Staying Safe Using Basic Self-Defense

, Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Mon, January 21 2013 at 7:07 PM, Updated: Mon, January 21 2013 at 8:02 PM

A man is behind bars charged with attempted kidnapping and accused of trying to lure women into his car in Medford.    

However, if you are caught in a similar situation, are you prepared?

To make sure you are, we compiled useful tips that could come in handy if you're in danger.

Man Arrested and Charged with Attempted Kidnapping

39-year-old Fidel Flores-Avalos is in the Jackson County Jail. He's accused of trying to lure women into his white Jeep Cherokee over the past week near the Medford Center. The first report came in on  January 13th around 10 in the morning, where Flores-Avalos  allegedly tried to physically push one woman into his car.

"Grabbed a hold of her, grabbed a hold of her purse," said Sergeant Kerry Curtis with the Medford Police.

In two other separate incidents, one on January 17th around eight in the morning and the other on January 19th at about five in the evening, Flores-Avalos is accused of trying to lure women into his Jeep.

Basic Self-Defense Could Save Your Life

However, in dangerous situations when seconds count, remembering a few steps could save you from potential harm...or could save your life.

Brandon Bennett, Instructor at Hi Yah Tae Kwon Do in Medford, demonstrated some basic self-defense tactics.

Mr. Bennett said the first step is to make noise and yell "Stop!"

"Doing that instantly gets me here and everyone looks and I know I'm caught, so most likely I'll take off," said Bennett.

In addition to screaming, Bennett said a good weapon is right in front of you...your hands.

"She's just going to block and push the hands away and then using her palm, she's going to go right to the bridge of my nose and then go right for the groin, knee shot," he said as he demonstrated the moves with his Tae Kwon Do partner Aimee Parsons.

Another useful tip, stomping on the instep of an attacker's foot and using your elbows to keep someone away.

So if you or anyone you love is caught in a dangerous situation, remember...

"Make some noise, go for the vitals, eyes, groin and the instep," reminded Bennett.

Finally, take charge. Be aggressive. Make sure the attacker knows you won't be an easy target.

Free Classes - Doing His Part to Make Sure People Stay Safe

Bennett said he is willing to teach an hour-long basic self-defense course for free. Interested parties who want to organize a group to take the class can contact him by calling 541-621-8960. His Tae Kwon Do studio is located at 730 Cardley Ave. in Medford.

About the Author

Christine Pitawanich

Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.

Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.

Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.

Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.

Catch Christine anchoring weekdays on NBC 5 News at 5pm.

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