A beauty queen trained in self-defence fought off a mugger moments before her casting to take part in Miss Universe Great Britain.
She parked up on a side street close to the meeting place at Jurys Inn, Broad Street, but as she locked her car a man approached her.
The thug began to pull her and attempted to grab her handbag.
She fought him off.
As Kirsty Grace arrived at a Miss Universe casting, she parked down a side street. As she got out of her car in her high heels she was approached by a mugger who probably thought he had just identified an easy target.
Fortunately for her she is a practitioner of Krav Maga and is a blue belt in Gracie Jiu Jitsu.
The 26 yr old said: “Self-defence has been an interest of mine for many years and I want to emphasise to other women that it’s imperative to learn how to look after ourselves".
“I really believe the mugger thought I would be an easy target, relying on catching somebody off-guard or vulnerable in high heels - I’m pleased I showed him otherwise".
“Awareness of what is going on around you is so important at all times. Timing is essential, responding quickly but keep as calm as possible, all these things you learn and drill in training classes which helps you act under pressure. I then went to re-adjust my hair in the ladies bathroom shortly before walking in for my casting.”
While this is a good news story I would like to tease out some self defense aspects to consider in light of this story.
She parked down a side street.
Side streets off busy areas are the hunting grounds for predators. Marc MacYoung calls these areas 'fringe areas'.
They are to be avoided whenever possible - especially if you are walking down them by yourself, especially if you are female and especially at night.
Going into these areas is high risk. You would want to be in condition yellow and on the ball.
However, life being what it is, sometimes we cannot avoid staying out of high risk areas for whatever reason. This seems to be the case here.
Secondly, it seems the mugger was onto her as she got out of her car. This implies she didn't see him as she was locking the car when he struck. If she was forced to park here she should have had a really good look around, with doors locked, prior to getting out of the car and maintained observation as she exited.
This act, looking for threats and appearing aware, can deter a mugger who wants to go for easy targets who they can strike using the element of surprise.
It is unclear if she did this or spotted him prior to getting out of the car.
Kirsty was able to fight her way out of a bad situation.
That takes skill and luck. No doubt, her Krav Maga and Jiu Jitsu training helped her in a significant way.
She was lucky.
She was lucky there was just one attacker and not two or three or four. She was lucky he didn't use an edged weapon (or gun). She was lucky he wasn't bigger, stronger or faster, more skilled or more determined.
But she took full advantage of that luck by fighting back in a skilled and determined way.
Sometimes, events in our life can take centre stage and it can be so easy to forget all about our safety. That makes us human. Let this serve as a reminder to try and be more mindful when we are in high risk areas.
Kirsty's example here shows that when avoidance and awareness don't work and violence is inevitable, you better have a robust Plan B. That's where physical resolution skills are paramount.
And yes, she got through to the next round.