by Michael Joyce
Even though I was teaching here-and-there, it wasn't until I transferred to the University of North Carolina at Greensboro (a more close-knit community that I would hear horrible stories of rape, shootings and other forms of violence on the regular), that I felt the calling to teach seriously.
The truth is, women are the most victimized and typically find themselves without any training whatsoever. My love for women came with a brutal realization... that many men will not take care of them, and worse, choose to harm them. At the time, I thought about my mom, sister, friends, girlfriend and thought...I need to do what I can.
“No one is going to feel empowered unless they first feel like they have an answer.”
The Outfoxxed Program hit the ground running in 2003 when I was allowed to set-up shop at Polo Park Recreation Center which was only a block or two away from Wake Forest University. There, I was able to provide women's self-defense workshops every Thursday night. I ended up teaching approximately 5-6 six-week workshops each year until the end of the summer of 2015. I gave free lectures at BestHealth (wakehealth.edu) on many occasions and was approached in 2005 with an amazing opportunity to teach an accredited college course at Salem College.
The ladies at Salem College became the first, full-fledged “Foxy Vixen” as they were able complete my entire basic women's self-defense curriculum. Not only were they able to cover the syllabus, they were more-than-proficient. Salem College is a liberal arts institution whereby many of the ladies had previous studies in things like communication, dance and acting. For many of them, moving and communicating came easy but everyone was able to pull from the course at least one thing – the importance of self-protection. It was with great sadness that, because of budget cuts, this loved and important course got scrapped. However, working with a few of the activity coordinators, I was able to continue small, on-campus workshops for a couple years after.
A CRITICAL POINT
In 2007, I decided to write a concise and to-the-point book on self-defense. I had never written anything longer than a college essay before, and before long, I was in a bit of a writer's rut. I wanted to produce something that could supplement my workshops and give my students some important and potentially life-saving reading material, but the motivation wasn't quite there.
Then in 2008, there were two senseless murders of two lovely young women, Eve Carson of Chapel Hill and Lauren Burk of Auburn. I had never met either of them before, but after reading about them and speaking with their families, I knew that these two women were smart, fun and caring. They did nothing wrong and were met with a violent end. With this in my mind, I knew exactly who I wanted to dedicate the book to. I also felt a strong urgency to release my book because I needed to do what I could – as soon as I could. With renewed vigor, I was able to self-publish my book, The Golden Thread: Essential Principles of Self-Defense, within weeks.
There is very little a book can do, especially one that doesn't hit the New York Times Bestseller; however, I knew that the important thing would be to keep teaching and keep improving my Outfoxxed System and tailor it specifically for the challenges facing women- small or large, young or old. I felt that many women would realize the importance of self defense and come running to sign up for classes.
As many self-defense instructors will attest to, it is not an easy thing to convince young ladies that self-defense know-how is a needed thing. Most of the time, parents will sign their kid up for a workshop when they hear something horrific on the news or right before their child heads off to college. But how proficient can one become in a lesson or even one workshop? Will their child remember ALL of the ground and standup defense. Will they really understand the topics at hand and remember the lessons after 6 classes (one every week)?
A SHINING PUPIL
In 2006, I began dating a wonderful young lady, Jennifer, who would not only become my wife five years later, but would be THE ONE that helped motivate and encourage me. Every man needs someone like her in their life. But I'm very glad and lucky to have gotten the only one!
Being only 4'11 and weighing only eight stone (American's will have to figure that one out on their own) this petite, puerto rican vixen took to my workshops and excelled. Being my wife and getting plenty of one-on-one private lessons didn't hurt, but it was her personal passion for the material and building her confidence through Outfoxxed program that set her apart.
Nowadays, Jennifer assists me in many of our Polo Park workshops and is the woman behind THIS great YouTube venture! She is an extraordinary photographer, photoshop master and website constructor. Not only a pretty face, she is my OutFoxxed partner and worthiest opponent.
Jennifer saw the struggles I faced and we both agreed that Youtube could possibly solve our dilemma. Both of our hearts were NOT set on money. After all, I had been teaching for over 12 years and I did not make enough income from that to solely teach women's self defense. Therefore, Youtube offered a platform for my wife and me to not only reach and teach more women, but to also provide videos and blogs that you can practice at home over and over FOR FREE.
We BOTH are looking forward to getting to know you all and helping you in any way we can.
Thanks for starting this journey with us.
Michael & Jennifer Joyce
P.S. If you haven't seen our first video, please check it out below. Give us a thumbs up and a subscribe. If you have anything you want to cover, please comment down below. We will ensure to add to the list of topics