About once a year, a Glen Burnie martial arts school offers discounts on classes to those charged with protecting the public's safety -- firefighters, police officers and members of the armed forces.
When KD US Martial Arts reopens this week after the holidays, flight attendants will be added to the list.
The school, about 6 miles from Baltimore-Washington International Airport, is offering flight attendants its classes at half off the regular price of about $70 a month, said Soo Bai, the manager and a black-belt instructor at the school.
"We felt they can get a benefit out of it," Bai said of the tae kwon do and hapkido classes and weapons-defense training. "It will help them a lot with their safety and confidence."
Martial arts schools nationwide saw an increase in enrollment of flight attendants after Sept. 11. And after Dec. 22, when flight attendants helped subdue a passenger who is accused of trying to set his shoes on fire in an attempt to set off explosives, Bai predicts more of them will be looking for ways to protect themselves.
"Definitely, [martial arts training] will help with that kind of problem," Bai said.
Richard Delprete, 28, a student at the Glen Burnie school, earned his black belt in tae kwon do before he earned his wing pin; he started his job as a flight attendant for New York-based JetBlue Airways on Sept. 17.
Though Delprete, of Severna Park, began studying martial arts four years ago to explore his spirituality, he says mind and body lessons will help in the air.
Bai said the school decided to offer the discount after receiving calls from several flight attendants after the attacks Sept. 11. In addition to Delprete, three other flight attendants take classes at the school.