I just caught an item on Newstalk in which Elizabeth Garrud, a suffragette who practised jujitsu was discussed. She was already a practitioner when she joined the movement and was teaching self defence to women and children.
As a suffragette, she formed and led a defence guard of 30 trained women, who acted as a defence and security force for suffragette demonstrations, in which hundreds of women were arrested and assaulted by the police. They were the Bodyguard Unit of the Womens' Social and Political Union (WSPU).
As well as physical defence, they also carried out reconnaissance, scouted escape routes etc.
An exemplary group of women, who took an important part in the campaigns that eventually brought about womens' suffrage in Britain.
Many of the leaders were jailed, went on hunger strike, were released and then re-imprisoned, returning to hunger strike, under the 'Cat and Mouse Act'.
Force feeding, now considered as torture and too dangerous to apply, was also used on them.
The vote was finally gained, sadly, in exchange for support in World War 1.
Woman kicked on the ground at the "Black Friday" demonstration outside the Houses of Parliament.
The right to vote was hard-fought, in some cases quite literally with fists and weapons. ....On November 18, 1910, (Black Friday) in response to the Prime Minister quashing a women’s voter bill, 300 suffragettes marched on the House of Commons. In a public relations disaster for the government, police were caught on film assaulting unarmed women attempting to march past. ...Militant suffragettes eventually upped the physical level of their own campaigns and smashed shop windows, burned and even bombed on occasion. When caught and imprisoned, they went on hunger strikes which led to forced feeding through nasal tubes, yet another government public relations disaster.