BAKERSFIELD, Calif. - The search for a serial rapist in East Bakersfield continues. He’s accused of assaulting at least three women. Now, a Bakersfield business owner is stepping up to help women protect themselves.
Women in Kern County are training hard and smart, as martial art instructors empower them with the skills they can use against any attacker.
There are many reasons why Justina Sierra of Bakersfield signed up for the self-defense class.
“I’m scared to take the trash out at 9 o’clock at night. I’m sacred to take my dog out in the front yard. It shouldn’t be that way,” she said.
Sierra lives in East Bakersfield where police officers and sheriff’s deputies have set up a task force to locate the suspect behind a series of attacks on women.
“We need to be able to protect ourselves and a lot of women who tend to work out of town or travel a lot or maybe even just take your kids to the grocery store, you never know who is going to come out behind you,” she said.
The Bakersfield Elite Martial Arts trains women to be alert and well prepared to hand any situation.
“In light of all the recent crime, and of course the serial rapist, they need to know moves, the need for confidence, the need to be empowered and to be aware.” Said David Woods, instructor and owner of Bakersfield Elite Martial Arts.
Woods knows the harsh crimes that happen to women on a weekly basis and wants to teach the basic techniques to stay safe.
“Women can throw a guy, it’s a matter of physics and not power so, technique can defeat power if it’s trained properly,” he said.
The series of assaults in East Bakersfield, instructor’s say is a wake up call for women to take charge of their safety.
“It’s a good idea to have something that’s going to prepare you not to be afraid and not to panic so, if someone like him or someone try’s to approach you, you know what to do,” said participant Savina Garcia.
Women are being trained free for the next two weeks.
There’s also a bilingual course being offered for Spanish-speakers.
For more on the classes visit the organization’s website: http://www.bakersfieldelitemartialarts.com/
To LIKE its Facebook page visit them here: https://www.facebook.com/BakersfieldEliteMartialArts
Bakersfield Elite Martial Arts offers classes for women-only Tuesdays and Thursdays 8-9:15pm and a Spanish class Mondays and Wednesdays 7-8:00pm and Fridays 6:30-7:30pm.