Class teaches self-defense techniques

By Airman 1st Class Evelyn Chavez, 27th SOW Public Affairs

Self-defense in the form of martial arts is often thought of as a recreation sport for children.

But with April being Sexual Assault Awareness month, Jean Masters, sexual assault response coordinator representative, decided to set up a self-defense class for all Cannon Air Force Base personnel and family members to show there is much more to it than just physical defense.
Masters coordinated with Premier Martial Arts school to teach individuals practical techniques that can be vital for assault situations.

“I want to give people an opportunity to have the ability to react during these kinds of situations. We are surrounded by bad guys everywhere and this class can, hopefully, help people fight back,” Masters said.

The two-hour class took place at the fitness center April 17. Students learned relatively simple techniques they could implement to increase situational awareness and defend themselves.

Some of these techniques included the Arm-Bar, which helps free yourself from the assaulter, Jujitsu moves, and grappling. One of the most important aspects is the mental awareness of being alert of surroundings, remembering details of the assaulter(s), and making the decision to survive.

Capt. Tracy Markle, 27th Special Operations Medical Operations Squadron, decided to attend the class to learn self-defense tactical moves.

“I believe one should be prepared to fight back, especially women, because one does not know when such incidents can occur,” said Markle.

While the class was attended entirely by women, it was also offered to men and children. Along with learning the skills of how to escape, kick, hit, and punch, mental preparation was also taught.

“You need to have the will — the will to survive and win — whenever you are faced with these types of situations. Ninety percent of being able to survive is willpower,” said Paul Hurdt, an instructor with Clovis Premier Martial Arts.

Taking measures to learn self-awareness and self-defense techniques will place individuals one step ahead of the assaulter and could even save lives.