This work is rooted in my own accountability practices
I THOUGHT I WAS A GOOD GUY... THEN #METOO HAPPENED
In the wake of #metoo I participated in a number of men's events and workshops to talk about consent, boundaries, and power. As a self-defense instructor, it felt important for me to lean in. Through these conversations I suddenly saw my past behavior from a different perspective.
I was flooded with shame. I saw all the ways I denied and minimized any feedback from past partners that didn't match my self-image as one of the good guys.
Over the next few years I took a deep moral inventory as part of my personal reckoning. I discovered three factors present in every instance where I caused harm:
- I was deeply ashamed of being a sensitive man and I tried to prove my manhood through sexual conquest and holding power over women by lying, withholding information, and being emotionally abusive.
- I couldn't admit that I was struggling with anxiety, trauma, and complex PTSD. I minimized the impact of growing up in a family environment of neglect, mental illness, alcoholism, and psychological abuse.
- I was unable to access and process my feelings directly. I was desperately trying to hold it together. I could not track how volatile and reactive I'd become.
This process helped me to see the water I was swimming in: the Dominance game.
I grew up in the nineties. I learned about sex from American Pie. What we used to call "game" I now correctly call coercion.
To come back into integrity required me to completely change the way I approached relationships.
I learned new skills to talk openly about my behavior with other men, colleagues, and future partners as a living amends. I found community support to help me be accountable for my actions.
I was surprised to discover that forming deep, intimate friendships with men made it possible for me to be in healthy relationships with women.
I am indebted to all of the friends, partners, co-facilitators, guides, and teachers who have supported me and continue to support me.
ACKNOWLEDGING MY TEACHERS
IN 2020 I COMPLETED A 5 MONTH INTENSIVE FACILITATOR TRAINING THROUGH HOLISTIC RESISTANCE. MY WORK IS DEEPLY INFLUENCED BY WHAT I LEARNED FROM FOUNDERS AARON JOHNSON AND PORSHA BEED, AS WELL AS THE BROADER HOLISTIC RESISTANCE COMMUNITY.
ADDITIONAL TRAINING AND EXPERIENCE
- Authentic Relating Training, Levels 1 & 2
- Compassionate Listening, Level 1
- Nonviolent Communication, multiple trainings
- 28 years martial arts experience
- 3rd Degree black belt, Karate
- Advanced Instructor, Fighting Chance Self-Defense Association
- Introductory Instructor, Practical Karate, under Iain Abernethy
- Founder and Head Instructor, Fighting Chance Seattle (2012 - 2018)
- Curriculum design and instructor training for Self-Defense for Women
- Curriculum design and instructor training for Kickboxing program
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