Thursday, January 14, 2010

NDU leaders watch jujutsu demonstration at McNair

Eleena Fikhman
Christopher Mann, a research associate with the Center for Technology and National Security Policy, practices a maneuver on William Berry, a Coast Guard veteran, during the jujutsu demonstration at the Fort McNair Fitness Center Dec. 14.
Twenty four students at National Defense University gave a jujutsu demonstration to leaders from around the institution recently. The demonstration was a skills test, part of the 10-month program offered by Grand Master Dong Jin Kim for NDU students, faculty and staff.

Kim, who also teaches classes at the Fort McNair Fitness Center for any interested members of Joint Base Myer-Henderson Hall, is an 8th Dan black belt in jujutsu and also the youngest 9th Dan black belt in the Korean martial art Hapkido. Kim is a grand master in four martial arts, and holds a master’s rating or better in several more.

The students began the demo facing the leaders at center court of the basketball court at the Fort McNair Fitness Center. They started the exhibition by coming to the front four at a time to go through individual progressions.

After the individual exercises the students paired up to practice skills such as using a knife to defend yourself more than 20 different ways. The students used rubber knives, which was a good thing, since most of them were quite proficient in their skill.

Navy Rear Adm. Garry E. Hall, commandant of the Industrial College of the Armed Forces was one of the NDU officials present at the demo, and he was impressed with the precise skills shown by the students.

‘‘It was a fantastic demonstration,” Hall said. ‘‘This institution is about training the future leaders and executives of our nation, and it takes mental and physical strength, which was shown here today.”

The 10-month program was used by some as an introduction to the Japanese martial art, or to stay in shape, and some even used it as a helpful tool to help them do their jobs.

‘‘I’m in law enforcement, so it’s always good to learn new [self-defense] techniques,” said Jim Anderson, who is studying at the National War College. ‘‘It prepares you for all sorts of attacks.”

Students were pleased that the program is offered right where they spend the majority of their days studying.

‘‘The fact that it’s right here on Fort McNair, and the program is always available is great for me,” said Lt. Col. John Bogdan of the NWC.

Col. Michael M. Cannon, chief of staff for NDU, spoke to the students afterwards, and it was clear he was impressed with the obvious dedication wit the students approached their martial arts studies.

‘‘There’s a major physical aspect in what you’re doing here,” Cannon said. ‘‘But the mental discipline you gain here will also go a long way towards helping you in your future endeavors.”

The program is offered though the NDU Athletic Department. For more information on Kim, or the programs he offers, contact the Fort McNair Fitness Center.