The martial arts skills that Airman 1st Class Spencer Stone used to help disarm a gunman Aug. 21 on a train in Belgium could help other airmen who find themselves in close-quarters combat, he said.
"I 100 percent believe that Brazilian jiujitsu saved my life at that moment," Stone told Air Force Times on Wednesday. "Every move I used on him was very, very basic — you can learn in five minutes. If we had a course like that in the Air Force for people to learn basic moves, it could help anyone in a situation like that."
In a wide-ranging interview, Stone discussed several topics, including how martial arts teaches physical and mental discipline. Students of Brazilian jiujitsu learn how to remain calm in high-pressure and physically uncomfortable situations, he said.
"You don't have to be the strongest person to be good at Brazilian jiujitsu," he said. "You just have to be a good thinker."
Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh has decided to promote Stone from airman 1st class to staff sergeant to recognize how well Stone has handled the relentless international acclaim since he and his two friends prevented a massacre on the train.
Stone also is also set to receive the Purple Heart and Airman’s Medal at a ceremony Thursday at the Pentagon. He talked to Air Force Times about what he thinks of receiving the awards and what it has been like to be the focus of so much media attention.
"I'm trying to stay as humble as possible and not get a big head," Stone said.