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Self-defense tips | Ways to protect yourself without a firearm

Keeping you and your family safe is a priority, so we're showing you legal ways to defend yourself without having to grab a gun.

SACRAMENTO COUNTY, Calif. — With nightfall arriving earlier and the holiday shopping season on the horizon, many people are looking for ways to defend themselves and stay safe.

We know keeping you and your family safe is a priority, so we're showing you legal ways to defend yourself without having to grab a gun.

Sure, a gun is one way to protect yourself, but there are other ways to defend yourself if you feel threatened, like pepper spray and stun guns.

Dave Kovar is a self-defense instructor at Kovar Satori Academy of Martial Arts. He’s taught thousands of people over 44 years. He covers the basics, to a more skilled martial arts style of defense. But no matter what, he says you should use your common sense.

“If someone wants your money, you give them your money. If it’s worth fighting over, get insurance,” Kovar said bluntly.

Get in the habit of being alert — but not on guard. Kovar says when you’re in public, pay attention to what’s going on around you. Have your keys in your hand so you’re not digging for them at the car. That way you’re more likely to see a threat and not be caught off-guard.

“The average predator does not have an alternative plan. They have an alternative victim. What that means is they're likely to look at you, 'Oh, that person was confident and aware, never mind, I'm going to pick someone else,'” explained Kovar.

If you carry pepper spray, make sure you can get to it. Walk to your car with it in your hand or attached to your keys.

“Mace is a gas and you should always spray mace low because gas rises. If you use pepper spray, go high because it's an oil and it drips because the whole idea is to get it into the eyes and nostrils as much as possible,” said Kovar.

Chad Shepherd is an expert in self-defense. He carries a flip-blade knife, which is on the list of legal weapons, but he says “I don't practice pulling my weapon out.”

He said the knife is more sentimental because if he felt threatened, he’d rely on his martial arts — like in this real-life scenario of disarming someone with a gun.

“One of the reasons why we believe that you should practice self-defense on a regular basis is because the more you practice these things, the more likely they're going to come out should you need them,” Shepherd said.

Remember to use your common sense. If you’re in a situation where someone has a gun, do your best to make an escape.

If you are interested in learning some self-defense techniques, check out the ‘Live Safe’ training clinics at Kovar’s Satori Academy Marital Arts & Fitness.

They have worked with county employees in Placer, El Dorado and Sacramento.

Learn more here https://www.kovars.com/kovars-tv/

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