School violence prompts teachers to take martial arts classes

Teachers and staff recently rallied outside the Clark County, Nevada, School District headquarters to protest violence in schools. They want the district to do a better job protecting them

But in the meantime, several martial arts studios in the Las Vegas area are offering self-defense classes for teachers and charter school employees in response to recent violent incidents in schools.

Tara Cox, the owner of Legacy Martial Arts in Henderson, said she thought it would be helpful to offer self-defense classes. 

"So I just put feelers out and the response was huge," Cox said.

More than 40 teachers and staff filled up the class so the studio will offer a second one. 

"Go over a few different scenarios that they could be faced with to help them diffuse the situation," Cox said. "If we can help to cut it off at the pass even before it reaches a violent situation and then give them tools even if it did reach that level."

Samurai Training Center will be holding a class, too. Owner Lee Sakai said the class will focus on what he called "distance awareness."

"A lot of times when there's a confrontation, they're not managing the distance well — they allow people in their private space," Sakai said.

Jujitsu is about control over the attacker without injuring them, he added. 

"It's not a bunch of big muscle heads throwing people around — what we teach here is the way it was taught way back in the day," Sakai said. "Jujitsu in English means the gentle art."

The studios are offering these self-defense classes for free.