Self Defence Classes Start Up In Beeston

Local News

Following a recent attack on a young woman in Beeston, ladies of all ages are feeling increasingly vulnerable. However, there are many in the community who are determined to change that. One such person is Maurice Oldridge who has been offering free self-protection classes to women and girls in Leeds.

Maurice, a martial arts expert has launched a passionate campaign, along with his team to teach women and girls in and around the area to fight back and defend themselves.

Chris Bruce, Nathan Foster, Lisa M Mallinson, Dale Kitchen and Michael John Eastes-Thacker along with Maurice all give up their Wednesday evenings for free, giving the girls and ladies of Leeds all this knowledge and skill for absolutely nothing in return! Maurice says he decided to take action after his girlfriend Carla drew his attention to a Facebook page. “As soon as I saw the site, I thought there is help required here. It is basically a community of people reporting incidents in and around Leeds. I immediately offered the classes and everyone thought it was a great idea.” He said.

Over 20 women and girls attend the class in the back room of The Old White Hart on Town Street, Beeston. Women from all walks of life ranging in age from as young as 8 right up to seniors.

There are demonstrations and exercises to help train mind and body to react fast enough to buy a few seconds to escape an attack. They don’t hold back either, using shock tactics to really drum it in just how affective a small amount of knowledge can be. The class is fun with low impact fitness levels.

One lady who attended the class along with her two daughters was Helen Kenworthy. She says “When I heard about the guy who was giving free self – protection classes to women and girls in Leeds I jumped at the chance. With all the attacks in the news recently I am determined that my daughters and I will have some form of defence should we ever come across any unsavoury characters. So, I grabbed my two daughters and drove to The Old White Hart. We all walked away at the end of the class feeling empowered. I for one will be returning with my girls next Wednesday evening, safe in the knowledge that as they grow and become more independent they (me too) have been given a chance to defend themselves from any attackers, be it rape, mugging or any other form of physical attack they may face.”

Another attendee Shannon says “My mum encouraged me to come to just in case I ever got into a situation. I really enjoy it. It gives me a sense of empowerment and made me have more confidence in myself”

In order for the team to carry on this great work they need help with funding. They have very little equipment and the landlord of The Old White Hart kindly allows the class to take place in the back room of the pub. Maurice refuses to charge for the classes saying “I am a trained martial artist and Reiki Master – I believe that where help is needed be it self-protection or healing, it should be given freely. However, the highly trained people who help me also give up their time for free, and regularly travel to do so. There should be funds available to cover their expenses at least.”

The classes have been running for a number of weeks now and Maurice cannot see them coming to an end. He says emphatically “WE WILL MAKE THESE STREETS SAFE FOR PEOPLE!”

Classes are held on a Wednesday evening from 18:00 until 20:00 at The Old White Heart Pub, The High street Beeston.
All welcome.

For more information contact Maurice on 07951897497

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