Tucson Rising Phoenix Self-Defense dojo is a place where people of all backgrounds come to learn controlled violence to keep the peace.

The marital arts studio primarily focuses on traditional Israeli Krav Maga, but teaches a variety of other techniques too like Brazilian jiu jitsu, judo, Muay Thai kickboxing and more.

But owner Jesse James Tucker wanted to take it to the next level.

Rising Phoenix offers classes tailored to marginalized populations: women and the LGBTQIA+ communities.

I wanted to open this up to all at-risk communities, as long as people fit my code,” he said. “Dont talk politics here, and…if I believe you are a good, kind and caring person I will absolutely teach you real-world self defense.

Lauren Redman, lead instructor for Rainbow Connection the class geared toward the queer community said it’s important to have a safe space to talk about attacks and help prevent them in the future.

We talk about the real-life implications of the situations were dealing with and we work to actively address those concerns, so that everyone feels safe, Redman explained.

And they keep an eye on what’s happening in the world, noting increased attacks at pride rallies and putting those defense techniques into practice.

According to data from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, almost 22% of hate crimes in 2022 were based on a person’s gender, gender identity or sexual orientation.

Victoria Suchanek, instructor for the women’s self-defense class says she dove into martial arts because she didn’t like that her small frame made her scared to be alone in public.

Three years later and she hasn’t looked back.

She said this type of martial art is meant to be picked up quickly.

This history of Krav Maga was that they had to put a civilian force together to fight and be able to fight without any prior experience,” Suchanek said.

“So if you dont have prior experience, it doesnt matter. Everything we teach is meant to be practical, simple.

Both classes are given on a donations-basis so no one is deterred from attending due to financial barriers.

And mobility level isn’t a concern either.

Especially at this gym, we find a way to work for you because your attacker doesnt care what your limitations are, so neither should you.

Rainbow Connection meets Saturdays from 12 – 1 p.m. The women’s self-defense class meets Fridays from 6 – 7:30 p.m. and Saturdays from 3 – 4:30 p.m.

Krav Maga is located at 4500 E. Speedway Blvd., Ste 4.