PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — When you think about self-defense, you likely think about the physical part of protecting yourself.
While the moves are important, they aren’t all you need to know.
There are five key things every woman should keep in mind at all times, according to self-defense instructor, Kathy Kluk.
First up be aware of your surroundings, look around and know what’s happening near you
“You’re in control, when you’re walking to your car at night don’t be on your cell phone, don’t be talking to somebody, don’t be texting,” Kluk said. “If you’re running outside, don’t have headphones on, make sure you’re able to hear what’s going on around you.”
Second, try to create distance if an attacker approaches.
“A simple example would be if somebody pulls up to you and asks you for directions, rolls their window down and its happened to me before,” Kluk says, “I take a couple steps back, you should never be closer than 10 feet away from a stranger.”
Another example: if you’re shopping and pushing a cart through a parking lot and somebody calls out or moves closer, turn the cart to establish space.
The third thing: don’t be afraid to use your voice.
“Women don’t think that they can yell loud, but you can yell loud, ‘stop, get away, get back,’” she said.
Next, don’t disagree.
“Compliance — what are they asking for?” Kluk asks. “If somebody approaches you, ‘I want your purse, I want your keys, I want your cell phone,’ give it to them.”
Remember, things are replaceable, your life isn’t.
No. 5 is where the physical aspect comes in.
Know some basic self-defensive moves.
Kluk teaches a specific type of self-defense at wright’s gym in Crafton.
“Krav Maga is a self-defense system that relies on your natural instincts to defend yourself,” Kluk says. “It’s a system that can be learned very quickly and remembered very easily.”
In a short period of time, KDKA’s Sarah Arbogast learned how to fight off an attacker — just enough to get away and how to strike using her fists.
She also learned how to kick.
Kluk says for some of her students, just one class can mean the difference between life and death.
“In 60 minutes, you see a change in that person, they walk out a little more confident, they hold their head a little more high and the more classes they take,” Kluk said, “I see the confidence building to know they can do it, that they can defend themselves, that they are capable.”