SAN DIEGO — Two Sailors from the Navy’s information warfare (IW) community represented the United States at the international World Martial Arts Games in Johannesburg, South Africa, Oct. 14-16.
Petty Officer 2nd Class Rebekah Jorgensson and her husband, Petty Officer 2nd Class Jon Jorgensson, are both members of the Joint Service Martial Arts Academy (JSMAA) based out of Fort Gordon, Georgia. This competition was Rebekah Jorgensson’s second and her husband’s first international competition.
Held every two years, the World Martial Arts Games is organized in coordination with the Association for International Sport for All and the International Olympic Committee.
The U.S. Martial Arts (USMA) Team consists of individual members of several martial arts organizations, such as JSMAA.
“Being selected to the USMA Team is a huge opportunity that I never would have dreamed of before I joined the Navy,” said Rebekah Jorgensson, who is currently stationed at Information Warfare Training Command (IWTC) Monterey, California. “To me, it means that my sensei has faith that I have what it takes to compete well at an international level, and that I will represent the United States honorably no matter the outcome.”
The Games usually include novice, intermediate, advanced and black belt divisions for various styles of Japanese and Korean arts.
In the intermediate women’s divisions, Rebekah Jorgensson earned a gold medal in grappling, silver medals in open hand Japanese forms and team creative forms, and bronze medals in continuous sparring and points sparring. Jon Jorgensson, who is assigned to NIOC Georgia at Fort Gordon, earned a silver medal in open hand Japanese forms and a bronze medal in grappling at the beginner level.
“It's been a long week, with two 17-hour flights, two days of team development, and three days of tough competition,” said Rebekah Jorgensson. “All of us are sore and exhausted, but it's been an amazing experience. Despite our different ages, different belt ranks, and our different training styles, our team has bonded here. Everyone was so supportive, and you couldn't ask for a better group to compete with.”
Rebekah and Jon Jorgensson began training at Fort Gordon with a fellow IW Sailor, Petty Officer 2nd Class Sonie Lasker, while they were all stationed at Navy Information Operations Command (NIOC) Georgia.
“I began representing the United States as a competitor in 2008, and I am beyond humbled to see my students not only training, but following suit with world-level competition” said Lasker. “As part of the USMA Team, we have the opportunity to represent our country, the Navy, our families and ourselves as sports ambassadors. I am so very proud of my students for taking on this challenge.”
Despite being across the country from both her husband and her trainer, Rebekah Jorgensson said she was still prepared to take on the competition to the best of her ability.
“There aren't any dojos nearby that practice my style of karate so I practice on my own, and I sometimes take videos of myself to send to my sensei for feedback,” said Rebekah Jorgensson. “I've also been attending kickboxing classes at a local gym to help with my sparring.”
Jon Jorgensson said he felt very confident in his preparedness for the competition and expressed his excitement about competing in his first international competition alongside his wife.
“There has never been a time in the two years I have known my wife that we have not trained and competed together,” said Jon Jorgensson. “The first time I met Rebekah was when she and Lasker came to my NIOC Georgia indoctrination brief to talk about their organization, the Joint Service Martial Arts Academy. It is one thing that has always been a positive bonding force between us, and to be able to travel and compete alongside her at the World Games was a truly wonderful experience.”
IWTC Monterey, part of the Center for Information Warfare Training (CIWT), provides a continuum of foreign language training to Navy personnel that prepares them to conduct information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations. CIWT delivers information warfare professionals to the Navy and joint Services, enabling optimal performance of information warfare across the full spectrum of military operations.
For more news from Center for Information Warfare Training organization, visit www.navy.mil/local/cid/, www.netc.navy.mil/centers/ciwt, www.facebook.com/NavyCIWT, or www.twitter.com/NavyCIWT.