Hundreds attend self-defense class after woman says she was raped at Hardberger Park

300-plus acre park filled with trails

By Chris Shadrock - Web - News Producer

SAN ANTONIO - Woman filled the Hardberger Park Ecology Center on Sunday morning for a free self-defense class.

It was organized after a woman said she was raped in the popular North Side park earlier in the week.

Though reports of rape near the park are rare, it captured a lot of people's attention. The class was hosted by councilmen Manny Pelaez from District 8 and John Courage from District 9.

An instructor from the Kenseido United States Headquarters Dojo, whose team ran Sunday’s training, said about 300 people showed up.

RELATED: Women more cautious at Hardberger Park after rape reported

The instructors taught situational awareness and basic self-defense techniques.

Carol Cardenas, one of the women in attendance, said after the attack she felt like her park was taken away from her.

"I wanted to feel safer going out there, and I thought this might prepare me better and have more confidence about it,” she said. “I feel like my elbows, my knees, all those are weapons that can be used that I hadn't really thought of before."

READ MORE: SAPD offers safety tips after sex assault reported

Cardenas also said had not returned to the park since the attack, but now feels like she can.

San Antonio police also attended the seminar and told attendees how to be more aware of their surroundings and be ready to fight if they're attacked.