CULP Cabo Verde team two had the honor of taking a self-defense class lead by members of the Cabo Verde military at First Region Headquarters located in Mindelo, July 7-8. The class was lead by 1st Lt. Rui Fortes and Sgt. 1st Class Adilson Gomes and held after the Cadets’ morning English instruction class with soldiers was complete.

Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 6.02.32 PMBoth Fortes and Gomes are regular instructors at the base and teach multiple forms of self-defense including but not limited to kickboxing, Muay Thai, and Karate.

Gomes is an English student of Cadets Timothy Austin (Texas A & M University ’16) and Dylan Gregg (Norwich ’16.) and explained how he has been instructing defense classes for 12 years and had started studying martial arts at the age of 13. Gomes offered to teach a couple of classes to the team of Cadets who turned out to be very enthused about learning some combative techniques and self-defense skills.

The classes were very informative and helped Cadets gain more situational awareness, quicker reaction, and faster reflexes by providing them with more confidence in mentally and physically stressful situations.

The Cadets said they are very grateful for the opportunity granted to them and the generosity of Fortes and Gomes for using their free time to teach.

Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 6.02.06 PM“I’ve taken kickboxing classes before and it was nice to receive training in a new form of defense,” said Cadet Victoria Rizzuto, who attends the University of New Haven, and who has taken self-defense classes in the U.S. “I enjoyed learning new techniques from both instructors. The skills and techniques they taught are definitely useful and a lot of fun! It was great getting to build a relationship with the soldiers outside of the classroom.”

Fortes and Gomes plan to compete in Europe in the future. Team 2 wishes their friends the best of luck!


(Cabo Verde is a small cluster of islands off Africa’s west coast. ROTC Cadets were there to teach conversational English to members of the Cabo Verde military so when they are involved in NATO exercises, or other multi-national events, they can better communicate. The Cadets were there at the request of the host country.)

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