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How you can defend yourself while you’re out for a run

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Police in the Quad Cities are searching for someone who has groped five women during their morning run. All five incidents have happened over the past year in Moline, East Moline, and Rock Island between 8:00 a.m. and 8:30 a.m. The most recent incident happened April 21, 2014.

Local self-defense and martial arts instructors say it takes time to really master self-defense moves, but there are a few moves even beginners can learn to protect themselves.

“An attacker will pick someone who looks vulnerable,” said John Morrow, Chief Instructor at Morrow’s Academy of Martial Arts in Moline.

For someone with no experience, parts of your body like the elbow can be your best defense.

“It's a sharp boney weapon, so you can learn to use it pretty quickly," he said.

“Being aware of your surroundings is probably the biggest thing,” said Morrow.

“So the biggest thing is being 100 percent of your surroundings,” added Sifu Chris Kellner of Ving Tsun Martial Art Association, a pure defense training program that has been in the Quad Cities for nearly 20 years.

The women groped were all running on streets, most of them were grabbed from behind.

“If he's walking and you feel that, that's your initial sense, it's learning how to respond to that initial touch,” said Kellner.

Instructors say could take just one quick move.

“Boom, you have to react, that fast, hit him,” said Kellner.

And then, “Control it and run, get out of the way, scream,” said Kellner.

Defending yourself no matter your experience.

In addition to being aware, instructors suggest running with one or more people. They add acting confident can be a deterrent for attacks.