HOUSTON -

Every year in Houston, nearly 6,000 people are victims of assaults. They happen at home, while people are jogging or even in public parking lots at shopping centers or malls.

So Local 2 Anchor Dominique Sachse teamed up with Houston's own Olympic taekwondo champs, the Lopez family, to share basic self defense moves anyone can use in the event of an attack.

Lopez and his siblings own a gym in west Houston and they invited Sachse to their gym to teach her the potentially life-saving defense techniques.

"A lot of times the big difference between being a victim and surviving a dangerous situation is knowing really how to deal with that with composure and not panicking," said U.S. Olympic taekwondo coach Jean Lopez. "It just takes a split second to make the right decision for you to get out of that situation."

Women can be vulnerable to attacks in a public parking lot, according to Lopez

"When you are walking toward your car, this is the time you must be aware," he explained.

Lopez says that the steps to fend off an attacker are simple.

"The first thing you need to do is to make sure you use heels and dig right into his foot. The reaction of the attacker is going to be 'ahh!' he is going to back off."

Lopez then showed Sachse how to use her purse and keys as a weapon.

"And you are going to turn this way and take your purse and swing this way. Always have key between the index and middle finger so you are ready to strike. Get in your car and lock the doors."

If you're attacked from behind while jogging and then pinned to the ground, Lopez says it's time to use your leg strength. He showed Sachse how to free her hands to gouge the attacker in the eye and use her legs to push off and get away.

Sadly a lot of the attacks against women happen in domestic situations, so Lopez shared tips on how to protect yourself inside the home.

"Sometimes females find themselves in a domestic altercation and it involves being choked up against the wall," Lopez said.

To get away from the wall, he teaches women to:

  • Grab the attacker's arm
  • Kick him where it counts
  • With one blow, strike the face and back again, targeting the neck area
  • Strike down on the elbow to break free
  • Turn back and kick the knee and run

For more on the self defense courses offered by the Lopez family, click here.