5 tips to help fight off an attacker

A self-defense instructor says, ‘You don’t want to be an easy target’

SAN ANTONIO – News that a woman was possibly kidnapped on the city’s South Side on Thursday had residents on high alert.

Hours later, San Antonio police announced that the woman was safe and that a kidnapping had not occurred, but the concern is still real.

“You don’t want to be an easy target. You don’t want to make yourself easy to take. You don’t want to submit to the attacker or to someone trying to take you and move you,” Sylvia Mendivil said, a self-defense instructor at STW Krav Maga.

Mendivil said there are a number of ways a someone could be attacked.

“It really just depends on what the environment is and knowing how to assess the situation and act accordingly,” she said.

She said the best thing to do is to train by setting up different scenarios, because attacks can happen while you’re getting in the car, while jogging or in the privacy of your own home.

First Tip

The number one rule she teaches is to stay alert and be aware of your surroundings.

“Trying not to be overly distracted at any point to where someone might think of you as as an easy target because you’re not paying attention,” she said.

Those distractions include your kids, headphones or being glued to your phone.

Face your attacker and hit him in the face, eyes, neck and groin. (KSAT-TV)

Second Tip

If someone attacks you while you’re trying to get into your car, react quickly by raising your hands to stop the attacker, turn around and face them. Use your hands and feet to punch and kick in vulnerable areas, like the face and groin, until you can get away.

Use your legs and feet as weapons, by kicking your attacker, aim for the face, neck and groin. (KSAT-TV)

Third Tip

If the attacker is able to push you in the car, spin yourself around and use your legs and feet as weapons to kick your attacker out of the way.

Lift your hand and turn around quickly to break the choke hold. (KSAT-TV)
Turn around face the attacker and punch and kick till you can get away. (KSAT-TV)

Fourth Tip

Mendivil said choking is a common way that women get attacked. If you find yourself in that situation, raise your hand in front of you and use it to turn around quickly and break the choke hold, face your attacker and kick them in the groin, strike them in the face, neck and eyes to get them out of the way.

Wrap one leg behind your attackers foot, and use the other to back kick aiming for the groin. (KSAT-TV)

Fifth Tip

To get out of a bear hug attack, make yourself dead weight to make it harder for your attacker to carry you away. Use one leg to back kick into the groin, the other leg can be used to wrap around their leg to make it harder for them to get away.

STW Krav Maga will be hosing a self-defense class on Feb. 8. It’s $20 dollars to sign up. Girls as young as 12 years old can attend with a parent.


About the Authors

Patty Santos joined the KSAT 12 News team in July 2017. She has a proven track record of reporting on hard-hitting news that affects the community.

Before starting KSAT in 2017, Lee was a photojournalist at KENS 5, where he won a Lone Star Emmy in 2014 for Best Weather Segment. In 2009 and 2010 Lee garnered first-place awards with the Texas Association of Broadcasters for Best Investigative Series in College Station, as well as winning first place for Staff Photojournalism in 2011 at KBTX.

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