Amid Attacks On Asian New Yorkers, Self Defense Industry Seeing Uptick In Interest

CBS2's Jenna DeAngelis has the story.

Video Transcript

- And tonight, there are growing calls for bystanders to do something when witnessing a violent attack while more people are choosing to learn how to defend themselves. Here's CBS 2's Jenna DeAngelis.

NIDAIME NAKAMURA: So someone's attacking you from behind, get a chokehold.

JENNA DEANGELIS: Step by step, siblings Nidaime and Meg Nakamura are showing self-defense skills they teach at Seido Karate.

NIDAIME NAKAMURA: Body position, how you carry yourself, how you look at somebody-- all of those things will help you in your self-defense to even prevent it from happening in the first place.

JENNA DEANGELIS: And with the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes, martial arts schools like the Chinese Hawaiian Kenpo Academy are seeing a greater interest.

JANE RAY: Typical week, we might get a handful of inquiries. The past two weeks it's been, I would say, quadruple that.

JENNA DEANGELIS: In response to the violence, offering free self-defense seminars.

JANE RAY: Self-defense is really not so much about knowing how to hurt another person. It's really knowing how and when to get out of harm's way.

JENNA DEANGELIS: But if need be, showing how you can use what you have on hand for protection, like a water bottle.

JANE RAY: So winding up and then dropping it straight down.

JENNA DEANGELIS: But what if you witness an attack? The NYPD says call 911 immediately. Nonprofit the Center for Anti-Violence Education teaches ways you can step in, of course, situation based, in its free workshops.

REJ JOO: Distraction is a really nice tool if you don't want to directly engage the aggressor.

JENNA DEANGELIS: Sharing a common theme among the Asian American community.

REJ JOO: They feel alone in this. And so if there are other New Yorkers that witness this, say something, even if it's not directly to the aggressor. Just make eye contact and say, this is really messed up. I'm so sorry this happened. Change that culture, if that makes sense.

MEG NAKAMURA: Use your voice. And more often than not there are going to be others that agree with your sentiment, and that's when something can happen.

JENNA DEANGELIS: Those we spoke to encourage more than one self-defense class, saying the more ingrained the skills are, the better prepared you'll be if in harm's way. In Midtown, Jenna DeAngelis, CBS 2 News.