Owner of the Z Ultimate Self Defense studio, Jim Herzog, was surprised when a Volkswagen ID.4 roared through the studio on January 31 about 5:15 p.m.
The car, driven by a person picking up a pizza, was stopped when it hit the back wall.
“There was a huge response from Emergency Services,” Herzog said, noting that there were six fire vehicles and two LAPD cruisers that responded. “LAPD determined to their satisfaction, that the driver was not incapacitated.”
At the time, there was a private lesson underway in the studio, located at 16605 Sunset Boulevard. “We are so lucky that the only injuries were minor cuts and bruises,” said Herzog, who has been at that location for 10 years. Prior to that time the studio was located at Sunset and Palisades Drive
The driver told authorities that he had placed his vehicle in reverse and his car suddenly took off at full acceleration forward.
Herzog, who has been teaching in Pacific Palisades for nearly 27 years, said it took nearly seven weeks for the insurance company to approve the claim.
“It’s his livelihood and it’s been a difficult road getting through the insurance,” said resident Russell Long, who agreed to help Herzog, his sensie (teacher), rebuild. “The families that attend here with their children, including myself are excited to get the dojo reopened. It has affected the community and as far as I know nobody has written about it.”
Herzog sent a photo of the before and after. “Long, as you can see, did a beautiful job,” he said.
Insurance has agreed to compensate Herzog for the lost time, while the studio was closed, but “I will have to build up our student base again. Luckily, I have lots of practice after the pandemic.”
There will be a low-key Grand Reopening on April 3. “Students can come in and work out in our newly renovated space, but anyone is welcome to stop in and say, ‘Hi,’” Herzog said.
The dojo provides classes for all ages and for all skill levels.
Long added, “He’s a humble guy but extremely nice and great with kids of which he has two small ones.”