The Soft Answer Verbal T’ai Chi
for sociable self defense

inspired by T’ai Chi’s amazingly useful philosophy and system for managing energy (our own and that of others), and by
the Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense books by Suzette Haden Elgin, the writings of Virginia Satir, Jack Kornfield, Lao Tzu, Rumi, Dale Carnegie, Stephen R. Covey, and many others.
Get the full Soft Answer Verbal T’ai Chi course book or sample 3 free chapters from
The Soft Answer website

The Soft Answer Verbal T’ai Chi seminar and courses are founded on T’ai Chi principles of relaxation, soft connection and centering for effective self-protection, applied to social discourse.

Contact me to arrange a Soft Answer Verbal T'ai Chi workshop for your neighborhood group, organization or place of worship.

The Soft Answer : Verbal T'ai Chi for Sociable Self-Defense is an experiential primer, both theoretical and interactive, inspired by the above writings and informed by years of integrating T’ai Chi Ch’uan practices with practical daily discourse. I developed the course with my sisters-in-law, Monica and Rita, and with my sister, Kat. It's been tested and revised, especially over the last 18 months, with feedback form over 80 beta-testers.
The practice of T’ai Chi, reading in traditional literature on conflict, and the work of writers like Suzette Haden Elgin, Virginia Satir, George Miller, Eric Berne and Stephen Karpman started us on the path to learning how it’s possible to manage verbal aggression with relaxation, compassion, and aplomb.
We don't always succeed, but we are always deepening our practice and improving our skills!
As a T’ai Chi aficionado, I was delighted and inspired to find verbal versions of how to put into action the T’ai Chi self-defense principles of always looking for the soft answer and never using force. The principles of successful civil interactions can also be found in earlier writings and across many cultures in human history (Rumi, Lao Tzu, Francis of Assisi). Verbal T’ai Chi is possible!
We offer inservice sessions to private groups and non-profit organizations at low or no cost. Please
contact me if you’re interested in arranging a presentation for your group.
We are grateful that The Soft Answer Verbal T'ai Chi has been featured twice as part of
The Virginia Theological Seminary's Introduction to Intercultural Competency course. We felt privileged to offer trainings for DC Public Library's staff development day, and appreciated hearing about the challenges that our librarians sometimes face from the community they strive to serve; we hope the strategies we offered are making a difference!
Links to Elgin’s Gentle Art of Verbal Self Defense series are provided
on the “Books and DVDs that help” page.
The ebook course The Soft Answer verbal T’ai Chi for sociable self-defense consists of 24 lessons, each with a “TEPID” list: a Technique, an Exercise, suggestions for "PocketCards", Inspirational quotes and ideas for delving Deeper. The first 3 lessons are available as a free downloadable e-book. Both are available through
The Soft Answer website.
More about The Soft Answer: Verbal T’ai Chi courses can be found at
The Soft Answer Verbal T’ai Chi website