Friday, March 28, 2008

Assault Awareness and Prevention 101

This weekend I will be traveling back to Grand Rapids, Michigan to see my kids and to help teach a self-defense workshop at Innovative Martial Arts (title link). You can go to the school's website for info, but here's a brief overview. Photo from a different seminar at the IMA dojo.

We begin with raising awareness of the psychological factors at play in a typical assault as well as environmental factors to be mindful of. We get people thinking about the little things in their routine life that may be risk factors, such as:walking alone, at night, across campus through the woods with a heavy backpack and headphones on. This is one very common scenario.

We typically split the day up with a combination of awareness training; both general and situation specific as well as some very simple and effective physical skills. We teach these skills primarily through instructor demonstration, followed by partner drills and some group drills performed under supervision, and with on-the-spot corrections. All of this is done with respect for the participants personal boundaries; but bear in mind that it is preparation for avoiding, or if necessary confronting an attacker.

This is a very good starting point and I believe that it offers a lot for the time and money. I encourage this type of workshop for anyone who is concerned about their own or their family's safety. These workshops can be tailored to fit the needs of a group. Recently we did one focused on ladies leaving home and entering college. (statistically this is a very at-risk group)

I recommend some form of awareness and personal-defense training for everyone. Look on-line for instruction in your area. Some keywords to look for are as follows: reality-based, practical, functional, street-based, or combatives. Unless you are looking to preserve an art form for the sake of preserving an art form you are looking for a reality-based system. Competence in all ranges of combat as well as an understanding of modern weapons (both purpose built and improvised) should be your goal with longer-term training. For short-term training, focus on avoidance of assault scenarios and also escaping them.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Looking For A Tax-deduction Or Just Want To Help Alleviate Poverty In South Africa?

For contributions: Through the end of April, we (the DiCocco family) have been given the opportunity to double your one time donations! Anything you give above and beyond will be matched up to $3,000!! We’d be honored if you joined us in making this happen. We also still are in need of 18 people willing to sponsor us consistently at $100 a month. See, there are lots of ways to get involved! We are privileged to be partnered with IDEA Ministries as our funding caretakers. IDEA is a non-profit organization dedicated to facilitating cross cultural servants. All gifts are tax-deductable. You can send a check directly to them : just add our name in the memo-line or on a post-it note or something.

IDEA Ministries

4595 Broadmoor SE Suite 237

Grand Rapids MI 49512-5449

Or to use your credit card, you can call Robin directly at 616.698.8393 to set up a monthly with-drawl program.

(Buddha) I have already written about these beautiful people, but would rather allow them to tell their own story from here, as I have not had boots on the ground in their new location. I have included a link in the title of this post (click on title). Some of the most amazing people I know. Check out their family blog, even if just for the beautiful photography by Trace. Tell them Buddha says (just make up something funny) and sends his love.


Link Up With Al Gore On Gloal Warming

Climate change is an urgent issue that requires immediate solutions. That's why I've joined with Al Gore and others across the country and around the world who want to halt global warming.

We're on the verge of being over one million strong and I'm asking you to join us. Please click here today to become part of the solutions to global warming:

If leaders in business and government are going to make stopping climate change a priority, we need to send a loud message that we want action now. That's why I'm asking you to get involved today:

Together, we can stop global warming.

(Buddha) This just appeared in my emails and I wish to circulate it as broadly as possible for ourselves and the generations to follow. Global warming is not just an issue for progressives it will impact everyone and everything. Please copy to any myspace, facebook, or similar sites. If you also write a blog please put it there and send me a link as well.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Honey I'm Home!!!!

My apologies to all 3 readers who've been awaiting fresh brain droppings from yours truly. I seem to have fallen in a hole here. I am living apart from my kids right now which is incredibly difficult for me (if you know me well then you understand this), I have had a rather uncertain situation with the duration of my current paying contract work (forcing me to constantly devise contingency plans), and I just needed to step back for a breather (I have a lot going on right now) and a fresh perspective.

I have recently met some incredible people around the world and have been putting a lot of my energy there. Some of this has been just standard networking (friendly exchanges of ideas and info) and some has been part of my slow and careful search for a best friend, partner, and lover, which is a long way to say "wife". There have been many scam attempts as I have opened my search worldwide, but recently I have found reason for optimism. I will continue gently with the communication and see where it goes, but it looks promising at this point. I am in no hurry though and need to regain a sense of balance, even if illusory.

With this renewed balance hopefully will come more consistent writing from me again. Much love and many blessings for you all.