Learning how to fight back - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

Learning how to fight back

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The attack on a young medical student in Huntington, a car theft in Logan County during the pursuit of a murder suspect, and a string of break-ins in Kanawha County, all raise the question of whether people can feel safe anywhere--and what those people can do to protect themselves.

Almost 4,500 aggravated assaults and 900 robberies were reported in West Virginia last year, according to the latest crime statistics from the FBI.

Depending on gender and age, people gave different answers on what they would do or have done in the event of a violent attack.

"If they got a gun, that puts in a little different perspective," said Glen Jackson, who was walking in downtown Charleston with his son Friday afternoon. "But I think I would still stand my ground. "

"I'd probably fight back and kick or hit them," said 12-year-old, Isabella Romano, of Charleston. "Because I don't really think it's not worth fighting back and them taking my money and not walking away."

"I just...I don't have the strength I had back in the day," said Roberta Moberly, of Charleston. "Seniors are vulnerable."

Butch Hiles, the owner of the gym, Butch Hiles Jiu Jitsu & MMA, in Charleston, said victims should always take action against an attacker.

"Most people look for an easy target," Hiles said. "And if you're not an easy target, if you're fighting back, then they'll probably go away."

So 13News visited his gym to learn the most basic self-defense tactics.

Here's what we learned:

If you're walking anywhere alone, place your car keys between each of your fingers. If somebody comes at you, slash the person with your keys in a downwards motion.

If someone's choking you, pull down one finger on each of his or her hands, and bend the fingers back as far as possible. Or shove the attacker's chin using the palm of your hand, which will cause him or her to stagger backwards.

Hiles also recommended that people should hide their cell phones while walking in public. If criminals see an expensive gadget, that gives them incentive to pursue a victim.

He also said it's safer to scream loudly than remain quiet--

"The reality is this guy is bigger than you, scarier than you, crazier than you," Hiles said. "We're not teaching you to fight back. We're teaching you how to get away."