Woman uses Samurai sword to fight off home intruder

Sir Edward Coke once famously remarked that “A man’s home is his castle.”

Well if that’s true, than one Indiana woman defended her “castle” in perhaps the most literally appropriate fashion: with a sword.

It was just after midnight this past Friday when a man broke into the Indianapolis, Indiana home of 43-year-old Karen Dolley.

Dolley said she awoke to the sound of voices in her hallway, and said she believed the intruder was under the influence of drugs.

“My instincts just took over and I started punching him in the face about eight to 10 times. Yelling ‘get out get out,'” Dolley told WTHR News in Indianapolis.

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Dolley, it turns out, is quite the formidable opponent. She said she was in an abusive relationship some 25 years ago that led her to take up martial arts, including joining a Middle Ages combat reenactment group.

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So after struggling with the home intruder, Dolley said she first went for her gun, only to discover it was in a different drawer.

She then went to her backup weapon: a Japanese sword known as a Ninjatō, a shorter, straight-bladed version of the famous Katana sword wielded by both samurai warriors and ninja assassins during Japan’s Feudal period.

“I grabbed my sword and I put it at his back and told him to get down and he got down flat on the ground,” Dolley said.

“It got a little hairy at one point, he did start reaching into his right front pocket, and I said ‘you take your hand out of your pocket, put it in front of you, or I will run you through, I know how to use this.’”

She said her time learning swordplay had prepared her on how to use a sword in self-defence.

“For about a year, I was learning the sword-play there and going up against guys that were bigger than me,” Dolley said.

Dolley, pictured above, says she learned to fight in the Society for Creative Anachronism, a group that recreates skills of the Middle Ages.
Dolley, pictured above, says she learned to fight in the Society for Creative Anachronism, a group that recreates skills of the Middle Ages. Karen Dolley / WTHR News

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Minutes after she called 911, police arrived and arrested Jacob Wessel, 30, of Greenwood, Indiana.

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Dolley hopes she can be an example to all women who find themselves the victims of violence, even if they don’t happen to be armed with a sword.

“If you don’t have an opportunity to get out, you can’t barricade, make it as miserable for the person as possible. Punch them in the face, gouge their eyes, punch them in the throat, rip their ear off, take out their knees, do whatever you can, make as much noise as possible, and just go at them. Go at them because you are fully within your rights to protect yourself,” Dolley said.

Police responding to Dolley’s 911 call arrested 30-year-old Jacob Wessel of Greenwood, charging him with residential entry. Police say he forced open the home’s back door. Police reports say he was taken to a hospital because he was high on an unknown substance.

-With files from the Associated Press

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