Self-defense class at Twinsburg Karate Institute
The Girl Scouts of Troop 90400 will honor their former leader, the late Tami Mitchell Wong, with a park bench at their meeting place — a fitting tribute to a friend and mentor and a sober reminder of the scourge of domestic violence.
Tami Wong, 46, was stabbed to death by her husband of 11 years in her Abrams Drive home in February 2013.
“I’m just really proud of the girls that they wanted to do this,” troop leader Carol Moore said. “I’d rather celebrate [Tami’s] life than mourn her death at this point … and that’s what we’re focused on.”
To raise money for the $700 bench, to be painted purple and placed outside the Twinsburg Community Center with the inscription “In Loving Memory of Tami Wong,” the Scouts went to Sensei Reggie Brown and the Twinsburg Karate Institute.
Brown said he was happy to kick in his time and effort, opening the doors of the Darrow Road martial arts studio for a March 5 self-defense class for women — and fundraiser for the Scouts.
“We’d like to thank The Karate Institute,” Troop 90400 co-leader Felicia Harris said. “We’re extremely grateful for all the assistance provided by TKI.”
“Anything we can do to help out the troop in their efforts to honor Tami Wong, we’re happy to do,” Brown said.
About 33 women and teens attended, along with five Scouts, easily raising the $700 for the bench — and another $500 for a battered women’s shelter to be determined.
“It was an amazing day,” Moore said. “Women learned different self-defense moves, including escapes … and how to hit properly. Everyone had a lot of fun.”
Brown said the ladies learned techniques that are based on the physics of the human body and not necessarily individual strength.
“We teach about eight to 10 techniques — not techniques to win a fight, that’s not the point,” Brown said. “The techniques are rather to prevent [one] being taken or otherwise.”
Brown said any age group can learn the moves, though this class catered to those 13 years and older.
What’s important, he said, is to teach practical skills that can help prevent tragic outcomes in domestic violence or other situations.
“Our theory is that if you’re attacked or grabbed, there are a number of things you can do to make a person feel you’re not worth the trouble,” he said.
“This was a perfect way to honor [Tami],” Moore added.