07/13/2016 12:36 EDT | Updated 10/28/2016 01:39 EDT

El Cajon, Calif. Girl Fights Off Would-Be Kidnapper With Kung-Fu Move

"I'm relieved that this is the story I get to tell – that she's in my home, here and safe," said her mom.

The mom of an eight-year-old in El Cajon, Calif. is likely grateful that the girl paid attention in her martial arts class.

A kung-fu move helped the child fight off her would-be kidnapper after he snuck into her bedroom early Sunday morning, her mother told Fox 5 San Diego.

"I'm relieved that this is the story I get to tell – that she's in my home, here and safe," she told the outlet.

According to a police press release, a man broke into the family's condo around 4 a.m. by removing the screen from a ground-floor window. He then snuck into the second-floor bedroom where the eight-year-old and her six-year-old brother were sleeping.

"I would have woken up to an empty bed," said the girl's mother.

The intruder picked the girl up and began to carry her down the stairs, but while still half asleep she punched him in the neck with a partially closed fist, a move she described to NBC San Diego as the "Cheetah Paw."

He then put her down and left.

When NBC asked the girl why she picked the move, she had a simple answer: "Because it hurt him."

The suspect was described as tanned and thin, with dark, fluffy hair. He wore dark clothing, carried a backpack, and smelled "dirty," according to police. The girl wasn't injured.

A window screen was also removed from a nearby condo that morning, they said. According to NBC, a hand smear was left behind, so cops said they would try running fingerprints.

Cops and a police dog tried looking for the suspect, but couldn't locate him. They said Sunday they were patrolling the area and using databases to find out who may have been responsible.

You can see more on the story in the video above.

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