Jiujitsu training and “situational awareness” can help protect potential victims

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Dawson Walton, a personal trainer and black belt jiujitsu instructor at the Grand Rumford Community Center in Rumford, demonstrates jiujitsu techniques for self-defense on Monday with student Phoenix Burbank. Marianne Hutchinson / Rumford Falls Times

RUMFORD – Using “situational awareness” can help protect yourself from a potential physical attack, said Dawson Walton, personal trainer and black belt jiujitsu instructor at the Greater Rumford Community Center, during a class this past. week.

“I learned a lot about how to avoid becoming a victim,” but having “situational awareness” is really important as he taught self-defense skills at Phoenix Burbank, 14, on Monday.

“So it’s really easy to think about defending yourself and it has something to do with a victim’s mindset,” which affects everything.

As an example of how to be proactive, he said that people who walk or run with headphones eliminate their ability to hear, “taking away three-quarters of your ability to detect if someone is attacking you or you. attack”.

Some useful jiujitsu techniques for protecting against physical damage include using the attacker’s arms and legs as leverage, forcing an attacker into a joint lock, and learning to move someone who can be bigger and stronger by imbalance, said Walton.

Burbank started jiujitsu classes at the age of 10 and recently earned his fourth belt, a green belt. She said the training helped her “have more awareness” and even made her feel that she could protect herself if needed.

She also agreed with Walton that her training gave her more confidence and, in addition to playing soccer and softball on her school team, helped her stay in shape.

Her mother, Lealyn Burbank, who took martial arts lessons, saw her daughter and Walton demonstrate self-defense methods.

“It’s like equal and opposite; that’s like the best way to describe it, ”she said. It’s like going in the opposite direction and doing the opposite movement to move an attacker’s joints to where they’re not supposed to go, she said.

Burbank said she learned from her martial arts training that by controlling someone’s thumb, “you can basically get them away from you. You can control their whole body with their thumb.

“When it comes to protecting yourself,” Walton said, “I want to change the mindset from self defense to personal protection. Because personal protection is like protecting yourself. The best defense is a good offense, right?


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