How situational awareness can save your life during an attack

How situational awareness can save your life during an attack
Practicing self defense techniques on a regular basis can help you greatly in the event of an attack. (Source: WAVE 3 News)

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - A Jefferson County Public School student escaped an attempted attack on her way to school. School leaders say she was able to get away because of her situational awareness.

It's important to think about what you would do if you are attacked, before it happens to you.

The student was targeted Monday around 7 a.m. near 3rd Street and Gaulbert Avenue. The student was walking to duPont Manual high School after getting off a TARC bus. Police said the would-be victim was not physically hurt. An Louisville Metro Police Department spokesperson believes it was an isolated incident. No arrests have been made in the case yet.

>> PREVIOUS STORY: JCPS student escapes attempted attack on way to school

Sometimes, these sort of situations can go horribly wrong.

The reality is that we all get comfortable with our surroundings and our routines. So many people are looking down at their cell phones, or maybe have headphones on and aren't listening to what's going on around them. There are plenty of distractions.

Retired police officer and WAVE 3 News Safety and Security Expert D'Shawn Johnson said if you do get attacked, make noise.

"What you want to do is cause as much commotion as possible," Johnson said. "Alert as many people around you when you start yelling, screaming and there are certain words that are key words. You can yell 'FIRE' -- that's a key word. No matter what you are doing, when you yell that word people will look out. They did a survey where people yelled 'help,' people didn't look out because they didn't want to get involved but, someone yelled 'fire,' people looked out and became aware of what's going on."

Johnson added you shouldn't become complacent and conditioned with your environment, assuming you are safe.

Scott Smith also preaches situational awareness. He is the owner, founder and chief instructor of Gracie Jiu-Jitsu of Kentucky in Jeffersontown.

"My obsession became I never want this to happen to me again," Smith said.

He was attacked about 35 years ago.

"A guy gets out of a car and just starts pummeling me," he recalled.

That's when Jiu Jitsu became a part of his life. Smith teaches the importance of self awareness and self defense.

"95 percent of attacks will eventually wind up to the floor," Smith said.

So knowing what to do when you get there can save you. He showed WAVE 3 News Reporter Maira Ansari a series of simple moves to keep yourself safe. The feeling is empowering.

"You are using a stronger part of your body against a weaker part of someone else's body and that is what makes you a level above," Smith said.

When you do get the opportunity to run from your attacker, do not run into a backyard or alley. Run towards people, a business or busy intersection, and know what street you are on and what direction you are going.

For more information on Gracie Jiu Jitsu of Kentucky click or tap here. You can also follow them on Facebook.

Copyright 2018 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.