MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) – The Rape Crisis Center for Horry and Georgetown Counties paired up with CheckMat Myrtle Beach Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu on Saturday to host a free self-defense class for the community.
“Everyday you see headlines talking about people getting attacked in parking lots,” said Ashley Hoshihara Cruz, who works with the Rape Crisis Center. “At my work I see it constantly, everyday.”
She said this class is important because it helps community members feel prepared.
“It’s not necessarily teaching people in two hours how to stave off an attacker, but really how to give them the confidence to walk around with their head held high and know they have the ability to do it if they had to,” she added.
Hoshihara Cruz’s husband, Elton, is the Sensei Ton at CheckMat Academy. He’s originally from Brazil and is a multi-time All Asia and All Japan Jiu-Jitsu champion brown belt. He said Jiu-Jitsu gave him so many opportunities in life, and he teaches to give back.
“That’s the way that I know how to actually make a difference and help people,” he added.
Both say the class isn’t all about fighting, it’s about having confidence and control of your body.
“Violence happens everywhere. It can happen in the home, it can happen on the street so it’s really important that people know how to take care of themselves and are confident in their abilities. If something is dangerous they know they can get out of that situation,” added Hoshihara Cruz.