classes. That is very difficult to do while teaching someone how to fight back in the case of sexual assault or false imprisonment. What I can say is that we are very aware of the trauma response to sexual assault & domestic violence, and have worked with many survivors over the years who have experienced a panic response or dissociation (reliving the experience) during one of our workshops. I have worked with psychologists and other therapists and have learned several techniques for helping survivors through trigger responses, and make myself available as a resource 24/7 should they want to talk about types of therapy for dealing with PTSD responses. We strive to provide a physically and emotionally safe environment in which to learn.
Streetwise Women’s Self Defense is an organization that fights domestic violence, sexual assault, sexual abuse, and sexual harassment by empowering women and teens with the knowledge of how to most effectively utilize their unique physical strengths, and how to maintain awareness of the situation and environment around them.
We are empowering women across the socioeconomic spectrum by offering a range of classes designed appeal to a wide variety of women in our community, age 12 and up, including all fitness levels. These classes include private ones on one classes and small group classes, as well as public classes advertised through the local City Arts & Recreation division, and through a local fitness center; We are also offering classes to local middle and senior high schools, community colleges, through refugee community organizations, and through migrant education programs. We also offer “Mommy and Me” classes that focus on preventing sexual exploitation of children under the age of 12.
We also offer brownbag presentations on workforce safety to commercial businesses.
We believe that empowerment is a combination of knowledge, self-confidence, and self awareness. It makes no difference what background, race, religion, socio-economic level, or level of education. If your behavior in public is one that displays self confidence and you have a firm understanding of what you can do to avoid confrontation if conflict finds you, or to fight back effectively should you need to, you are a lot less likely to be chosen as a potential target by a predator. We have trained nearly 1,500 women, teens, mothers & children over the past 8 years, and the laws of statistics tell us that we have made a positive mark on the health and safety of our community.
FOUNDER AND INSTRUCTOR
I have been training in various martial arts for more than 20 years, and am continually building my knowledge of personal safety, security and violence dynamics; working to identify safer and more reliable ways to respond in case of a potentially violent confrontation. This probably stems from a lifetime of moving around, which has given me the opportunity to gain “real world” experience by living/working in NYC, Boston, Washington DC, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, & Portland here in the United States, as well as living/working/traveling overseas, spending time in Central & South America, Europe, North Africa, and the Far East.
MY SELF DEFENSE PHILOSOPHY
EMPOWERMENT: If I had to pick a single word or phrase to represent my philosophy of self-defense, it would be empowerment. Those who are empowered are more self-confident, and those who are self-confident are least likely to be selected by a predator as a potential victim. The more safe and secure one feels, the more freedom they have to lead healthy and happy lives. Therefore, empowerment has become the goal of each of my workshops. If you are empowered to take steps to ensure your own safety, whether by making a decision not to engage in a situation or relationship, or by physically defending yourself in a time when that is the best option remaining to you, you will feel and act more self confident, and will by statistical probability be safer in your everyday lives. It’s truly been an honor to play a small role in that outcome.
"Jay was very knowledgeable and professional when teaching my friend and I self defense strategies. The information was relevant and helpful. Every woman should take the class!"