The Way of the Warrior: Nicola Griffith on Self Defense

Nicola GriffithThe point of self defense is not fighting, it’s not winning, it’s surviving. And the best way to survive is to not get caught up in any trouble to begin with. Self defense is very, very ordinary. It’s an every day activity. … Self defense is basically a set of behaviors.

Nicola Griffith made those observations in an interview on KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio. I recommend listening to the whole interview:

Nicola Griffith interviewed by Megan Sukys.

I came across the interview while working on an essay on women warriors for the forthcoming WisCon Chronicles (edited by BVC’s  Sylvia Kelso). I’d gone to Nicola’s website to get some background information on her books for the essay, since I was using her as an example of a writer who has written powerful examples of strong women who take care of themselves and others.

There’s a lot of worthwhile material on Nicola’s website — she has posted speeches, articles, essays, and interviews, along with a few pieces of fiction and some book excerpts. I found the interview on the page for her latest novel, Always. On another page I found a link to an entertaining piece she did about whether you should get a taser for self defense. She ends that piece with this observation:

The most important [weapons] are the ones you always have with you: your mind, your common sense, your bravery. Your best weapon is yourself.

I wish I’d said that.


Nancy Jane’s flash fiction this week is “Sanctuary.” Her collection Conscientious Inconsistencies is available from PS Publishing and her novella Changeling can be ordered from Aqueduct Press.

Check out The Nancy Jane Moore Bookshelf for more stories.



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