Her Own Hero: Book Talk & Self-Defense Demo
At the turn of the twentieth century, women famously organized to demand greater social and political freedoms like gaining the right to vote. However, few realize that the Progressive Era also witnessed the birth of the women’s self-defense movement. Some women were inspired to take up boxing and jiu-jitsu for very personal reasons that ranged from protecting themselves from attacks by strangers on the street to rejecting gendered notions about feminine weakness and empowering themselves as their own protectors. Perhaps more importantly, the discussion surrounding women's self-defense revealed powerful myths about the source of violence against women, opening up conversations about the less visible violence that many women faced in their own homes. Through self-defense training, women debunked patriarchal myths about inherent feminine weakness, creating a new image of women as powerful and self-reliant.
Wendy L. Rouse is an assistant professor at San Jose State University, where she teaches courses in history and teacher preparation. Rouse’s scholarly research focuses on the history of women and children in the United States during the Progressive Era.
Sun Dragon Martial Arts and Self Defense supports the physical and spiritual empowerment of all through training in conflict resolution, self defense, and non-violent martial arts. We offer a safe and affirming learning environment for all. We believe that we can end violence in our community, and that self defense is every person’s right. http://sundragon.org/
Sensei Joy Williamson started training at Sun Dragon in 1995; she earned her Kyokushin black belt in 2000. She took over as Head Instructor at the request of Sun Dragon founder Sensei Suzanne Pinette when she retired in 2004. She teaches Seido karate and Empowerment Self Defense to adults, teens, and children. Sensei Joy currently trains with Sei Shihan Nancy Lanoue and Jun Shihan Sarah Ludden at Thousand Waves in Chicago. She earned her Seido shodan in 2007, nidan in 2009, sandan in 2012, and yondan in 2016. She is a member of the National Women’s Martial Arts Federation (NWMAF) and the Association of Women Martial Artists (AWMAI). Sensei Joy holds national certification as a self-defense instructor through NWMAF.