Tammy Zirk empowers women with self-defense techniques that can save lives. The owner of ZirkOps Training preaches self-awareness and says the number one lesson for all women is to look up.

Zirk tells Channel 3 that staring at your phone while walking, can make you an easy target. She says if you get a gut feeling, don't hesitate to call 911 for help, even if you are just wanting to talk with a 911 dispatcher until you feel safe. 
"We have a lot of women that come to the class that have been attacked and it teaches them all the different types of self-defense; it teaches them situational awareness," Tammy Zirk, of ZirkOps Training, said. "We teach hand escapes, choke escapes, hair escapes and all of the different bear hugs. We also teach them ground escapes, that's face down and face up, and how to use anything and everything as a weapon. I mean something as simple as a credit card is an awesome knife if you have to use it."

Zirk doesn't teach her clients how to stand and trade punches with their attacker. She says the best defense is to run.

"You do not want to stand there and try and fight your attacker; the first thing you do is run," Zirk said. " If there any way you can run, then you need to run as fast as you can." 

She says if you're forced to fight, know it's not about strength. 

"Some of the smallest women in our class are usually the most powerful," Zirk said. "Like say someone tries to choke me, even if it's against the wall or standing up, there are simple things like throwing my hands up like I give up. When I turn, see my shoulder does all the work." 

Zirk also showed Channel 3 how to break free from wrist holds by stepping back and pulling away from your attacker's direction of motion. 

"As long as I relax, and I move away from him," Zirk said. "When I pop out of here, he can't hold me no matter how tight he's trying."  

Zirk teaches which direction to move when it counts. 

"I'll never be strong enough to break his arms, but this can," Zirk said. 

She says women should hit with an open palm, so they can avoid breaking fingers and pack a bigger punch. 

 "We all know the throat is a soft target, right, so you get hit in the throat, it's automatically going to take you down," said Zirk. "  A lot of ladies say, I could never poke somebody in the eye. Well, you know what, if you're on the ground fighting for your life, yes you can." 

Finally, Zirk says it's not a good idea to hold keys between your fingers as a weapon because the keys can move or slide in your hand, hurting you instead. 

You should hold your key with a firm grip and stab.

To learn more about ZirkOps Training: click here.