Women invited to take part in self-defense class

BY DAVE BENJAMIN Staff Writer

Sgt. Edward Bennett Sgt. Edward Bennett JACKSON – A hands-on self-defense demonstration and seminar for women will be offered at the Jackson Liberty High School auxiliary gymnasium, 125 North Hope Chapel Road, Jackson, from 7-9 p.m. Jan. 16.

“This is the [second] awareness session for female adults,” said Jackson Police Officer Burt Salisbury, school resource officer. “Teenage girls with their mothers are welcome.”

The seminar and demonstration will feature Sgt. Edward Bennett, the self-defense instructor with the Jackson Police Department.

Bennett attended Kum Sung Martial Arts Academy, Toms River, and is now an instructor at the school. He is a fifth degree black belt certified by theWorldMartial Arts Association as an instructor.

“I’ve been involved in martial arts since 1971,” Bennett said. “I am a ground fighting and grappling instructor, a handcuffing instructor, a chemical agent instructor and a street instructor for the police.”

Bennett said his specialty is defensive tactics. He is the senior defensive tactics instructor for the Ocean County Police Academy and the Ocean County Corrections Academy.

The sergeant has also taught self-defense at area churches and synagogues, and for women’s organizations and the Toms River Community Education program.

Salisbury said the topics discussed during the seminar will include proper planning to ensure individual safety and what to do if an incident occurs.

Bennett said topics will include body movement, balance, target areas and strike areas.

“I want to make sure women are safer when they go out, that they are aware of their surroundings and [to know] they can make themselves safe,” Bennett said. “They don’t have to rely on an object or on another person.”

Those planning to attend the seminar are asked to wear physical training attire, loose-fitting gear and sneakers.

“All they have to bring is an open mind and the willingness to learn,” Bennett said.

The program is part of the SAFE (Safety Awareness For Everyone). It is being sponsored by the Jackson Police Department in partnership with the Jackson Municipal Alliance, the Jackson School District and Ocean County.

The session will be offered free of charge and refreshments will be provided by the Jackson Municipal Alliance. For more information call Police Officer Burt Salisbury at (732) 833-4700, ext. 7223, or e-mail absalisbury@jacksonsd.k12.nj.us.