CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A string of home invasions and violent crime in south Charlotte is causing one local martial arts studio to step up to protect the community.

Winners for Life Martial Arts South Park will be offering a free self-defense seminar from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Aug. 15. for anyone ages 15 and up.

Chris Kellogg, program director and assistant instructor, said the recent home invasions and crimes in south Charlotte he’s seen reported on the news made him want to offer the seminar for the community to be able to protect themselves.

"That is our number one concern is, I don't want to get into a fight with the person,” Kellogg said. “I just want to be able to defend myself, get out of the danger area, get to safety, notify the police."

Kellogg said people will be able to learn confidence and basic self-defense moves.

“We’re going to teach them basic strikes, basic blocks, and some basic kicks that anybody can use,” Kellogg added.

Less than a mile away from the martial arts studio, police said an armed suspect broke through a locked door at an apartment on Wakefield Drive Monday morning. Police said the suspect threatened a 24-year-old man with a gun and stole several items, including a laptop, a watch, and cash.

In a separate instance this week, a woman in Ballantyne out for a walk with her dog said a man jumped out a van and approached her. She said she was scared, so she took off running to get away.

"If you can run away, run away,” Kellogg said. “But in case of worst-case scenario, we want people to have knowledge that they can use to essentially be their own hero and be able to defend themselves worst-case scenario happens."

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