Soto free self-defense classes end, will return full time in January

First Lt. John-Eddie Moser, right, assigned to the 93rd Military Police Battalion, instructs students at the Joshua W. Soto Physical Fitness Center at Fort Bliss Friday. Photos by David Poe, USAG Fort Bliss Public Affairs.

First Lt. John-Eddie Moser, right, assigned to the 93rd Military Police Battalion, instructs students at the Joshua W. Soto Physical Fitness Center at Fort Bliss Friday. Photos by David Poe, USAG Fort Bliss Public Affairs.

By David Poe, USAG Fort Bliss Public Affairs:

(El Paso, Texas, Dec. 14, 2017)

Eight years ago, 1st Lt. John-Eddie Moser, a self-proclaimed “all-around athlete,” was challenged by his diminutive, Brazilian jiujitsu-practicing sister to a wrestling match. It didn’t work out well for the 93rd Military Police Battalion Soldier.

“She choked the manhood out of me,” he said. “I couldn’t tag her one bit. It was very humbling.”

Now a seasoned practitioner in Brazilian jiujitsu and submission grappling, he said he wants to share what he’s learned with Fort Bliss troops and their families. With help from Fort Bliss Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation, Moser led nine free self-defense classes last week. The classes previewed the course that will be offered full time starting Jan. 8.

Students practice techniques during a free self-defense course sponsored by Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation at Fort Bliss Friday. FMWR offered the classes as a preview to the courses they will offer full time starting in January.

Brazilian jiujitsu is primarily ground fighting in which opponents compete to gain superior positioning, such as chokes and locks. Submission grappling is not considered an art form and is more about competition as opponents vie to apply submission holds.

Teia Mack, Fort Bliss FMWR assistant sports director, said the classes will bring a new type of offering to the table for Fort Bliss customers, yet it’s something they’ve asked for.

“We don’t have anything like this,” she said. “We thought it would be a good edition to our MWR program. We’ve had requests for these types of classes, so we’re hoping people will take advantage of it.”

Sgt. Chancie Espinosa, center assigned to the Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Armored Division, picks up some self-defense pointers from 1st Lt. John-Eddie Moser, assigned to the 93rd Military Police Battalion, at Fort Bliss Friday. Starting in January, Moser will offer his self-defense course on a weekly basis from the Joshua W. Soto Physical Fitness Center on East Fort Bliss.

Conducted exclusively at the Joshua W. Soto Physical Fitness Center, students will be able to choose from four classes: Basic and Fundamentals, Women’s Self Defense, Advanced, and an All-Levels. All were offered last week, including several open mat sessions with Moser.

Students will be able to purchase the course in monthly, three-month and six-month installments.

Moser, with help from Chris Voigt, owner of Chimera Sports of El Paso and a Marine Corps veteran, said while the classes will stress technique, he also intends for the curriculum to transcend mere how-to applications.

“The one thing I like about martial arts is that it doesn’t teach you how to be a trained assassin, but just how to get out of a bad position, and transition to a better position to win a fight,” Moser said. “You can translate that principle to life in general.

“This martial art has done so much for me in life. It’s made me a better person. I’d be selfish to keep that to myself. It’s all about sharing knowledge, talents and abilities for the betterment of others. The biggest things I want them to take away is submission grappling, learning how to better themselves as a person and applying the principles of this program into their lives.”

For more information on classes at Soto on East Fort Bliss, visit http://bit.ly/2BsBdQu.