Thoughts on the Philadelphia woman’s abduction caught on video

If you saw the video of the woman in Philadelphia being abducted, I am sure that we are all glad that she was rescued alive and apparently not seriously injured.  She is lucky because she beat the odds.  Most of these incidents end up with the abductee dead.  Police credit her fighting spirit with helping her survive.

CNN commented that the video will send chills up the spine of every woman who sees it.  More important would be if it started everyone thinking, “what would I do if I suddenly found myself the target of such an attack or a witness to such an attack?”  Police advice about surviving a violent criminal attack emphasizes that prior rehearsal is a very important tactic for survival.

We don’t know yet what if anything the assailant in Philadelphia said when he confronted the woman.  He may have said something like, “Just do what I say, and you won’t get hurt.”  If so, the woman did the right thing by not buying such a lie and by fighting back from the start.  Police advice is, whatever it takes do not let the assailant take you under his control and take you to “crime scene #2.”  Crime scene #2 is where they find the victim’s dead body.

The woman did not succeed in preventing the assailant from gaining control over her although she struggled hard to avoid it.  Fortunately her crime scene #2 was where she was rescued and the the assailant was arrested.  Watching the video, we ask ourselves, what could she have done to increase the likelihood of escaping?  At the initial confrontation, could she have out run the assailant and reached a safe place?  When he was wrestling her to his car, should she have changed her strategy from trying to escape to striking to disable her assailant?

How can a weaker person disable an assailant who has his arms around her?  One way is by attacking his vulnerable spots.  Kicking the groin is the classic way to attack a vulnerable spot, but once the attacker has his arms around you, kicking becomes difficult, though kneeing may still be possible.  Other ways to disable an attacker are by poking him in the eyes and or throat (below the adam’s apple) with your fingers.  If you can get one hand free from his grab, attack these spots because it doesn’t take much force to have an disabling effect.

When I mention attacking the eyes when I do self-defense workshops, I often get an “eww” (that’s yucky) reaction from the attendees.  This is where prior rehearsal is important because it helps you realize that you will be fighting for your life if you are the target of an abduction attempt and that striking the eyes is entirely justified and necessary.

About Qi Elements Taijiquan & Qigong

I am the director and chief instructor at Qi Elements Center for Taijiquan and Qigong in Herndon, Virginia. I have been a Taijiquan and Qigong seminar student of Dr. Yang, Jwing Ming since 1996 and am certified by Dr. Yang as a full instructor of YMAA Qigong.
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