Local jui jitsu instructor gives his top self defense tips
Seated behind the desk of his East Cliff Drive dojo, jui jitsu instructor Claudio Franca explains that it is not always possible to protect oneself or prevent an attack.
“Unfortunately, sometimes you don’t have a choice,” he says in a thick Brazilian accent. “Twelve o’clock, Downtown Santa Cruz … sometimes you can’t [prevent an attack],” he adds, referencing the May 7 fatal stabbing of downtown business owner Shannon Collins that still has the community reeling.
In some circumstances, however, Franca assures that self-defense training can be helpful. “The idea is avoiding the confrontation,” he says. “Move away, call another person.”
Franca, who originates from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has been teaching the martial art for 25 years. He also teaches two women’s self defense classes a week at the Santa Cruz location and one a week at his Watsonville studio.