Banbury gym to launch free women's self-defence classes

A Banbury gym, 10th Planet Banbury, is expanding its timetable to offer free monthly self-defence classes to women.

Monday, 15th March 2021, 5:04 pm
10th Planet Banbury: (From left to right) Justyna Mielniczek, Sandra Grant, Hayley Louise, Louise Dempster, Gavin Stewart (owner), Carmel Thornton, Lisa Benveniste and Ashley Gilvray ( photo taken pre-Covid restrictions)

Gavin Stewart, owner and coach at 10th Planet Banbury, which specialises in martial arts, said: “The sad events of the past week have sent shock waves through the UK and opened-up some much-needed conversations around the role we can play as a society to improve women’s safety.

"It’s been a time of deep personal learning for me, and as a father of a young daughter, I wanted to bring my martial arts skills and experience, to deliver a programme that would help, in some way, to protect and empower the women in our local community.

"Nobody should feel afraid to walk home at night, and I hope that the skills picked up in my new classes, will equip women to feel confident if faced with any unfortunate physical or mental confrontation in the real world.”

Running for over five years, the Banbury based gym already includes a number of women within its regular membership.

10th Planet Banbury is based in Riverside Business Park in Banbury, and is looking forward to opening its doors again at the end of June, once Covid-19 restrictions allow.

For those interested in signing up for free, or finding out more, please contact Gavin directly through the following email: [email protected] or visit the gym's website here:

www.10thplanetbanbury.comRegular, long-time gym member and Southam resident, Carmel Thornton, said: “For anyone thinking about learning self-defence skills - don’t just think about it, do it.

"If you are looking for a class where you can learn and practice these skills in a friendly and inclusive environment, where everyone is respected and welcomed, then 10th Planet Banbury is for you.

"Although there are women-only classes, we are also actively encouraged and included within all classes. The sad news from this week has shocked us all, but I have certainly felt great support from the wider squad.

"Without doubt, the training and skills I have been taught by Gavin and the team of coaches at 10th Planet Banbury, has made me feel a lot more confident and should be a skill everyone learns.”