'Dark Guardian' Raises Money to Open Superhero School for Kids 4 and Up
By Christian McLamb on October 29, 2013 3:27pm
BROOKLYN - Dark Guardian, the "real-life superhero" who's patrolled the streets of Greenwich Village for years, is looking to open his own superhero school.
Chris Pollak, a 29-year-old martial arts instructor from Staten Island who hits the streets to battle crime in a bulletproof vest and black and red leather jacket, is soliciting $8,000 on Indiegogo to put together what he's calling the "first ever school for superheroes" — aptly named HERO.
"I want to make heroes out of people," said Pollak, who hopes to open the school somewhere in Brooklyn. "I want to help people be the best person they can be."
Pollak plans to offer mixed martial arts, the wall-climbing agility sport of parkour, along with self-defense moves for his students — who can be adults or kids as young as 4 years old.
The money will pay for floor mats, safety and crash mats, as well as pads and punching bags, and other materials, he wrote on his Indiegogo campaign website.
Pollak wants to help others increase their self-confidence and bring out their inner "superhero traits," according to his website.
The campaign had raised $131 as of Tuesday, and has until Dec. 31 to meet its goal.
Pollak posted a video of himself asking kids in martial arts outfits how they define "hero."
"Somebody that helps people," said one student.
But he said he will warn kids in his superhero school away from trying to fight the bad guys themselves — urging them to call police instead.
"If kids see something happening, I want them to call 911 immediately and get help," said Pollak.
He plans to offer free programs to underprivileged kids who cannot afford the classes.
Pollak has been doing martial arts for the past 16 years and is trained in mixed martial arts, Shodokan Aikido, boxing, grappling and Philipino stick and knife fighting.
Dark Guardian and his group of superheroes, called the New York Initiative, patrol the streets of Manhattan and Brooklyn as many as three times a week.
When he and his pals come across crime, they shine a light on it — sometimes literally, as Dark Guardian carries around a flashlight he points in the faces of ne'er-do-wells.
"I look up the police reports and go to the areas with the most incidents and we try to make a difference," Pollak said.