A Roadmap to the Empowerment Self-Defense Movement
Association Of ESD Professionals Blog
by Toby Israel
6M ago
Lost in the ESD Ecosystem? Here’s a Map! “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the water to create  many ripples.” —Mother Teresa   Empowerment Self-Defense (ESD) is a holistic approach to personal safety that addresses the full spectrum of gender-based violence through an evidence-based methodology. Many people teach self-defense, and each has critical impact through their work. Today, we want to highlight just a few key players in the ESD movement who are making waves—not only in their own communities but across the globe.   There is a lot ..read more
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Meet the Newly Credentialed ESD Professionals (2023)
Association Of ESD Professionals Blog
by Toby Israel
7M ago
As we near the end of the year, we ask you to join us in celebrating the eight candidates who successfully tested for their ESD Professional Credential in 2023: Bianka Urbanovska, Sally Van Wright, Chana Levy-Weinberger, Deb Mier, Nancy Lanoue, Laura Armstrong, Gretchen Butler, and Tunu Nawal. Congratulations to all our new ESD Professionals, though the term “new” is a misnomer. The successful candidates have years or decades of experience in the field, and many are leaders who, through their tireless work and dedication, developed the concepts and practices we share today. It feels worthy of ..read more
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Collective Self-Defense & the Power of We
Association Of ESD Professionals Blog
by Toby Israel
8M ago
Interview with the RIA LAC Abya Yala Team In the empowerment self-defense (ESD) community, we find ourselves surrounded by inspiring humans. Changemakers, warriors for peace, rebels, and disruptors are not the exception, but the rule. When we feel down about the violence we see in the world, we never have to look far to find a boost of optimism. ESD is the closest thing we know to bottling hope. This month, we are pleased to bring you an interview with the inspiring Gabriela Rojas and Lucia Isoardi of RIA LAC Abya Yala (RIA LAC). RIA LAC (which stands for Red de Instructores de Autodefensa Lat ..read more
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Crowdfunding 101 for ESD Professionals
Association Of ESD Professionals Blog
by Toby Israel
10M ago
6 Key Questions to Ask Before Beginning Your Crowdfunding Journey As an Empowerment Self-Defense (ESD) practitioner, you do work that inspires people. Hopefully you know this already. Transforming cultures of violence into cultures of peace—and providing individuals with practical skills for personal safety while you do it—is no small feat. Unfortunately, admiration, inspiration, and passion don’t pay overhead … at least, not directly. But, what if you could channel all that enthusiasm people feel about your work into direct funding for your ESD practice? Enter crowdfunding. Modern-day crowdfu ..read more
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Teaching ESD to Indigenous Populations
Association Of ESD Professionals Blog
by Tasha Ina Church
11M ago
“E hele me ka pu’olo” (Always take an offering with you. Make every person, place, or thing better than you left it always. Wherever you go, always take something with you.) As an Indigenous woman, I teach ESD to indigenous populations with an indigenous perspective. But I believe that anyone can teach indigenous students and classes in a way that is supportive if they approach their work with humility and curiosity.  When working with indigenous people on indigenous land (especially as an outsider), we must navigate the waters with the key understanding that we are a guest in a land that ..read more
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“We're Teaching Kids to Hold onto the Body Autonomy They Already Have.”
Association Of ESD Professionals Blog
by Toby Israel
1y ago
5 Age-Appropriate Activities to Try in Your ESD Class We are all born with the ability to make our needs and wants clear. We are born with the ability to say “NO.”  We cry and scream. We hold up our hands. We demand.  We know what we do and do not like.  And as toddlers and little kids, we don’t really question the fact that we’re the bosses of our own bodies. We don’t want to be held? We squirm. We don’t want somebody to dress us in an uncomfortable piece of clothing? We protest. We don’t want to eat a certain food? We spit it out. Over time, however, thanks to messages from th ..read more
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“We Witness Extraordinary Transformation Every Day”
Association Of ESD Professionals Blog
by Toby Israel
1y ago
Interview with ESD Professional & Association Board Chair Michele Elefante In the Empowerment Self-Defense (ESD) community, we find ourselves surrounded by inspiring humans. Change makers, warriors for peace, rebels, and disruptors are not the exception, but the rule. When we feel down about the violence we see in the world, we never have to look far to find a boost of optimism. ESD is the closest thing we know to bottling hope. This month, we are pleased to bring you an interview with one such inspiring individual. A seasoned ESD professional, 5th degree black belt, and licensed marriage ..read more
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Empowered Living in Kazakhstan
Association Of ESD Professionals Blog
by Toby Israel
1y ago
The Development of ESD in Central Asia Our development of Empowerment Self-Defense (ESD) in Central Asia began with a program funded by the U.S. Mission in Kazakhstan and implemented by ESD Global and Consortium of Gender Scholars: “Tools for Empowered Living in Kazakhstan to promote gender equality and women's empowerment to combat gender-based violence.” When I was invited to take on the project that would teach people in Kazakhstan how to defend themselves both physically and emotionally, I felt deep in my heart the satisfaction of finally finding the answer to one of the biggest questions ..read more
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Why Boundary Setting is at the Core of my ESD Work
Association Of ESD Professionals Blog
by Toby Israel
1y ago
3 Activities for Teaching About Boundaries After our premiere of the Mujeres Fuertes (Strong Women) documentary last month in San Jose, Costa Rica, one of the attendees came up to me to offer his congratulations—and some well-intentioned mansplaining. He wanted to know if we taught other, more “serious” techniques than the basic strikes shown in the documentary. “Because you know,” he said, “these men come out of nowhere, and they’re very aggressive. A knee to the groin maybe isn’t enough.” This attendee’s comments made clear the need for broad and repeated public education about the spectrum ..read more
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ESD Czechia Rises to New Heights
Association Of ESD Professionals Blog
by Toby Israel
1y ago
Interview with Empowerment Self-Defense (ESD) Professional Linda Štucbartová In the Empowerment Self-Defense (ESD) community, we find ourselves surrounded by inspiring humans. Changemakers, warriors for peace, rebels, and disruptors are not the exception, but the rule. When we feel down about the violence we see in the world, we never have to look far to find a boost of optimism. ESD is the closest thing we know to bottling hope. This month, we are pleased to bring you an interview with one such inspiring individual. ESD Czechia founder Linda Štucbartová is an entrepreneur, coach, ESD professi ..read more
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