An 8-year-old girl put the knowledge she gained in a martial arts class to good use Sunday when a man broke into her family's condo in California and attempted to abduct her.
The girl, who was not identified, struck the stranger in the neck after he appeared around 4 a.m. Sunday in the room she shares with her 6-year-old brother, according to El Cajon police and the girl's mother.
The man removed a window screen from an open, ground-floor window to get into the family's condo. He made his way upstairs, where he found the siblings sleeping.
The girl's mother, who was not identified, told KSWB that her daughter hit the intruder in the neck as he tried to drag her downstairs. He ran out of the home and the girl woke her parents.
No one else was injured and nothing was taken.
"I'm just relieved that this is the story I get to tell – that she's in my home, and she's here safe," her mother told KSWB. "Harming my kids while they're sleeping – that's supposed to be their safe spot."
The mother said her daughter used a kung fu move she learned in a martial arts class to fell the would-be kidnapper.
"She's scared but she's also empowered," the mother said. "She's learned some… tools she has that (are) going to last her through a lifetime. So, she's OK. … She's going to even be safer because we're going to protect her even better now. (We're) not going to be naive that something bad couldn't happen to us."
The suspect was described as a tan man with dark "fluffy" hair and a thin build. He had a strong "dirty" odor and wore dark clothing and a backpack during the break-in.
He remained at-large Tuesday.