Asian self-defense rally held in San Francisco amid rise in violence

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SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (KRON) — A large crowd took over San Francisco City Hall today where community members organized a rally to speak out against the recent surge in violence against Asian Americans.

We’ve seen many people come together and unite at these rallies over the last few weeks. However, this one took a slightly different approach. 

On Sunday, different martial arts gyms in the city came together to give live demonstrations and teach self-defense lessons.

“Asians are strong.”

That was the message of Sunday’s rally at City Hall all where community members gathered to stand up against the violence attacks on Asian Americans.

San Francisco native Hudson Liao organized the event.

“We can’t sit back for politics and policies. Those are needed for long term systemic changes but right now grandmas are getting beaten to death in the street. Who do you argue with that?” Liao said. “There’s no moral compass for that kind of conversation. How do I even start talking to someone who thinks that’s O.K. So right now the important thing is talking to our community because there’s a lot of fear. I don’t want my community in fear. i don’t want my mother to be afraid.”

Liao is also a representative of El Nino MMA and Woodenman Muay Thai in the city. He brought other martial arts gyms and groups on Sunday to do live demonstrations and teach self-defense lessons.

“I think it’s really important for our community to support this cause and speak up and what’s really so special about this rally is that it’s about self defense and showing others that we are strong,” he said.

13-year-old activist and fashion designer Ashlyn So was one of several community members to speak at the rally, in addition to Julie Tang, a retired San Francisco superior court judge.

“I’ve never in the 53 years that I’ve been in this country, longer than you were born many of you, that I’ve felt this sense of danger that I feel now,” she said. “The sense of danger that I feel for my own personal safety. the safety for all of you who look Asian. I am very very concerned about that.”

Organizers say their goal is to help fight that fear, to empower their community through strength and self-defense education.

“What we really want people to do is start feeling confident so if that situation ever comes up you know confidently what you can do a little better and feel safer out there.”

A lot of people got involved with these combat drills on Sunday.

Organizers say it’s really important to continue this education further to better prepare yourself.

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