Fighting for Your Life : A WAFF 48 News Special Report

HUNTSVILLE, AL (WAFF) - It is a situation that happens every nine seconds to women throughout the country. You are going about your daily routine and suddenly, you are in the fight for your life.

So what should you do to improve your chances of winning it?

I headed to Burwell Martial Arts in Huntsville to find out. Deonte Sullivan is a fitness and self defense instructor. He is also a detention officer, so he knows the right moves to bring a person down if the wrong move is made.

"I don't want you to have to think. I want you to be able to react," said Sullivan.

We started with a bit of an anatomy lesson. He pointed out some "hot spots" to target on your attacker's body, which includes the nose, the area between the ear and the shoulder, and even the shoulder. The throat is also a prime target.

After that brief lesson, and a few exercises, it was time to learn the techniques that would help me to be able to fight quickly and to fight smart.

We started with a scenario that involved a person grabbing your wrist to lead you away. The technique Deonte demonstrated to me actually worked for me at times. However, in other times, he proved to be too strong for me. So he showed me what to do in that situation.

If you are being attacked, Deonte says to keep hitting the person, using your fists, elbows, arms, and legs. However, the techniques vary depending on whether you are attacked from the front or from behind.

He also demonstrated a technique called "shrimping", which could be used to get away from your attacker if the person was attempting sexual assault.

We went through several scenarios and techniques which can be used to fight for your life. Deonte says the key is to all the power that you have for as long as you can.

"Generally, after they've been hit a couple of times to avoid getting caught, they're going to run," said Sullivan.

If you would like to learn more self defense techniques, email Deonte Sullivan at

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