Police are still searching for a man who attacked a woman outside her apartment last Friday, and two suspects that abducted a 22-year-old female early Sunday morning. Longoria's Black Belt Academy in Lincoln is teaching local residents how they can avoid a potential attack.
"I, thankfully, haven't had to use my training to date, but I also feel that's because it has made me more aware of my surroundings," said Longoria Student, Beth Reinbolt.
Reinbolt has been taking classes at the academy for 5 years and that's just one of the lessons she's learned.
"By right I should be able to do anything and be anywhere that I want to be, but in today's world that's not always the case," said Reinbolt. "I wanted to learn more about what I needed to do to make myself not be a victim."
Owner Daniel Longoria said awareness is the first line of self-defense when it comes to an attack.
"Just being aware as opposed to oblivious of what is going on is 90 percent of your self-defense," said Longoria. "That 10 percent of actually having to use self-defense to protect yourself is that you have to be able to train to use it automatically."
Longoria said know your surroundings, scan the area, and be aware of people around you. He said cell phones are good to have in the case of an emergency, but they may also be trouble.
"It can be a big distraction, but it can also be a big deterrent," said Longoria. "It depends on how it's being used. If someone is in the middle of a conversation and not paying attention to what is going on then obviously it's taking away from their awareness of their surroundings."
Longoria said use your phone to scare an attacker by talking loudly, say where you're located, and indicate that someone may be too close for comfort. He said there's also power in numbers when leaving the house, and timing may be everything when it comes to an attack.
"That first 14-15 seconds of any confrontation can determine how it goes," said Longoria. "That could set the whole tone. If they're already fighting at the start that person might look for an easier victim."