With a little help, 9-year-old Nasir Andrews tosses her self-defense instructor to the mat with a loud slap.
"It's not about beating people up, it's just about self-defense and to protect yourself," she said.
It's Monday night at the Bellevue Crossroads Community Center. Andrews is getting a personal lesson from Bellevue Police Officer and instructor Craig Hanaumi.
"I feel empowered with self-defense and I use it as a tool to connect with the community," said Hanaumi. "I couldn't see that story and not do anything. I can add into it, I can contribute somehow."
The story he's referring to is the video Andrews posted on Facebook about being bullied by her classmates at her Bellevue elementary school. Nasir used flash cards with words written on them to tell share what her first year at a new school was like. It was not a good one.
"I didn't really have any friends and we had a lot of issues this year," said Andrews.
But she and her family are trying to put the past behind them.
"I think that it's something that's going to empower her, which is something that I think she has been needing," said her father Travis.
He steps onto the mat with his daughter, as Hanaumi demonstrates some Jiu Jitsu moves to help people get out of trouble.
"I think if a person has that confidence from knowing how to protect yourself, you exhibit it," Hanaumi explains.
Helping Andrews stand up for herself and for others when she heads back to a new school in September.
"I'm confident that next year will be a really good year, a really good one," she said.
Hanaumi teaches the self-defense class at the community center every Wednesday from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. It's open to all middle and high school students and is free of charge.
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