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Summer at Thousand Waves is about Self-Defense for Young People

06.22.16 by Amy Jones

We have a strong roster of self-defense offerings for young people this summer. While some of our 12-hour intensive courses are open to adults of all ages and teens 12 and up, this summer we have several offerings just for teens, and one for younger kids. Online registration is now open for all of these courses and workshops.

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Keep up with us on social media!

06.22.16 by Amy Jones

Did you know that Thousand Waves Self-Defense has a Twitter account? We tweet under the (very creative) name @TWSelfDefense. The handle has been around for a while, but it’s been dormant. Now it’s not! Follow us for interesting re-tweets, brilliant* yet short musings on empowerment-based self-defense, and soon, announcements of new blog posts.

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Peacemaking > Prevention > Self-Defense

06.22.16 by Amy Jones

One aspect of my job is explaining, to organizations, private groups, and individuals, what our self-defense trainings are all about.  Some days it feels like an uphill battle, because “self-defense” in the popular imagination has a very narrow definition, and our approach is very broad.  So I’m always trying to think of better ways to explain why only about a third of the time in our trainings are dedicated to learning physical, defensive skills.  The above equation* is my latest attempt.

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On Intervention, the Bystander Effect, and Overcoming it

06.22.16 by Amy Jones

When I lived in Texas, I used to sometimes go out two-stepping with my friends. It was Texas; it seemed like the thing to do (plus it’s fun). One night, after tearing up the dance floor for a few hours, I was walking home with two friends. We came upon a couple arguing, loudly. For a few minutes we just watched, hoping the power of the witness would convince the young man to stop yelling at the young woman. It didn’t.

Finally, one of my friends walked up to the woman and said, “Do you want help?” She did, and folded her body into my friend gratefully. It turns out she wanted to go home, and the man with her held her ID and credit card and wasn’t relinquishing them. We convinced him to reconsider, called her a cab, and made sure she was on her way home before leaving.

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Meditation as a Self-Defense Skill

03.25.16 by Erin Epperson

In self-defense classes we talk about different tools we can use to keep ourselves safe—both how to increase the number of tools in our self-defense toolbox and how to hone the tools and skills that we already possess. The voice as a tool is a common one; we practice both setting boundaries and de-escalating others who may be dangerously upset. For dealing with one’s own anger, we talk about Take Ten, a tactic that helps us create distance between an initial, angry reaction and a more measured and (hopefully) more peaceful response. Another skill we’ve recently been emphasizing is meditation.

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Our Work with Homeless Youth

03.25.16 by Amy Jones

At the end of 2015, we received an Impact Grant from the LGBT Community fund of the Chicago Community Trust to do six 12-hour series with 4 agencies that serve homeless youth in Chicago. We’ve just started our third series. As the primary instructor for both, I’ve learned a lot working with these youth.

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The Case for Workplace Self-Defense

03.25.16 by Amy Jones

If you ask someone off the street whether they’ve used self-defense skills in their workplace, most will say they haven’t. But ask self-defense instructors at Thousand Waves, and the response is “I use it almost every day” — not because we have especially violent workplaces, but because our definition of self-defense is broader than most. But few would disagree that self-defense is called for when a gun comes out. That’s what happened to one of our members, in the incident that inspired her to become a self-defense instructor.

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Welcome to TYRFT

01.08.16 by Amy Jones

Amy-JonesWelcome to TYRFT: The Self-Defense newsletter from Thousand Waves! I hope you’ll enjoy our new look and new title. TYRFT stands for Think Yell Run Fight Tell (The Five Fingers of Self-Defense), and even though it may be a little challenging to say (I go with “teerft,” but you can say it however you like), I think it’s a much better title for the newsletter than “VP News”. For one thing, a lot of the content isn’t “news,” exactly, so much as opinions, book reviews, and other (hopefully) thought-provoking articles on the subject of self-defense and violence prevention. Let me know what you think!

Ironically, our first edition of TYRFT is mostly news; specifically, I’m excited to share with you our 2016 onsite self-defense schedule, and to introduce you to some new and returning Community Partners and Beneficiaries. If it’s been awhile since your last self-defense training with us, maybe it’s time to take a refresher. If you’ve taken our intensive course in the past (whether it was over 4 weeks, two Saturdays, or a single weekend) and want to take it again, or just to take a short workshop, contact me and you can enroll for a reduced rate. Or if you’ve never taken our long course, maybe this is the year! Registration for the entire year is open now.

Our 2016 Schedule

01.08.16 by Amy Jones

Without further ado, our 2016 schedule is below. Remember, registration is open for all of these trainings right now. Register today – and don’t forget the NEWS discount code for 15% off!

12 Hour Intensive Weekend Courses

January 15-17
Open to: All Genders, ages 12+
Full Price: $200
Bring-a-friend: $175
Students: $150
Register now

April 1-3
Open to: Women and Teen Girls ages 12+
Early Bird Registration Deadline: March 6
Full Price: $200
Bring-a-friend: $175
Students: $150
Register now

June 10-12
New! Young Thousand Waves Teens Only
Open to: Thousand Waves Teens Ages 12-14
Full Price: $150
Register now

July 15-17
New! Just for Older Teens and Young Adults
Open to: Young adults and older teens of all genders, ages 15-26
Early Bird Registration Deadline: June 17
Full Price: $200
Bring-a-friend: $175
Students: $150
Register now

August 5-7
New! Older Teens Only
Open to: Older Teens ages 15-19 of all Genders
Full Price: $150
Register now

October 7-9
Open to: All genders ages 15+
Early Bird Registration Deadline: September 9
Full Price: $200
Bring-a-friend: $175
Students: $150
Register now

Low Cost, High-Impact 90-Minute Workshops
All of our workshops are Saturdays from 1:30 – 3:00 PM. Open to adults and teens 15+ unless otherwise specified. Workshops are offered on a pay-what-you-wish basis between $15 and $25. Click on the date to register for a workshop.

January 30
March 12
June 18: Especially for members of the LGBTQ community
July 9
August 20: Especially for teens ages 12-16
September 10: Especially for Kids ages 8-11
November 12

Introducing our 2016 Community Partners and Community Beneficiaries

01.08.16 by Amy Jones

I’m very excited to welcome back the Lakeview YMCA and Alderman Tom Tunney as Community Partners for most of our workshops this year. Community Partners help us get the word out about our workshops, and we make their literature available for workshop participants and training members alike. Thanks, Tom and the Y!

I’m also thrilled to welcome back Between Friends, our very first Community Beneficiary, as one of our 2016 Beneficiaries. They’re joined by The Battered Women’s Network, The Night Ministry, Mercy Housing, and Apna Ghar. Community Beneficiaries are like-minded organizations that we invite to our 12-hour intensive courses. Beneficiaries can send up to 5 staff, clients, volunteers, or anyone else they choose for free. It’s our way of giving back to our community and building strong alliances between our organizations. After all, it’s true for individuals as well as organizations – more connections make us all stronger and safer! We still have a few Community Beneficiary slots available. If you’re connected to an organization that you think would benefit from this program, reply to this email and nominate them!