Students gain self-defense skills

Students gain self-defense skills
About a year ago, Westhampton Beach High School junior Jocelyn McNamara was on the hunt for something extra to do in her spare time when a family friend introduced her to Brazilian jiujitsu. She immediately fell in love with it, and on Nov. 3, she shared that love by coordinating a self-defense class for her peers. 

“I have gained so much confidence and competence in defending myself,” said McNamara, “and I really wanted to find a way to share that with my friends in school.” 

To bring her idea to fruition, McNamara gained approval from school officials and enlisted Greg Melita, owner of Hamptons Jiu Jitsu, to teach a free, three-hour self-defense class at her school.

The class saw a good turnout, with 22 juniors and seniors learning how to escape wrist grabs, headlocks, chokes, grabs from behind and pins against the wall. It was such a success that McNamara hopes to organize a second session.

“It was a lot of fun,” said McNamara, who said she always leaves her jiujitsu class with a smile. “As soon as I started taking classes, I knew I had found my fit.”
Aside from building her skills in jiujitsu, McNamara runs track and belongs to her school’s chamber choir. She is also an All-State singer.