Self defence workshop at 'The Dojo'

Shaun Oneill


Shaun Oneill


The dojo, Woodside Road held a very successful event in conjunction with Women’s Aid on Saturday past, to raise awareness and funds for the charity.

Several Women’s Aid volunteers attended the event with approximately 50 women, some coming from Carrickfergus, Larne and Belfast to support the event, an introductory workshop to the ‘Empower programme’. Empower is a women’s self defence system written & developed by David Toney.

Anne Toney, volunteering for Women’s Aid ABCLN, recently set the Dojo up as a ‘Safe Place’ signing up to the White Ribbon Charter. She initiated the event to help empower women in the community and all proceeds will be donated to the group, who work tirelessly for the most vulnerable women in our community.

Comments from the participants included that the course ‘was a real eye-opener’ and one I spoke to said she had ‘definitely picked up a lot of useful tips which (she) would be passing on to her daughters.’ Each participant would also receive a useful Empower Ebooklet which accompanies the Self Defence System, outlining various scenarios to help women stay safe when driving alone, when out in bars, regarding online dating etc.

The dojo will be running a full 4-week Empower programme for anyone who wishes to learn more about keeping yourself safe. (Details can be found on Eventbrite.) The system encompasses talk-down and diffusion skills, and a lot of important awareness-raising, along with simple and effective breakaway techniques.

The Empower tagline is ‘protect what you love’ – it is definitely an excellent start for all women and young female teens to learn how to value their own personal safety and look after themselves and those they care about in today’s troubled world.

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