SUMMIT, NJ - Providing lessons on how to assess risk from acquaintances, overcome emotional barriers in acknowledging danger, and engage in effective verbal and physical self-defense when necessary, the Summit Police Department will offer a 'Fight Back' self-defense class for women in grades nine and older on August 8, from 6 -  8:30 p.m., at Lawton C. Johnson Middle School.

The free course, led by Summit Police Officer and John H. Stamler Police Academy physical training instructor Donald DeFilippis, is appropriate for all ability levels and will focus on useful defense techniques, and situational awareness skills. 

“The Fight Back course is an excellent opportunity for women in our community high school age and older 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 effectively handle things that happen in everyday life.” 

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Weck added, “The goal of the course is for participants to come away with an awareness and confidence that will keep them safe. If you are in town and available on August 8, I strongly encourage you to bring a friend or family member and take this course.” 

A self-defense class for middle school-age girls during the next school year is also in the works.

To register, send an e-mail with name, age and phone number to no later than Monday, August 5. Participants are asked to wear comfortable workout clothing for the hands-on training exercises. 

For additional information on the women’s self-defense course, contact Weck at 908-277-2866 or