Free wellbeing course for people with disabilities

Yardley martial arts group offers chance to improve quality of life.

A martial arts group in Birmingham is offering people with disabilities a new course to help them enhance their quality of life – and the course is free.

Shefuay, which combines martial arts, sport and dance, has been launched as an introductory course by not-for-profit group Masamune Dojo in Yardley with the support of the Yardley Neighbourhood Network Scheme.

The evening workshops will take place at St Edburgha’s Parish Hall on Church Road before moving to a purpose-built dojo in Yardley later this year.

Course designer and sensei Fay Goodman (pictured), a highly qualified martial artist, personal safety trainer, author and musician, will lead the workshops.

Fay, who is also a Yardley resident, said: “Our first Shefuay course for vulnerable groups is aimed at individuals aged 18 to 49 with either visible or invisible disabilities who are looking to boost their physical and mental wellbeing. Our second course to follow will be open to those aged 50-plus.

“Participants will be able to practise whatever self-empowerment activities – including traditional and non-traditional martial arts – work for them in a warm, friendly and supportive environment.”

Fay added: “The concept of Shefuay encourages a meaningful quality of life for longevity achieved through a unique combination of martial arts, martial dance, personal safety and healing music.

“Shefuay works with who we are, what we are and how we can draw on positive energy and emotions of peace, harmony, gratitude, happiness, and contentment to deal with any circumstance.”

Masamune Dojo is affiliated with the British Kendo Association and has been serving the local community in Yardley for over 35 years. The group specialises in Iaido (the art of drawing the sword), Jodo (using a short staff), and Shinto Ryu, a combination of Karate, Aikido and Jujitsu.

Fay Godman holds a 7th Dan (Kyoshi) in Iaido and 6th Dan (Renshi) in Jodo and is the founder of Shinto Ryu. Her acclaimed books include Self Defence for All and The Ultimate Book of Martial Arts.

The name Shefuay is a combination of ‘shefu’ – a Far Eastern word for ‘enjoy open-mindedness’ and ‘skilful person or master’ and the author’s name meaning ‘faithful’.

The introductory course will take place on Wednesdays from 6pm to 7pm at St Edburgha’s Parish Hall on Church Road in Yardley. To register, contact Fay on 07976 426463 or at [email protected]. The Shefuay website is at and Masamune Dojo can be reached at