Wayne Jason

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Wayne Jason

Martial Arts Instructor
Hillsides Youth Moving On
Pasadena, Calif.
(818) 426-5749

Age: 53

Salary: Although Jason’s rates as an instructor range from $35 to $50 an hour per person, per class, he volunteers his time at Hillside.

About the Program: Anti MARK (mug, assault, rape, kill) is a course that teaches women to defend themselves with basic martial arts moves. Hillsides Youth Moving On is a transitional living program for young adults formerly in foster care; it promotes educational and vocational opportunities and provides health services and other support.

His Job: Jason grew up a scrawny child who was frequently picked on. As a teen, he started lifting weights and taking martial arts classes. He now holds black belts in Hapkido and Tae Kwon Do, and is proficient in Jeet Kun Do. He has taught the Anti MARK course to women in the Youth Moving On program for a year.

Best Part of the Job: “When the class is all over, I get to listen to the female students tell me how much they got out of it and how strong and confident they feel.”

Worst Part of the Job: “Getting hurt. I have to make sure the women are doing the moves right, so they practice on me. When they practice getting out of a hold, I get hurt on the wrist, shoulder or knocked down. I couldn’t move my jaw for a day or two once.”

Part-Time Gig: “I own a jewelry store, that’s my livelihood. Teaching martial arts is just something I do on nights and on my days off.”

Reaching Out to Girls: “When I first went to do the class with the Hillsides girls, they were uncooperative, uninterested and kept talking on their cell phones. I didn’t want to order them around, because their home life was filled with orders and abuse.

“I let them know I volunteered to be here to teach them how to protect themselves and I’m not forcing them to be here. I also put on head gear and told them, ‘Since you all don’t like me, you can practice your punching on me.’ They responded with, ‘But we do like you, Wayne!’ ”