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Asian-Americans turn to self-defense amid racism

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics - Duration: 01:57s - Published
Asian-Americans turn to self-defense amid racism

Asian-Americans turn to self-defense amid racism

When tragedy struck across the country in Georgia, Tam Nguyen helped fellow members of his Southern California Vietnamese-American community start defense courses and assert themselves in the face of racism.

Gloria Tso reports.

As reports of hate crimes put Asian-Americans across the U.S. on edge, one school in Garden Grove, California is teaching them how to stand up for themselves.

47 year old Tam Nguyen is the co-owner of Advance Beauty College, the business his parents first started upon coming to America.

The Atlanta spa shootings last month, which targeted several Asian-owned businesses and predominantly killed Asian women, hit close to home for Nguyen.

He says he soon decided to pivot from offering beauty and hairstyling lessons... to self-defense classes.

"I just believe there's an opportunity to educate and to have honest conversations now.

And it starts right here... And it starts not from our political divides, religious divides, social divides, but it starts with human-to-human interaction." Every two weeks or so, the mannequin heads at Advance are set aside for martial arts as instructors teach around 50 students different techniques to fend off potential attackers.

While Nguyen says his parents raised him to keep a low profile and "be a good immigrant," he felt compelled to stand up and act against racism and hate given the surge in anti-Asian violence over the past year.

"I am optimistic that I in my lifetime have never seen this type of wave of Asian-Americans speaking up, of mainstream media covering this Asian hate that's going on, and the rise of solutions... it is in my belief that America will be better." Nguyen says him and his group of volunteers are now working on their next venture -- a benefit concert aimed at combatting anti-Asian violence.




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