A Baltimore County self-defense instructor is leading a free class Sunday on how to disarm a shooter.
Tzviel BK Blankchtein, owner and chief instructor at Masada Tactical in Pikesville, said it's his way of helping to protect the community, especially teachers, in the wake of the Dec. 14 Newtown, CT, school shootings.
Until officials can find a permanent solution for protecting the schools, it's best to learn self-defense skills to save yourself and others against a shooter in a school or office building, he said.
"The reality is that there is no easy solution," Blankchtein said, noting that it could take between 5 and 30 minutes for law enforcement to get to the scene and take action.
"It will be up to the individual on the site. If there's a shooter, you have to know how not to be a sitting duck," he said.
On Dec. 14, Adam Lanza broke into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT. With a high-powered, military-style rifle, he shot and killed 20 children and six adult educators.
He also killed himself and, officials discovered, he had allegedly killed his mother.
The Masada class Sunday, titled Handgun Defenses and Disarm for the School System, will be held at the Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Towson and will focus on teachers: How they can protect themselves and others in emergency situations.
But the class is free and open to all, Blankchtein said.
"If you work in a large office building, you have the same risk," Blankchtein said. "We are doing our part to empower the community. It's open to anyone who might be a risk at one point."
The course will be held 1-3 p.m. Sunday at GBMC's gymnasium. It's near the Region III Alternate Care site, and adjacent to the South Chapman building near where the GBMC and Sheppard Pratt campuses meet.
Blankchtein is a former member of the Special Services for the Israel Defense Forces.
For nearly seven years, he and his trained instructors at his Pikesville studio have been teaching self defense skills to civilians, law enforcement and hospital personnel throughout the US, including at GBMC.
They teach Israeli Combat System techniques that are current with IDF.
Masada Tactical also provides security through its Masada Tactical Protective Services division.
Directions and info
To get to the class Sunday, take the entrance to Shepherd Pratt Hospital off of North Charles Street, onto Gatehouse Drive.
Find the South Chapman Building, at 6545 North Charles St., and go to the gym nearby.
There's no need to register, Blankchtein said. For more information, or to let them know you're coming, visit the Handgun Defenses and Disarm for the School System event's Facebook page.
Masada Tactical offers other free classes as well, including a Valentine's Day special workout for couples, 6-7 p.m. Feb. 14 at Masada Tactical, 1414 Reisterstown Rd., 2nd floor.
For more information, call Masada at 410-415-6015.