WINSTON-SALEM, NC – Recently, a young woman was walking to her car after work in Flint, Michigan. Ashley Hardacre spotted something- a shirt placed on a car windshield and tucked under the windshield wiper.
it could've been a trick. People in the area have been warned about this distraction tactic.
She didn't fall for it and drove away and posted about her frightening experience on Facebook - warning others not to fall for it. The post spread across social media. We don't know if the shirt was meant to distract her - but what if it was?
Was it put there as a distraction? Did someone plan on hurting her? What if it was a flyer or, what if someone ran up to her asking for help, only to try to distract her? All of these situations could potentially be someone trying to avert your attention, in order to rob you, steal your car or take sexual advantage of you.
So, we wanted to know, what’s the best way to protect yourself in that situation?
We went to Winston-Salem and met with Travis Cook and Connie Chesner, certified trainers with Armored Self Defense. The two teach people how to apply the self-defense system of Warrior Krav Maga.
“Basically, it’s a three-point system. Address the immediate danger, violently counter attack and then evacuate the danger zone,” said Cook.
The team said the most important thing before having to use self-defense is accessing the area around them. When Hardarce’s post went viral, many questioned the validity of the post and some questioned why she got in the car, knowing something was wrong.
Cook said, getting in the car to escape was the second best option. The first?
“If she were still a little bit closer to the building where she was still safer in public, then she should have turned back around, gone back into the building, contacted the local police department. Said ‘hey, I’ve seen these stories on the news. There’s something strange about this. Can someone come out and give me some assistance?’
Someone Attacks You At Your Car
If you do approach your vehicle and notice something strange and someone attacks you before you can get into your car, Cook said acting quickly and yes, violently, is the next best option.
“Your immediate reaction is to turn and immediately start attacking the other person. Because as soon as you’re on the attack, that puts you in the element of control.”
Strike the vulnerable areas on the body, including the eyes, throat, jaw line, nose, and groin. If you're next to your car, Cook said, use the vehicle to your advantage and try ramming the attacker into the car door or hood.
More Than Two Attackers
If there are more than two attackers, Cook said try to go after the person who approaches you first.
“I can use them as a barrier to protect myself. I can also use them as a battering ram and throw them into the other person.”
Should the attacker have a weapon, Cook said remember that property isn’t worth your life.
“If you feel that you can comply and then just give them the vehicle and that’s going to end the situation and end the altercation, then it’s just best to comply,” Cook explained.
“If there is a child or an animal that you feel like you need to risk your life for, that’s when you are going to always go through and protect yourself.”
Take Control Of A Weapon
Cook explained a process of taking control of the “weapon limb” to try and get the weapon away from the attacker. He said this type of technique can come naturally with training and practice.
They both teach classes and get many questions about self-defense. They also have to dispel myths about self-defense. They said many people think they're too small, too weak and that self-defense wouldn’t work in a life or death situation. Cook explained some people think self-defense only prepares people to be paranoid.
But, he said, that’s not the case.
“I bet you have a fire extinguisher in your home. Not because you are expecting a fire but because if there is one, you better have a fire extinguisher. Self-defense is the same thing. So, we’re not preparing you to be paranoid all the time and run around in fear, but we are making you prepared that way if something were to happen, you know what to do.”
He added, some people think they don’t need self-defense because they own a gun, are a man or are physically strong. With 25 years of experience, Cook said, self-defense can be a great back-up, especially if you cannot reach your weapon in time. With practice, he said, self-defense can become an automatic response.
“It’s very mean, it’s very violent. If you haven’t prepared yourself psychologically as well as physically there’s no way you are going to be able to protect yourself and your family.”
Armored Self-Defense is based in Winston-Salem but they also travel to clients to teach them self-defense.
For more information, visit their website, www.armoredselfdefense.com