Way of Intercepting Fist

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Courtney Richardson
  • 924th Fighter Group
Before pilots can get wheels up they must ensure they have all of their personal protection gear such as flight helmets, oxygen masks, and parachutes.

One of the Airmen responsible for making sure the pilots are prepared for any emergency situation during flight is Senior Airman Michael Bonit, 47th Fighter Squadron aircrew flight equipment technician.

The mission of the 47 FS is to train, educate, and mentor the world's finest attack pilots for the Combat Air Forces while honing the core competencies of A-10 instruction, operations management and aircrew life support.

“My job is to inspect, maintain survival equipment for the fighter pilots,” Bonit said. “I have to make sure everything like the oxygen, mask, helmet and the g-suit, are functioning properly.”

The 47 FS conducts training for pilot initial qualification, transition, and instructor qualification in the A-10C Thunderbolt II.

“I like being at the school house,” Bonit said. “It’s an upbeat, positive environment that focuses on education and expanding yourself, something I love.”

When Bonit isn’t in Air Force uniform, he dons another, expanding his own personal knowledge.

“I love marital arts,” Bonit said, “It’s all about self-expression and confidence.”

Bonit has been practicing a variety of martial art systems such as Tai Chi, Wingchun, and Wu Shu since he was nine years old.

“My favorite is Jeet Kune Do created by Bruce Lee,” Bonit said. “I was strongly influenced by him as a child.”

JKD, translated to English as Way of Intercepting Fist, is not classical martial arts, where the practitioner is held to rigid rules and precision. JKD’s movements are simple and direct using the smallest amount of movements and energy to protect oneself.

“Self-expression is big part of JDK, they encourage it more than other martial arts and that’s what I love. Everybody is different and JDK allows my body to tell me what to do” Bonit said. “I really want to master the technique and educate myself about the history of the art, there is so much to learn.”

Bonit contributes his mental focus and respect at work and in his personal life to martial arts.

“When my co-workers see me they say ‘martial arts is breathing to me,’ it’s true,” Bonit laughed. “Martial arts is my life, it’s my stress relief, it give me energy, it’s moving mediation.”

As much as Bonit enjoys his job he’s set his sights on a new goal, becoming U.S. Air Force Chaplain.

“Martial arts allows you to see the fruits of your labor pay off, with dedication,” Bonit said.