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Martial arts workout teaches Airmen new skills
Airmen of the 436th Civil Engineer Squadron warm up prior to participating in a special martial arts seminar at Team Viper Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu in Camden, Del., Oct. 6, 2010. The seminar was taught by Vicente Junior, a third degree black belt in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, who taught the Airmen some basic takedowns and escapes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Roland Balik/Released)
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Martial arts workout teaches Airmen new skills

Posted 10/13/2010   Updated 10/13/2010 Email story   Print story


by Airman 1st Class Matthew Hubby
436th Airlift Wing Public Affairs

10/13/2010 - DOVER AIR FORCE BASE, Del. -- Many squadrons try to mix-up their physical fitness routines so they don't become monotonous to those participating. Recently, some members from Team Dover really went out of the norm of running the track or flightline and participated in a special form of martial arts.

A group of 436th Civil Engineer Squadron trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, a martial-arts style made popular by mixed martial-arts tournaments such as the Ultimate Fighting championships. Martial-arts in all forms has the capability of providing improved health, discipline and concentration, said Vicente Junior, a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor and third-degree black belt who is well known in martial arts circles.

The session was headed by Mr. Junior. He was at a local gym in Dover Oct. 6 teaching a special seminar on Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

The 436th CES Airmen arrived and quickly got down to business, stretching and performing warm-up exercises which included running in a tight circle, then dropping to do crunches, push-ups and jumping jacks.

"The Airmen had a lot of energy and were very excited," said Mr. Junior. "I wanted to make sure they were all worn out before I actually started teaching, to prevent them from injuring each other. I didn't want anyone using full strength on any of the techniques I taught."

Mr. Junior began the session teaching the Airmen how to roll and fall properly to prevent injury when they are taken down by an opponent. They were then paired off and were taught basic take down and reaction techniques, ending with what one can do to escape if they are taken down by an opponent.

"I think the guys got a good workout and learned some good self-defense techniques," said Staff Sgt. Stanley Zgrzepski, 436th CES electrical craftsman. "The pre-workout had most of the guys tired, but it is essential to get the body warmed up to prevent injury. The guys kept talking about it the next day and want to continue to train and do it more often. It would be nice to make the training once or twice a month."

This seminar took the place of the Airmen's standard work-out for the day, and many of them enjoyed it's difficultly.

"It was fun and a good experience," said Airman 1st Class Justin Tucker, 436th CES electrician. "It was a big change and really different than our usual physical training. It was harder to, but really fun. I will definitely do it again if I have a chance."

Some even looked forward to the feelings of aching muscles they would experience the next day.

"I am going to be sore tomorrow," said Airman 1st Class Michael Starr, 436th CES electrician. "It was definitely a great work out, and a really good experience. I will definitely try this again; it was harder than our normal PT. It was one thing after another, with absolutely no breaks in between, it really tests your endurance."

Jui-Jitsu is used by Army Rangers, Delta Force, Marines, pararesue and combat controllers for self defense while on the battlefield, said Sergeant Zgrzepski. He said he'd like to see more Airmen learn it.

"Our non-commissioned officer in charge thinks it would be a good idea to switch things up and train Jiu-Jitsu once or twice a month," said Sergeant Zgrzepski. "We have to get the initial workout in to meet our PT goals, everything after that is a bonus. I usually train three to four times per week."

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