CLARKS SUMMIT - Countryside Community Church will host a class which will help students with self-esteem and confidence.
The Robert Thomas Tsunami Street Smart Essentials Class will take place from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday, April 23 inside the church’s Fellowship Hall. It will be co-ed and will be open to students of any fitness level in grades from 5 to 12.
“It is not a martial arts class,” said Sensei Robert Thomas, who will teach the students that standing up for themselves is not just physical contact. “It is a personal protection class.”
For the first half of the class, Thomas will teach students physical hands-on maneuvers. For the second half, the class will focus on tips and training for mindset protection. The students will perform role-playing scenarios and will receive handouts about specific dangers. Thomas will have students learn not only how to defend themselves from bullies or predators but also offer them self-empowerment. The will give them a sense of safety in everyday-life dangers such as streets, parking lots or elevators.
Some of the students who will attend this class are also members of Countryside Community Church.
“I think it’s a good opportunity to learn and also have fun,” said Countryside member Norah Rickaby, a student of Tunkhannock Area Middle School.
Abington Heights sophomore and Countryside member Caleb Molitoris will also be a student of the street smart essentials class.
“I think it might be helpful in some situations,” he said.
Sharon Sollami, Countryside’s Family Ministries Team Chair, arranged for Thomas to teach a class at the church because she believes the class will improve the students’ self-image and self-esteem.
“I think that they (students) will learn how to come away with knowing how to be alert if they are in trouble,” she said. “And I think they will come away with the sense of unity that they are not alone.”
Sharon sees this class as a stepping stone for the community to use Countryside Community Church as a resource.
The Street Smart Essentials Class is intended for youth in the Abington area but anyone is permitted to join. There are currently openings for the class.
Robert Thomas is a third-degree black belt in Japanese karate. He also studied Brazilian jiu-jitsu and urban combatives. He teaches a variety of self-defense classes, including Girls on Guard for women 13 years and up. In this class, which he teaches are area high schools and colleges, he hopes to reduce the odds of sexual assault or abductions. The Tsunami Self Defense Academy is located in Taylor.
” I like teaching people proper proactive measures to keep themselves safe and to make themselves their own first line of defense,” Thomas said.