Airmen teach Krav Maga techniques to local law enforcers

  • Published
  • By Airman 1st Class Brigitte N. Brantley-Sisk
  • 23rd Wing Public Affairs
For nearly 40 exhausting hours last week, security forces Airmen taught self-defense and hand-to-hand combat tactics to a group of local law enforcement officials.

Although the community and base members have a positive working relationship, this is the first time they have come together to share the set of fighting techniques known as Krav Maga.

These face-to-face techniques were developed in the 1940s by a foreign army as a way to help defend themselves during a time when firearms were outlawed.

"In law enforcement, we provide Krav Maga training as a way to help our patrolmen deal with threats in a non-deadly manner," said Senior Airman Cameron Riley, 820th Combat Operations Squadron formal training and Krav Maga instructor. "It's the style actually used by the Israeli army. We cover all the fundamentals of the training as well the knowledge needed to use it."

The training lasted seven days and was conducted for members of the Lowndes County Sheriff's Department and Valdosta Police Department.

"The reality of our day-to-day jobs is that we are often involved in physical altercations," said Lt. Joseph Dukes, the LCSD Special Weapons and Tactics team leader and training coordinator. "The training exposed us to defensive tactics that allow for an immediate response in all kinds of situations that we may find ourselves in."

Although the training was physically exhausting, the nature of Krav Maga prepares the trainees for those situations.

"What I love about Krav Maga is that everything is a natural reaction," said Senior Airman Tanya Hermanowski, 820th COS tactical training and Krav Maga instructor. "I've been doing it since I joined security forces and have completed 12 classes. The course is tiring but in the end, this training is beneficial to us and the individuals who we are instructing."

Moody Air Force Base units have been involved with Krav Maga for about three years and because of the thorough training instructors go through, they have an extensive amount of experience and knowledge.

"We knew that the security forces troops out here offered this kind of training and so we finally coordinated to get some of our men and women to go through the course," Lieutenant Dukes said. "The instructors are all in great shape and have displayed a mature, professional attitude as they taught some of the older officers all the techniques.

"Our relationship with the base has always been mutually beneficial as we can each bring new knowledge and experience to the table," he added. "Krav Maga is a valuable tool for us to have in addition to all our traditional methods."

The training covered multiple hand-to-hand combat methods including chokeholds, kicking, punching and disarming an enemy of a firearm.