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A student throws a punch during Marine Corps Family Team Building's Self-Defense 101 Oct. 3. Students learned various new techniques to defend themselves in potentially dangerous situations.

Photo by Lance Cpl. Jackeline M. Perez Rivera

Simple, life-saving techniques learned at Self-Defense 101

3 Oct 2012 | Lance Cpl. Jackeline M. Perez Rivera

Marines always have each other’s backs, but there are situations where a Marine, sailor or their loved ones could be caught alone in a dangerous situation. Faced with a flight or fight response, fleeing may not be an option.

Marine Family Team Building held a Self-Defense 101 class aboard Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune to help the local military community learn some easy techniques that could one day save their lives.

“I want to teach them something simple, five or six techniques people can use to help someone escape a bad situation,” said Patrick Ashton, the owner and head instructor of a local martial arts school who taught the class.

The class evolved from a Beyond the Brief workshop detailing personal safety, including safety at home, fire safety, cyber security and self-defense. The self-defense portion became so popular it was split into its own course.

The students practiced unarmed techniques including how to disarm chokes or wrist holds, and how to escape a perpetrator in a mounted position.

“This is a low-key environment to learn,” said Jim Asher, a readiness and deployment support trainer with MFTB.

The class brings spouses and service members together to learn how to face difficult situations. It doesn’t require any skill level to participate.

It helps prepare people for a robbery or any other type of assault they could face.

“What do you do if somebody is coming at you and won’t leave you alone?” said Ashton. “Husbands and boyfriends don’t see this, but women encounter these situations more regularly than we would like to believe.”

While many spouses learn a few Marine Corps Martial Arts Program techniques, Asher said this course is not at all like MCMAP.

“Some spouses find MCMAP to be too intense, or say it doesn’t meet their needs,” said Asher.

The self-defense class teaches more than how to physically evade an attacker. Ashton also discussed what to do when facing an attack. He discussed drawing attention to oneself and getting away as quickly as possible.

“Most predators don’t want to be discovered,” said Ashton. “They don’t want anybody yelling and screaming. They don’t want somebody scratching and clawing. It’s important for everybody to learn to defend themselves.”

The class is held several times a year by MFTB. For more information on future classes call 451-0176.