Self-defense class raises awareness about sexual assault - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Self-defense class raises awareness about sexual assault

(Source: Rape Crisis Center of Horry and Georgetown Counties) (Source: Rape Crisis Center of Horry and Georgetown Counties)

MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – The Rape Crisis Center of Horry and Georgetown Counties worked with CheckMat Myrtle Beach BJJ and local yogi Pam Munday to host a free self-defense class Sunday.

The class took place at X Gym, located at 568 George Bishop Parkway in Myrtle Beach at 10 a.m.

Elton Hoshihara Cruz, multi-time All-Asia and All-Japan Jui-Jitsu champion brown belt taught the class alongside Doriandson Talmaturgo, seven-time Amazon Champion and Brazilian Champion brown belt from Manaus, Amazonas, Brazil.

After the class there was a cool-down and relaxation session with Yoga and breathing exercises taught by Pam Munday from Myrtle Beach Yoga.

The point of these classes is to learn techniques and skills that will help you avoid or deter an attacker. Instructors said it's better to have the skills and not need them than to need to the skills and not have them.

"The most important thing we want people to learn is confidence in themselves and confidence in their ability to do something they never thought possible," said Sexual Assault Coordinator Ashley Cruz.

This class is about defending yourself without weapons and without being violent.

"These classes are giving a small little snapshot in the abilities that people actually have,” Cruz said.

The classes will put you in real life situations forcing you to think and react quickly to escape would-be attackers. To help with that, self-defense classes are taught by Elton Cruz who is a multi-time jiu-jitsu champion brown belt.

"It's better you always know and never have to use, than one day you have to use and you don't know what to do,” said Jiu Jitsu Champ Elton Cruz.

For example, you're walking alone and someone comes up behind and grabs your arm. Instructors said first shout as loud as you can and push him or her away from you. Do everything you can to aim for body parts that will do the most damage. Instructors said practicing in a controlled environment like this class prepares you for anything.

"So you're not necessarily going to freeze or run away from the situation, you'll have more tools to fight your way out of it,” Cruz said.

While it may seem difficult at first for beginners and for people who may have once been a victim, instructors said this will only help you grow stronger.

"Overall, I want people to leave with confidence and trust in their own bodies and their own abilities so when they're faced with a dangerous or scary situation that they can get out of it," Cruz said.

Instructors said you don't have to be a black belt to defend yourself, all you need to know is how to be aware, and know simple techniques so you can be prepared in case you're ever in a violent situation.

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