CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Marines and sailors are required to learn multiple techniques of hand-to-hand combat as part of the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program, so they can defend themselves in any situation during a battle.
Their spouses, however, are not usually trained to fight and protect their loved ones as they take on full responsibility of their household while their Marines are deployed. In order to correct this, family members of Marines with 8th Engineer Support Battalion, 2nd Marine Logistics Group participated in a two-hour self-defense class here, May 23.
“We learned basic self-defense moves, so we can use them to protect ourselves in case something happens,” explained Michelle K. Godfrey, the family readiness officer for 8th ESB. “Personal safety is one of the things we like to make spouses aware of while their husbands are deployed.
“We want to help them be ready to encounter anyone who might pose a threat against their families,” Godfrey added.
The participants had the opportunity to become skilled at multiple escaping techniques, take downs and pressure points, and practiced each individual move step-by-step with the guidance of former Jiu-Jitsu students.
“This is the first time our battalion has sponsored a training event like this for the families,” Godfrey said. “Not only is this a good way to train and learn some moves that might save lives, but it also helps with their self-esteem and confidence.
“I think it makes them more comfortable when they go out in town and know they can protect their families,” she added.
Robin D. Jackson, the wife of Lance Cpl. Cassidy W. Jackson, a data network specialist currently deployed with 8th ESB, participated in the class and explained how she feels about the training.
Jackson mentioned she had received no previous martial arts training and found it invaluable.
“It was nice to learn some moves and know I can defend myself if something happens,” she said.
Jackson, along with other spouses, agreed they would definitely participate in another martial arts class if the command organized one again.
“This is a good idea, especially when our husbands are deployed and we are here alone,” Jackson concluded. “I think if they had more of these classes we could try to have more people to attend and learn.”
Although this is the first time family members have participated in a martial arts class sponsored by the 8th ESB command, Godfrey said this is will not be the last. More classes will be held in the future for other spouses who desire to participate.