Survivor on the Mat: Trauma-Aware Training for Survivors of Sexual Violence

Written by Lynne Marie Wanamaker. Posted in Body, Defend Yourself!, Featured Posts, Martial Arts

Halfway through our personal training session my client became disoriented, unfocused, and weepy. Before we began working together she told me that she was a trauma survivor. We were stretching in a peaceful studio when she became overwhelmed with emotion.

Image 9 Survivor

“I don’t understand why this is happening now,” she said.

“You brought your body with you,” I reminded her.

Strong Voices, Safe Bodies

Written by Lynne Marie Wanamaker. Posted in Defend Yourself!, Featured Posts, Ms. Fit Momma

Self-Defense Skills in the Family Environment

Defense girl 2

When I say “self-defense” do you imagine that you should train your 18-month-old to be the next Bruce Lee? Holistic self-defense means more than physically fighting back. The core mental, verbal and relationship skills can be taught in developmentally appropriate ways throughout your child’s life, starting at a very young age.

We teach our kids lots of skills before they are really expected to use them. My daughter “brushed her teeth” for many years before we entrusted her with her own dental care. Self-defense is the same. We don’t expect our littlest ones to keep themselves safe; that’s a job for grown-ups. But we can embed violence-prevention behaviors into our family cultures in the same way we cultivate health-promoting (“eat your broccoli”), pro-social (“say ‘thank you’”) or ethical (“tell the truth”) conduct.

Dear Prudence: A Response to Emily Yoffe

Written by Lynne Marie Wanamaker. Posted in Defend Yourself!, Featured Posts, Think, Think Features

So maybe by now you’ve read about Emily Yoffe’s article in Slate, “College Women: Stop Getting Drunk”. The “Dear Prudence” advice columnist counsels college women to avoid being the victims of rape by staying sober. Her advice wants to sound like its warning against the perils of binge drinking; instead she’s just blaming women for being victims of rape. MsFit’s own Lynne Marie Wanamaker had this to say.

As a self-defense instructor, I feel obliged to respond to the blow-up on the blogosphere regarding Emily Yoffe’s (also known as Dear Prudence) article at, “College Women: Stop Getting Drunk.”

As I’ve written elsewhere:

…there is a self-defense argument against getting falling down drunk. A big piece of self-defense is being the worst potential victim possible. I live in a world where one in six [current statistics are closer to one in five] women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. Since that’s the world I have to move in, I don’t feel safe being sleepy, pukey, distracted and uncoordinated. I’d prefer to stay sober and be alert, strong, aware, and prepared.

Emily Yoffe, dear Prudence, college women stop getting drunk

Move Away from Danger

Written by Lynne Marie Wanamaker. Posted in Defend Yourself!, Featured Posts

A key self-defense principle is to create distance between yourself and danger


Any honorable self-defense teacher will tell you that the best fight—the safest, the most decisively won—is the one that didn’t happen. No magic number of black belts or mastery of fighting techniques conveys the same security as creating distance between yourself and danger.

Hits That Heal

Written by Becca Deysach. Posted in Defend Yourself!, Featured Posts, Martial Arts

The Transformative Power of Fighting in the Art of Poekoelan Tjiminde Tulen

The Transformative Power of Fighting in the Art of  Poekoelan Tjiminde Tulen

It’s dark, and I’m covered from head to toe in the blackest clothes I own. My hair sprouts the ferns I tangled into it when I was shown my hiding spot, and I am trying to keep my breath steady as I wait for the first person I will fight tonight. Four students are 20 hours into their 48-hour black belt test in the martial art of Poekoelan Tjiminde Tulen, and my five-foot-high self is the last obstacle between them and their candle at the end of the trail–a warm glow signifying that their 24-hour meditation period has begun.

World Watch

Sportz Shortz

Ms. Fit Magazine

smallIcon Ms. Fit Mag is a body-positive, LGBTQ-friendly, unapologetically feminist women’s health and fitness webzine.


Kathie Bergquist


Marcia Brenner, Searah Deysach, Marian Sherrell Haas, Jessica Young


Nicole Bender Sankowski


Nikki Rinkus


Amber Ponomar

Contact Us

Ms. Fit Mag
PO Box 259483
Chicago, IL 60625-9483


For comments and feedback about editoral content:

To seek advice from Searah the Feminist Sex Lady:

To brag about your fitness accomplishments:

To propose a story

For press releases or to let us know about cool

For advertising

nicolesan1 W3Counter My Websites Add a Website Get Tracking Code Tracking Code WordPress Plugin Real-Time Pulse Code Visitor Labeling To begin recording statistics, add the following code to your website. You should add the code to every page of your site, somewhere in the body of the page. The tracker image you chose will appear where you place the code.