Members of a martial arts class in Moscow are learning the art of "selfie-defense" to beat back criminals who may want to snatch their smartphones while taking pictures at the world’s most popular tourist hotspots.

A class at the M-PROFI martial arts center is aimed at helping tourists fend off criminals by using their selfie sticks.

“Unfortunately very often a selfie stick is the only weapon a tourist has when travelling abroad, and it has the advantage of often being at hand,” spokesperson Daria Lapshina told Yahoo News.

The five-lesson course also includes elements of mixed martial arts and Thai boxing, and organizers say the selfie sticks are perfectly legal to carry onboard planes.

"We teach people to use the handles if the selfie stick has a phone attached, and it is a very effective defensive weapon,” Lapshina said.

Click for more from Yahoo News.