Practice makes perfect, even for self defense - KAIT-Jonesboro, AR-News, weather, sports


Practice makes perfect, even for self defense

Justin Scarsella has trained in martial arts for 17 years. While he may have it down to an art, that doesn't mean that you have to in order to protect yourself. At his world class taekwondo studio, Justin stresses the importance of self defense. 

"It's simple things: Biting, scratching, stomping on someone's foot, throwing a knee just like you were tying your shoe. Those are all simple things everybody can do without any trained ability," he says. 

And ladies, those fancy shoes on your feet can be one of your best weapons. 

"If I came up and grabbed you from behind, you wouldn't be able to use your arms, but your head is free. From here you can take your foot and slam it down to my foot," Justin explains. 

Two basic moves that can save your life seem easy enough. But what about hand-to-hand combat?  

"Take your right foot stepping backwards, putting hands up, almost want to look like we are not ready to fight," Justin coaches. "Makes the attacker think you are not ready to fight; they think it's going to be an easy target, so when we do start to approach the moves we are going to do are going to be much more effective." 

He says you should aim at the nose or chin. 

Instructor Jessica Scarsella hasn't been doing this for 17 years, but she's now pretty advanced.  She admits the thought of being attacked is scary and intimidating, even with her training. 

"In the movies, we always see women hanging right there with the men, being able to take them down," she says. "But in real life, it won't be that easy." 

That is why she recommends classes. The more you practice, the better prepared you will be. 

"In classes with other people, with men that are taller, bigger, even ladies that are your same size, you can get more of a feel for how strong other people can be and how things like going for the eyes and throat could be helpful because they can be so much stronger than you are," Jessica adds. 

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