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”:

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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

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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.


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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!

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The Empowerment Podcast – Episode 30

Boundaries are fundamental to our emotional, mental, spiritual and physical health and safety. Join host Silvia Smart and THRIVE – with a little help from your boundaries!

Find out:
What is a boundary? How do boundaries make us safer? What other reasons make them important? What does a boundary have to do with empowerment self-defense? How do you know where yours begin and end? How do you set a boundary? How do you make your boundaries known and how do you enforce them?

This is the good stuff! Enjoy!

Special thanks to my producer/editor, Henry Smart-Denson

Support this important work:
Buy Me a Coffee:
Donate through my website:
Thank you!

Join “The Empowerment Project” Group on Facebook. For everyone’s safety, please know that if you don’t answer the questions, we will not accept you into the group.

#theempowermentpodcast, #theempowermentproject, #emowermentselfdefense, #selfdefense, #nagacommunity, #boundaries

Connect with Silvia:

Evoke Episode – Enmeshment (

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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:
Jocelyn’s Web Page:

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

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Silvia Smart | Podcast Host

With over three decades of experience teaching self-defense, host Silvia Smart is a sixth-degree black belt and Head Instructor at her martial arts school in Oregon. Smart was recognized for her dedication when the Association of Women’s Martial Arts Instructors inducted her into their Hall of Fame class of 2020. Aside from teaching at her school, she brings her compassion and expertise to companies like Nike, The City of Portland, Doc Marten, the FBI, and various non-profits, organizations, private groups, schools, and universities around the country.

Available here on the website and also on most podcast platforms. Search: The Empowerment Podcast by Naga

Production and Editing Credit: Henry Smart-Denson

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