Raven Self Defense Academy has new home in Hurricane, teaches positive lifestyle choice

HURRICANE — The Raven Self Defense Academy has a new address, giving business owner Raven Cain an improved facility and a greater platform for community service.

Business owner Raven Cain, center, at the opening of the Raven Self Defense Academy, Hurricane, Utah, Aug. 28, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

Cain was joined by martial arts students and instructors, members of the Hurricane community and members of the Hurricane Valley Chamber of Commerce at a ribbon cutting ceremony Saturday morning in the new dojo and training facility located at 320 West State Street.

“I’m so glad to be here,” Cain told St. George News before cutting the ribbon. “It’s 5,000 square feet of glorious training space! I’m very excited about that.”

What used to be the home of Fox Theater now houses a martial arts training facility, complete with jujutsu mats, a boxing ring where the stage used to be and various kick bags, punching bags and separate rooms for classes and lessons.

“I’m trying to bring in a lot of positive energy,” Cain said. “It’s a positive place where people can come and learn and grow and become their best selves, and that’s the whole idea of what martial arts is all about.”

He added that fighting and Hollywood movie-type action ability is a byproduct of martial arts training, not the goal.

“It’s really about self improvement and becoming your very best,” Cain said.

Inside the Raven Self Defense Academy, Hurricane, Utah, Aug. 28, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

The Raven Self Defense Academy was originally established in 2017. Instructors teach kempo karate, jujutsu, mixed martial arts, boxing and kickboxing, and a variety of disciplines in self defense.

But really, Cain said his business offers students a lifestyle choice.

“A lifestyle not only of health, but a lifestyle of being able to overcome challenges,” he described. “The whole thing is being able to overcome hard things, but in a way where it boosts your confidence and discipline.”

In keeping with the self improvement philosophy, Cain is a big supporter of community improvement as well. One of the many ways he reaches out is through free training for police officers and emergency responders.

“It’s been a policy of mine,” Cain said. “They can come anytime they want to and train for free. It’s my way of giving back to the community.”

After the ribbon cutting, instructor and grand master Jacov Bresler led a free seminar as an introduction to the new facility.

Instructor and black belt Jennifer Silverstein came all the way from Los Angeles to attend the event. She was joined by a large contingent of students and teachers from the Tucson area, as well as by several local Hurricane students who are part of Cain’s dojo.

“What we’re doing is just trying to spread the knowledge and the need for awareness and preparation for people to take their safety into their own hands, literally,” Silverstein said.

Martial arts students and instructors cut the ribbon at the new Raven Self Defense Academy, Hurricane, Utah, Aug. 28, 2021 | Photo by E. George Goold, St. George News

When she walked into the new dojo, Silverstein said she knew right away that it’s a great venue for learning and growth.

“I immediately felt a warm and comfortable vibe,” she said. “You will come and get more familiar with it and be comfortable. It’s got everything here you need.” 

The Hurricane Valley Chamber of Commerce sent representatives to help with the ribbon cutting. Chamber member Damon Atkinson was excited to see the growth of the academy into its new facility.

“It’s so great to see the variety of things to do that Raven offers the community,” said Atkinson. “I think the discipline and physical aspect of martial arts training is just amazing, and needed. Hopefully some of our youth will want to take advantage of these opportunities.”

Everyone at the academy is part of the Raven “ohana,” a Hawaiian word that translates as “family.”

“We call ourselves an ohana because we really are like a family,” Cain said. “People who come together and train and give our best.”

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2021, all rights reserved.

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