Free community self-defense class scheduled for Saturday

Area martial arts professionals join a community self-defense and mental health education event on Saturday in response to the recent mass shootings.

From 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday, Okinawa Karate coaches from Bartlesville, YMCA, and Thunder Martial Arts will be at the Westside Community Center, 501 S Bucy Ave., giving free classes in various styles of martial arts .

The free event will also have door prizes.

Hosted by Nathan Chulmsky, owner of Okinawa Karate of Bartlesville, the event will also feature information about local mental health resources and other social service organizations around Bartlesville.

“Every time there’s a mass shooting…they say (there are) mental health issues,” Chulmsky said. is a problem.

Chulmsky said he originally planned to invite representatives from local mental health resources, but that didn’t work out.

Every one and a half to two hours throughout the event, Chulmsky will lead an active shooter formation, based on a guide from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

“I’m going to walk you through what Homeland Security defines active shooter, what are the three main steps to take if you find yourself in an active shooter situation. I’m also going to talk about the difference between cover and cover-up,” Chulmsky said.

At his company, Chulmsky teaches traditional Okinawan karate, Israeli defense tactics, MMA, kickboxing and sports karate, among others.

He said he hopes to make the event annual, with future iterations offering more services.

“Hopefully it will grow and expand over the years and involve more people.”

Kristen T. Prall