It’s a scary statistic. For 84-percent of assault victims, the attacker is a familiar face. Whether it’s a spouse, an acquaintance or a complete stranger, defense instincts may kick in. However, some of those instincts and some of what women have been taught, could backfire.
People come in all sizes, pointed out Claudia Brown Jackman, an Aikido and women’s self defense instructor with Shuurin Dojo, Omaha. Therefore they shouldn’t rely on certain techniques, which may not work if a victim cannot reach an attacker.
“It's very frustrating for me as a female, because they'll teach in self-defense classes, karate chop up, karate chop down, gouge the eyes out … Worst case, they'll teach a woman to kick to the groin, and of course, the attacker buckles down, because that's a propensity of the male body."
That buckling down movement, she said, with the attacker’s head coming down, could hit a victim in the face disabling her instead. So, instead, she showed Channel 6 News a method that works no matter who’s doing the defending.
Head Instructor Lloyd McWhirt, who owns Shuurin Dojo, posed as an attacker, grabbing Brown Jackman in a choke-hold. She showed how, with her free hands, she could grab hold of his hands. “I find the pinkies and simply bring my elbows together and down to my hips,” she said, “and now I've released myself. Breaking the fifth metacarpal will drop him, at least enough at least enough for me to turn and run away.”
“My two-year-old, my grandmother can grab a pinky, peel and break,” she said. The same method should be used when an attacker covers a victim’s mouth, she said. Don’t to pull his hands down, as victims tend to do instinctively, she said. “You're already up here,” she said, raising her hands. “Don't get bottle-necked. Grab the pinky, break the fifth metacarpal. Now you've got a voice to use. ‘Off, off, get off!’"
The pinky is among the effective areas for victims to target when trying to break an attacker’s grip, she said. Nipples and armpits are other vulnerable spots. Then, she showed Reporter Jodi Baker another area, one she teaches children in anti-bullying workshops to target. “We teach the kids to put their hand on their hip… along their underwear line … match it, and now you’ve got a perfect diamond.”
Showing the area just above the groin, she said, "This is a very sensitive part of the body. You just take a small pinch and twist." It doesn’t take much pressure to inflict pain.
In case an attacker grabs onto the victims’ arm, Brown Jackman said there’s another way to break free. “Simply take your open palm and just slap his ear. It'll rupture his ear drum and he'll stumble and that'll give you enough release to continue your escape."
The number one rule, they say, is to be aware of the surroundings. Chatting on the phone, texting or listening to an iPod can distract people from potential dangers, and those are activities to avoid when isolated and vulnerable.