As more Alaskans face the specter of sexual violence, an Anchorage judo instructor is doing his part to help women protect themselves.

On Sunday, it was back to school for Lou Creager and his wife, Denise Creager-Smith.

The couple were showing what they've learned, as they take part in a free self-defense class at the Alaska Women's Show.

"It's good to know how to get out of situations should you find yourself in them, because you never know what might happen," said Denise Creager-Smith.

Jacob Dempsey is the head instructor for the University of Alaska Anchorage Judo Club. He offered his time at the Women's Show to help people learn to defend themselves.

"The confidence you gain, from knowing you can protect yourself, is often enough to keep you from getting into those situations," Dempsey said.

Overall, crime in Anchorage has skyrocketed in recent years. Sex crimes across Alaska fell by 4 percent in the latest numbers from the Alaska Department of Public Safety, but the number of victims rose by 27 percent.

Dempsey says that has not translated into an increase in more people who want to learn how to defend themselves. He's not surprised. 

"People tend to bury their head in the sand, until somebody forces them to look at it," Dempsey said.

The couple learns another valuable lesson, and something else.

"I think (of) how easy some of these holds are, but, how incapacitating they can be," Creager-Smith said.

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