News

GOLDEN GATE EXPRESS

http://www.goldengatexpress.org/2013/02/12/self-defense-teacher-strikes-confidence-empowers-students/

February 13, 1013

Fierce Professor Teaches Self-Defense

 

 

 

SF State students taking Dr. Judith Fein’s self-defense class on Monday nights learn how to intimidate and aggressively shout “back off” to prevent an attack. Fein has been teaching self-defense for 38 years and runs both programs at SF State and CCSF. Photo by Jessica Worthington / Xpress

Judith Fein’s small stature and casual demeanor may give the appearance of a gentle woman, but make no mistake, as the cliché goes, there’s more to Fein than what meets the eye.

“She’s amazing,” nursing major Jessica Jordan, said. “She could probably beat me up.”

Fein teaches a Monday night self-defense class to about 50 SF State students, most of them female.

Originally from New York, Fein was first introduced to martial arts while serving in the Army during the Vietnam War. As a military intelligence captain stationed in Korea, and the only woman in her unit, Fein was often restless.

“There was very little to do,” she said. “You could go to the officers club and drink or gamble, and I didn’t want to do that. So I went to the gym, where they had free instruction in taekwondo.”

With disciplined practice, Fein acquired her black belt in less than a year.

“Normally it takes people years,” she said, “but when you take six days a week for two hours a night, you condense time.”

While in Korea, Fein was harassed and discriminated against because of her gender. After resigning her commission in the Army, she decided to make a difference by teaching self-defense to others.

Upon her return to San Francisco, Fein was the subject of a newspaper article. Wadsworth Publishing Company took notice, and asked her to write a book.

Four books later, her latest, “Breaking the Intimidation Game — The Art of Self-Defense” is based on about 35 years of rape resistance studies. According to Fein, the focus is on the psychology of self-defense: “what works, what doesn’t work, and why.”

Fein has now been teaching self-defense for more than 38 years, and currently runs the programs at both SF State and City College of San Francisco. She says the most rewarding part of the job is the feedback she receives from former students.

“I like to empower people, and it’s very thrilling for me to keep getting success stories back from people who fight back and win,” Fein said.

CCSF student Ashley Suehiro says she feels safer and more empowered now that she is taking Dr. Fein’s class.

“I was a victim of domestic violence,” Suehiro said. “So I decided to learn new techniques to defend myself and help with my confidence.” She is now majoring in victimology, a branch of criminology which studies the relationship between victims and offenders. Suehiro hopes to become a therapist and use her self-defense training to help others.

Fein posts success stories on her website, and uses them as teaching tools to inspire her students. She also shares her personal self-defense experiences with the class. One of these stories involves her being threatened at an art exhibit while carrying expensive photography equipment.

“I looked up and I was surrounded by six (attackers). They came in like a pack of wolves,” Fein said.

Once approached, she assumed a fighting stance, screamed aggressively and “turned into the incredible Hulk.” The men backed off.

In addition to the physical skills she teaches in her class, Fein stresses the psychology of self-defense.

“Whoever wins the battle for intimidation wins,” she said. “People that are passive lose.”

Fein believes that most attacks can be prevented by remaining alert. Her greatest annoyance is the sight of people walking around in public engrossed in their phones.

“They’re going to get targeted,” she said. “If they can be aware while they are using their cell phones, and send signals that they are aware, they’re going to prevent most attacks from happening.”

With continued practice of the self-defense techniques taught in her class, Dr. Fein says her students will build the muscle memory necessary to act instinctively in an emergency.

“When you fight back, you don’t have any time to think,” she explains. “You have to act.”

 

 

TORRANCE PUBLISHING PROUDLY ANNOUNCES THE PUBLICATION OF OUR NEW BOOK,

“Breaking The Intimidation Game–The Art of Self-Defense”
by Judith Fein, Ph.D.

bookcoverBreaking the Intimidatin Game for amazon

By CHRIS SMITH/ The Press Democrat
Published: Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 4:05 p.m.

Sebastopol pair collaborate on ‘art of self-defense’

Author Judith Fein, Ph.D. and Artist Nancy Worthington, M.F.A.   Photo, Christopher Chung, Press Democrat

Judith Fein and Nancy Worthington have combined to self-publish a book on woemn’s self defense. Fein did the writing and Worthington the illustrations

Usually when Sebastopol’s Judith Fein and Nancy Worthington are at work, each does her own thing.
Fein teaches. An innovator in the field of self-defense, the former Army captain leads classes and workshops that train people — most often, women — to unleash their rage at any would-be assailant and, if the attack persists, to fiercely fight back.

Worthington is an internationally known artist whose works include kinetic
sculptures that are whimsical but sometimes sufficiently political to get them banished from museums and exhibits.
The longtime partners always have critiqued and encouraged each other’s professional endeavors. Now they’ve created something together.
“This is a total collaboration,” Fein said of their shared project.

It’s a book. Fein wrote it as a culmination of her 35 years of research into rape avoidance and resistance, and Worthington illustrated it with images of compatible and complementary drawings, collages, mixed-media reliefs and sculptures that draw from her nearly 40-year career.
The pair view their book, “Breaking the Intimidation Game: The Art of Self-Defense,” as their collective magnum opus. If it succeeds, the art-enhanced treatise will inspire women to train to be always vigilant about their safety and prepared to drive off or, if necessary, immobilize any attacker who mistakenly identifies them as likely to be intimidated.

Usually when Sebastopol’s Judith Fein and Nancy Worthington are at work, each does her own thing.

Fein teaches.

An innovator in the field of self-defense, the former Army captain leads classes and workshops that train people — most often, women — to unleash their rage at any would-be assailant and, if the attack persists, to fiercely fight back.

Worthington is an internationally known artist whose works include kinetic sculptures that are whimsical but sometimes sufficiently political to get them banished from museums and exhibits.

The longtime partners always have critiqued and encouraged each other’s professional endeavors. Now they’ve created something together.

“This is a total collaboration,” Fein said of their shared project.

It’s a book. Fein wrote it as a culmination of her 35 years of research into rape avoidance and resistance, and Worthington illustrated it with images of compatible and complementary drawings, collages, mixed-media reliefs and sculptures that draw from her nearly 40-year career.

The pair view their self-published, “Breaking the Intimidation Game: The Art of Self-Defense,” as their collective magnum opus. If it succeeds, the art-enhanced treatise will inspire women to train to be always vigilant about their safety and prepared to drive off or, if necessary, immobilize any attacker who mistakenly identifies them as likely to be intimidated.

“This is my fourth book, and I feel it’s the best,” said Fein, who teaches self-defense in workshops and classes at Santa Rosa’s Finley Community Center, San Francisco City College and San Francisco State University. She was instructor for 10 years at Sonoma State University.   www.torrancepublishingcompany.com

The central premise of the book www.torrancepublishingcompany.com is that if a potential rapist or attacker targets a woman, the outcome will depend on who intimidates whom.
“An assailant generally doesn’t randomly approach anyone and decide to attack him or her,” Fein wrote. “He will approach someone he thinks will make a good victim — someone he considers vulnerable and not likely to fight back.”
She teaches that the best defense to a possible attack by a stranger is to be constantly aware of your surroundings and prepared to act if you sense that someone poses a threat.
“You walk with confidence and self-assurance,” she wrote. “If you notice someone attempting to target you, or if your gut feeling tells you the situation is dangerous, you need to magnify your level of awareness. You send out don’t-mess-with-me signals.”
Fein urges women to practice using their voices and rage to project a “force-field of fury” capable of dispelling any notion that they are easy prey. Should the attack continue, she tells women to strike — hard — at the most vulnerable parts of the assailant’s body: The eyes, nose, Adam’s apple, groin and knees.
Fein believes it’s essential for women to practice how they will respond should they be attacked or come to sense that a stranger is preparing to try something.

At the Sonoma County Sheriff’s Office, Capt. Matt McCaffrey agreed. “If you haven’t trained to do it,” he said, “when you get into a stressful situation you’re not able to do it, or you don’t do it well or you’re going to freeze up.” “Under stress, training kicks in,” the veteran lawman said. Like Fein, McCaffrey believes a woman’s best defense against a stranger attack is to carry herself with confidence, look people in the eye and honor a sense that someone may mean her harm. “If the hairs are going up on the back of your neck, they’re going up on the back of your neck for a reason” he said. He believes everyone should think about how they would respond should someone select them as a potential victim. Would it be worth the risk to fight someone who wants to steal your car or wallet? And McCaffrey agrees with Fein’s premise that in the event of an attack by someone whose intent is to rape or otherwise harm a woman, it’s a distinct advantage for her to have been trained to strike back and immobilize the assailant long enough for her to get away.

Worthington brought to the book project the color plates of 10 pieces of her art that she and Fein chose to illustrate each chapter.
Worthington, who was pursuing her masters in fine arts at Pennsylvania State University when she met post-doctoral student Fein there in 1973, said she has always aspired to the make the world a better place with her art.
“I’m not quite as idealistic as I used to be,” she said. “But I still think art can make a positive difference.”

With this new corroboration, she’s hoping her art will help prompt women to become prepared to summons their rage and power at the moment they need it most.

“Breaking The Intimidation Game—The Art of Self-Defense
Author:  Judith Fein, Ph.D., www.worthingtonfeinselfprotection.com
Artist:  Nancy Worthington, M.F.A.  www.domjoy.com

 

Link to Breaking The Intimidation Game

Video of Dr. Judith Fein’s self-defense classes at City College of San Francisco and San Francisco State University.

Comments are closed