News: Never give up, never surrender
Story by Lance Cpl. Kenneth Trotter
IWAKUNI, Japan - Station residents participated in a women’s self-defense class in recognition of Sexual Assault Awareness Month in the Dojo at IronWorks Gym here April 14, 2012.
The purpose of the class was to instruct women on how to properly defend themselves in the event of an assault.
“Anyone can be a victim at anytime,” said Sgt. Julia Henley, self-defense class instructor. “It doesn’t matter your size, race, sex, nationality, none of that matters.”
The class focused on a variety of different approaches to defense, from basic punches and knee and elbow strikes, to more advance techniques such as what to do in the event an attacker has a victim
on the ground.
Instructors walked students through each technique to give the proper understanding of how each maneuver works and to avoid injury while performing it.
“What we teach the students is how to easily defend themselves,” said Henley. “Most of our students are primarily dependents and some of them have a little bit of fighting experience, most of them don’t. Some take a kickboxing class so they understand the basics of a punch. Most people do not know how to properly execute a kick or a punch.”
A total of nine participants took part in the class.
Some of the students heard of the class at the last minute, but were still excited by what they had learned.
“I had just finished working out when they told me there was a class,” said Janice Baughn, self-defense class student. “I learned a lot and it was very educational. My favorite part was the punching because if a person is attacking you first it’s easier to get in a stance.”
The students felt confident in knowing these techniques could possibly save their lives and the fact their instructors discussed various scenarios they could potentially be in.
“I really do feel if someone attacked me, I could defend myself,” said Baughn. “The instructors were very thorough in what they were teaching with their demonstrations.”
Sexual Assault Awareness Month should not be the only time women, or men, are concerned with assault, sexual or otherwise. Anyone can become a victim at any time. As such, the drive to live, to keep fighting, and more importantly, be safe, should be a priority.
“Don’t become a target,” said Henley. “Never give up, no matter what, even if your technique fails. As long as you keep hitting, eventually you’re going to hit something vital because if you give up on yourself, the fight’s already lost.”