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HOW TO SURVIVE: Mugging, assault, violent crimes

Posted at 4:07 PM, May 18, 2016
and last updated 2016-05-18 23:38:04-04

A big fear for many people is being the victim of a robbery, rape or other violent crimes.

Making it out of those situations comes down to split-second decision making, according to experts.

Justin Dunham teaches his self-defense students at Jenks Martial Arts Academy to rely on their instincts more than fancy techniques when confronted.

"They tap into that switch of 'I have no choice but to survive and I know what my strengths are and I'm going to do it with 100 percent conviction,'" Dunham said.

He breaks his self-defense philosophy into three stages.

DON'T BE AN EASY TARGET

That involves being aware of your surroundings, and avoiding unsafe situations whenever possible.

DRAW ATTENTION AND CREATE SPACE

That means moving away from an attacker while yelling and screaming to get as many people as you can to pay attention.

"Getting away, protecting your family– that is the ultimate goal," Dunham said.

FIGHT WITH CONVICTION

Dunham compares this to Marvel Comics Incredible Hulk. He said that means turning on the rage to do what needs to be done.

"My worst performance had to be better than the bad guy's best," he said. "You don't have to be big and strong in order to defeat someone who is big and strong. You just have to be able to fight with conviction long enough to get away."

Dunham said with some preparation and planning – in moments when your body is flooded with adrenaline – you have a better chance of making good decisions with the help of muscle memory.

"They don't even usually consider self-defense until after something bad has happened to someone in the community or something has happened to them."

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