SAAPM Self-Defense Course Taught by Local Reservist

Story Number: NNS170421-23Release Date: 4/21/2017 11:19:00 AM
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By Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Joseph R. Vincent, Naval Air Station Fallon Public Affairs

FALLON, Nev. (NNS) -- NASF hosted two single-day self-defense courses for service members and their families during the April SAAPM activities taught by Navy Reservist, Cmdr. John Hahn, and retired Churchill County Sheriff's Deputy Kenneth Catlin, April 11 and 12.

The self-defense classes were just part of a series of SAAPM events hosted throughout the month of April.

The classes focused on teaching basic techniques designed to allow a victim to escape a potential attacker.

"It was not a course in how to fight," said Hahn, a Fargo, North Dakota native. "The focus on the course was to demonstrate and teach attendees how to escape from an attacker. It was limited to how to get away from an aggressor by redirecting the aggressor's weight and momentum and having the defender run in the other direction."

The courses lasted about 2 hours in length and were attended by 11 Sailors, Marines and their families. Scenarios included defenses from wrist and arm grabs, chokes, and bear hugs.

"We taught the same techniques as the ones taught to police officers," said Hahn. "They are simple wrist and bar-arm techniques that are easy to demonstrate. For someone that has limited opportunity to train in martial arts frequently, they are easy to remember."

Hahn pointed out that these same techniques are considered defensive actions that allow police officers to gain space from and redirect aggressors.

"By teaching defensive techniques, we help minimize any potential legal issues that may come up for the defender," said Hahn. "It's an important lesson."

In the future, Hahn hopes to have regularly scheduled classes for refresher courses and to address other concepts.

"We wanted the participants to leave the class with the confidence to use what they learned," said Hahn. "We wanted them to have some options when faced with situations that they may not have considered before."

Hahn enlisted in the Navy in 1990 and was selected for the Naval Academy in 1991. He has served in a variety of sea and shore based assignments as a Surface Warfare Officer. He left active service in 2000 and joined the reserves in 2003. He earned his first degree black belt in Ryukyu kempo in 1990 and second degree black belt in 2013. He also holds a black belt in jujitsu and taekwondo. He also earned instructor certifications for law enforcement weaponless defense, police baton, and pepper spray use. When not attached with his reserve unit, Volunteer Training Unit 2005G, NOSC Reno, Hahn is the Inspector General for NASF.

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