Self-defense classes could benefit people in a bad situation

WINNEBAGO COUNTY, Ill. (WIFR) - While the woman in the Matthew Harkey case escaped, not all people are that lucky. but learning self-defense could help.

"Everybody working on this case is extremely proud of this young woman, she saved her own life," said Mike Shultz, deputy chief, Winnebago County Sheriff’s Office.

Shultz credits the victim's strength and resilience for getting the suspect off the streets.

"Well if it wasn't for her own action. I don't know if we would be talking about an abduction but maybe something much worse," Shultz said.

But that isn't always the case and that's why Wes Shuckhart of the Northern Illinois Martial Arts Institute thinks self-defense training is a must. Even a couple of easy moves could get you out of a bad situation.

“Just having that confidence that I can deal with this that presents the image to your adversary that maybe this isn't someone I want to mess with," Shuckhart said.

"Bring the hands up kind of like your praying and come out about shoulder width then slide in and grab the shoulders and take the knee to the groan," Shuckhart said.

That move works by targeting the attacker's weak points, in this case, his arms. Getting them to the ground is your best chance to escape. But even knowing all the techniques doesn't mean you'll get away.

"If you can avoid situations and places where things are likely to happen you are better off, "Shuckhart said.

There are many places that offer self-defense throughout the Rockford area. Make sure you ask about one that fits your skill level.