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Unbreakable Woman: Compassionate Self Defense & Empowerment Paperback – April 1, 2013
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About the Author
Maura Barclay’s experience in Intuitive Empowerment and harassment prevention came from working in male dominated fields as a professional fire fighter-EMT and Military contractor. Working in emergency services helped her gain first-hand knowledge of how important awareness and intuition are when venturing into unknown and potentially deadly environments. Working in male dominated professions informed her compassionate collaboration skills which enable women and men to work better together. Her experience as a two-time, title-winning natural body builder helped hone her ability to project confidence and power or “executive presence.” Maura’s teaching career spans more than two decades and as a Master Instructor in therapeutic movement, she developed a knack for creating judgement-free environments that deliver paradigm-shifting, transformative experiences. Currently, she is harassment prevention and Intuitive Empowerment consultant for Fortune 500 companies and the Military and speaks at conferences around the US. She is based in Seattle, Wa
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I'm also a yoga teacher and a kindergarten teacher, who is a former Drill Sgt. in the US Army!
Normally my expectations are low when settling a WSD book (women's self-defense). Most have little pieces or small areas that are helpful. The only book that came close to truly getting it right was the Gift of Fear series by Gavin De Becker.
But move over Gavin, for Maura in her book "Unbreakable Women" is right beside you...from a woman's perspective.
Unlike the "GIft of Fear" is is an easy book to read. I got it out of the mail, opened it and sat down an immediately began reading it. LateR, I took it to a coffee shop and finished there.
She initially explores the concepts of confidence and compassion. This are two major issues in my class. It is the foundation from which all that is good will flourish. Then, she emphasis the importance of yourself and the power of words(my favorite part)Everything before that point, parallel each of my college lectures. She focused more on some areas than I do and less in others, but at least she acknowledged them. . Next, examines the criminal mind. last, focused on weaponizing your armor. (Fighting sKills!)When I began teaching my class was about 30% lecture and 70% combative skills. Yet, the more I educated myself and learn the "truth" about woman as victims, My lecture expanded into long conversation about..How do you feel about yourself? Do you love yourself? What type of partner would show the most love and compassion to your children.To you think you children deserve a non-violent home? Maura's book covers all of that.
As for the physical skills: Also, my class is extremely physical. Surprisingly, this was the most popular aspect of my class. Giving women permission and freedom to be physical and strong under realistic resistance, against me, a real 200+ pound male. They loved the grappling aspect of the class. My class became the highest rated class at Lansing Community College. Grappling can be intense and very fun. I would have "full-contact" ambushes during the class where I suddenly had them pinned on a way or on the floor. (OK...what then?) You have the leverage to hit, kick, or knee or elbow with any power. You are in the most common position to be raped, a man it on top of you holding your arms down? What do you do? Most self-defense class I've checked out and women have told me about fail to address this most common scenario. What if you are on your stomach and he's on their back? What were you taught to do? I feel you can take a short period and show and practice strikes while standing or grabs, but the "worst crime is yet to come...the floor or the bed? How do you fight from there. I teach very basic grappling concepts. Then, I attack them 100%. I beg them to try to use their palm strikes, groin shots, kicks, eye gouges, just to illustrate what will and what will not work in a real aggressive situation. (ex-football player/bodybuilder) I was him! Yet they learned that they had the skills to survive. Some women only signed up for the class because they knew they would get to beat up a guy. There homework was to go home a "wrestle" on the floor with their husbands (if he is safe)with their daughter and sons...and even their dogs, Just to develop that body-awareness on the floor. Learn to survive...through play! Just like animals do it. Many women can to terms with a fear they had of the intimacy of grappling. Just a mere solid grab is often enough to drank the confidence out of a women who has only punched bags and threw kicks in the air. The skills training much me "alive"!!! Other than that issue I have no problems with the contents of this book. I saw we used many of the same resources. I would like to know more about Maura's story. This isn't a subject in fall into by accident.
Seattle Resident - 26 yrs old