After a robbery outside of a local gym, 7 Action News is showing you how to protect yourself

COMMERCE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WXYZ) - Oakland County deputies are investigating a robbery that happened Monday night at Lifetime Fitness in Commerce Township.

The 18-year-old victim was walking through the parking lot when the suspect rolled out from under his truck wearing a ski mask, black hoodie, and gloves.

He was robbed of $150.00.  No weapon was ever seen and the suspect got away.

The 7 Action News team researched ways that you can protect yourself if something like this were to happen to you.

Just a few basic steps could end up saving your life.

Self defense expert Mark Cortis advises you to be thinking defensively every time you leave your home.

"They need to think about all of the different types of scenarios that could possibly happen to you, learn what it is exactly that you would do, then be committed to doing that," said Cortos.

Texting while walking is one of the worst things you can do. 

Cortis told 7 Action News that it is very important that people keep that in mind because you are at your most vulnerable when you're not aware of your surroundings and that is exactly what attackers are looking for.

Many times an attacker will cause a distraction or a diversion to get close to his victims.

If he grabs both of your shoulders and you cannot run, scream, or set off a car alarm, Cortis showed 7 Action News a three-step defense:

Grab his shirt near his stomach, lean in, and with your other hand push his chin backward.

According to Cortis, a lot of attackers will use a "friendly approach" and try attract their victims with lines like "I'm new in town" or "I'm lost."

Others will use a "helpless approach" and ask their victims for something. 

Remember-- when in doubt, keep your distance.

"Ted Bundy used the helpless a lot with his arm in a sling, ‘Can you help me get this thing in'," said Cortis.  "The Detroit rapist used the friendly approach-- he made eye contact with all the women and looked friendly."

One of the most feared scenarios is being attacked from behind.

"Most people will try to get you from behind," said Cortis.  "If someone can get you from behind and you are completely unaware that makes you the most vulnerable victim you can be.

He showed 7 Action News how to fend off someone attacking you from behind and how to slip out of a choke hold.

Click on the video above to see how it can be done.

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