Fight the Good Fight: From Vicar’s Wife to Killing Machine

Catherine Fox is not your typical martial artist. Her initiation into the sacred rites of judo began not in a dojo in Tokyo but in the Tunnel Cement Works in Pitstone, Buckinghamshire. And her dedication to the sport has been questionable: a thirty-year sabbatical, two children and a life spent writing books does not necessarily prepare one for enlightenment, or even for beating the crap out of one’s opponent on a padded mat. But, determined not to let these details stand in her way, Catherine has set herself a challenge: before she turns forty-five she will become a black belt. After all, how many other opportunities do vicars’ wives get to roll around the floor with sweaty blokes? “Fight the Good Fight” is about a pilgrimage. It’s about finding out what you’re really made of, when you’ve not set yourself any genuine physical challenge since your school faced mighty Cheddington Primary in the netball clash of 1972. It’s about toughness and sheer raw physicality, about pain and injury and coming to terms with your limitations. But it’s about much more than that. It’s about the relationship women have with their bodies, about femininity and aggression, about the Way of the Sumarai versus the Anglican Way. (Are vicars’ wives allowed to display anger? Are you allowed to cry? And when is a poorly toe a suspected fracture of the third metatarsal?) Set to the greatest hits of Hymns Ancient and Modern, Fight the Good Fight asks what lessons judo can teach you about life. It’s touching, surprising, gripping (in every sense) – and the funniest take on spiritual struggle since Jacob wrestled with the Angel.