24 April 2008

24Apr- Announcing the "Dirty Tricks for Gracious Living, Seminar Series: Crash Course In Women's Self-Defense."

Hey all,

Alex, here. I'm finally doing it; I'm going live with this thing I've discussed with so many of you. I'd like to announce officially a series of training seminars, here at the restaurant. They're not JUST food-related, however. They'll be fast-paced, two-hour classes which happen to end in a decadent little bite.

What sort of classes are these? Well, as some of you know, I have nearly twenty years of experience in studying various martial arts. I have a passion for it, and over the past several years I've missed the experience of teaching it. So, this is my solution. Basically, this introductory seminar will teach you two or three (frankly brutal) defenses/counter-attacks. Then, we will focus on running you through some of the more common women's self-defense scenarios, armed with the techniques you've just learned. This is what I call, "Tactical Self-defense." It's more of a mindset, rather than merely a check-list of moves you learn in a gym without any sort of context. You focus on situational awareness, threat avoidance, conflict de-escalation, and reasonable use of force.

At the end of our two hours, we'll discuss what we've covered over a cool beverage and an eclectic selection of hors d'oeuvres.

[Please dress as if you were just getting off work, running errands, etc. Although there will be strenuous elements, this is NOT a workout class. The feeling of doing these drills in "regular" clothing is a subtle, but important distinction.]


Alex Suaudom


P.S. reservation details...


2 Hour Introductory Seminar, hors d'oeuvres/1 glass of wine: $45/person
Half-Day Intensive Seminar, light lunch or dinner/wine included: $95/person
Small groups of 2-8 preferred. With prior arrangements, we can do this at your place of work.

P.P.S. the following is an excerpt from a manuscript I've developed during this project.



In the autumn of 1996, when I was away at graduate school, we would have terrific parties at a farm belonging to another student in my section. It was less than an hour out of town but there were fields and cows and a sense of lush, growing things being cultivated across vast spaces. The farmhouse was, of course, post-card perfect; it had been in the family for quite a number of generations. There was a band made up of students, faculty, and staff; everyone brought a hell of a lot of really great food and drink, and kids ran utterly amok. Once, at the second of these get-togethers I attended, my friends and I noticed a couple of the kids were imitating me. I gesture a great deal when I talk, especially when I get worked up about something. They would stop abruptly when they saw me looking their way, then scream with laughter when I turned back.

Later that night I found myself sitting at a table with one of the kids standing close by, and we watched the party in a companionable silence. Jessica, a pretty blonde girl, was about ten years old. "So, guess what?" I said to her conversationally, as if we'd been talking all along, "There's this girl I think is cute. She's smart and she's really fun. Should I go up and talk with her some more, or would that be pushing it a little bit right now? Should I just go hang out over there and talk to somebody else?" Jessica looked at me and shrugged. I tried again. "Okay, I get it." I said. "You're telling me no, no, no. I should let it lie for a while and get something else to drink. Maybe have a nice slice of watermelon?"

She regarded me briefly, chewing her thumbnail. "Who is it?" she asked.

It hadn't occurred to me that she would want to know. If you let them, kids can be very crafty, and this one seemed up to something. You can't be too careful, I congratulated myself for remembering. "There is absolutely no way," I said, "that I would ever tell you." Then, I relented. What was the big deal, really? I could give the kid just a small clue; it might actually be kind of fun. "Well...." I said, grudgingly. "I'll tell you this...she's a brunette."

Jessica seemed to pounce. "Oh yeah?" she said. "Oh yeah? Okay. I'm going to go up to every brunette here and say, 'Alex likes you! Alex thinks you're cute!'"

Uh, oh, I thought. This is getting sporty. I tried to affect a casual tone. "Fine," I said, airily. "Go ahead. But if you do that, I'm going to tell my friend Dan that you like him. In fact, I'm going to tell him you're in LOVE with him." Dan's a pretty good looking guy, I thought. She probably is in love with him. Checkmate, I thought smugly.

I've watched hummingbirds dart and flicker as they hovered in my parents' garden, but I tell you I have never seen a creature so precious and little move with such blinding fury. From out of a clear night sky came this tremendous WHACK across my face: my disbelieving cheek rocked and was smacked again immediately with another WHACK! Jessica stomped away with a certain righteous hauteur.

That was a very novel experience for me.


But the moral of the story is this: we are all capable of making incredibly fast decisions, and we are all capable of acting on those decisions with marvelous speed.

Alex Suaudom
Columbia, SC
February, 2008

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