Just like Satana, a younger me tried to reappropriate my East Asian martial arts heritage from its quasi-stereotypical connotations and studied Karate, later taking a one-day intensive training introduction to Wing Chun Wushu at an academy for potential Shaolin monks. SSFC took that latent romanticism of mine even further. Its handbook contains a rousing manifesto that claims,
We could punch a fascist in the face in our sleep
We exorcise neoliberal, patriarchal, radical rightwing ideologies and exercise our rights to freedom
We fight for Sarah Reed, Sandra Bland […] and all other women and men who have died in police custody
We will take every drop of moon juice and smother it on the faces of our enemies
And the blood, OH! the blood! we will feed it to the trees”
Of course, the group is also a coven. Remarking on their fundamental principles when setting up the club, Tan-Jones states that “a connection back to our higher selves through the aid of earth’s herbal gifts and through sacred ritual is important for our healing. Combining useful self-defence techniques allows us to build our confidence when out on the streets, and gives us a deeper connection to our physical bodies. We treat our classes like a ritual, we dedicate ourselves in those hours to this learning, and set our intentions accordingly.”
Unlike conventional self-defence clubs, Shadow Sistxrs puts an emphasis on teaching both physical and metaphysical self defence. As a self-professed novice-witch, this fusion between the practical and esoteric totally captivated me and piqued my investment in the series. Each session focusses on one of the seven chakras, and the Brazilian jiu-jitsu taught complements and harnesses the energies associated with each of these spiritual loci.