Coach Hart to teach women self-defense

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With two martial arts black belts, one in Taekwondo and another in Bushido, David Hart doesn’t worry about himself when he ventures off Catalina Island.

He’s athletic, well built and in the prime of life. However, personal experience has taught him to worry about others, especially young women who have grown up in the relative safety of Avalon and are planning to leave their childhood cocoon.

With two martial arts black belts, one in Taekwondo and another in Bushido, David Hart doesn’t worry about himself when he ventures off Catalina Island.

He’s athletic, well built and in the prime of life. However, personal experience has taught him to worry about others, especially young women who have grown up in the relative safety of Avalon and are planning to leave their childhood cocoon.

“(A family member) was brutally attacked and raped,” said Hart who is a popular coach for the Lancers girls basketball and other sports at Avalon Schools.

The tragic experience of his family member left Hart determined to help other women protect themselves from suffering the same fate.

To help accomplish that, Hart is reaching out to women in the Avalon community by offering a woman’s self defense class.

“You’re valuable and worth defending,” Hart said. “This is the mantra of the women’s self defense class.”

The two-day, live action seminars will be held from 6 to 9 p.m. on Thursday, May 30, and Thursday, June 6, at Treamont Hall, 201 Treamont St., in Avalon.

Hart said the class is for any woman 14 years and older, who wants to feel more confident in her abilities to handle herself in the most heightened and deadly situations.  

“She will learn how not to be a victim and be aware and comfortable in her surroundings,” Hart said. “This is a great class for graduating high school seniors moving off the Island.”

Hart, who brings 30 years of martial arts experience, said the class will rely heavily on the martial art of Jiu Jitsu, which relies more on leverage and using the energy of one’s opponent versus brute strength.  

Hart said he had successfully taught the class for about five years before stopping three years ago.  He said he is bringing it back due to a high number of requests. According to Hart, the recent news stories  of three young women who were kidnapped and held prisoner and abused for 10 years also helped stimulate requests for the class and Hart’s determination to help women protect themselves.

Hart said he is looking to have about 15 women maximum in the class. The fee is $100. Those who are interested should contact David Hart at (310) 433-8387.

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