CHICAGO (CBS) -- We are all too well aware of the ongoing carjacking crisis here in Chicago – but now, a self-defense instructor has a solution in the form of a free course to help keep you safe.
The instructor, Marquinn McDonald, showed CBS 2's Marissa Parra some moves you might use if you should find yourself face-to-face with danger.
Not only are they teaching tips on carjacking defense and awareness at Quantum Martial Arts and Fitness, but they offered five classes instead of four this year because there was such a high demand from Chicagoans living in fear.
McDonald emphasized that the purpose of self-defense is not to encourage violence.
"A lot of people may look at martial arts as a form of you're learning how to be more violent," he said. "But what you learn - you start to gain better confidence and security."
For years, McDonald has taught self-defense classes to Chicago women for free. But this year, he got a special request.
"When the carjackings started increasing, women were asking us, 'How do we address this?'" he said.
McDonald has been part of the grassroots effort to curb carjacking for almost a year through the Community Safe Passage Initiative. He is part of the team guarding gas pumps in Bronzeville every Saturday.
The self-defense instructor is now teaching what to do when those volunteers are not there guarding.
Parra: "Does this ever get sad or alarming for you?"
McDonald: "it is. This is our reality, unfortunately, in this city where we have to now think like this daily: 'How do I survive an encounter?'"
His lessons include tips to prevent a carjacking before it happens and buying you time if you get ambushed. His goal is not to protect your things, but to keep you alive.
"If you can avoid getting into a physical altercation and survive that, you're victorious," McDonald said. "I don't care if they took everything. All that can be replaced. Your life can't."
This particular class at Quantum Martial Arts started in March. A session Saturday will be the last for 2021.
The Saturday session will be held at the Northeastern Illinois University Carruthers Center, at 700 E. Oakwood Blvd. in Bronzeville, from noon until 3 p.m.
Next Wednesday, Dec. 22, at the auditorium of the Thompson Center downtown, McDonald will be joined by Illinois state Rep. LaShawn K. Ford (D-Chicago) for a "Listening to Our Black Youth" event – where young people will discuss the trauma they are dealing with and how it leads to the crime we've been seeing.
Quantum Martial Arts and Fitness is located in Suite 141 at River City, at 800 S. Wells St. in the South Loop.
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