DLA Public Affairs

DLA staff members learn self-defense
Defending yourself using basic martial arts techniques

By Phyllis Rhodes

Defense Logistics Agency Headquarters has its own secret weapon in self-defense. Eamonn Knights, a quality assurance specialist with the Defense Energy Support Center, has studied and taught martial arts for more than 20 years.

In observance of Asian Pacific American Heritage Month, the Equal Employment Office enlisted Knights to instruct interested headquarters staff members in the basic fundamentals of self-defense using the ancient Asian fighting techniques of martial arts. Knights practices several different martial art forms such as, isshinryu karate, which is an Okinawan combative style; aikido; Tai kick boxing; pinjat silat; and thai chi. He has taught karate in Japan and now teaches in Ellicott City, Md.

Knights and his assistant, Lynn Fulling, who is also a DLA staff member and a student of Knights who holds a white belt, were poised to teach those in attendance the basics of self-defense. The audience was predominantly female, and they were eager to learn techniques that would help them in potentially dangerous situations. One attendee broached the subject of the recent rash of abductions and rapes in the Springfield area and how she hoped this class would prepare her if something of that nature happened to her.

"Never run from someone; always run to something," Knights said. He said running into a crowded building or a heavily populated area would be a good strategy for staying alive. Knights wanted to impart to those in attendance that he was not there to teach them how to fight but how to survive.

"The average person is not a trained fighter, so escaping is the main objective," Knights said. "Don't think you are going to go blow for blow with someone because it hurts."

He demonstrated basic moves that would help the average person evade a would-be attacker. He also discussed how to fend off attacks by knife and gun, and he spoke about the different methods that attackers use to subdue their prey. He explained that there is the casual approach -- the attacker asking you for the correct time, the stalker -- who keeps his distance until the prey is vulnerable then rapidly attacks. Then there is the ambush -- the attacker gives no warning, and the prey is caught totally off guard.

For those who missed Knights' first class he hold another from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. May 21 in Room 0529. For reservations, call (703) 767-6777 not later than May 19. There are only 25 spaces available, and the class fills quickly. A sign language interpreter is available upon request.