Self-defense classes preparing Chinatown residents for rise in violent crimes

CHINATOWN, Manhattan (WABC) -- Some are taking their security into their own hands.

"There was a day I did Martial arts for fun - now it's survival so I can live," said Henry Zhang of the Dragon Combat Club.

Zhang and his friend Jon Hu started the Dragon Combat Club - volunteer self-defense classes to prepare people against the rise in violent crimes. Classes are taught virtually three days a week.

"When I'm on the subway when I'm walking home, I just want to be safe," said Chong Bretillon.

The threat is real - especially for Asian Americans, after a rash of vicious attacks over the past year. Bretillon is preparing.

"If someone comes up behind you, you want to be aware," Bretillon said.

"As attacks got more and more violent, I had to realize how are we going to deal with weapons," Zhang added.

Every tactic, every move is one step closer to keeping people safe.

To protect yourself, simply using a flashlight can be a deterrent to an attacker - not only the ridges but pointing it right in the eye.

"This is the least we can do as far as immediate response," said student Alex Ho.



It is one more tool in their hands and on their side on the streets of New York to survive.

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