New Workshop in Development

We are excited to announce that we have a new workshop in development, tentatively titled “Self Defense for Walkers and Runners” and inspired by a post over at Beth’s “Shut Up and Run” blog ( I encourage you to go read the post for yourself (and the rest of Beth’s posts, if you’re a runner!), but the short version is that there have been some high profile news stories of women being attacked and killed while running alone and many female runners are interested in taking steps to protect themselves rather than stop running (or moving indoors to a treadmill). Over the past weekend, a few of our Stir the Embers facilitators and friends were discussing some of the ways both male and female runners and walkers can stay safe while they’re outside exercising, and it occurred to us that many of the things we already teach in our Introductory self-defense workshop are easily adapted for walkers and runners. Add to that some strong interest from members of another fitness group I’m active in, and we have the beginnings of a brand new class!

We envision a one-time, half-day workshop (with lunch and a notebook included) that would cover some basic, practical self-defense theory and strategies, and some hands-on practice and training of specific defense techniques. We want to especially focus on using our bodies and voices to our advantage, since most of us run or walk wearing and carrying as little as possible. We want to cover how to avoid being a victim of violence and different levels of threats. And, like our Introductory workshop, we want to make sure the things we teach are practical, easy to remember, and realistic.

What sort of things would you expect to learn in a one-time, half-day self-defense class like this? Would you be comfortable in a co-ed class of both walkers and runners, or would you prefer one specifically tailored to men or women, walkers or runners? Do you think a one-time class would be enough or would you be interested in regular (weekly? monthly?) reminders via email, text, Facebook post, etc.?

We’d love to hear your thoughts!


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  • Cat Ellen (@cayswann)  On June 27, 2012 at 3:23 PM

    Because I want to start running, I looked at the blog link you listed above. Their advice included “try running with a group or a dog.” It makes me wonder how to find people who have dogs that would loan me their pet for my runs. Google only gives me some starter information on either (a) how to train my own pet [sorry, I won’t be buying a dog] or (b) how to create my own business as a dog runner [sorry, not interested]. I might just have to look for friends with dogs who will let me run their dogs. Hmm.

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