Self-defense class at Fort Carson
Family members practice self-defense moves during a Sexual Assault Awareness, Protection and Defense course offered by Army Community Service in September.

<b>FORT CARSON, Colo. </b>- Anyone can be sexually assaulted, according to Isaac Costley of Calvary Martial Arts and Fitness. However, Costley said, there are ways to minimize the chances of becoming a victim, and better ways to fight back if sexual assault becomes unavoidable.

Confidence and basic sexual assault reaction skills are what Army Community Service and Costley were trying to get across to Family members of deployed Soldiers with their four-part Sexual Assault Awareness, Protection and Defense Course.

Although the class offered only the basics of self-defense, even the basics could mean the difference between assault and arriving home safely.

"I want (Family members') awareness skills to increase and for them to have self-confidence and self-assurance," said Costley, noting that confidence alone can deter many would be attackers. Costley added that if he can get his students to become aware of their surroundings, they can usually avoid potentially dangerous situations; thereby avoiding the need to possess more developed self-defense skills requiring months or years of training.

Costley, a former police officer, has instructed students in self-defense for nearly 20 years and can cite examples of how past students were put to the self-defense test. Like auto or homeowner's insurance, though, the ACS Sexual Assault Awareness, Protection and Defense course is an ounce of prevention in which success is measured by never needing to use it.

ACS provided the classes, held on Saturdays at Grant Library, to Family members at no charge.

"This is another way for us to enable Family readiness during deployments," said Nate Nugin, mobilization and deployment program manager for ACS.

"This is the first time that ACS has sponsored something like this. We're certainly pleased that we've had the response that we have had," Nugin said. "ACS is always ready and willing to provide whatever assistance we can and we like the idea of being proactive as far as threat awareness is concerned. Our focus is on providing this kind of service to Soldiers and their Families."

Finding the time to participate in a self-defense class, Nugin said, was hard for a lot of Family members. However, if his office receives enough interest, ACS will likely offer the class again.

For more information on the Sexual Assault Awareness, Protection and Defense Course, contact your Family Readiness Group leader or Family Readiness support assistant.

<i>Article from the Oct. 9, 2008 issue of the Mountaineer</i>

Page last updated Thu October 9th, 2008 at 09:06