St Pete Self Defense in the News & Media

December 2016 Martial Arts Illustrated Magazine

Kathy was featured in the December 2016 Martial Arts Illustrated Magazine with a six-page spread in a column about women in martial arts. 





St. Pete self-defense teacher reacts to video showing children leaving with a stranger

Posted: May 05, 2015 10:57 PM EDT  Updated: May 05, 2015 11:30 PM EDT

By Candace McCowan   Copyright 2015 WFLA. All rights reserved.

Tampa – A video shot by a blogger showing how easy it is to abduct a child is going viral.

The video shot in a New York City park shows the blogger with a puppy going up to children and luring them away from their parents. The blogger received permissions from the parents first but shows how the children walk away with a man they’ve never met.

WFLA News Channel 8

“It didn’t surprise me 100 percent but it really bothered me. I had goose bumps,” Kathy Marlor said. Marlor owns St. Pete Self Defense.

“Parents should be teaching their children that you never go anywhere without your parents’ permission,” Marlor said.

She told News Channel 8 that the video shows the need for more in-depth conversations with younger children.


“When we do self-defense training with children that are young and even elementary school aged, we like to do a lot of scenarios, kind of make it more like a game so it’s fun and engaging. Instead of saying ‘Don’t talk to strangers,’ act it out. If somebody approached you and did this, ‘Hey, would you like to pet my puppy? You want to come see others?’ Teach them, let them act it out and say, ‘I need to ask my mom,’” Marlor explained.

“Sometimes it’s good to tell an adult no. So you want to go over with your children when is it okay to tell an adult no,” she added.

Copyright 2015 WFLA. All rights reserved.


Self Defense for Kids

When it comes to kids and self-defense, it’s as easy as A-B-C.

First and foremost with awareness, Marlor believes kids need to unplug.

“Don’t read or playing video games or texting. Pay attention to your surroundings!”

The three kids then run through drills on the grass, eyes wide-open as Marlor approaches each one, as if a predator. Everyone’s eyes are open, and each child evades Marlor’s grasp.

Also, before resorting to physical force, the last thing a bad guy wants, is to draw attention. The kids start screaming as Marlor approaches again.

“Back away! You’re too close!” they yell at the top of their lungs.

Marlor believes children are often conditioned not to make a scene, or yell in these situations. They need to break out of that mindset, and understand it’s OK to make waves.

So what if your child gets grabbed, like the attempted abduction of a 14-year-old in North Port just over a week ago?

One focused young girl from the group asks what to do if the grab is overpoweringly forceful.

“I’d stomp and kick and do whatever it took to get away from you,” the girl says, as she demonstrates a kick to the shins.

These are just some of the many tips and techniques St. Pete Self Defense offers.Click here to learn more.



On February 18, 2015 St Pete Self Defense and Kathy Marlor were asked by Channel 8 News to help them with a story on recent abduction attempts and the luring of a six-year-old into the bushes by a man that exposed himself.

Here is the written story and slideshow from WFLA News in the Tampa Bay, FL area. More kids self defense and anti abduction tips can be found here: St Pete Self Defense on Channel 8 News.  

Sister of 6-year-old Tampa luring victim speaks, self-defense expert offers parents tips

Posted: Feb 18, 2015 10:29 PM EST Updated: Mar 18, 2015 10:30 PM EDT

“I was walking to get my sister, and the lady came with my sister,” the 6-year-old’s older sister said. News Channel 8 is not releasing the sister’s identity in order to protect the victim.

Tampa Police searching for man who exposed himself to 6-year-old girl

The young child was on her way home when a man tried luring her into the bushes. Tampa Police are looking for the suspect. The sister said the bus arrived early so she was late to pick the girl up.

“She was crying nervous, and I relaxed her. She told me everything,” the teen sister said.

Thankfully, a Good Samaritan saw the creep and scared him away.

Good Samaritan chases man who flashed 6-year-old in Tampa

8 On Your Side went to St. Pete Self Defense instructor Kathy Marlor to find out what parents need to know. Marlor said parents need to frequently talk with their children about stranger danger.

“Really I think you should have a conversation a couple times a year at least and do role plays and scenarios,” she said.

Marlor has been an instructor for 30 plus years.  It’s important for young kids to know they don’t always have to be polite, she said. Children need to know they don’t have to listen to every adult.

“Teach them, sometimes people are nice but they’re trying to do something they’re not supposed to. You need to teach them when it’s OK to say no to a adult,” Marlor said. “You can teach them to say, ‘I’ve got to go ask a parent right now’ and to run and go do that. Then its fight, scream, kick, use your verbal boundaries.”

Marlor advises parents to teach their children to be aware of their surroundings.

“Now that you’ve got the earbuds in all the time and people are texting with their head down and walking, one of the biggest lessons no matter what age you are, you need to be aware of your surroundings – who’s there and who might be watching you,” she said.

Copyright 2015 WFLA. All rights reserved.






WFLA News Channel 8

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