PASCO, Wash. — The owner of Pasco’s Movement Athletics, Pedro Torres, has taught self-defense classes at the gym for two years. Attendees start with basic techniques, master them and learn more. The six-week-long class consists of 90-minute sessions where students will learn how to fight off attackers, but also how to be aware of their surroundings and use their voice to protect themselves.
“It’s necessary in today’s day and world, and to be honest I think forever and a half ago,” said Torres.
Between 2010 and 2020, violent crime rose 12% overall in U.S. cities, according to Safe Home. Kennewick saw a 145% increase in aggravated assaults in 2022, with 71 reported cases compared to 29 the year before. An average range is reportedly between 19-26, according to the City of Kennewick. The city also reported a 61% in total violent crime.
When you start in the class, you learn the introductory scenarios and techniques to combat them, like an attacker grabbing you on the street, an attacker surprising you from the side and an attacker trying to choke you. The moves you’ll learn for these attacks can be used in all sorts of scenarios, according to Torres.
As you advance belt levels, you’ll learn about more intense scenarios and techniques to combat them, like an attacker coming up with a knife, a stick or a gun.
Torres has also worked with Master Barry Geeck, lead instructor at Kempo Karate. Geeck told NonStop Local that he’s only had to use these skills once, but he’s thankful he had the knowledge.
“Four kids right in my face, one on this side, one went to grab my beard, and it was just like in the movies, everything was slow motion,” said Geeck. “I took him down with a wrist manipulation and the other three ran off and that was it.”
But Torres says there’s more to self-defense than the physical aspect, it also teaches you presence and calmness.
The next classes begin March 4. One class can hold up to 16 people. Different pricing options are available; sign up online.