Classes teach women to defend themselves
Stars and Stripes March 22, 2006
RAF MILDENHALL — Every day, women are victims of rape and assault. In fact, one in six women in the U.S. will experience rape in their lifetime, according to the National Organization for Women.
In the United Kingdom, roughly one in four women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape, according to Rape Crisis England and Wales’ Web site.
In an effort to eliminate statistics like those for women in the local community, a free Women’s Self-Defense Class will be offered from 12:30 to 2 p.m. Thursday at RAF Lakenheath’s Main Fitness Center.
Last week, RAF Mildenhall held a similar self-defense class at its main fitness center. Taught by Master Sgt. Jay Eaton, a jujitsu student at the Ishin Ryu dojo, the class went over basic maneuvers used to escape from wrist grabs, choke holds and knife attacks.
Most women do not know how to defend themselves from an attack, Eaton said. What women shouldn’t do, he says, is let an attacker overpower them.
“I would say the biggest thing is not to be afraid of the attacker. Once you take that control away from them, most of them don’t stick around and follow through,” said Eaton, a passenger services superintendent with 727th Air Mobility Squadron.
Following each demonstration by Eaton, participants paired up with a partner and executed self-defense techniques as the victim and attacker.
Women’s self-defense training is rarely found on base, said Maj. Michelle Hall, an aerial port operations officer for the 727th. So, her unit decided to conduct this class, in conjunction with Women’s History Month.
“Women need to learn to protect themselves,” she said.
Currently, there are no plans to continue this self-defense class after Thursday’s session.
However, Lakenheath’s Main Fitness Center holds an ongoing program on kuk sool won, a Korean martial art, every Tuesday, Friday and Sunday night.
Darren Hart, a fifth-degree black belt in kuk sool won, heads the lessons that combine kicking, punching, throwing, falling, joint locking, pressure points, meditation and weapon techniques. Lessons cost $60 a month or $6 for one day.