N. Seattle attacks spark interest in self-defense

N. Seattle attacks spark interest in self-defense »Play Video
Women learn martial arts-based self-defense techniques in the class.
SEATTLE - A series of attacks in several North Seattle neighborhoods has put fear in many women.

Two women who lived through such an attack in December say they’re still surprised how it all went down.

Heather Jameson said, "I seriously thought I'd always give up."

Heather and Tracy Muter fought off a would-be purse snatcher outside Northgate Mall.

Victorious then - they now suffer the misfortune of fear.

Tracy said, "It's almost like a sense of panic."

Many people are scared after a series of unsolved attacks, so a North Seattle gym is offering a free self-defense class.

Whether at night or in the middle of the day, if someone comes up right behind you, what should you do first?

Martial arts and self-defense instructor Andy Wilson says, "We call it the big five targets. The five targets are your eyes, your throat, your groin, your knees and the feet."

Andy said it’s a formula - distance equals time – which equals options.

And the techniques they teach are effective, no matter what your size is versus an attacker.

Your chances of successfully punching an attacker larger or stronger than you are slim - but you can effectively cripple that person long enough to make your getaway by targeting those soft areas.

This training is exactly what saved Hanan Judeh's life in 2011.

"I had opened the door to my car and as I turned to close the door to my car a man had shoved me," says Judeh.

Armed with a knife, the carjacker forced his way in.

Relying on her self-defense training, Hanan went after his eyes and gave him a bloody nose. He ran off, but his blood provided the DNA that later convicted him.

"When I went to the sentencing the judge basically told me that if it wasn't for me and my actions they would have never have caught him," she says.

Swift action makes the difference.

"The only goal in a real self-defense situation is safe escape. That’s it, that's it, period," says Wilson.

Adds Judeh, "I absolutely 110 percent believe that every woman should take a self-defense seminar. I mean, it truly saved my life."

Heather and Tracy are taking that advice and taking their daughters with them to this class.

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The free self-defense class will be Saturday from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at MKG Martial Arts International, 10714 5th Ave NE in Seattle. The phone number is 206-789-2411. The gym also offers full, two-day self-defense classes.