Woman fights off shark with 'black belt punch'

Mariko Haugen snorkels with a turtle in Maui in this undated photo. Haugen, a black belt in...

Mariko Haugen snorkels with a turtle in Maui in this undated photo. Haugen, a black belt in taekwondo, was attacked by a tiger shark last weekend and escaped by punching it twice in the nose. (Facebook/Don Haugen)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:10 AM ET

A tourist in Hawaii survived an attack by a nearly four-metre-long tiger shark by giving it a taekwondo "black belt punch in the nose."

Mariko Haugen and her husband, Don, were swimming with turtles in Maui last weekend when the shark came into view.

"All of a sudden, it was like Hollywood. You see the big jaws coming at you. I can't say how terrifying that is," the Folsom, Calif., woman told local broadcaster ABC News 10.

Haugen said she put her martial arts training to good use by giving the shark two jabs before it took off.

"She saw it a few seconds before it hit ó and she gave it her best Tae Kwan Do black belt punch in the nose (sic)," Don Haugen wrote on Facebook.

Her husband and another man nearby carried Haugen to shore.

She escaped with wounds to her right hand and thigh, requiring about 70 stitches.

Two women from Victoria, B.C., called for help and comforted her until the ambulance arrived.

The Haugens have returned home and are in good spirits considering the close call.

"I think we were unlucky, and really lucky," Don Haugen said.


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