A while back I heard about a woman called Avital Zeisler. She is now a quite famous martial arts expert and instructor for women’s self defence. Avital decided to learn as much as she could about self-defense in order to overcome the trauma she experienced after being the victim of sexual assault as a teenager. After years of training not only did she became an expert at self defence – even developing her own system/practice for self defence for women – but also an inspirational writer and speaker, sharing her knowledge on this subject.
As she writes herself in one article:
Each and every self defense technique I learned brought me closer to my goal of reclaiming my being and having the practical knowledge of self protection. It was this part of the journey that led me to the realization that my healing process was intimately entwined with the depth of my self- defense training. I was eventually invited to train at the source of the self-defense system I was studying, known as Krav Maga.
As I have gained much practical experience and knowledge of self defense techniques, my definition of self defense has evolved to include aspects of physical, emotional and spiritual factors. True self defense is the ability to defend your right to create and live the best life possible, with the ability to protect your body and mind against a threat or act of violence — at all costs.
According to Avital the three tenets of her philosophy as a former sexual assault victim turned martial arts expert are:
- I am no longer a victim of the threat of violence or actual violence – I know how to defend myself.
- Emotionally, I am prepared to face life’s difficulties and know that solutions are possible – I am worthy of self confidence.
- Spiritually, I believe that I can move forward in a positive and meaningful way and this is my right.
Here is a short TV interview with Avital and some self defence demonstrations from her.
Here is a one minute video of self defence demonstrations from Avita’s own Youtube channel.
And here is a longer 14 minutes video with her from TEDx Talks.