The Art of Winning Blog

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

BQC in the News

Protect Yourself: Ladies Night was filmed by two different reporters. I haven't yet seen the 7 News video but the Daily Camera has produced theirs. Props to the Daily Camera!

To view, comment on, and rate the video:

Mary Aitoshi

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Protect Yourself, part II

My latest column in Women's Mag is now available! Check out Women's Magazine in your local coffee shop or online. I think this issue looks great and is larger than previous isses--a testament to Aimee Heckel's great work! You can check out my article here.

I wanted to repost my November article as a blog. It was orginally published in Women's Magazine and can still be found online. I'm currently planning my February article so please send me your Saftey Questions!

---Begin Story---
With Thanksgiving around the corner, we tend to engage in a little reckless behavior to shore us up for the winter: a few extra calories, a splurge on something warm and some searching for a partner to see us through the cold nights. This search, while often worth it, can leave us vulnerable to heartache, disappointment or even violence.

So what do you do when the moment comes and you realize, "This is not the person I want to spend 10 more minutes with, let alone the rest of the winter?"
You leave.

In college, I got out of a bad date when the cops came looking for my date’s roommate, and I ducked out the door right under the arm of the policeman. Whatever works.

When it doesn’t work, and there are no police around, you need more options. Self-defense books talk about avoiding danger and fighting back with lethal force. But what’s a girl to do if she’s already in a private location and things get out of hand? This is no stranger or dark alley. This is a place and a person who seemed safe — maybe exciting — just minutes ago, but things have now turned ugly.

First, some rules for your mind:
No, you don’t owe him anything.
Yes, you can do what you want.
Yes, your desires are most important.

Second, some tricks for your body:
Pinky fingers are weak and handy. Grab one and twist.
Grab on to any piece of flesh and twist.
Use elbows, knees and palms. They are your strongest and most reliable weapons.

Third, some strategies for your spirit:
Be crafty. Back carefully to the door while lying and saying things like "Gosh, I’m so sorry. I didn’t realize the time."
Be slippery. As you head toward the door, be just out of reach. Be very welcoming, maybe make another date you’ll never keep and slowly slide away.
Be strong. Fight, spit, claw or yell your way to the exit.
Be smart. Call on your resources to help you process, connect with something beautiful and don’t let fear hold you back.

Most importantly, don’t ever believe you’ve lost the ability to control the situation. Each moment, this moment, is a choice and an opportunity.
---End story---
Protect Yourself--Ladies Night! Join me at the Boulder Quest Center for tips on fighting back, de-escalating violence, and staying safe.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Protect Yourself--Ladies Night

This Saturday I am running a FREE Women's Self Defense class at the dojo. (Boulder Quest Center, 1200 Yarmouth Ave, 303-440-3647). It's short notice because I hit my limit over the weekend of stupid advice in response to the 6th attack in downtown Boulder (since Halloween). In the most recent attack, the woman fought back and got away! Every day I talk to women who are afraid that fighting back will escalate the problem, that they'll be labeled a B!&*H, or that they will freeze up. My two-hour self-defense workshop addresses these issues and is driven by participant questions and experiences. In previous workshops, we've covered everything from ground defenses and weapon wielders to animal attacks and smarmy co-workers.

In this workshop, we'll have the chance to practice physical and emotional defenses, hit targets, and practice under pressure. Invite your friends, family, and any other women you care about to join me for this free event.

Boulder Quest Center
1200 Yarmouth Ave
Boulder, CO 80304
(303) 440-3647

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

World Holiday Dojo

This holiday season I am indulging an old dream and creating a World Holiday Celebration for the dojo. This dream was born over a decade ago when I worked for a YMCA. We had a basket of inspirational sayings and a person could just choose one out of the basket whenever the fancy struck. I loved this basket. After only about 2 weeks, the basket disappeared. I asked my friend in management about it and was told that we had to remove it because it only had inspirational sayings from the Bible and was therefore more exclusionary than the Young Men's Christian Association wanted to be.

On the one hand, I understood. They wanted to appeal to more people and not alienate others. On the other hand, I was outraged. There are many religious and secular traditions with wisdom to share. Why not expand your offerings around an inspirational theme, instead of sanitizing the experience.

So I made a vow to promote difference, rather than a sanitized experience, and thus the World Holiday Celebration was born. I don't want to arbitrially celebrate holidays; I want the dojo to represent the holidays BQC students celebrate. To participate, bring in a decoration to share with the dojo, enter our Art Contest, participate in free classes, and have a joyous holiday! (And don't forget to Give Props! this holiday season to everyone who makes your world a better place!)
Stephen K. Hayes Pro Shop

1501 Lee Hill Road #18|Boulder, Colorado 80304|Phone: 303.440.3647|Email: