Anna Valdiserri

There are self-defense instructors who are the living embodiment of  humanity’s ability to triumph over monumental adversities. I am not one of them. There are instructors who have dedicated years of their lives to the study of martial arts or self-defense techniques. I’m not one of them either. There are those who, after witnessing the real-life impact of abnormal psychology on people’s lives, went on to study the issue professionally. I didn’t do that. There are those who willingly put themselves in danger to protect others, day after day, even though the fully understand the potential costs. I know I’d suck at that, so I don’t even try. There are those who are seeking to create a community of people they can guide towards a brighter future. That is definitely a nope from me.

There is nothing epic, mythical, or mystical about me. I’m the bastard child of a lowest-middle-class family. I grew up in a somewhat rough-ish environment (a picnic compared to a lot of kids’ lives), went feral-ish in my teens (but skirted around any real trouble), and have travelled a bit (but I’m still missing 3 continents, unless you count stopovers). I’m under 5′ tall and practically made of tits, so I’m ostensibly most predators’ ideal victim. That has at times added a modicum of excitement to my life, but no biggie. Occasionally I do stuff like running off with the circus and people get very excited about it, but I don’t get the hype: unless that’s something you want to do, my experience will not help you.

The only thing remotely remarkable about me is that I have thus far managed to survive my own decision-making process. I’m dented, but I’m still here as I write this. (I’m also superstitious enough to worry about whether I’ll still be here as you read it, in case I jinxed myself: how’s that for a maturity fail?) The bottom line is that if you’re looking for wisdom, inspiration, or guidance, then you need to look elsewhere. It ain’t me you’re looking for. And no, I’m not using reverse psychology.

The only reason I ever got to publishing non-fiction is that there are three things I know better than most “normal” people. I’ve just happened to be (un)lucky enough to be able to collect a combination of knowledge and experience that apparently gives me an edge on literally three subjects. If that sounds like a very limited purview, it’s because it is.

Putting what I knew in writing and sticking out there so people may not have to learn from their own trials and errors seemed like a good idea at the time. It doesn’t make me an authority figure, in general or on the subjects at hand. The books listed below sum up one of the three things I know. Given the subject matter, I hope they are perfectly useless to you: I hope that everything I’m talking about remains so distant from your life as to be purely conceptual. But hey, if you ever need this stuff, it’s there.

If you need to get in touch, you can message me through my Facebook page.

If you enjoy my stuff, please check out my Amazon page.


“It’s easy to teach what to do—legally and physically—when a stranger raises his hand against you. Much harder to teach what you can do—legally, physically and socially—about the guy who just happens to rub up against you whenever no one is watching.

Anna has taken on this complex subject in this little book. For the people dealing with creeps, it’s invaluable advice. For people teaching self-defense, it’s a wake-up call.

Read this one.”

– Rory Miller, author of “Meditations on Violence”, “Conflict Communications”, “Facing Violence”, and many other works.


“Ms. Valdiserri has done an amazing thing. The Toolkit is neither an academic treatise nor the screed of a survivor working out personal issues. It is very simply good advice from someone who is good at helping people. When your life goes very badly, there may come a time when you need a non-judgmental but non-coddling guide. Start here.”

– Rory Miller, author of “Meditations on Violence”, “Conflict Communications”, “Facing Violence”, and many other works.


“If you teach self-defense you will have students come to you with traumatic history. You might know who they are and what that history is— or you might not. This book isn’t about becoming a counselor or a social worker. It is an in depth guide on how not to be an ass when you are working with the children of adversity. And if you, yourself are a survivor of something, it’s a solid kick in the head that not everyone is on the same path or as far along that path as yourself.”

– Rory Miller, author of “Meditations on Violence”, “Conflict Communications”, “Facing Violence”, and many other works.



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