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Self defense instructors offer tips to fend off attacker

San Antonio police are still looking for the man who tried to kidnap a woman and child over the weekend.

SAN ANTONIO — Families on the southeast side are uneasy after two attempted abductions over the weekend. Police say a 27-year-old woman and a 12-year-old girl were attacked in separate incidents.

This week, KENS 5 spoke with one of the victims in an exclusive interview.

With the suspect still out there, local self-defense experts shared a few techniques to escape an attacker.

“The biggest message to take away is to fight,” said Yvette Echols, a senior instructor at STW Krav Maga Self Defense. “Fight until you can’t fight anymore.”

If a person tries to grab you from behind, Echols says you should:

  • Drop your weight into your knees, which will make you harder to hold
  • Use your elbows to strike the attacker in the face
  • If the attacker's grip loosens, try to turn your body around so you are facing that person
  • Begin kneeing the person’s groin area 
  • Hit their nose and neck as hard as you can with an open palm
  • Run as fast as possible to get away

“There is planning that often goes into abductions,” said Daniel Perez, another senior instructor at STW Krav Maga. “In the case of sex trafficking, there could be teams. A person will usually scout the area first. Then, they will do anything to cause a distraction. You want to watch out for vehicle tagging. They could zip tie the mirrors and doors [of your car], place stickers or put business cards on your windshield. Once they see you’re distracted, they will go into attack because they want the least amount of struggle.”

At Legacy Martial Arts, lead instructor Ramiro Ramirez says every second counts.

“We have a 10 second window to protect ourselves,” Ramirez said.

Every move Ramirez teaches can be used for self-defense, but he says it takes a lot of practice to build muscle memory.

“People want one class to learn all the self-defense techniques or moves, but it doesn't work like that,” said Ramirez. “You have to condition your body and get your core working until your body is like a machine.”

The San Antonio Police Department is urging people, especially women and girls, to stay alert.

The man involved in the near abductions over the weekend is believed to be about 5’6 to 5’9 with a skinny build. He has brown hair and brown eyes.

Investigators say he was driving a maroon Nissan Murano. Up to $5,000 is being offered for any information leading to an arrest. If you know something, you are asked to call the SAPD's Special Victims Unit at 210-207-2313.

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