Kara Sewell: Power of 'LOVE' - Cincinnati News, FOX19-WXIX TV

Self-Defense Tips, Tricks, and Myths

Kara Sewell WXIX was brave enough to take part in a simulated attack by a stranger. She fought him off, but not without a few challenges. This personal security expert explained what she needs to know-- and empowered all of us to stand our ground. Kara shares tips, tricks, and myths tonight at 10.

Posted by FOX19 on Thursday, July 9, 2015

Kara Sewell: Power of 'LOVE'

The "attacker" was actually a FOX19 NOW staffer. The "attacker" was actually a FOX19 NOW staffer.
Debbie teaches the "LOVE" method. Debbie teaches the "LOVE" method.

How do you feel about being assaulted? Not a question you expect at work but hey, I’m in the news business so few things surprise me anymore.

I respond cautiously (like any normal person) and our investigative producer proceeds to explain why one of my coworkers will attack me. I swear people like me at work!

Immediately following, I will be critiqued on how I respond to said attack.

I agree to the story out of pure intrigue and secretly I think I’m a badass, so I will probably teach my ‘attacker’ a thing or two.

As a reporter and anchor I pride myself on being observant. I’m aware of my surroundings, myself and other people. I also live in downtown Cincinnati so I like to think I’m cautious, proactive and more importantly, protected.

I’m using a lot of adjectives to describe the person I thought I was before my encounter with Debbie Gardner in our FOX19 NOW parking garage.

I believe Debbie is a self-defense guru who cuts the crap and gets right down to the basics by eliminating fear and teaching people (especially women) a simple but effective way to guard themselves.

Yes, the attack is staged, but in the midst it sort of felt real. I’ve never had anyone grab me so aggressively, but like a lot of women, I’ve worried about it many times. My ‘attacker’ (rather, coworker) was wearing a neck guard and other protective material so I was encouraged to fight back. He grabbed me in the parking garage and being nearly 7 feet tall, I didn’t stand a chance. (Or so I thought.)

I did defend myself but let’s put it this way: My techniques only made me a victim. I was not a badass.

My critique session with Debbie was a reality check. My first thought, scream! Wrong. Debbie made a good point; you would likely be so startled you would lose your breath and screaming would be impossible.

Running away means you’ve turned your back on the person trying to harm you. Flailing around only makes you tired and you lose strength to fight back quickly. I was ineffective at protecting myself at best.

In that parking garage, a little too close for comfort, Debbie shows me how to replace fear with power.

Fear is in your mind. Don’t visualize losing. Transform yourself from a worrier into a warrior! She suggests facing whoever is approaching you and speaking with authority and loudly from your diaphragm to “leave you alone” or “get the heck (I used an expletive) away from you”.

She uses a simple but effective technique with your hand, which she calls your ‘LOVE’ to strike your attacker effectively and make your escape. I urge you to watch the story because my description will not do her method justice.

By the time I hugged Debbie goodbye I wanted to kick some butt.

Not to negate my entire blog post, but I do want to point out that while Debbie feels like ‘LOVE’ will work in every occasion, it’s not fail proof and going with your gut is always appropriate and encouraged. All too often women are too worried about being polite than listening to your instinct. Forget polite, listen to your intuition and it could save your life.

Today, I walk with authority, don’t dart my eyes away from strangers and feel more in control in my surroundings. This does not mean I don’t hold my keys as I walk to my car, put down the cell phone in parking garages and avoid questionable areas because let’s be real  - I’m not The Rock. Although Debbie says the power of my ‘LOVE’ could even work on him.

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