LOBATAN!!! A punch in the Jaws: Female black belt beats up maneating shark
When the predator pounced, her martial arts training kicked in and she whacked the shark square on its snout.
Mariko, who was on holiday, said: “All of a sudden, it was like Hollywood. You see the big jaws coming at you. I can’t say how terrifying that is.
“My Tae Kwan Do prepared me to learn how to punch. I punched it twice. I punched it this way, and that one contacted. But this (punch) kind of hit the side and slid into the mouth.”
Realising it had met its match, the shark turned and swam away – allowing Mariko and her husband Don to swim safely to the shore.
Brave Mariko, from Folsom, California, wasn’t bitten – but she needed 60 to 70 stitches on her left hand from where her fist hit the shark’s razor-sharp teeth.
Don, meanwhile, is counting the couple’s blessings.
He said: “I think we were really lucky.”
But he’s refusing to let the experience keep him out of the water – insisting it was a freak attack.
Don added: “I’ve always told my kids there’s zero reasons to fear sharks because what is scary is breast cancer. Breast cancer is scary. That is one in eight.
“Getting bitten by a shark is one in 4 million to visitors to Hawaii, so we should not have to worry at all.”