On Tuesday, March 18, a small group of students gathered in the AFC Dance Studio to learn self-defense techniques. Since it was such a lovely day outside, the class moved to the soccer field.
The instructor. Patrick Conboy, in addition to teaching self-defense classes, is a graduate student at Chatham. “In November 2012, I was invited to a Veterans Appreciation dinner at Dean Waite’s house. I told [Dean Waite and Dr.Giles] I had been back home in an intensive four-day course to earn my Commando Krav Maga (CKM) Instructor Level Two License. When they heard that CKM is a form of reality-based defense, they mentioned the idea of teaching a class at Chatham. Over the past summer, I earned my Level Three and was asked by Dr. Giles to teach a class this past fall semester. They decided to hold the class again during this spring semester,” Conboy said when asked about what brought him to Chatham.
After getting suggestions from the students, Conboy decided that the hypothetical situation would be that the students were being sexually assaulted. The first thing that Conboy taught was how to properly fall and then how to get back up. One technique involved being in a headlock and how to get out of it. You would hit the attacker in the nose with the side of your hand and then kick them to put your weight on the attacker.
Another technique was to pretend that the attacker was choking you then you would pin down their wrists and flip them around so that they were face down on the ground; you would put some force on their head so they would stay on the ground. Then you would run. Conboy then pulled out fake knives and guns and had the students “attack” his private student assistant.
Conboy called this class in particular “Ground Survival” because most of the techniques learned would be best used when on the ground. “I don’t know that I liked teaching this class any more than any other week. Teaching ground survival is fun because it is a little bit more physically active than other topics, such as gun disarms. I like that students seem to have fun in class. I think that’s important. If you’re not enjoying yourself, you’re not going to want to continue learning, leaving you defenseless in a violent encounter. CKM is something that any person of any size or shape can learn. I enjoy seeing the look on students’ faces when they realize they can do it,” Conboy said when asked what he likes about teaching the class.
Before the class ended, Conboy reminded the students that there will be more sessions and to expect emails about the impending classes.