500Rising is headed over the pond!
Mindset. 500Rising

Affinity Plus recently sponsored two community members that were hand-picked to be trained in women’s self-defense in the St. Cloud community through 500Rising. That includes our member, Hannah!

Our St. Cloud team got to experience Hannah’s first class at the St. Cloud COP House. Our team learned about situational awareness, the importance of self-defense, and how to fight smarter (not harder). It was also a chance to walk away from the class feeling empowered.

“There are so many takeaways when someone takes a class,” said Hannah. “Just knowing how to protect yourself and try to get out of any situation. I think violence happens a lot more than we talk about so anyone could take advantage of a class like this. I’m so grateful to Affinity Plus and for this opportunity and haven’t regretted one minute of it.”

If you or someone you know is interested in taking a Women's Self Defense Class, here is the link to their next class on April 7th: www.eventbrite.com/e/293490466887
There's a lot of misconceptions out there in regards to being persistent vs. stalking.
For deeper knowledge on the subject I always recommend our friends a The Diamond Arrow Group, 500Rising and Randy King Live as well as reading the Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker.
St. Cloud COP House programs - not just for kids! Really great work by the COP House team in making this 500Rising Women's Self Defense Class available in our community. Many thanks to Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union for sponsoring the program.

Last night we hosted a 500Rising Women's Self Defense Class for employees from Affinity Plus Federal Credit Union. It was so much fun working with these ladies! We hope you learned some new skills that you can take with you 😀

A HUGE thank you to Affinity Plus for sponsoring this program and training for one of our instructors! With your help we were able to train in more instructors so we can teach more classes and help women in our community to continue living in strength! THANK YOU!!

If you or someone you know is interested in taking one of our Women's Self Defense Classes here is the link for our next class on April 7th! It is FREE to attend: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/293490466887
New to me.. Definitely good to know!

Studies show that 1 in 4 females will become victim to SA in their lifetime. The speaker discussed how she asks the same 2 questions with extremely similar responses every time she asks.

As shocking as that 1 in 4 number is... this video and other widely available information should show that the numbers are significantly higher. Unless we are brave enough to see the truth nothing will change.

Join us in educating others on warning signs, boundaries, safety and security measures, pre assault indicators and more! Check out 500Rising and the affiliates who are paving the way.
So something floored me today…..started going to a local
CrossFit gym who partnered up with a local BJJ dojo. The BJJ folks are offering up some free classes and reduced membership fees to CrossFit folks so I asked my kids if they were interested in giving it a try and everyone (except for one, my striker 😜) said absolutely.
So this morning my youngest daughter (she’s 8 and the only female triplet) asked if I was going to stay and watch the class because she was afraid they would kick her out of class because she is a girl……..??😱

I have ZERO clue where this thought came from, she has experience with other similar situations in martial arts, gyms and sports and this has never ever been a concern or issue.

Just putting this here to see if anyone has experienced this in someone so young. Is the social programming really this deep and pervasive?

Feeling a bit perplexed.
Heads up to anyone in the Northern Nevada area. This is one of my fellow 500Rising instructors!
500Rising Level II instructor training complete.

The days were long but the time together seemed so short. The fantastic group of humans all had so much knowledge and experience individually, and yet they were humble enough to be students.

Not to mention the complexity of switching between an instructor & student mindset throughout the training.

There were 9 students at last year’s inaugural training. This year we had 24, including virtual students from Canada, Scotland, Germany, and Saudi Arabia.

I’m grateful to be a part of this movement.

We are creating change in the stats on violence against women.

Operating as usual

#500Rising on Instagram: "Learn self-defense to make your life more adventurous. Live in freedom not fear- and be careful what messages you’re being fed. #500rising #strengthtostrength #insta" 11/10/2022

#500Rising on Instagram: "Learn self-defense to make your life more adventurous. Live in freedom not fear- and be careful what messages you’re being fed. #500rising #strengthtostrength #insta"

Follow us on IG! for more reel adventures 😁 (couldn't resist)...

#500Rising on Instagram: "Learn self-defense to make your life more adventurous. Live in freedom not fear- and be careful what messages you’re being fed. #500rising #strengthtostrength #insta" shared a post on Instagram: "Learn self-defense to make your life more adventurous. Live in freedom not fear- and be careful what messages you’re being fed. ". Follow their account to see 192 posts.


Nobel Prize-winning neurobiologist Rita Levi-Montalcini was born in 1909 to a Jewish-Italian family in Turin. Levi-Montalcini's years in medical school coincided with the rise of fascism in Italy and the imposition of anti-Semitic laws which limited her career prospects. Once WWII broke out, she and her family decided to stay in Italy rather than flee overseas and she built a laboratory in her bedroom to continue her research work. It was in this makeshift laboratory that she began studying the development of chicken embryos; research that laid the underpinning of her later Nobel Prize-winning work on the mechanism of cell growth regulation.

After the N**i invasion of Italy in 1943, Levi-Montalcini and her family were forced underground and moved to Florence where she worked as a doctor in Allied war camps after the city was liberated. Following the war, in 1946, she moved to the U.S. for more than twenty years to conduct research at Washington University in St. Louis. It was there that she discovered nerve growth factor, a protein which regulates the growth of cells; this discovery was critical to better understanding tumor growth among other conditions.

It was for this breakthrough research that the Nobel committee described her work, along with fellow winner Stanley Cohen, as “a fascinating example of how a skilled observer can create a concept out of apparent chaos.” Both received the 1986 Nobel Prize for Medicine. Dr. Levi-Montalcini passed away in 2012 at the age of 103.

Rita Levi-Montalcini's story is told along with other pioneering women of science in the illustrated biography "Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers" for ages 9 and up (https://www.amightygirl.com/women-in-science) and “Headstrong: 52 Women Who Changed Science – and The World" for teens and adults (https://www.amightygirl.com/headstrong-52-women)

She is also featured on the 'Famous Women in Science Socks' for teens and adults at https://www.amightygirl.com/famous-women-in-science-socks

For a fascinating book for adults about women in the Italian Resistance during WWII, we highly recommend "A House in the Mountains: The Women Who Liberated Italy from Fascism" at https://www.amightygirl.com/a-house-in-the-mountains

For many books for children and teens about girls and women who lived during the Holocaust, visit our blog post, "60 Mighty Girl Books About The Holocaust" at https://www.amightygirl.com/blog?p=11586


Self-defense is about agency, not fear. It is about personal authority, not vigilance. Self-defense is about living in power, period. ☺️


the message is important - always.


*** Women's Self Defense Course***

Starting Spring 2023, St. Cloud Police Department in partnership with SCSU Public Safety, will be instructing a 1 credit Self Defense Class (PESS 140) on Tuesdays from 6-7:50pm. The class is based on the 500Rising initiative, which is committed to unleashing the power of women. 500Rising's curriculum is designed to change the statistics of violence against women!

Timeline photos 10/31/2022

Timeline photos

As we close out Domestic Violence Awareness Month, I find this is a fitting reminder. So often we hear people commenting how they'd handle someone being physically violent with them or what they would supposedly tell another person who tried to force them to do something - often accompanied by the old cliche, "why don't you just leave?"

The truth is, you DON'T know. You weren't there. You'll never KNOW.

Alternatives? Glad you asked.

- Listen. Listen to understand. Listen to allow a safe place to vent and process.
- Be supportive by conveying your concern but respecting boundaries.
- Reassure the survivor that they are not alone. This is not their fault. There is help and support when they are ready.
- Remind them that they deserve healthy, non-violent love and relationships. Remind them again.
- Encourage activities and friendships outside of their relationship, if it's safe for them to do so.
- Remember that even if they end the relationship with their abuser, their journey is far from over. Continue to support them.

And lastly, remember that Domestic Violence Awareness is not limited to the month of October. With 1 in 3 women experiencing violence from an intimate partner, this is an all day, every day fight.


We stand on strong shoulders…

🇬🇧🇳🇱 WWII uncovered: Audrey Hepburn and the Dutch Resistance

According to the Imperial War Museum: "Audrey Hepburn was born in Brussels, Belgium in 1929 to a British father and a Dutch mother. Her parents later divorced and in 1939 Hepburn, her stepbrothers and her mother went to live in Arnhem in the Netherlands. During the Second World War, German forces occupied the Netherlands and, like the rest of the population, Hepburn and her family suffered great privations during these years. Her mother was involved with the Dutch Resistance and Hepburn also played a part in the movement. An aspiring ballet dancer, the young Audrey performed in recitals and gave money she earned to the resistance. She also acted as one of the child couriers employed by the resistance, her youth making her of minimal suspicion to the German occupying forces."

"Audrey was known during the war as 'Edda', as her English-sounding name may have attracted the attention of the Germans. 'Edda', at some risk, carried documents, coded messages and other items between members of the resistance. She remembered, 'Once I had to step in and deliver our tiny underground newspaper, I stuffed them in my woollen socks and my wooden shoes, I got on my bike, and delivered them.' Life under German occupation was one of ever-present danger. Hepburn's uncle was eliminated in 1942 in reprisal for an act of sabotage by the resistance movement. She later recalled 'It was worse than you could ever imagine."

"In 1944, a German food blockade in the Netherlands resulted in a famine known as the 'Hunger Winter'. Hepburn and her family were some of the millions affected by it, and this experience had a lasting impact on her. They subsisted on tiny amounts of food, even eating tulip bulbs to survive, and, by the end of the war, Hepburn was close to starvation. Finally, in May 1945, Arnhem was liberated. She remembered, 'We lost everything, of course… but we didn't give a hoot. We got through with our lives, which was all that mattered.'" (IWM)

Two years later, Hepburn and her mother moved to England. She secured her first film role in 1948 and went on to star in over 25 movies. Audrey is one of few entertainers who have won Academy, Emmy, Grammy and Tony Awards. She won a record three BAFTA Awards for Best British Actress in a Leading Role. In her last years, she remained a visible presence in the film world. She received a tribute from the Film Society of Lincoln Center in 1991. Audrey Hepburn received the BAFTA Lifetime Achievement Award in 1992. She later worked as Special Ambassador for UNICEF, the United Nations humanitarian mission for children.

Audrey Hepburn passed away on January 20, 1993 at the age of 63. She lies in rest at Tolochenaz Cemetery in Switzerland. Lest We Forget.

Original description and photos sourced by IWM and IMDb (Fair Use Photo)



Female martial artists: How many times have you heard, “A weapon is an equalizer?” Meaning, it gives us a chance against the guys.

It’s not. Whether it’s a sword or a ballpoint pen, a weapon is an advantage (if you’re training properly).

Never train thinking about equaling your opponent. It will rob you of confidence in your training.

And if you ever need to use force to protect yourself, there’s no equaling. Equal will get you hurt. Think advantage. Always advantage.


Women in self-defense shouldn’t be learning vigilance for its own sake. That’s training focused on fear. Women in self-defense should be learning awareness, threat assessment etc. because of the cool s**t it creates in life.


We are everywhere. infecting the planet 🌎 with positive change. Attacking the stubborn stats of violence against women, we ARE change.


What a humbling review. And so awesome you are making such a tremendous impact in the world.☺️

We are overjoyed to see more of our UK family completing the requirements to become an Endorsed Colleague. Please welcome the fierce Gulshen Bano aka Gully with Strike Back Self Defence for Women.


We are overjoyed to see more of our UK family completing the requirements to become an Endorsed Colleague. Please welcome the fierce Gulshen Bano aka Gully with Strike Back Self Defence for Women.


"It is Doubt (so often experienced initially as weakness) that changes things. When a man feels unsteady, when he falters, when hard-won knowledge evaporates before his eyes, he's on the verge of growth. The subtle or violent reconciliation of the outer person and the inner core often seems at first like a mistake; like you've gone the wrong way and you're lost. But this is just emotion longing for the familiar. Life happens when the tectonic power of your speechless soul breaks through the dead habits of the mind. Doubt is nothing less than an opportunity to reenter the Present."
Preface of Doubt by John Patrick Shanley


Three of our colleagues in an early morning workout before a day of education and training at the event; Violence Dynamics. The power of community ….


Another representation of the overwhelming percentages (70-90%) of attacks against women are perpetrated by someone known to her.


There are times when being wrong about something would be worth celebrating. When we run our instructor courses, we make this point because it changes *everything* when it comes to self-defense:

Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office
Media Relations and Communications Section
[email protected]

Ashburn Man Charged with Attempted 2nd Degree Murder

Loudoun County, VA (October 13, 2022) – The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) has charged an Ashburn man with Attempted 2nd Degree Murder.

This morning at approximately 6:30 am, deputies responded to the 21800 block of Parsells Ridge Court, Ashburn, for a report of an assault. The victim reported to the responding deputies that a male known to her smothered her with a pillow and believed he was trying to kill her. The victim was able to fight off the male and flee the residence.

Deputies located the male, Steven F. Dennen, 51 of Ashburn, on foot a few blocks away, and placed him under arrest without incident.

Dennen was charged with Attempted 2nd degree Murder and Assault and transported to the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center where he is being held on no bond.

... 70-90% of attacks perpetrated against women are committed by persons known to her. If you are teaching or training in an approach that presents as self-defense, do your research. The psychology of the response changes dramatically when you know the person v. a stranger Threat.


Welcome to our growing community of credentialed professionals, Kristi! Baton Rouge, LA is better for what you do!

What is Prevention-Based Self Defense? 10/11/2022

What is Prevention-Based Self Defense?

Think Safe is affiliated with 500rising and we are proud to support what she is doing!

What is Prevention-Based Self Defense? Who wants to get in a fight?!! Self-defense training often focuses on what to do after an attack begins. Though the techniques are often effective, they’re n...


October is DV Awareness. Statistically, 1 n 3 women will experience DV in their lifetime. And while the stats are hard to track- men are on the receiving end as well.


Violence Prevention is Conflict Management -


When you participate in a workshop or training event, you get the finished product. The work behind the scenes is ongoing and this great group of people made our first UK event a tremendous success.✔️🙏


Did you know we have Endorsed Colleagues at Aware? Good people making a difference-


Kyrus Charities golf tournament in Leesburg VA- we are thankful to be one of the beneficiaries of this event today!


Founding Board Member, Allison DiRienzo in West Virginia prepping for 500Rising’s day at the Tech Charity Golf Tournament in Leesburg VA tomorrow


Every year on September 12th is National Police Woman Day. Roughly 10% of the police force is made up of female police officers in the United States.

They deserve recognition and appreciation for all that they do and the contributions they they bring to police forces across the country.

Please be sure to say thank you to a female officer today (or any day). They make a difference!

Mother/Daughter Self-Defense Workshop 09/11/2022

Mother/Daughter Self-Defense Workshop

One of our instructors doing good work.

Mother/Daughter Self-Defense Workshop Learn how to hit an attacker, how/when women encounter violence, dating safety, and what to include in your safety plan.

Photos from Amazonia Krav Maga - A.K.M's post 09/10/2022

It was a privilege to be in the U.K. With this crew.


Keep your power-


When we stumble into relationships with like-minded people, there opens an invitation to do really good work in unexpected ways.


Elsie the Admin here in the UK. Supervising our work ☺️


Debriefing our first Level 1 "Instructional Foundations in Women's Self-Defense" overseas. It is always a leap of faith to provide this course to a group for whom you are an unknown entity and we met truly committed, engaged and forward thinking people on this course. Self Defence Global, thank you for sponsoring us. UK - EU...we'll be back!😊 Gratitude to Dan-Philipp Trailescu, Maggy Rae, Linn H. E. Haraldsvik,


Three incredibly dedicated people. Instructors in a day long debrief after the UK course. For 500 to reach it’s goals, we need people like this. People who will travel to hone their skills as the trainer’s trainer.

Photos from 500Rising's post 09/04/2022

Teaching reps on Sunday morning- a mandatory element because at the core of it- we learn to take up space on the planet.

Photos from 500Rising's post 09/04/2022

Cambridge- participants from across the UK and beyond engaged in changing the stubborn statistics of violence against women.


- team running the power generation section. Day 1 IFWSD.


Planning for Day 1 of the IFWSD in the UK- board member M.E. Maggy Rae


There is a vast array of self-defense tools on the market and the industry changes the color and design depending on the target demographic. Some of the tools are feel-good gadgets I would never recommend. Other tools have use and merit. Among those that I can get behind, my real concern is when they are marketed
to women (by color etc) they end up often in the hands of someone who may be psychologically unprepared for deploying the tool. Equally, unprepared for what it will take to seriously impact a human body. This is an involved discussion not really suited to social media, but….if you recommend, gift, carry tools understand what’s required to use one effectively. Understand the psychological impact of choosing to hurt another human being and exactly how said tool must be used to cause the harm necessary to get to safety. (Photo credit ).


Our Virtual Continuing Education Conference underway- Europe, Canada, Middle East, U.S. representing.


Tomorrow's Virtual Conference Schedule Breakdown:
Zoom will be live for anyone to sign in- I will be there at 10:50- latest.

11:00-11:05 Brief Opening-
Tia Keck Immediately to follow
12:00 -1:00 Sheena Williams
1:00 -1:15 Break
1:15 -2:15 Ali DiRienzo
2:15-3:15 Keck Odinson
3:15-4:00 Tammy Yard McCracken wrap up.

Bonus: from 4:00 -4:30 we will leave the zoom live for conversation, catching up, chatting.

We will attempt to record the presentations for future posting to the library.

Looking forward to seeing everyone!

Failing Up-

500Rising is a beautiful accident. After listening to Oprah Winfrey’s acceptance speech for the Cecil B Demille Lifetime Achievement award I wrote her a letter. Well, not really. I wrote a blog post. I was on a rant. She mentioned that the #MeToo movement was a game changer. As a Krav Maga and a Self-Defense instructor, I disagreed.

And I was wrong. Sort of. The me-too business has definitely elevated awareness and an increase in dialogue. I’ve been around a few decades (as in 50) and I have seen movements come and go. Mostly go. I was wrong on the social impact side of #MeToo. I’m still pretty sure I’m not wrong about the movement’s capacity to fundamentally change the statistics of violence against women.

I told Oprah (as if - ) that if she wanted tangible change I needed 500 women. 500 women training and teaching foundational, effective self-defense. Self-Defense focusing on threat assessment, tangible situational awareness, and easy to learn/retain basic physical skills. Once these 500 women were out in their communities teaching, another 500 women would get bitten by the project and also become instructors ... and so on.

Eventually we reach a statistical tipping point. A statistical average by which predators become wary because as they look out across their potential victim pool, aka women, they can assume the majority of woman are hard targets: women who are emotionally, cognitively and physically capable of effectively defending themselves.

Videos (show all)

the message is important - always.
Violence Prevention is Conflict Management -  #violenceprevention
Debriefing our first Level 1 "Instructional Foundations in Women's Self-Defense" overseas. It is always a leap of faith ...
Share with someone you love. Next workshop is Monday, August 1st at 4:00 pm. Can't make it? Put one on the schedule that...
Scheduled by request - our next virtual workshop in Proactive Personal Safety for College Women. All the details and reg...
Fall Semester is just around the corner of summer! Follow us for upcoming educational workshops. #university #collegelif...
Wrist releases have real application for women. Understanding the physics, mechanics and applications is essential if we...
Using what we know, taking the information that’s available and creating evidence-based training  #selfdefense #tipofthe...
A casual & impromptu conversation about why 500Rising requires a Code of Ethics or Code of Conduct agreement with folks ...
We will be at https://www.facebook.com/brkravmagaperkins BR Krav Maga in Louisiana for the next US based Level 1 Instruc...
Upwards to 100 Million women are missing (statistically) from the planet. You are here.  Own it. #500rising





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