Recent attempted abductions encourages community to come together and learn self-defense

Now, residents are kicking fear away and turning that into their key punch

WINCHESTER, Va. - Community members are fighting hard until they get the skills down pat.
 
"Being in a tired state is actually the best mimic for [the] adrenaline dump that you'll have when you're being attacked, so it gives you the [feeling] that you've already been there if something does happen to you," said Colby Phillips, Owner/Head Instructor, Krav Maga.
 
After a series of abduction attempts and even stalking in the Winchester area, many residents started taking self-defense classes at Krav Maga.
 
"I heard about the two attempted abductions in Stephens City, we live right near there, I have two young daughters, and I didn't want to take any chances. If someone comes at us, I want to know what to do," said Ashley Pietsch, student, Krav Maga.
 
"I've heard so many [instances] that it scares me, and for a little while there, I stopped going out by myself, unless I was going with my husband. Then, it's like I need to continue on with my life," said Maggie Oxendine, student, Krav Maga.
 
Now, they're kicking that fear away and turning that into their key punch.
 
"One of the biggest things we try to do is just build confidence," said Phillips. "Confidence that you can handle any situation."
 
Students at Krav Maga are put in real-life situations, using tools such as a training knife and guns to ensure they know how to get out of any situation being a survivor and not a victim.
 
"You just never know. You hear stories all the time, and you think, 'Oh. That's terrible!' but it can really happen to any of us at any time, so it's important to be prepared," said Pietsch.
 
Instructors said being aware is always the best approach.
 
"What you'll see a lot of is people walking around with their faces in their phones. You need to be aware of your surroundings, [so] get rid of your phones, stick it in your pocket while you're walking [and] just pay attention to what's around you. Avoidance is the best. If i can avoid the situation, I won't be caught in it, [and] I won't have to fight out of it," said Phillips
 
Krav Maga offers three free classes to anyone interested in trying out self-defense. For more information, visit their website.

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