In today’s society, self-defense may be crucial. “Self-defense is extremely important, not just for the mind, but for the body as well,” said Doug... Karate dojo offers self-defense classes

In today’s society, self-defense may be crucial.

“Self-defense is extremely important, not just for the mind, but for the body as well,” said Doug Taylor, one of the head instructors at Dong’s Karate in Chester.

Self-defense includes physical and mental preparation, he said during a Feb. 8 self-defense class.

During the seminar, participants learned the value of self-defense, being aware of their surroundings and how to defend themselves.

“People are busy. We wanted to teach [them] how to feel 100 percent confident in the ability to protect [themselves] in a super short time frame,” Taylor said. “These techniques have been proven to work against anybody no matter the skill level.”

“We teach material based on the participant’s wants and needs” in situations they may have encountered in the past, he said. “We usually do a workshop like this once a month.”

Katherine Oros shared an experience she had with the class.

“It was 2006, and I was driving home from church choir in Hampton. I was at a stoplight, and I was on the phone when somebody in a hoodie approached my car. My first thought was, ‘Oh no, it’s a guy in a hoodie,’ and then my second thought was, ‘Oh, it’s just a guy in a hoodie, no big deal.’ The man came to the back of my car, and he smashed out the back passenger window. He must have had something in his hand. So my first instinct was to run the stoplight. The whole time I was checking my rear view mirror because I wasn’t sure if he had gotten in my car or not,” she explained. “I didn’t know what his intentions were.”

Instructor Lewis Sutton commended Oros on getting herself out of what could have been a worse situation.

“Your first reaction is to go, resist and run. Access the situation and have a plan. You need to put yourself in position to do something affective,” Sutton said.

“The eyes, ears and throat are the best targets in almost every situation because of their vulnerability and weakness,” Taylor said when asked about an up-close attack. “Every part of our hands and our feet can be used as a weapon. We don’t want anyone to be a victim; that’s why we do these classes.”

Located at 7004 Commons Plaza on the southwest corner of Beach Road and Route 10, Dong’s hosts self-defense workshops every month. Check out their website at Dongs.com to locate upcoming seminars.