A 17-year-old Irish teenager was able to call on her karate skills to fend off a would-be attacker who "followed and tried to grab her" on Tuesday afternoon.

Kate Mulhern, who is a brown belt in karate, was walking her new puppy not far from her home in Navan, Co Meath when the frightening incident occurred.

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“She knew something wasn't quite right so she texted her friend to say that she thought a man was following her,” her mom Hazel told The Irish Sun.

Teen girl uses karate moves to defend herself from would-be attacker https://t.co/iTKHm1rEX8

— Irish Sun (@IrishSunOnline) April 17, 2019

"She had turned into the estate near our home when the man overtook her and then turned back to try and grab her.

"The man grabbed her arm"

"Kate saw another man in a car parked nearby. The pup started growling and barking and whatever way the man grabbed her arm, Kate saw an opening and thankfully remembered her kempo training.

"She kicked him hard in the ribs and he fell back against the car, before getting into it and speeding off.

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"She said both men looked to be in their 40s with the attacker wearing a black hat and navy zip-up fleece. She said the car was an old black saloon."

Young Kate, who represented Ireland twice last year as well as competing in the World Championships in Tenerife in 2017, was naturally shaken but unharmed after the incident.

"Make sure your kids can defend themselves"

Her mother is now urging parents to look into getting their children self-defense lessons.

"My daughter is ok but very shook up. Please, please parents make sure your kids know how to defend themselves. It's so, so important because that is what saved her.

Kates mother is now urging parents to look into getting their children self-defense lessons. Image: Getty

Kates mother is now urging parents to look into getting their children self-defense lessons. Image: Getty

"She has competed at world level but it's a different story when you are placed in danger and panic sets in. Thankfully, she kept a cool head and all her training literally kicked into place.!

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The attack was reported to local police.

How do you feel about this frightening incident? Should more young people be trained in self-defense? Let us know in the comments below.

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Karate girl with brown beltGetty Images