Getting in shape the Navy way

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In any wartime, finding individuals to step up and possibly focus on a career that will take them to a foreign land to defend freedom is almost impossible. Fortunately, we have such young individuals here in the Rockford area, and they are younger than you think.

Lt. Morrow started running a Navy cadet program at Rockford’s East High School last year. These young men and women engage in a 9-month cadet program that has them learn the methods, culture and language of the Navy. Although not all of these participants will enter the Navy, the lessons they bring from this experience will last them a lifetime.

When it came time for Lt. Morrow to increase their physical fitness, he called on local martial arts instructor Matt Numrich of Elite Defense Systems to educate the cadets about hand-to-hand combat. Numrich has been running self-defense classes in the greater Rockford and Chicago area for more than 12 years, and has trained the Navy students at Great Lakes Naval Academy, located on the north side of Chicago, several times in the past.

“Martial arts is a great metaphor for teaching these young adults discipline and respect, in addition to true self-defense,” states Numrich. Matt Numrich’s instructor, Sifu Paul Vunak, was actually made popular in the martial arts world as being the first civilian ever contracted out by the Navy’s elite unit, the Navy SEALs. Therefore, Numrich knows what these cadets need.

“Regardless, if it is a parent wanting to develop discipline in his or her child, or an adult wanting stress relief or to lose 20 pounds, martial arts is a one-stop shop, giving multiple benefits”, Numrich explains. Right now, these cadets are getting a solid workout and also learning how to protect themselves.

Matt Numrich is offering a free self-defense class for adult and children the next two Saturdays. For more information, please call 885-4758 or check out

From the Oct. 18-24, 2006, issue

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