FORT RILEY, Kan.-- The 1st Infantry Division and Fort Riley held its first self-defense seminar aimed at military spouses March 12 at Whitside Gym on post.
The 90 minute seminar, which was free to attend, was intended to teach some very basic self defense principles to its students as well as garner interest in further learning.
Nathan Hunt, a retired U.S. Army Soldier turned martial arts academy owner, trained under Dan Inosanto, Bruce Lee’s top student.
“Everybody is responsible for their own safety,” Hunt said. “Unfortunately the world is not a safe place and it’s up to us to defend ourselves.”
During the course, the instructors taught multiple basic self-defense actions to break out of certain holds or grabs, as well as thought processes that went along with it.
“It’s good to get out of your comfort zone and develop these skills,” said Anna Confer, an instructor at Elite Academy Martial Arts, “if you get attacked you won’t be in your comfort zone.”
Aside from physical defenses, the instructors made sure to cover the importance of mental readiness and a healthy attitude as well.
“Women should have a lot of self-esteem and part of that is knowing that you can defend yourself,” Confer said. “As long as you have more confidence in yourself, it’s less likely to happen to you.”
The course was well received by those who attended. Jillian Shaw, a spouse living in the local community said she would definitely recommend the course to anyone else who wanted to attend.
“It was very informative and it really piqued my interest,” Shaw said, “You never know what is going to happen. Having those skills and being able to defend yourself is really valuable.”
Jennifer Lopez, another spouse and course attendee, thought the instructors performed admirably. “I liked how patient the instructors were with us,” Lopez said, “they taught each of the moves really thoroughly.”
Although the course was directed at spouses, the instruction was all-encompassing and the class was open to Soldiers and teenage dependents as well.
Hunt stated they would be more than happy to come back and hold the course again in the future.
“I appreciate Fort Riley for letting myself and Anna come down here,” Hunt said. “We all had a great time and I hope that we can do it again.”