Safe Defense is the result of my experience in self-defense, conflict resolution and mediation. I was bullied violently in a California middle school by a student athlete. I have known that fear. In my early 20's I found martial arts and took to it like a dry sponge in water. I got my first Black belt in 1984 and purchased my teacher's (Hanchi Bruce Juchnik) 2 commercial schools and ran them until I suffered knee injury. The system I studied was Kosho Shorei Kenpo which promoted the idea of 'True' self-defense as protecting yourself without injuring the attacker.
In 1998 I co-founded the Peace Learning Center (PLC) in Indianapolis hoping to use the non-violent approach to self protection that Kosho’s True self-defense promoted. As the Director of our Peace Education prgm for 10 years I developed their peace education program: STEP. And after PLC, I evolved it into PeaceDNA. Because PeaceDNA is the central skill set in what is now Safe Defense, there is now a solid and reliable bridge between FOULing, Fighting Back and Creating Peace Agreement.
At the PLC I served as General Manager for the first 2 years, then as Director of Peace Education Program for 8 more. Over the 10 years, the program directly served over 8,000 Indianapolis Public School youth mandated to our field-trip program serviced by AmeriCorp volunteers. My final 2 PLC years I started up and managed a satellite school (PLC North) in Lawrence IN. In those 2 years we directly served 1,200 public school students.
I've several Certifications and Qualifications in various Karate styles and in Conflict Resolution including 40/hr Community Mediation, Restorative Justice Conferencing, Help Increase the Peace Program (HIPP) and Prem Rawat’s program. I've actively served as formal mediator and session coordinator for Indianapolis Juvenile Court system (1999) and community witness in several Restorative Justice sessions.
I personally feel an obligation to make clear what is True Self Defense. A 'True' self-defense means to protect yourself without injuring your attacker (J. Mitose). How to stay safe and navigate Conflict to Peace Agreement. My unique background of martial arts and Conflict Resolution have inspired a unique and comprehensive curriculum for learning how to be a real-world Peacemaker...for yourself and others. Safe Defense is a safe and common language for everyone.
My thinking around Peace DNA is that many people just need a simple map of what to do in Conflict to reach a Peace Agreement. They need to know how things work. I believe that when we have a recipe or Critical Path for understanding how the Peace process works, people will eagerly use it. To that end I developed PeaceDNA, made up of 6 Guiding Questions that we can rely on every time. A Path that builds and supports confidence, purpose and control through knowledge…Safe Defense knowledge. These attributes that lead to confidence for using a Peaceful approach rather than an aggressive, combative way. This unique combination is what I consider a True self defense skill set.
Obviously, not all conflict is dangerous but sometimes it is and you can't talk your way out. I do have a strong martial arts background and have put together, Peace Moves which is not a counter-attack defense but a strategy of kinesthetic invisibility. An 'always out-of-reach' strategy, using Position and Timing. You move the target with 2-footed hopping technique to create and maintain a 'no reach' zone, ending each sequence with the FOUL Buster question: "Stop, what's the problem?" It's also a good advantage from which to strike, if needed.
A wise man (and 21st bloodline descendant) James Mitose wrote: "True self defense is to protect yourself without injuring your attacker." This challenge of not harming my attacker seemed at first ridiculous to the martial artist in me. Why spend my time practicing martial arts self-defense if I'm going to try and talk my way through whatever it was? Shouldn't I be practicing that?
Surprisingly there was nothing helpful I could find when it came to non-violent self-defense besides escape. I put Peace Moves together for the purpose of fixing that. Staying unharmed without fighting back and using a de-escalation FOUL Buster, followed with PeaceDNA (if desired), leads to Peace Agreement. Peace Moves uses natural movement and requires much less practice to use.
Extra Dan stuff
Files coming soon.