Joanne Factor, owner / instructor at Strategic Living, LLC, has been helping women discover their inner super-sheros since 1994.
Students and class organizers praise her unique ability to work with people "where they are, in their own lives, in their own space," as well as the balance in class between physical, verbal and mindset skills.
Joanne has taught self-defense to women from six to senior, from sorority sisters to grandmothers and business executives, homeless women and those in transitional housing, and just about everyone in between. In addition to quarterly classes at lifeling learning venues, Joanne's unique combination of strength and sensitivity has brought many invitations to teach. She has held classes for dorms and sororities, law firms, restaurant employees, manufacturing facilities, medical clinics, YMCA and YWCA groups, Angeline's Center (homeless women's day shelter), Opportunity Place and other transitional housing sites, the Veterans' Administration Medical Center, Providence Everett Medical Center, girl scout troops, book clubs, and groups of families and friends who wanted to be safer.
Seattle PI blogger Mary Davis attended and wrote about her experience in a three-hour self-defense seminar.
Joanne began her training at the Feminist Karate Union, Seattle's pioneering martial arts and self-defense school for women. She has served on Boards of Directors of both the National Women's Martial Arts Federation (Director-at-Large for the Self-Defense Group, 2006-2010) and the Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists (Vice President and President, 2006-2010).
Joanne is a nationally-certified self-defense insturctor by these organizations:
- National Women's Martial Arts Federation (since 2003)
- American Women's Self-Defense Association (Rape Awareness and Prevention) (since 2012)
- Mona Lisa's Sword Self-Defense Instructors' Training (since 2001)
Joanne keeps her skiils and information fresh by attending or presenting at the meetings, annual conferences, and trainings of these organizations:
- National Women's Martial Arts Federation
- American Women's Self-Defense Association (Rape Awareness and Prevention)
- Association of Women Martial Arts Instructors
- Pacific Association of Women Martial Artists
- National Speakers Association -- Northwest Affiliate
Joanne holds a black belt in traditional Japanese karate and Okinawan weapons from the International Karate Federation, a B.A. from Cornell University, and was selected Seattle's Best Feminist Butt-Kicker in 2007 by The Seattle Weekly.
Roseanne "Kinny" Kimlinger has worked with Joanne since 2003. She too began her training at the Feminist Karate Union. You'll often find Kinny assisting in the six-week courses and self-defense seminars.
Donna Lopan began her path to teaching self-defense in 2010 as a student: she registered herself and her teen daughter for a seminar, and just kept coming back. Donna's aim it to emPOWER teen girls, and she is working primarily to open classes in the Tacoma area.
Susan Geluardi contacted Joanne in 2013 to learn to teach self-defense. She is inspired to focus on children as she watches her two daughters growing and evolving small steps towards independence. Susan teaches safety skills and self-defense classes ranging from Kindergarten through adults. Susan has over 15 years training in martial arts and was a volunteer at the Portland Women's Crisis Line
Testimonials from Susan's students:
"Susan sets a fantastic example for the girls-- a confident posture, strong voice, and clearly stated boundaries are a foundation girls can use to defend themselves, and Susan nails that perfectly." - Mother of a 6th grader
"I just wanted to send a quick email to let you (and Susan) know what an incredible class we had today. She was so prepared and her style of teaching and content was super engaging and age appropriate for our middle school girls. My favorite part of Susan’s presentation was that it was so well rounded—it touched on lots of different ways to protect ourselves, not just what to do after we are already being attacked. And I loved the discussion of boundaries, even with people we know and care about. I think it’s going to be a great pathway into an even deeper discussion with our girls. So thank you again for making this happen for us. I can’t wait to get more feedback from the girls after they’ve been able to process what they learned and how they felt about it." - Mother of a middle-school girl