Self-defense instructors say they tend to see more people sign up for classes following an incident like the woman who was recently attacked at Poland Township Park.

Karen Orwell’s been taking martial arts classes for years and is now a sixth-degree black belt. She said those who believe they can simply take a couple self-defense lessons for protection may be doing themselves more harm than good.

“You might do just enough to infuriate them, so you need to know what you are doing,” Orwell said.

Self-defense Instructor Sam Naples said that causing a commotion is one of the best ways to distract an attacker long enough to get away. 

“You need to cause a commotion. They don’t want a commotion. Their whole thing is to get you someplace where you are not going to be seen or they aren’t going to be seen,” Naples said.

Above all, Naples says don’t let your attacker take you to another location – even if that means putting up a fight.

“Go to the vulnerable points. We used to say eyes, throat and groin. Those are the three main places in self-defense that you want to hit and keep hitting” Naples said.

Although this week’s attack has prompted calls for people to apply for concealed carry permits, Mahoning County Sheriff Jerry Greene said that’s not the answer for everyone.

“There are certain individuals that I think would be able to effectively handle and carry weapons, and there is a responsibility for those, too. Then there are the individuals who should not,” Greene said.

Greene mirrors Naples’ advice to always be aware of your surroundings.

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