Oahu self-defense classes gain popularity after recent uptick in brazen crime

HONOLULU (KHON2) — An uptick in brazen crimes across Oahu is making some residents feel uneasy.

They are now taking matters into their own hands by learning how to protect themselves.

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Self-defense classes are booking up fast at Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Team HK.

“Now people are coming back and we’re seeing a lot of new students,” said Keanu Pascual, an instructor at Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Team HK. “You know jiu jitsu is like insurance, it’s good to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it.”

Children’s classes are held weekly.

“We learn ways to maintain ourselves and maintain our positions so we don’t get into a worse spot,” said Carl Kawika, a student in the keiki self-defense class.

The women’s self-defense classes teach a variety of moves that help women protect themselves in dangerous situations.

“If there’s a takedown we learn what to do instead of going crazy and wasting time and maybe even being violated in some way,” said Dyne Peich, a student in the women’s self-defense class. “We have a fighting chance.”

CrimeStoppers Honolulu says there are certain things to remember before fighting back.

“Assess the whole situation and ask yourself, what is your skillset,” said Sgt. Chris Kim of CrimeStoppers Honolulu. “We don’t know what the other person’s skill sets are and ask yourself if you’ll able to defend yourself.”

Honolulu police say a 69-year-old man was beaten by a bat in the Waialae area on Tuesday, May 25. The suspect took off with the victim’s money. Brazen crimes like this are what students say they are worried about.

“The stories that have come out about how vulnerable we are is really sad so this gives just a little more awareness so that perhaps we don’t ever have to use the techniques that we learn,” said Sheryl Sanders, a student in the women’s self-defense class.

On top of the physical techniques, Courage and confidence are taught on top of the physical techniques.

“Not being afraid to yell and scream or whatever we have to do, because I think too many times you’re afraid to do that. I’m still in the learning process, but the lessons I’ve learned, I feel like it can save my life.”

Relson Gracie Jiu-Jitsu Team HK has more women’s self-defense classes coming up. Click here.