September stands for self-defence

For our September meeting we had another visit from Kate Dakers from Box4Fitness. Kate came to teach us self defence last year and we enjoyed it so much that we asked her to come back again. Quite a few of us had missed last year’s meeting, so it was great to have another chance to learn these important skills.

Kate started by reassuring us that Calderdale is a very statistically safe place to live, so we are unlikely to be the victims of violence in a non-domestic situation. However, you never know what life can bring and it’s better to be prepared. Kate is from South Africa and living there exposed her to some pretty scary situations, which is why she’s so passionate about empowering women and girls through self-defence.

Kate (in orange) holds the floor. Jeni is waiting to ‘attack’ her.

Former president, Caroline really went for it…

…and so did Heather!

Practising our punches…

Isla braces herself as Vanessa gets serious…


This was a busy and very popular session. We were surprised at how much we learnt in such a short amount of time and how well we’ve remembered the information. Hopefully none of us will ever need what Kate has taught us but if we do, those attackers better watch out!

What we learnt

Bridget: Brill evening and as Kate suggested I have passed some of the techniques on to two other people… they were most impressed with ‘ARE YOU FOLLOWING ME?’

Maggie: I really enjoyed the session – particularly the idea that just a few simple, easy to remember ‘moves’ could make all the difference. Put my back out though! Also wanted to say what a good teacher Kate is.

other news

September also saw the return of our walking group, which had been fallow for a while so we’re glad to see it return. Thanks to Miriam for taking on the task of organising it. The first walk on Sunday 21st saw two of our members enjoying a gentle walk from Mytholmroyd on a particularly stunning autumn day that showed Calderdale at its finest.

Our book group on Monday 22nd as fun as usual, We’ve been busy collecting spare books for the Rag Market stall, so some of us have been reading even faster than usual. It won’t help though, we’ll still have more books than time!

An evening trip to see Pride at the Hebden Picture House rounded out a busy September. Based on a true story, Pride is a bittersweet comedy set in the harsh 1980’s of Thatcher’s Britain. It explores the unlikely alliance between a group of lesbian & gay activists who raise money for striking Welsh miners. We all thoroughly enjoyed the humour and pathos of this lovely British film.