STOCKTON (CBS13) — A Stockton woman is taking her love for martial arts and using it to inspire others.

Kim Byrd is a fifth degree in Shòu Shù martial arts. She is the only woman to hold that title in this style of martial arts.

The Chinese-style of martial arts is centered around self-defense, something Byrd decided was a necessity after a life-changing experience. She was the victim of a home invasion 20 years ago and had no idea what to do during the invasion. The paralyzing helplessness gave Byrd a new outlook.

“If I was gonna go down, I was gonna go down fighting,” Byrd said.

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Not only has Shòu Shù taught her how to protect herself and take on new challenges, now she is empowering others.

“I have everything from young girls to older women. It’s not age specific or skill specific. We can take anybody and teach them how to defend themselves,” Byrd said.

This unexpected path lifted her confidence, but now she’s finding joy watching her students build their self-esteem.

“They’ll walk proud. stand tall and be leaders in the community in the future,” Byrd said.

You can learn more about Byrd’s Shòu Shù and yoga classes here. 

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