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Sgt. Joshua P. Ott, 24, a martial arts instructor trainer based out of Quantico, Va., answers a question for Alexandra T. Leach, 22, a biology-major from Gurnee, Ill., during a self defense class at the Martial Arts Center of Education, University of Chicago May 14. The class consisted of 15 techniques and was given to three sororities from the university.

Photo by Cpl Erik Villagran

Co-eds learn Marine Corps self defense

17 May 2009 | Cpl Erik Villagran

Marines with the Martial Arts Center of Education held a self defense class for sororities from the University of Chicago May 14.

“We sat them down and showed them around 15 to 16 techniques,” said Sgt. Shurron D. Thompson, 23, a martial arts instructor trainer from Coatesville, Penn. “Then we got them up and had them do the techniques.”

The Marines instructed the young women at the class on various moves from the Marine Corps Martial Arts Program. They taught them techniques from the lowest belt level in MCMAP, tan, to more advanced techniques from the black belt level. Leathernecks also demonstrated each move for the students and talked about different situations in which the techniques could be used.

One student, Alexandra T. Leach commented that she can now walk around with a sense of security thanks in part to the instructor trainers.

“The class was great,” explained, Leach, 22, a biology-major from Gurnee, Ill. “It was informative, it was fun and I definitely learned something about defending myself.”

Marines supervised the women as they practiced each technique they learned. The class performed foot stomps and other strikes that would make an assailant loosen their grip. They also practiced counter moves.

“They did pretty good,” Thompson said. “They all paid attention and were interested in learning. For some of them this gives them a head start in getting into something like this and furthering their training.”

The training also opened their eyes to the world of self defense, Leach said.

“The Marines were very helpful,” Leach said. “I had never actually been taught how to defend myself so it was nice of them to come out here.”

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