Holiday Self Defense

By: Alice Barr
By: Alice Barr

Many call it the most wonderful time of the year, but with the increase in car and purse thefts during the holiday season, it's all too easy for someone to snatch our holiday cheer.

Mall parking lots are dangerous spots this time of year. Criminals take advantage of distracted shoppers, weighed down with packages. But by being prepared and staying alert, you can kick danger out of your way.

Winnebago County Sherrif Richard Meyers says, "The hurry it up shopping, the last minute things, the more packages in and out of those stores, the more opportunies. So we do see an increase in the thefts, the purse snatchings."
But there are ways to defend yourself. Have your keys ready, stay in the light, try to walk with other people... and if all else fails, there's always the martial art Shaolin!

Jackie Hughes is an assistant instructor at Shaolin Kempo Studios. She says, "It acts as an equilizer especially for women, because women are the ones being attacked the most. I mean how often do you hear of a woman attacking a guy? It just doesn't happen. So as a self-defense, it allows women to protect themselves and their children."

One good tip if someone comes up and grabs you from behind, take hold of his hand, pull it over your shoulder, breaking the arm, hit him in the stomache, step on his foot and run.

Speaking of running, it's important to know when to stand your ground and when to just get out of there.

"With a purse snatching, let your purse go, you can replace those things. If it escalates into more serious issues, noise, loud noise, attention, resisting, the last thing you want to do is have someone drag you into a car."
Shaolin Kempo Studios holds a seminar to prepare women for the worst every year at this time. That's because october is women's self defense month.


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