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Letters
GAYS SHOULD LEARN SELF DEFENSE

Dear SGN,

Thank you for your thorough coverage of the recent spat of Gay bashings around Capitol Hill. I think it is very important that the LGBT community remains informed and engaged about this unfortunate and tragic spike in anti-Gay violence.

There has been a great deal of emphasis placed on the necessity to not only report such acts of violence to the police, but to remain vigilant and make sure that the SPD follows through with such reports with professionalism and protection.

I think, however, that there is one very important task that is being left out in this ongoing dialogue.

That responsibility being: Self Defense.

In all of the stories recently reported in the SGN as of late, I am not really sure if any of the victims were able to defend themselves in any meaningful fashion. Please forgive my ignorance. I do know that some were beaten by a large group, some dragged by a car, others threatened with a knife while parked in a fast food drive-through. The fact that no one has been killed tells me that all persons traumatized by this violence reacted in the best way they knew how. Kudos to them!

I think we must be reminded that it is our birthright to defend ourselves. As Queer folk, it is our responsibility to take ownership of this right. Unfortunately, the current political climate dictates this necessity.

This is not a call for a clandestine group of drag queens to patrol the streets with baseball bats. Granted, that would be a lovely sight! Instead, it is a reminder that we have options individually and collectively to confront acts of violence perpetuated on the LGBT community.

One of these options being: concrete ways in which to defend yourself.

Below you will find a list of Martial Arts schools that are known to me and other Martial Artists to be Queer friendly. If you are curious about any listed, check first, obviously, and be up front with what you are looking for.

Two Cranes Aikido

Emerald City Aikido
Aikido of West Seattle
North Shore Aikido
Seven Star Women's Kung Fu
Feminist karate Union
Seattle Martial Arts (in Greenwood -
they do TaeKwon Do and Hwa Rang
Do-instructor Nhumey Tropp)
Seattle Kajukenbo
Cappy's on Union (boxing)
MAPI (Martial Arts in the Public Interest used to be-Quantum Martial Arts)
Home Alive-for women, self defense training
Xin Qi Shen Dojo (Andy Dale-Tai Chi, Ba Gua, Qi Gong, Aiki weapons)
Kim Ivy-Embrace the Moon
Ken Wright - teaches at Group Health, Bellevue Community College, and Two Cranes Aikido.

Hopefully, this list will be of assistance to those of you who wish to empower themselves in the face of anti-Gay violence.

Best of luck to you!
Regards,
Jim Allbaugh
Martial Arts Instructor
Two Cranes Aikido
   
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