In August 2017 Yudit Sidikman, co-founder of El Halev, and instructors Chana Weinberger, and Gali Sagi ventured to upstate NY to run a training camp for women from all corners of the world, in an initiative to spear-head a global movement to use empowerment self-defense as a tool to reduce violence against women, girls, and vulnerable populations.
Women came from: Belize, the Netherlands, the Dominican Republic, Chile, Costa Rica, England, Canada the US, and Israel. Within the Unites States: New York, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Illinois, Virginia, North Dakota, Maine, Rhode Island, Ohio, Washington, and California
So what IS Empowerment Self Defense?
We'll let Yudit herself answer that for you.
And then the training begins! Yudit recruited young female martial artists from across the world to train to be Empowerment Self Defense instructors. Part of the training was teaching effective techniques that specifically utilize the strengths of the female body, and that any average woman can learn easily, and access in an emergency without having to think about details.
Training new instructors included more than just physical techniques. This exercise teaches women how to gently redirect movement. It serves as an introduction to becoming acquainted with reaction time and defending personal space.
Empowerment Self Defense topics include body language, use of voice, identifying danger, determining a boundary, intuition, de-escalation, and more.
While the trainees were working hard to gain new skills, veteran Empowerment Self Defense instructors put their heads together to create a road map for a global movement.
Veteran instructors: Dr. Julie Harmon – IMPACT Ohio, Amy Jones – Thousand Waves, NWMA, Anne Kuzminsky – Empowerment Self-Defense Alliance, Corinne Lagermasini – Women in Transition, Arlene Limas – PowerKix, Mona McDonald – Lioness Martial Arts, Clara Porter - Prevention. Action. Change. (PAC), Annie Rossi – London Centre for Personal Safety, Meg Stone – IMPACT Boston Triangle, Dr. Martha Thompson – IMPACT Chicago, Sheila Watson – Sandalwood Martial Arts, S. Renee Wentz – S.H.E. Thing
Being far from home and away from day to day life, we managed to fully concentrate on ESD. It was an amazing and empowering experience. We came wanting to pass on the El Halev way of teaching, share our knowledge, and give tools to women to influence their surroundings and communities. However, we left with so much more- a feeling of a real movement, of a global group of powerful women who all speak the same language. Who want to influence, support, share, and develop an international movement. Thank you all for being so open to learn, to share, to communicate, and to make our world a better place.