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Community Self Defense Classes
Learn and practice verbal and physical techniques to defend yourself and help others. Donations welcome, Memberships encouraged!

Alive MMA/CrossFit Woodstock

5607 SE Woodstock Blvd · Portland, OR

What we're about

We are a union, open to all, focused on helping each other and making this world a better place in which to live. Our purpose is to build trust and solidarity through service to and struggle alongside our fellow workers and neighbors, across lines of difference that must not divide us one from another. We will support individual initiative and personal responsibility as we practice collective, democratic action to solve problems too big for any one of us. We will respect the just laws of the land even as we strive to be equal to a deeper sense of justice and fairness, far beyond that for which the laws call us to account. We will carry ourselves with a decent and humble humanity as a people with a place on this earth. We will look out for each other and especially for the most vulnerable among us, because we need each other. We will ground ourselves in practical projects, like helping each other secure work, housing, and transportation. To the extent we can, we will create jobs directly ourselves and support each other in earning our livelihoods, feeding ourselves, and providing for each other. We will also help our fellow workers employed by others to win respect, fair wages, and principled improvements in our everyday working lives. We are committed to building our union in workplaces even when we only represent a minority and whether or not workers decide to pay dues. Where workers wish to gain employer recognition and bargain for a contract, we will help them to the best of our ability to do that for themselves.

We aim to help each other to a greater say in the decisions that affect us, proportional to the work we do and the contributions we make. To this end we will support each other in our development as leaders who help make things better. In this way, we hope to be listened to and respected more fully. We will advance and defend the practice of fair and responsible collective bargaining to bring more mindful and democratic ways into our daily lives. We will respect the initiative and risks that leaders take, even as we rise to have our say and hope to influence decisions ourselves so that we may all be leaders. We will stand together, and, when necessary, we will fight together as a union. We will hold our own organization to the same democratic expectations. Whenever possible, we will entrust decision making to those who do the work and make the contributions to realize those decisions, with a voice for all those the decision affects. When we must, we may fall back on majority rule while respecting the rights of minority opinion and striving for consensus when possible.

We will encourage participation in electoral politics, especially at the precinct level, aiming to transform representational politics into direct participation and democratic engagement with our neighbors. Concretely, we encourage our members to become Precinct Committee People in the parties of their choice and to take the work of the union into our neighborhoods. We aim to design each of our efforts to sustain and support itself as well as to generate a surplus for further efforts and unforeseen difficulties. We aim not only to live within our means, individually and collectively, but also to have something more to contribute to the greater good, now and in the future.

We choose to adopt a special focus on community resilience and the capability of withstanding hard times. We will strengthen our ties to the land and sea, without which we can neither eat nor survive at all. We will organize and support efforts to feed each other by means of the most sustainable hunting, gathering, farming, and fishing. We will take on some of the work of producing and distributing food that honors the labor of those who bring it to us. We aim to create gathering places for healthy food, drink, and fellowship. We will help each other live in the most healthy and alive ways we can in the full vibrancy and authenticity of our individual selves. We will build and support gyms and other places of fitness and community. We will advance athletic excellence in ourselves and support it in each other as one part of the fullest expression of ourselves. We embrace healthy and honorable competition and dare each other to bring our best selves forward.

We will teach functional self defense to each other and in our larger community so that we can help people everywhere be free of violence. We accept that a threat to any of us is a threat to all of us, and we take special responsibility to teach those of us who are most vulnerable so that we may all be more secure. We also aim to teach the strongest among us, not only the means to defend ourselves with deadly force when we must, but also to employ the least force necessary to do our part to keep the peace. To this end we will help those charged with enforcing laws and employed to provide security to discharge their responsibilities with the least risk of damage to themselves and others. We hope to open space in our lives to more easily live lives enriched by all kinds of art, culture, and good thinking, especially that which we do for ourselves and each other. We may organize music, recreation, art, and celebrations to realize our most alive selves. We aim to respect each other and make easier our intellectual and artistic lives as well as our physical health. We respect the dignity of all the work that simply needs doing, and we celebrate the journey of mastery inherent in all the most sacred work. In our work, disciplines, athletics, art, and actions we reveal who we truly are.

We aim to live honestly and accountably. If we say we will do something, we will do it. We will respect each other’s privacy and autonomy, but we will support each other to better keep our word and our agreements. We aim to trust each other and to live trustworthy lives together. In this way we will further both freedom and the rootedness without which freedom is meaningless. Most of all we aim to really pay attention to each other and to live our lives as if we each matter, because we do. We aim to consider each other and our effect on the world. We hope to understand our unique times and to consider what is most called for now. We hope to be the kind of ancestors that those who come after us are proud to claim.

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