Meet the Trainees
04.25.17 by Amy Jones
I am incredibly pleased to introduce to you our 6 self-defense teacher trainees. These individuals – all training members here at Thousand Waves — have all committed to an intensive 10-session, 20-hour classroom series. Once they finish their classroom sessions, they will begin assisting and teaching sections in our onsite and outreach workshops and 12-hour courses. Once they’ve taught the full 12-hour course, they will be considered full instructors.
Speaking personally, I am humbled by this trainee group’s commitment to the teacher training, and to supporting Thousand Waves. They are a great bunch of people, and we’re extremely lucky to be adding them to our teaching ranks.
Without further ado, I give you the trainees, with some of their own words regarding why they’ve embarked upon this path:
Cyrus Sethna: “During my time in the Peace Corps, I used my prior training of ten years in Chinese martial arts to integrate self-defense classes into my project. The impact that these classes had on confidence, self-esteem, and general fitness in my target population was astounding.
Since becoming a part of the TW family, I have fallen in love with the community. Our open, warm, and nurturing culture at the dojo has afforded me incalculable opportunities for personal growth. I look forward to sharing these empowering lessons, furthering the TW mission, and contributing to a more peaceful, harmonious, and loving world through my contributions as a self-defense instructor.”
David Thill: “Simply put, I believe this is a useful and important set of skills for people to have, not only to defend themselves but to gain confidence. I see it as an opportunity to provide a service, expand my community outreach skills, and learn from the individuals with whom we work. Plus, I am passionate about teaching and working with underrepresented groups.”
Jackie Seijo: “Everyone wishes that self-defense wasn’t necessary but right now, unfortunately, it is. I’ve always wanted to feel like I would know what to do in a situation like that and I’ve always loved teaching – so why not combine them! I want to teach something that can truly make a difference.”
Mario Cruz: “As a victim of previous attacks (mostly borne of homophobia), I am particularly interested in self-defense courses, and overall capacity-building initiatives.”
Reese Minshew: “First, I am deeply concerned by the recent spike in hate crimes in the U.S., and am committed to working toward providing people from at-risk communities with tools to protect themselves and each other from violence. Second, I’m a mental health clinician who focuses on treating trauma-related symptoms, and have observed the profoundly empowering effect of self-defense training on people who have experienced violence. And, third, I was first introduced to martial arts through a course in self-defense, and studying martial arts has had a strong positive impact on my life. I am excited about the prospect of sharing this discipline with others, and grateful for the fantastic opportunity to be so comprehensively trained in these teaching skills.”
Robin Billadeau: “The world is really terrifying these days, and I’m looking for a way that I can help my community. It’s really easy to feel totally helpless, and it’s really easy to feel like I have nothing much to contribute. However, I saw a lot of people (mostly women and queer people) curious about self-defense in the aftermath of the election and I just thought ‘Well, heck, that’s something I CAN do to help people deal with what’s coming.’”