Today Show: Avital Zeisler Self Defense Tactics
Did you know that one out of every six women has been a victim of assault or attempted assault? Willie Geist shared that with many women heading off to college, it’s a good time to learn self-defense tactics that can keep you safe.
Avital Zeisler, a hand-to-hand combat expert and women’s empowerment coach, is a co-creater of the Soteria Method, which is a practice that mixes fitness and self-defense. She even trained Keri Russell for her role in The Americans and Megan Boone, actress on The Blacklist.
Avital explained that the issue of self defense is personal to her because she was able to overcome the aftermath of an assault in a very meaningful and positive way. She explained that it was learning self-defense that gave her empowerment and gave her courage to continue to move forward. She said it was actually when she redefined self-defense for herself that she came to realize it’s about attacking life and not letting it attack you. She said it’s about learning how to live a life you love, while also learning how to protect it.
Today Self Defense: Immediately Observe Your Surroundings
First, Avital explained that your environment can work for you. For instance, she said she wants to know whether an exit is real or not real, as in whether the exit will actually take her out to the ground level or if she’s on a floor and the elevator is her only way out, then that’s not a “real exit” for her. As Tamron explained, you should immediately come in and assess the situation.
Today: Improvised Weapons
Another way to protect yourself is with the use of improvised weapons. Avital explained that you should be in an environment where you’ve assessed the situation and realized that any object can be used to defend yourself.
She pulled out a snow globe, and said it was a great example of having something beside you on your nightstand while you’re sleeping, so you know exactly where it is and can reach for it. She said it’s simple things like that, that can allow you to have a good night sleep and relax, without living in fear.
Avital said you can certainly set up your dorm room in ways that will make you feel safe, by placing improvised weapons in very specific places.
As Tamron Hall said, you can always ask your university if they have any self-defense classes available, but in the meantime, Avital wanted to share some moves that you can use to protect yourself.
Today Show: Self Defense Moves To Protect Yourself
Avital Zeisler first showed what to do if someone grabs your hair from the back. She said she always first teaches her clients to recognize the positive in an attack. For example, if someone grabs your hair, you can take the opportunity to close in on the attacker and drive your knee into their groin or stomach multiple times.
As Tamron said, most often your immediate reaction would be to run away, not go toward the attacker.
If you’re facing the attacker and his hand is in your hair, Avital suggested taking a big step to the outside of his body, placing your hand on his shoulder, and immediately driving your knee into the groin.
Avital said she trains her clients to avoid getting on the ground, but you should be prepared in case you end up on the ground anyway. She said you should always try to remain on your feet, because being on the ground is worst-case scenario.