Teri Coffee McDuffie

Teri Coffee McDuffie is the founder and developer of Santa Barbara Women’s Self-Denfense, a program for women of all ages to become more self-reliant in their own protection. Teri is also a fifth degree black belt with 25 years of training in martial arts.

Occupation: Developer and instructor of Santa Barbara Women’s Self-Defense

Resident of Santa Barbara since: I have been a resident of Santa Barbara since I graduated from UCSB in 1982.

Hometown: My hometown is the City of San Francisco, a great place also!

Favorite Local Restaurant: It’s hard to pick a favorite restaurant here; there are so many wonderful places to dine. However, I am partial to the Italian Cuisine and Tre Lune is one of my favorites.

Favorite Sprorts/hobby: My favorite sport, other than Martial Arts, which I love, is long walks, which often leads to walks on the beach or adventures walking in nature, even San Francisco (a great walking city!).

Music I am currently listening to: My favorite listening music is classic R&B. I can often be seen driving down the road grooving to Motown and attempting to sing along, in a not-so-great voice. I do love dancing to a good groove of Motown, R&B, or Reggae too, even while doing housework alone at home. Smile.

How I spend a typical Sunday: Sundays are reserved for relaxing and for my family; my husband, an Umbrella Cockatoo and our cat. During the football season, we have a leisurely breakfast with football, newspaper, and each other. In the evenings we prepare a special dinner with some new or trusted recipe, and maybe a rented movie. During summer, we like to barbeque in the late afternoon, after we work in our garden during the day. In the spring time we take some time to drive around our beautiful area and see the flowers blooming and even go wine tasting.

How I got involved in martial arts: I started training in martial arts when someone I knew was training already, and wanted me to join, because he thought I would enjoy it… I did and here I am in my 25th year of training!

What I enjoy about the competitive aspects of martial arts: I don’t see Martial Arts as Competitive in the environment that I train “Soo Bahk Do Moo Duk Kwan”, it is more of an internal struggle to get control of your own emotions and physical self, and that is your only real “competition.” That is probably our biggest challenge and it is ongoing but helps to resolve peace within and without oneself.

What inspired me to start teaching women’s self defense: I developed the women’s self defense system 18 years ago because when I looked around in the Martial Art school, there were very few women. I, along with these few women, were fortunate to be exposed to our own empowerment, both physically and mentally. But I realized a large segment of women and young ladies probably didn’t have the time or the inclination to commit to a Martial Arts Program. This inspired me to create a program that was simple and direct, with safety tips for awareness, so that in a short-term program, women of any age from all walks of life or abilities, from ten year olds to fifty year olds, could accomplish the tasks provided in the program. I do not believe this is a case where “a little knowledge is a dangerous thing,” I believe it is better to provide options to women than to feel helpless as a victim to their circumstances or predators.

What is one of the most important things a woman needs to know about her safety?: One of the most important things women need to know about their safety is that there are ways you can help avoid being picked as an intended victim. Taking a proactive step in that direction is the first step, such as enrolling in a program like this, and investing some time to make a “plan” to counter the predators out there and not become their victim. With options and mental awareness, it can help derail your attacker, or even move you out of harm’s way before anything ever happens, just by using your instincts and trusting them.

What are some techniques women learn in the self defense class?: The concept of the class is that you are your own best protector. I focus on simple strikes, and you learn five hand techniques and four foot techniques. They are not fancy or complicated maneuvers, so that you can remember them in a time of need. By repetition of movement, you gain muscle memory so that by the end of the course, most women have a favorite strike they have mastered. We focus on breath control, focus, and delivering direct strikes. A clear delivery of power at a target is the goal. I want to reawaken the innate ability in all of us to resist and protect our bodies from potential predators.

What kinds of changes would you like to see in the fitness industry over the next ten years?: In the future, it would be great to see the fitness industry be more embracing and supporting to all health and protective issues for women, particularly in the gyms and fitness centers, so that women can have many needs met at each facility instead of just mostly Cardio-type work outs. I believe women have multi-needs that should be considered at these fitness centers, and it would be nice to see a variety of classes offered to serve them in the next ten years.

For more information, visit www.sbslfdfnz.com

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