Self-defense demo informs

Kimberly Stelly,

Half of Los Medanos College’s gym was occupied Monday afternoon, as a sizeable group made up of mostly students attended a free self-defense demonstration, as a part of a string of Student Life hosted events in honor of Sexual Violence Awareness Week.

The first half of the event was a presentation of information on victim’s rights led by representatives from Contra Costa County’s District Attorney’s Office. Crime Victim Advocate Jasmin Rodriguez led the conversation on topics varying from domestic violence to various acts of physical assault.

According to Rodriguez, many of the cases she’s helped out with when she was stationed at the Pittsburg Police Department, are domestic violence and sexual assault cases.

Rodriguez said even though there is help offered to assault survivors, they often don’t speak up. She noted that speaking out can be “very difficult and scary,” but the obstacle often preventing them from doing so is because they don’t know where to start.

She said the Victim Assistance Center in Martinez provides relocation services as well as information about what counts as consent, what constitutes hate crimes and steps you can take to prevent potential assault.

“Anyone can become a victim of a crime at anytime,” said Rodriguez.

Rodriguez also emphasized the importance of community input and participation. For those interested, she said that through the Victim Assistance Center there were jobs being offered as well as internships.

The latter half of the event aimed to help attendees learn how to defend themselves against potential assault and was led by Tim Calvin, the founder and CEO of D1 & Only Martial Arts Academy.

After listing his qualifications — former Oakland police officer, fifth degree black belt — it was time for the audience to learn by being physically engaged in the demo. With the help of two assistants, Calvin showed the students a few punches and kicks, and after they had time to put the moves into practice. As the students partnered up, Calvin and several volunteers from the academy walked around the gym observing attendees as the students worked on their defense.

For more information about how to seek advice or help about assault, you can call the Victim Assistance Center at 252-4818. For more information on D1 & Only Martial Arts Academy, visit or reach them at 753-1167.