Columbia, SC (WLTX) - Would you know what to do if you were being attacked? Lexington County deputies say a women was able to fight off a man who was trying to choke her to death.
We spoke to a self defense instructor for techniques on how to break free from an attacker.
Mark Mills, owner and instructor at Columbia Martial Arts and Fitness in Lexington says the targets you'll want to hit on your attacker are the eyes, nose, throat, groin, shin/foot, and solar plexus.
"Where your ribs come up, the solar plexus is kind of where the nerves come together on it," Mills says pointing to the area below his rib cage.
Mills says in a threatening attack, a good defense is to aim for the face.
"Try to hit the nose, cause their sinuses to drain and their eyes to water," Mills said. "For really serious situations you have finger jabs to the eyes or thumbs to the eyes."
If you're being grabbed at, Mills says you'll need to grab above their biceps with cupped hands.
If you're already on the ground, start by bending yours knees and grabbing one wrist. Then, you'll hook your dominant hand around the assailant's shoulder, pull it down, and place your head on their chest to prevent being head-butted. From there, you can knee the attacker in the groin or stomach. When their head comes down, you'll then place your non-dominant hand on it to keep them at bay, and shove them away.
If you're already on the ground with the attacker on top of you, Mills says to start by bending your knees - this is where your power comes from. If you are being choked, one hand should be firmly holding the wrist around your neck. You will wrap the foot on that same side around the attacker's leg. Your other hand should be placed underneath the attacker's armpit. From there, spin your body, and use your legs and hand under the armpit to thrust the attacker to the side.
Mills says you should immediately get up, not turning your back to the assailant until you are out of harm's reach.
Although you may never need self defense, Mills says knowing it could make all the difference.
"Just giving yourself the confidence that you can protect yourself will make you less likely to be a victim," Mills said.
Mills says he will be holding a self defense class on August 5th, right around the start college.
The Lexington Police Department will be holding free self defense classes at their location on July 24th, July 26th, July 31st, August 2nd from 6:30PM to 9:30 PM.