Local martial arts company tries to support and help Asian residents protect themselves from hate crimes
LAS VEGAS (KLAS) – Over the past month, local organizations have taken action to support the Asian-American community in Las Vegas. The action comes after the mass shooting in Atlanta that left six Asian women dead, as well as other attacks across the country.
A local martial arts business is even stepping up to provide empowerment through self-defense.
“We were able to learn skills to protect ourselves and at least be aware of our surroundings,” said Edelweiss Solano, director of family services for the Asian Community Development Council.
Solano was one of more than a dozen people who made it to the Las Vegas Kung Fu Academy on Tuesday. Solano joined her colleagues at the Asian Community Development Council to learn about self-defense and how situational awareness can impact security.
“Even though we all have common sense, there are many areas that we tend to get distracted,” said Denise Gonzales, judo and jujitsu instructor at Las Vegas Kung Fu Academy. “So we want to make them aware that distraction can be very dangerous in their lives.”
Gonzales walked the group through different techniques on how to get out of a hold and fight back. She also demonstrated important self-defense tools, such as pepper spray and personal alarms.
“It’s not living in fear,” Gonzalez said. “It’s basically about learning the tools to be more aware, have more confidence and protect yourself.”
For students like Bethany Tan, these classes helped her develop physical skills, but she also gained confidence.
“When I actually started I was super calm, super shy, I wasn’t really talking to anyone,” Tan said. “So being here really helped me learn to build my confidence, to go out more.”
The academy currently has a lot of kids in its classes, but instructors would like to see more adults and seniors learning self-defense.
The academy says some crimes against the Asian community go unreported. They want to remind everyone that if they see something, say something.