Author Jennifer Cassetta Invites Us To Channel Our Inner Tiger In New Book ‘Art of Badassery’

By Jennifer Cassetta

My journey to becoming a black belt in badassery started with one martial arts class twenty-three years ago. The first time I entered the dojo in New York City I fell in love. Not with a person, but with a feeling of empowerment. Within weeks of training in Hapkido (a Korean style of martial arts), I was hooked. My body was getting stronger, I was learning these kick-ass moves and I was feeling more confident. 

During that first year of training, a devastating event occurred that changed my life forever. On September 11th, 2001, I showed up to work 3 blocks south of the World Trade Center and wound up running through the ashes that ensued. After hours of going from building to building looking for shelter I finally made my way to the dojo, where for the first time that day, I felt safe. That feeling of safety led me to want to spend more and more time there as the months passed. I decided then, that I would create a career that helped other people feel more strong, safe and confident just like martial arts was helping me feel.

It’s been a long and winding road since becoming a martial artist, personal trainer, health coach, nutritionist and now a public speaker and author. But I always bring the wisdom of the dojo with me in everything that I teach and write. It’s helped me build a framework that I now share with women that I coach and speak with, to help self empower and build inner strength. The kind of inner strength that women need to break down barriers still put in their way, to smash the patriarchy and to use their voices that need to be heard. 

The following excerpt is from Jennifer Cassetta’s new book, “The Art of Badassery: Unleash Your Mojo with Wisdom of the Dojo” out August 23, 2022. The book is for any woman who’s ever felt burned out, beaten down, or needs a reminder of how powerful she is. Jennifer teaches a unique brand of badassery–how to get back up no matter what life throws at you, how to level up your mind, body, and spirit; and how to turn your setbacks into secret weapons. Reprinted with permission from Health Communications, Inc.


Channel Your Inner Tiger 

To learn how to roar, you’ll have to channel your inner tiger. Tigers don’t have to be reminded that they’re powerful. They’re the apex predator, the top beast in the food chain. In a patriarchal society, most women have only experienced being prey and not the predator. We’ve been conditioned to speak when spoken to and always be polite. We don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings even if they’re being a jerk. We’ve been told not to be too pushy or too loud because it’s too masculine and unladylike. That insidious messaging not only has us not sticking up for ourselves, it also makes us question our voice in general. It keeps us from sharing and expressing our wants, needs, and desires.

Tigers don’t question themselves when they speak. They don’t ruminate on something they said the day before. They don’t sugarcoat things to sound more likeable, and they certainly don’t silence their needs because they want to be polite. When you need to assert yourself for any reason, BE THE DAMN TIGER. They saunter and use powerful body language because they’re comfortable in their own fur. When they need to roar, they use an unshakeable tone and no-nonsense vocabulary. I’m pretty sure every other animal knows that their ROAR means, “Get the hell out of my way before I eat you!” 

We all want to be heard. We all want to communicate in a powerful way. We all have messages within us that can make a positive impact on the people around us. I’m sure there have been times in your life when you’ve been ignored, passed over, or misunderstood and that’s really frustrating. I also bet there have been times in your life when you have communicated in a powerful way. There may be some areas of your life where you are more comfortable communicating than others.

Perhaps you’re comfortable communicating at home with your family, but in front of your work colleagues, you clam up when you have to present. Or maybe you’re a boss in the office but you have trouble expressing yourself on a date. Now is the time to level up all forms of your communication in all areas of your life so you can unleash your impact on the world. Channel the same ferocity of a tiger into your voice when you need to assert yourself or spread your message or your mission.

Author Jennifer Cassetta | Image by Michael Cinquino

Jennifer Cassetta is a nationally recognized motivational speaker and health and empowerment coach with a third degree black belt in Hapkido and a master’s degree in nutrition. Over the past two decades, she has helped people to feel strong, safe, and powerful from the streets to the boardroom. Her keynotes and trainings have helped tens of thousands of women tap into their innate power, speak up against predatory behavior, and level up their mind, body, and spiritual wellbeing. From teaching Carrie Fisher self-defense on ‘The Today Show’ to being a featured weight loss expert on ABC-TV’s ‘My Diet is Better Than Yours’, Jenn brings a unique passion plus practical tips for self-defense, optimal mental and physical health, and personal badassery.

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