By Russell Sellers, Army Flier StaffOctober 22, 2010
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- While having no violent crime in the world is a lofty goal, Criminal Investigation Command and police officers still teach people how to handle potentially volatile situations.
Members of the CID office here, the Ozark Police Department and Conley's Academy of Keichu Do in Enterprise, taught a brief self-defense course at Fortenberry-Colton Physical Fitness Facility Oct. 15 as part of Domestic Abuse Prevention Month.
The class was a joint project between Army Community Service, the CID office here and the Ozark Police Department.
They showed the attendees, made up of mostly military spouses and other Family members, how to de-escalate a dangerous situation and how to defend themselves physically.
One of the most important ways to avoid being in a dangerous situation is to be aware of one's surroundings, said Lewis Chlebek, CID special agent.
"Prevention is always preferred to response," he said. "Making people aware of their surroundings can help keep them from becoming a target."
Chlebek also gave the group several pointers on how to avoid being in potentially dangerous situations.
"When you park your car somewhere, make sure it's in a well-lit area close to the building you're going into," he said. "If you're out at night, don't go by yourself. Ask a security guard or a friend to walk you to your car. Staying in groups is a good idea, too."
The class focused mainly on teaching women how to defend themselves against male attackers, but one parent felt it was important for her daughters to learn the techniques as well.
Monica Montalvo, military spouse, and her three daughters, ranging in age from 8 to 14, lived in Germany for 13 years until recently moving back to the U.S. She said the class was a way to teach her daughters something she considered important.
"It's a transition for all of us after being gone for so long, and I want them to be prepared for these situations and know how to react," she said. "It was a great class and I think the girls got a lot out of it."
Lt. Frankey Peterman, Ozark Police Department criminal investigation commander, and James Isler, Ozark Police Department CID agent, illustrated several techniques that can be used to fight back against an attacker, but also said getting away is more important than winning a fight.
"In that situation, you want to do whatever it takes to get away," Peterman said. "The benefit of fighting back is that most attackers aren't expecting that. Most of the time they will run if they feel you are able to fight back. Still, there are those who will hit you back and you have to be prepared for that. You have to make sure you do what it takes to put them down long enough for you to get away."
At the end of the course, Ret. Command Sgt. Maj. Eldrige Conley, Conley's Academy of Keichu Do owner and head instructor, along with his assistant, Rodelyn Mullins, taught the group some simple techniques that could thwart an attacker's advance.
"The things I showed today are very basic techniques," he said. "They can definitely be useful, but more training is always beneficial."