BURLINGTON, N.C. -- Shannon Marshall-Hughes is one tough cookie, no doubt about it. So, as with many women, when the weather warms up, she loves to head out for a nice run or walk outside, but unlike many women, she feels completely safe.
"I know the tools; I know how to defend myself and if someone tries to hurt me, I know how to de-escalate the situation. I know how to get away from a situation," said Marshall-Hughes. "Women aren't usually taught to defend ourselves. That’s why I absolutely love what I do, why I opened my own studio. So I can help other women."
Marshall-Hughes owns Burlington's Krav Maga, a self-defense exercise studio. "You can tell when someone is confident by the way they carry themselves. Their head is lifted, eyes open, looking around them. If you seem insecure, scared, you're prey."
The number one move she recommends for women to know is this: If someone grabs you from behind, shift your hips to the side to create space. "I create space by shifting my hips over and striking him in the groin. I also am going to take my foot and stomp on the top of his foot with my heel. I drop my weight of my body, put my elbow and hit him in the face and then hit him again in the face. You can still punch and kick someone and still be a lady. It's all about protecting yourself and making sure that you stay safe."