Martial Arts Studio Fights Back Against Assaults

Five attacks have been reported in the North Park area in the last two months

In response to five assaults on women in just the last two months, a martial arts studio in North Park is teaching women how to fight back.

Impact Krav Maga wants to arm women with self-defense knowledge so they don't become the next victim.

“I'm a woman. I'm seen as a weak target. I'm only 5-feet tall, so I need to do what I can to protect myself and my family," said Michelle Pampo, a student at Krav Maga.

“It's definitely scary. I like to go out a lot. The North Park area has a lot of nightlife, but you have to be more cautious these days," said North Park resident Toni Calingy.

One of the most common attacks is when an attacker takes a swing. Krav Maga instructors teach women how to defend themselves by using their weight to lean into the punch and strike the most vulnerable parts of their attacker, such as the nose, throat or groin.

Instructor Veronica Gabarra is the first female in the U.S. ranked as in expert in Krav Maga, a martial arts designed by the Israeli military. The basic self-defense techniques are moves every woman can learn, she said.

“It's a way of fighting back,” Calingy said. ”It's a way of protecting myself. I'm a strong woman. I can defend myself if I need to. It could save somebody's life."

Police recommend trying to run away before ever confronting an attacker.

Impact Krav Maga is offering a free self-defense class Sunday for NBC 7 viewers. RSVP here

The latest reported attack happened July 20 when a woman was knocked unconscious in the 2900 block of Lincoln Avenue.

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