Martial Arts Raises Genocide Awareness in San Diego

Participants in Saturday's event at San Diego's Fight Shop

SAN DIEGO, Calif. (—On Saturday, April 19, from noon till well past 2 p.m., the Fight Shop on Miramar Road in San Diego hosted the Armenian Genocide Remembrance Event, a free, two hour plus, open mat self-defense presentation.

After a discussion of the ghastly Armenian Genocide, the event’s organizer, Hayk Bel Harutyunyan ended the presentation by stating, “We, as the descendants of the survivors of this genocide, owe it to those who perished, not just in the Armenian Genocide, but in all crimes against humanity, to keep speaking out against these atrocities and let all of humanity know, so it will never, ever happen again.”

On closing, the instructors went immediately into their insightful mixed martial arts instruction. How insightful? When you see an instructor with a Black Belt in one discipline being fascinated by another instructor’s hold in another discipline, you know they have everyone’s attention.

First instructor up was Jason Bukich from The Arena MMA in Point Loma who with his long hair and full beard bears a strong resemblance to the late actor Jeffrey Hunter who portrayed Jesus Christ in the 1961 movie classic King of Kings.

The reason for mentioning this similarity was the demeanor of Bukich who kept mentioning his concern for the people he’s restrained in one of his choke holds rather than the normal braggadocios manner of “I put this goon’s lights out, then stomped on his face.” The mannerly Mr. Bukich went through several practical maneuvers you can use when being accosted by someone who has had a few too many drinks.

The most popular maneuvers involved how to defend yourself when your adversary is much taller and stronger and the ways to counteract that height and strength advantage.

When Bukich finished, it was Hayk Bel Harutyunyan’s turn and like with Bukich’s insightful holds and escapes, Harutyunyan amazed everyone, including Bukich, with his disarming tactics. With one quick motion he had people on their knees grimacing in pain.

At the close of the seminar, those present were given a free Armenian Genocide Remembrance Event shirt and advised there would be further self-defense classes at the same gym, the Fight Shop on Miramar Road.


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