Martial arts instructors talk about self defense in aftermath of attempted kidnapping

Published: Jun. 18, 2019 at 5:42 PM MDT
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As the investigation into the attempted kidnapping of an 8-year-old boy in Jerome continues, KMVT talked with a couple of martial arts instructors about what people should know to keep not just their children, but also themselves safe.

KMVT first talked with Brandon Low, Master and instructor at Low's Martial Arts in Twin Falls, who told explained that they have a KIDSMART program, whose purpose is to teach children about being aware of their surroundings.

Low explained that rather than using the phrase “stranger danger,” they use the term "tricky people," since most abductors try to look as normal as possible.

Low said there are eight different types of tricky people that children should be aware of, ranging from casual acquaintances to someone trying to trick a child using the promise of seeing an animal like a puppy, or offering candy.

“Number three would be the emergency. ‘Your mom and dad told me to come get you, because we have a terrible emergency. They've been hurt in an accident, and I need you to come with me right now,'" Low gave as an example. "The next trick would be, you're going to be in trouble. ‘If you don’t come with me right now, your mom and dad are going to be angry with you.'"

The other "tricks" include someone who says they need help, the friend trick, or when someone says they are friends with the child's parents, and then using flattery to get a child to come with them.

KMVT also talked with Jesse Clark, with Shotokan Karate, who also teaches a women’s self-defense class on the College of Southern Idaho campus about what women can do to stay as safe as possible.

“Number one, park in a well-lit area. You don’t want to park next to a van. If something seems creepy, it probably is," Clark said. "Drive around and don't feel rushed to park somewhere. And walking out to your car, you can ask someone to walk you."

Clark also said that if people have a weapon they carry, to know, and to be prepared to use it. Keep it somewhere one can easily grab it if necessary.

He also said that if you do have to defend yourself, the three best places for attacking are the groin, face and throat.

For both adults and children, the instructors say the best thing to do is to yell, run away, and fight back as a last resort.