An official website of the United States government
Here's how you know
A .mil website belongs to an official U.S. Department of Defense organization in the United States.
A lock (lock ) or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .mil website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

Teaching deployed Airmen self-defense

  • Published
  • By Capt. Nathan Aiken
  • 64th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron
A short while ago we held a women's self-defense class open to all women deployed to the 64th Air Expeditionary Group here with the intent of giving women techniques to defend themselves from attacking assailants.

The four-week class consisted of various striking and defense techniques as well as ground escapes to be used when faced with a "worst case scenario." With a heightened sensitivity to sexual assault prevention, this course empowered women giving them the ability to survive if they found themselves in an isolated or threatening situation.

The one-hour classes were small but very productive. Students were put into groups of two where they were able to practice at a crawl, walk and run pace after being taught each basic technique. Once the students were comfortable with all the techniques for that day's class, we put them into a high stress situation. One student was surrounded by the other students for a two minute period where they had to defend themselves using all the techniques at their disposal from the lesson. Each day ended this way in order to facilitate a realistic situation and show students the necessary energy required to defend them.

During the fourth and final week, students faced a simulated 'attacker' in a red man suit. To create a more lifelike environment, two males donned a protective red man suit and 'attacked' each student individually. Each student defended themselves with the skills they learned for a total of four minutes against an aggressor for two rounds.

One of the instructors, Master Sgt. John Clowe, said, "We wanted to put our students in as real a scenario as we could, while still being coached on techniques."

Clowe is a 64th Expeditionary Security Forces Squadron member deployed from Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph, Texas, and a San Diego native.

Overall the class was a great success with students asking for it to be continued.

In response, one instructor, Tech. Sgt. Immanuel Tate, said, "We hope to continue this class every four weeks so we can help our female Airmen defend themselves in any situation that may arise."

Tate is also a 64th ESFS member deployed from Joint Base San Antonio-Randolph and a Killeen, Texas, native.

We're happy everyone was able to come out, have a good time and learn ways to defend themselves if the need were ever to arise.

[Editor's note: Aiken is the 64th ESFS anti-terrorism officer deployed from Aviano Air Base, Italy, and a Colorado Springs, Colo., native.]