San Diegans Learn to Fight Back

Chelsea and Amber's deaths have put San Diegans on high alert

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    NEWSLETTERS

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    Melissa Escaro uses her elbow.

    The recent deaths of two North County teenagers have put San Diegans on high alert and people are searching for ways to protect themselves and their families.

    The number of local self-defense classes for children and women has increased after the deaths of Chelsea King and Amber Dubois.

    John Gardner, who is accused of killing Chelsea King and is the focus of the investigation in the Amber Dubois case, is also charged with assaulting a female jogger last year. That woman said she was able to fight off her attacker.

    At the Rancho Bernardo Karate Center some women are taking no chances.

    “It just makes you think in that situation would you know what to do, how would you react?" Michelle Roether said.

    The 23-year-old lives just a few houses away from where suspect John Gardner was staying with his mother. 

    “We've been getting a lot more calls,” Karate instructor Steve Duz said.

    Duz offers a few safety tips:

    1. Be aware of your surroundings.
    2. Act confidently.
    3. Keep space between you and your potential attacker.
    4. If someone approaches you speak in a loud, assertive voice.
    5. If someone grabs you, go for the most vulnerable parts of their body.

    “You have to remember if someone's attacking you they are an animal so you can be an animal back,” Duz said.

    Medha Parlikar, 40, a mother of three kids, has been practicing karate for years.

    "It's fantastic. To know what to do in a situation if someone comes up and tries to grab your hand or your arm. It's important to have at least a few tools in your tool kit and say you know what? I can protect myself," Parlikar said.

    The Rancho Bernardo Karate Center is offering free Women's Self Defense Classes. They will be held Thursday March 18 and March 25 from 6-7 p.m.

    Contact the karate center to sign up:
    12120 Alta Carmel Court
    Rancho Bernardo
    858-451-8223