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Historian shares passion for self-defense
Jack Waid, 354th Fighter Wing historian, demonstrates a self-defense maneuver on his son, Andrew, during a Krav Maga class at the fitness center April 8, 2014, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Waid began Krav Maga in 2011 while stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, and recently began teaching at Eielson. (U.S. Air Force photo by Senior Airman Zachary Perras/Released)
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Historian shares passion for self-defense

Posted 4/17/2014   Updated 4/17/2014 Email story   Print story


by Senior Airman Zachary Perras
354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs

4/17/2014 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- The thought of a historian often brings about the image of a scholar surrounded by dusty tomes, gathering information about the past to make decisions for the future.

In that sense, Jack Waid, 354th Fighter Wing historian, serves the part and has the responsibility to preserve the past in order to pave the path to the future. Outside of that realm, however, Waid isn't the typical historian.

Other than his love for history, Waid has an intense passion for martial arts, specifically Krav Maga, a self-defense system originally developed for the Israeli military.

Waid began his journey in Krav Maga after he enrolled his son into a class while he was stationed at Laughlin Air Force Base, Texas, in 2011. While watching his son learn the basics, Waid said it piqued his interest.

"There's a certain ease and simplicity found in Krav Maga," he said. "It's not about fighting; it's about defending yourself and those who are around you. It teaches you to neutralize the threat while protecting what matters to you."

With nearly 15 years of various martial arts experience, Waid eventually elevated to a brown belt in Krav Maga and found himself in the position of assistant instructor at Laughlin, training newcomers and advising students on form and technique.

"I was able to take what I learned and give it back to others," Waid said. "I would be out there correcting people, watching over students to make sure they have control and that they're being aggressive with their control."

Upon arriving at Eielson, Waid made it a goal to begin a weekly Krav Maga class to pass along his passion to others and to teach them how to defend themselves should they ever come into a physical altercation.

"I like sharing self-defense with others," Waid said. "You can see a difference after the first class that people feel more confident. There's a spark in the eye and you see it - they walk out of there knowing they're bettering themselves."

Waid explained that Krav Maga isn't just something to remember at home; it could be beneficial for those who are in deployed environments as well. Regardless of where one might be, it's about knowing how to defend yourself, he said.

"Krav Maga is like no other martial art," Waid said. "It gets in your blood, and I want as many people as possible to learn this so they have something more to fall back on if the situation arises."

Waid teaches his class at the fitness center every Tuesday and Thursday from 7-8 p.m. For more information, contact Waid at 377-1136.

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