Oak Lawn and Uptown Dallas residents respond to recent attacks with lessons in self defense

- More than a dozen assaults and robberies in the Oak Lawn and Uptown neighborhoods of Dallas have a lot of people on guard.

And that has the attention of local self-defense experts who offered a class Sunday at the Round-Up Saloon for those interested in personal safety.

Chuck Gary, who teaches Tae Kwon Do, and David Downing hosted the event, which drew about 30 people from the area.

Those who attended learned there is no shame in running away during an attack and holding a key in your fist when throwing a punch can be a powerful defensive tactic.

The instructors also say a simple punch to the throat or a knee to the groin can be very effective, but both men say the best defense is self awareness.

"This is your worst enemy, when you are on the street.  Absolutely the worst enemy you could have,” said Chuck Gary, a self defense expert, referring to his cell phone and illustrating how people are often texting and walking at the same time.

"Since kind of the beginning of all the attacks I stopped walking around looking down at my phone. I did become more aware of people's mannerisms and stuff,” said Michael Garza, who lives nearby and attended the class.

Another critical point from the experts: if you are robbed at gunpoint, do not try to fight. Give them what they want and avoid getting injured or worse. One of the men in the class said he was shot as he struggled with a gunman and ended up with huge medical bills and lost his job, all over the $12 he had in his wallet.

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