The Fleet and Family Support Center (FFSC) and the Naval Air Station Lemoore (NASL) Gym and Fitness Center collaborated to offer a free women’s self-defense workshop this week. 

The effort was part of the ongoing domestic violence awareness campaign held throughout October. Diane Biros, the Family Advocacy Victim Advocate at FFSC, began the Monday night workshop by discussing the warning signs of domestic violence and providing attendees with tips, advice and resources.

Participants were then taught about situational awareness and how to keep their family safe when out in public.

“Move as a unit,” said Marte Gifford, an instructor with the Modern Army Combatives program. “Keep your children within arm’s reach and practice having a trained response. Know what you can get into, and this will reduce your vulnerability to predators.”

“How many weapons do you have on you?” Jen Hamer, the workshop coordinator, asked the crowd of women attending the workshop held at the NASL MA Training Facility.

Hamer, who has over 10 years of martial arts training, proceeded to show the participants how they could use their body as a weapon if ever forced to defend themselves against physical assault.

“You are never defenseless,” she said.

Women practiced the self defense moves, including defending against frontal attacks, breaking chokeholds and defending oneself when in a vulnerable position, such as when on the floor, against active duty volunteers from various commands on the base.

Wednesday night’s workshop focused on self defense and escape moves to use when facing sexual assault or date rape when needing to defend yourself and your children. The workshop wrapped up with scenario reviews and a question and answer session.

This is the fourth free self defense workshop to be offered on the base. Volunteers were also present for those needing childcare. The next workshop is tentatively planned for February 2018.