Films and comic books may carry tips on the best ways to kill a zombie, but the best offense may be a good defense.
That's why Rob Thomas, 39, sensei of the 570 Dojo, R. 418 S. Main St., Taylor, is excited to present a unique brand of self-defense techniques on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 3-4 p.m. at Riverside Jr./Sr. High School, 310 Davis St., Taylor, during Infect Scranton.
Thomas normally offers appointment-only classes in Tsunami self-defense, a co-ed reality-based, street smart course; Tsunami combative, a more aggressive form of self-defense; Girl on Guard, a women's-only self-defense class; and Mushin-Do, the most traditional self-defense system with a colored belt rank system.
While he also holds community presentations on the importance of standard self-defense throughout the year, his course on preparing for the onslaught of the undead will be a first.
"We're taking real self-defense techniques that we would apply to anyone, and we're tweaking those moves slightly to be more aware of teeth and fingernails so you can avoid becoming infected," he said. "It's going to be as real as we can make it."
Giving a real demonstration includes having his would-be attackers dressed as the living dead, including fellow instructor Shanta Lee and some students from Riverside who have worked with Thomas in the past.
Essential self-defense, whether it's for the end of the world or the end of the week, rely on a few key points.
"Being aware of your surroundings and the environment around you is key," Thomas said. "You also should know who is around you. Is there more than one zombie or thug? Those things are key. All self-defense, before any techniques or martial arts moves are applied, start with how you conduct yourself and how (you) carry yourself in public.
"In all seriousness, every move that we're showing is a reality-based self-defense move."
While the tactics are real, there's a lot of fun to be had with the tongue-in-cheek preparation for the fallout.
"It's going to be a blast," Thomas said with a laugh. "My biggest fear, actually, is that people who are hardcore zombie fans will say a certain move wouldn't work against a zombie."
Should he find himself in Raccoon City, Evans City, or any other town plagued by the undead, Thomas said that he'd chose a "very large machine gun with a huge clip and lots of ammo" in order to get out alive. If one wasn't available, he'd wield a samurai sword. "I trained in samurai swords, so I'm proficient in those. Last resort would be a machete," he said.
For more information on Rob Thomas' traditional self-defense classes, visit www.570dojo.com.