Self-defense tips for runner, and anyone who wants to stay safe - WRCBtv.com | Chattanooga News, Weather & Sports

Self-defense tips for runner, and anyone who wants to stay safe

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (WRCB) -  Many local self defense instructors said runners are often considered a target for assault, because many of them leave home with nothing on them at all.

"People that want to attack other people have a process of figuring out, determining who they want to attack," said John Martin, owner of The Shooters Depot, "It's the young, it's the weak and people they feel cannot defend themselves and runners fall into that category."

The Shooters Depot has all the accessories a runner would need to protect themselves, but martin said many runners prefer to leave home without them.
In that case, he said there are only two options left.

"Fight of flight, those are the only two options you've got," Martin said, "And if you choose to fight and you don't have an item with you to help defend yourself, it's physically a fight."
    
Channel 3 went to the Chattanooga Jiu Jitsu Academy to find out what a runner can do with nothing but themselves.   
The first thing owner Mickey Swafford teaches is to always have a plan.

 "Fight of flight, those are the only two options you've got," Martin said, "And if you choose to fight and you don't have an item with you to help defend yourself, it's physically a fight."
     
Channel 3 went to the Chattanooga Jiu Jitsu Academy to find out what a runner can do with nothing but themselves.
     
The first thing owner Mickey Swafford teaches is to always have a plan.

"I'm always surprised by how many people I meet who are 30, 40, 50 years old," Swafford said, "And at no point in their life have they addressed, what am I going to do if a bad person comes up to me and tries to do me some type of physical harm."

Next - Swafford said to learn the "STOP" position.    
     
A person stands with feet lunged out and with hands straight forward.
     
Go to this stance if you see someone coming toward you and you feel unsafe.

"Everything about this, body language, distance, everything screams this is not ok," Swafford said.
   
The "STOP" position not only tells the attacker you're aware and ready to respond, but it shifts your lower body into balance in case you need to fight back.
    
Swafford said yelling loudly - even if you're alone - can give the attacker doubt that someone is nearby and will help.
"We can't pretend that it isn't going to happen to us, we can't pretend that this stuff doesn't happen in Chattanooga, Tennessee," Swafford said. "Because unfortunately it does."

A lot of runners like to carry pepper spray but these products do not promise to work in all situations.

For example, if an attacker is under the influence of drugs or alcohol the spray may have less effect, and if your aim is off, the spray could miss the person entirely.

Having a plan and more than one option is the best advice.
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