– Episode Thirty-Four –

Decolonization and Empowerment Self Defense. An Interview with Magdalena Dircio Diaz

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About The Empowerment Podcast

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In this podcast, created as a platform to teach you everything she knows about self-defense, join host Silvia Smart in this safe space. With over three decades on the frontlines, she’ll give you skills and knowledge for your self-defense toolkit so you can live your most fearless and empowered life. Research proves that empowerment self-defense programs work. Participants are less fearful, more aware of their boundaries, and are able to speak up sooner when faced with manipulative or threatening situations. Furthermore, for those who have experienced trauma in the past, evidence shows that empowerment self-defense training can interrupt the cycle of violence and decrease the likelihood of a future assault.

Other Episodes You Might Like...

The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 29

Empowerment Self Defense Works!

Empowerment Self Defense really works! Find out how Jocelyn Hollander’s research at the University of Oregon is proving this – and so much more! ESD training works not just to keep you safer, though it does that REALLY WELL! It also has positive impacts that reach far beyond your class. Participants report being empowered in a variety of different areas of their personal and professional lives.

Here’s proof that Empowerment Self Defense keeps participants safer and changes lives and the balance of power.

Join me and my guest, Jocelyn Hollander as we discuss her research methods and findings on the efficacy of ESD and so much more! Jocelyn is a professor at the University of Oregon. Researching the efficacy of ESD has become her life’s work. She’s got fantastic information and perspective! Enjoy!

Find out more:
Jocelyn at the U of O: https://sociology.uoregon.edu/profile/jocelynh/
Jocelyn’s Web Page:

#theempowermentpodcastbynaga, #nagacommunity, @nagacommunity @nagamartialarts #esd, #empowermentselfdefense

The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 28

Empowerment Self Defense challenges the status quo, the balance of power and unconscious biases. It challenges myths and attitudes, cultural norms and beliefs. It gives participants agency and tools to question power dynamics in society, but also in their intimate relationships. Because of this, and myriad other reasons as well, there is a great deal of resistance on the part of both individuals and institutions to taking and offering Empowerment Self Defense Programs.

Join me and my guest, Jocelyn Hollander as we dissect and pull apart the various hurdles and obstacles people and institutions raise as reasons to NOT take or offer ESD classes. Jocelyn is a professor at the University of Oregon. Researching the efficacy of ESD has become her life’s work. She’s got so much great insight! Enjoy!


The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 27

Ariel Estrada: Finding Empowerment Through Creativity, Artistry and Self Defense

Meet Ariel Estrada, an actor, singer, playwright, arts advocate, director, and producer living in New York City. Ariel’s trajectory, his journey through early childhood challenges, and experiences of racism and abuse as an adult have given him a unique perspective on healing and empowerment.
One of many cool things about Ariel? He uses his artistry and talent to create healing for himself and others. He is the Founder and Producing Artistic Director of Leviathan Lab and wrote his a one-man show, “Full Contact”:
“What does it mean to have a body? Ariel Estrada investigates his experiences as a 20-year survivor of a brutal martial arts cult, interweaving his Filipino father’s immigrant story with his own coming-of-age as a gay man at the height of the AIDS crisis. Through these histories, he brings to life the emotional battle between father and son, and his ongoing battle to take pride in himself as a gay Filipino American man against all odds.”
Ariel and I trained martial arts together and experienced the same weird and abusive cult-like dynamics simultaneously. We both left, got out, and cut ties independently of one another. But then, we found our way back to friendship as we were both processing what happened years later. It’s been really great to reconnect.


The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 26

My guest, Clara Porter, is a one-of-a-kind human being. Clara holds a Master of Social Work Degree and is the director of Prevention. Action. Change. In Maine. With over 20 years of experience in the field, Clara is a nationally certified instructor in Empowerment Self Defense. She is also certified through the Center for Anti-Violence Education.

Clara has worked as an adjunct professor in the School of Social Work at the University of New England. She was the Coordinator of Interpersonal Violence Prevention at the University of Southern Maine, and was the Executive Director at the Sexual Assault Support Services of Midcoast Maine before focusing full-time on Prevention. Action. Change.

Clara is certified in Advanced Trauma First Aide, and has extensive experience working with organizations and people of all ages including folks with physical, mental/emotional, and developmental challenges.

Clara’s Website:

@nagacommunity, @silviasmart, #theempowermentpodcastbynaga, #empowermentselfdefense

The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 25

Interview with Wim Wetzel, author of “Surviving Death By A Thousand Cuts”
Meet Wim Wetzel, author of “Surviving Death By A Thousand Cuts”. There are many ways to overcome tough times and trauma. In his book, Wim describes what it was like growing up as the oldest child in a fascinating yet challenging family dynamic. War, immigration to the US, a family Martial Arts school, discipline beyond the pale and more wartime service, provide a backdrop to Wim’s journey of healing and redemption. Host, Silvia Smart reads excerpts from the book and finds out from Wim how “don’t give up ever, no matter what life throws at you” has become his message of empowerment and hope.
#theempowermentpodcastbynaga, #empowermentselfdefense,
@NagaMartialArts, @NagaCommunity

Wim Wetzel’s Book “Surviving Death By A Thousand Cuts”: https://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Death-Thousand-Cuts-Wetzel/dp/0463558634

The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 24

My guest this episode is Janessa Jaye Champagne, a Drag Queen living in North Dakota. Janessa is going to introduce us to “stealthing”, through their own experience of it. We’ll find out what it means and how it works. And, as always, you’ll find links in the episode description & on The Empowerment Project Community, our Facebook Group to resources and more information. Mature content.

Janessa’s Blog, “Well, Actually”: http://www.janessajaye.com/well-actually/
Janessa’s YouTubeChannel:
Janessa’s Podcasts on SoundCloud: https://soundcloud.com/user-49527017
(JANESSA AFTER DARK is their pop culture/commentary show, MISS JAYE: THE RENOVATION is their limited series about self-help and personal growth)
Instagram: http://Instagram.com/JanessaJayeOfficial
Expect strong language.
@nagamartialarts, @nagacommunity #stealthing #bodyautonomy #theempowermentpodcastbynaga #empowermentselfdefense

The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 23

Active Shooter Survival Training
From Columbine to Sandy Hook and Atlanta to Boulder, these shootings are on the rise and leave us feeling anguished and terrified. Talking about mass shootings and training for such a situation, one of the worst-case scenarios imaginable, is important because knowing what to do and making fast decisions save lives.

For Active Shooter Survival Trainings on Zoom: https://nagacommunity.com/active-shooter-training/
FBI Information: https://youtu.be/55v7fP5nn9c
Stop the Bleed: https://www.stopthebleed.org/

#nagacommunity #theempowermentpodcastbynaga #activeshootertraining

The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 22

Join host, Silvia Smart, and her guest, Julie Belew! Julie’s empowerment journey finds her currently investigating how law enforcement in her town responds to rape survivors. She discovered her unique voice and perspective in “Rape, the Podcast”, a labor of love. Starting with an experience of incest at the young age of seven, moving through motherhood and into a deep conviction to make the world a better place, you’ll love getting to know Julie!

Where to find Julie Belew, her podcast and her editing business:
www.rapethepodcast.com @rapethepodcast www.chickedits.com

The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 21

Pam & Abigail Courageous Survivors, Part 3 of 3. This is the third in a three-part series. In Episode 19 we met Pam and heard how she survived a dangerous domestic relationship, and learned about her frightening and powerful escape. In Episode 20 we got to know Abigail, who married the same abuser a few years after Pam left him. Today, in Part Three, Pam and Abigail come together to discuss what they’ve learned, legal issues they’ve faced, how they’ve supported one another, how far they have come, what friends and family can do to support a loved one in an abusive relationship and so much more. Join us for this courageous and empowering conversation!

Names and voices have been changed for safety. Please be aware that the content is at times, very hard to listen to.

The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 20

Meet Abigail and hear her story of bravery and resilience. This is the second of a three-part series. In the last episode, Part One (Episode #19), we met Pam, who shared how she was manipulated, groomed, and finally escaped with her small child. In this episode, Part Two, we meet Abigail, who married the same abuser a few years later.

Abigail’s story shows how the perpetrator used similar ploys and strategies on both women but evolved to an even greater level of abuse over time. With Abigail, for example, he controlled and manipulated a false narrative that she was emotionally unbalanced, leaving her even more isolated and alone. Most importantly we begin to see how, when Abigail was ready to reach out to her, Pam’s journey and support made the difference between life and death for herself and her two small children.

In the next episode, Part Three, Pam and Abigail come together and we discuss what they’ve learned, how they’ve helped one another, how far they have come, what friends and family can do to support a loved one in an abusive relationship and so much more. Join us for these heartfelt stories of courage and survival!

Names and voices have been changed for safety. Please be aware that the content is at times, very hard to listen to.

Resources mentioned in this Episode

The Revolution Starts at Home: Confronting Intimate Violence Within Activist Communities

The Revolution Starts at Home is as urgently needed today as when it was first published. This watershed collection breaks the dangerous silence surrounding the “secret” of intimate violence within social justice circles. Just as importantly, it provides practical strategies for dealing with abuse and creating safety without relying on the coercive power of the state. It offers life-saving alternatives for survivors while building a movement where no one is left behind.

Find Magdalena: @soulwarriors_esd

Special thanks to my editor, Collin Taber (@that2ndtaberkid, collintaber@gmail.com)