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April 2015

Three Kinds of Violence

04.01.15 by Amy Jones

As someone whose job it is to teach people how to stay safe, I think a lot about the motivations of violence, and the implications for preventing it or, failing that, defending oneself against it. Recently, I developed a taxonomy that (so far) includes three kinds of violence, categorized by its motivations. These all speak to interpersonal violence – one person intentionally hurting another person, as opposed to situations like war or other violence that isn’t necessarily motivated by the person who is committing it. I’m sure there are more categories, so I hope to add to this as time goes on.

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The Difference Between Self-Defense and Karate

04.01.15 by Amy Jones

Photo: These are not self-defense kicks

When you’re a self-defense instructor, it can be easy to forget that the difference between martial arts and self-defense isn’t clear to everyone. After all, plenty of people start training in the martial arts because they want to know how to defend themselves. Some martial arts school owners take advantage of this and even call their schools self-defense schools. Others don’t go that far, but they do promote “free self-defense classes” that are, in actuality, an introduction to their martial art. For that reason, I make a point of telling my students that the self-defense we teach is at once larger and smaller than martial arts. It’s larger, because we spend a lot of time thinking about the kinds of violence people actually face, and the skills we can teach that will help prevent it.

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Book Review: Steven Pinker’s The Better Angels of Our Nature: Why Violence Has Declined

04.01.15 by Amy Jones

Is the world a more violent place than ever? Common sense would suggest that yes, it is – watching the news makes it seem that people are constantly finding new and creative ways to hurt each other, in higher numbers than ever before. Steven Pinker, however, asserts that we are living in the most peaceful era ever. And he has the data to prove it.

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Our Week at McAuley

04.01.14 by Amy Jones

Photo: McAuley students practice their defender’s stance.

On the last weekend of February in 2014, self-defense instructors from Thousand Waves returned to Mother McAuley Liberal Arts High School at 99th and Pulaski to repeat our week of self-defense classes for all of the P.E. and CPR classes. Mother McAuley is the largest Catholic girls’ school in the entire country. We were back after our inaugural self-defense week last fall. Then we taught around 240 girls, this time around the total was even higher – more than 280!

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