SUMMIT, NJ - Girls in grades six through eight can learn useful defense techniques, as well as situational awareness and confidence building skills through a free 'Fight Back' self-defense class offered by the Summit Police Department on October 29, from 3 - 5 p.m., at Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School.

Led by Summit Police Officer and John H. Stamler Police Academy physical training instructor Donald DeFilippis, the course is appropriate for all ability levels, with participants receiving lessons on assessing risk from acquaintances, overcoming emotional barriers in acknowledging danger, and engaging in effective verbal and physical self-defense when necessary. Participants are asked to wear comfortable workout clothing for hands-on training exercises.

A similar course for high school age young women was held this past August.

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“The 'Fight Back' course is an excellent opportunity for young girls to gain practical and important defense skills to help avoid situations where assaults can occur,” said Summit Police Chief Robert Weck. “It is not just about the best way to fight off an attacker—although we teach ways to respond when physically attacked— it is about learning how to handle things that happen in everyday life with confidence.”

To register, complete a course waiver in advance and email it to by Thursday, October 24. Space is limited to the first 50 participants to complete all paperwork by October 24. Registrants will receive a confirmation prior to the event.

Lawton C. Johnson Summit Middle School is located at 272 Morris Avenue.