Free women's self-defense classes

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - I Am Legacy is a Native American based organization hosting free self-defense classes, exclusively to women.

Mashanaposhe Camp, one of the self-defense instructors, teaches our reporter, Alexus Davila, some basic tactics. (KEVN)

More than 4 in 5 Native American women have experienced violence in their lifetime, according to a 2018 report from the National Congress of American Indians.

It's a concern for Erik Bringswhite who said Native American women are sacred.

"They're just so valuable and so precious to us. We just want to do what we can as a male-led organization," said I Am Legacy founder Bringswhite.

Every Monday, one of two instructors will be available to teach basic self-defense tactics.

Mashanaposhe Camp is one of the instructors. As a retired Marine veteran, he says the combat training he learned for four years can help civilians too.

"We're taught to identify dangers on the battlefield. So it really transfers over to the civilian world. You know, I just want to share the skills I have with our people in any way that I can," said Camp.

Camp said he also teaches women about situational awareness and how to be vigilant to avoid putting themselves in a dangerous environment. He advises all women to pay attention to their surroundings just in case.

The first two weeks are introductory classes teaching the simple basics. Over time, the plan is to evolve into professional level training.

However, Bringswhite said as long as a woman wants self-defense training, the classes will remain.

If you want to try out a class, head over to the Rushmore Mall to the I Am Legacy center beside the At Home store. Classes are every Monday.