All Aboard! Uptown Dallas Streetcar Named Defense

View Comments ()


    A Streetcar Named Defense travels down McKinney Avenue with a self-defense instructor taking participants out of their comfort zone.

    A Dallas self defense instructor is taking people out of their comfort zones to teach them how to protect themselves in threatening situation.

    The self-defense course, called a Streetcar Named Defense, puts students on the McKinney Avenue trolley for some hands-on experience.

    Self-Defense Trolley

    [DFW] Self-Defense Trolley
    A self-defense instructor is taking people out of their comfort zones to teach them how to protect themselves. (Published Tuesday, July 6, 2010)

    The monthly class, taught by instructor Jeff McKissack, is a two-hour self-defense and awareness course. It’s designed to teach students to think like a predator as they troll the streets of Uptown Dallas on the trolley.

    "You’re looking for people driving nice cars, you’re looking for people dressed in expensive clothes and wearing nice jewelry," said McKissack.

    He also trains his students to notice people who aren’t paying attention.

    "We’re counting people and it’s like every single person is on an iPhone or listening to an iPod," said participant Kristy Nail.

    For most of the participants, it's an exercise in self-realization.

    "I walk down the street and talk on my cell phone and never look around me," said participant Teresa Steele. "I don’t notice anything."

    The trolley makes two stops for some hands-on physical defense training, pitting husbands against wives, fathers against sons, and brothers against sisters.

    "Don’t be a static target, move around and spin around in place," said McKissack.

    He likes to think participants leave with some new self-defense techniques and a renewed sense of self-awareness.

    "It gets them thinking differently, that was the goal. At the end of the night to get them thinking more as a predator looking at them than just being prey," said McKissack.