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Neighbors Learn Self-Defense and Safety Tips

Pooja Salhotra
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Attendees

More than 40 community members of all ages attended our self-defense class in parternship with The Buzz, Crime Stoppers of Houston and Krav Haganah Global. Buzz editor Joni Hoffman said: “The price of admission is a group photo.” (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

“Be safe” is a phrase we often say to our friends, parents or children when they set off on a journey – whether it be to the grocery store or on an international adventure. But we don’t often talk about how to be safe and protect ourselves when dangerous situations do arise. To address that question, The Buzz Magazines partnered with Crime Stoppers of Houston, Krav Haganah Global and Evelyn’s Park Conservancy to offer a community self-defense class this week.  

More than 40 community members of all ages attended the free event, held on Tuesday, July 30 in the event center at Evelyn’s Park. Buzz Editor Joni Hoffman and Crime Stoppers’ CEO Rania Mankarious introduced the class, and then self-defense instructors John Peek and Jempy Neyman took the floor. 


The class practices self-defense moves. (Photo: Jordan Magaziner Steinfeld) 

Peek and Neyman demonstrated how to respond to a potential threat through hand-to-hand fighting, with moves like palm strikes, eye gouging and throat jams. They also demonstrated defenses against knife attacks and gun disarms from various angles. The class then split into smaller groups to practice these moves using props such as rubber guns/knives and padding. 

The instructors also left the class with general safety tips, such as a reminder to always stay vigilant and put away cell phones when in “transition,” for example, while walking from a parking lot to an office building or grocery store. 

“Criminals are looking for people not watching. If you’re not paying attention – even if you’re a special forces soldier – you can only be reactive, not proactive,” Peek said. “But if you are attacked, that doesn’t mean you’re instantly a victim. There’s a story that’s going to play out, and you want to tell it in your favor. You’re the writer of your story. Write it so it’s in your favor.” 

Officer John Edwards

Officer John Edwards from the Bellaire Police Department answers questions about safety. To hear the Q&A session, watch the session posted on Facebook live here(Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

Following the hand-on class, Officer John Edwards from the Bellaire Police Department led a discussion and Q&A session, where he answered questions ranging from home safety tools to whether people should carry mace in their purses. To hear Officer Edwards’ answers, watch the session posted on Facebook live here

Editor’s Note: See Sunday Mornings with Rania for articles written by Rania Mankarious, CEO of Crime Stoppers of Houston, on safety and what’s going on in the news. 

  • Crime Stoppers, Krav Haganah, The Buzz team members

    The Buzz Magazines partnered with Crime Stoppers of Houston, Krav Haganah and Evelyn’s Park Conservancy to host a community self-defense class on Tuesday, July 30. Pictured here are: (back row, from left) Jempy Neyman, John Peek, Jenna McGraw, Sydney Zuiker, Officer John Edwards, Michael Hoffman; (front row, from left) Rania Mankarious, Joni Hoffman, Jordan Magaziner, Patricia Ritter, Michelle Sacks and Tania Cruz. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

  • Elliott Jones, Abbey Flame

    Participants (from left) Elliott Jones and Abbey Flame pose for a photo before the self-defense class kicks off. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra)

  • Olivia Sacks, Bennett Sacks

    Olivia Sacks practices defending from a knife attack with her brother Bennett. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

  • Self-defense move

    The class practices a self-defense move targeted at an attacker’s nose. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

  • Mackenzie Ward, Janvi Pandya

    Mackenzie Ward and Buzz summer intern Janvi Pandya played Bellaire High School soccer together and reconnected at the self-defense class. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

  • Jempy Neyman, John Peek, John Edwards

    Krav Haganah instructors (from left) Jempy Neyman and John Peek co-taught a self-defense class, which was followed by a Q&A with Bellaire Police Department’s Officer John Edwards (on right). (Photo: Jordan Magaziner)  

  • John Peek

    Instructor John Peek teaches the class how to respond to an attack. (Photo: Jordan Magaziner Steinfeld)

  • Sam Gershen, Rania Mankarious, Bob Meehan

    Before class, (from left) Sam Gershen, Rania Mankarious and Bob Meehan pause for a photo. (Photo: Tania Cruz) 

  • Crime Stoppers, Krav Haganah, The Buzz team members
  • Elliott Jones, Abbey Flame
  • Olivia Sacks, Bennett Sacks
  • Self-defense move
  • Mackenzie Ward, Janvi Pandya
  • Jempy Neyman, John Peek, John Edwards
  • John Peek
  • Sam Gershen, Rania Mankarious, Bob Meehan

More photos

Crime Stoppers, Krav Haganah, The Buzz team members

The Buzz Magazines partnered with Crime Stoppers of Houston, Krav Haganah and Evelyn’s Park Conservancy to host a community self-defense class on Tuesday, July 30. Pictured here are: (back row, from left) Jempy Neyman, John Peek, Jenna McGraw, Sydney Zuiker, Officer John Edwards, Michael Hoffman; (front row, from left) Rania Mankarious, Joni Hoffman, Jordan Magaziner, Patricia Ritter, Michelle Sacks and Tania Cruz. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

Elliott Jones, Abbey Flame

Participants (from left) Elliott Jones and Abbey Flame pose for a photo before the self-defense class kicks off. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra)

Olivia Sacks, Bennett Sacks

Olivia Sacks practices defending from a knife attack with her brother Bennett. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

Self-defense move

The class practices a self-defense move targeted at an attacker’s nose. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

Mackenzie Ward, Janvi Pandya

Mackenzie Ward and Buzz summer intern Janvi Pandya played Bellaire High School soccer together and reconnected at the self-defense class. (Photo: Pooja Salhotra) 

Jempy Neyman, John Peek, John Edwards

Krav Haganah instructors (from left) Jempy Neyman and John Peek co-taught a self-defense class, which was followed by a Q&A with Bellaire Police Department’s Officer John Edwards (on right). (Photo: Jordan Magaziner)  

John Peek

Instructor John Peek teaches the class how to respond to an attack. (Photo: Jordan Magaziner Steinfeld)

Sam Gershen, Rania Mankarious, Bob Meehan

Before class, (from left) Sam Gershen, Rania Mankarious and Bob Meehan pause for a photo. (Photo: Tania Cruz) 

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