As I may have mentioned previously, my charity is The Scottish Centre for Personal Safety (check out my website and we teach personal safety, conflict resolution and self defence skills to a variety of businesses, groups, individuals and particularly victims of violence.

To help us we have BOB.


BOB is an acronym which stands for Body Opponent Bag. He has the upper torso of a male and is designed so that you can practice a variety of strikes, kicks and holds on him without having to pair up and possibly injure a partner doing so.

Bob has stood us in good service for almost twenty years now – but with our new hall about to open, we went out and bought a new BOB – not as a replacement, but as an addition.

This chap, we are going to name BILL.


BILL isn’t an acronym, it’s just a nickname to differentiate him from Bob.

Bill has a spring base which allows him to bend to and fro as he gets hit. Bendy Bill kinda suits him (and it reminds me of a TV programme from my childhood – Bill & Ben).

One of the reasons why we like Bob so much though is that he doesn’t bend. His base is quite rigid – and we utilise this for our classes for women by strategically placing two tennis balls just below his torso so participants can practice their knees to the groin.


If you get one ball to fall off, I’ll give you 5 points but if you get both balls to fall off after a knee to Bob’s groin, I’ll award you 10 points – and a round of rapturous applause.

It’s a great ice breaker, as you can no doubt imagine. 😀