Nashali Alma | Self Defense Lessons From Tampa Woman Who Fought Off Gym Attacker

Nashali Alma | Self Defense Lessons From Tampa Woman Who Fought Off Gym Attacker

Nashali Alma is the brave young woman who fought off an attacker in her Tampa, Florida apartment complex gym by using a combination of instincts, physical abilities, and perseverance. Here's the video:

The 24-year old fitness trainer was working out alone in her building's gym on a Sunday evening when she saw a man, whom she recognized and had seen before in her apartment complex, at the front door trying to access the gym. Thinking that he had just forgotten his key and wanted to work out, Nashali opened the door for the man and continued her workout. Several minutes later, the man approaches and tries to grab Nashali, beginning his terrifying attempted assault.

Luckily the crime was captured on the fitness center's cameras and the man was captured the next day. Along with millions of other proud civilians around the world, we were able to watch the video, and in this article we will break down the important factors that led to Nashali fighting off her attacker and surviving the dangerous assault.

1. Toughness

Nashali is one of the toughest people we have ever seen and she demonstrated her resolve before the perpetrator even laid his hands on her.

As the perpetrator is approaching Nashali from the front of the gym she doesn't budge, flinch, or squint an eye; she stands there holding her ground with her body squared up to him.

Before he even makes physical contact with her, Nashali is telling him to not grab her and get away from him - displaying tough verbal defense.

Throughout the 7-minute attack, Nashali demonstrates her toughness by constantly meeting his advances with her defenses and never backing down. From pushing him, to hitting him, to wrestling with him on the ground, there is no doubt that the perpetrator knew Nashali was not going to go down without a fight and that is the spirit that helped keep her safe.

2. Situational Awareness

Nashali was aware of the perpetrator from the moment he entered the fitness center and when he decided to make his way to her side of the gym, she again was mindful of his location and behavior.

As the perpetrator slowly made his way toward her, she wasn't trapped under a heavy barbell hip thrusting, nor was she caught squatting 150 pounds - Nashali was ready to defend herself.

If Nashali wasn't aware of the situation, she might've been in the middle of a heavy set and the perpetrator would have had a big advantage, possibly even using the heavy weights against her.

Situational awareness, whether it's conscious observations, or unconscious mindfulness, can give you those extra precious seconds at the beginning of a dangerous situation to mentally or physically prepare to defend yourself.

3. Using Her Arms To Keep Distance

Maintaining distance is one of the best tips for women's self defense. If a male perpetrator is able to grab you then he can use his size, strength, and body weight more effectively to subdue and attack you. The best way to neutralize this imbalance is to keep him at bay with your hands by either pushing or striking him.

Nashali does this at the beginning of the attack as the man tries to grab her - she pushes away his hands with force. She continues to do this throughout the struggle - whenever the man closes his distance, she either pushes him away, pushes his hands away, or she gears up to strike him.

Using your arms, or legs, to keep distance from a threat is very important in surviving a dangerous physical altercation.

4. Using Obstacles To Create Barriers and Distance

This was one of our favorite defensive maneuvers that Nashali used against the aggressor. She uses a workout bench as a barrier between herself and the assailant.

After his initial advance, she is able to thwart him, and then runs away on the other side of a workout bench so the aggressor wouldn't have easy access to her. He tries to walk around the bench but Nashali smartly keeps the bench between them until finally she sees an opening and makes a run for the other side of the gym.

The lesson here is to use any elements or objects in your environment to keep your attacker at bay. While Nashali could've used the metal dumbbells or curling irons as handheld weapons, there is the inherent risk that the assailant could have disarmed her and used those weapons against her. In Nashali's case, it was her instinct that told her she didn't need to resort to more serious measures and using her mind and body was enough to survive this assault.

5. Targeting His Face

Targeting the face of a predator is one of the best ways to fight back during an assault. The face contains important organs like the eyes, nose, ears and mouth that are vital to optimal functioning. By targeting these organs on a predator you can impair his breathing or interfere with his sight. But they are also the most sensitive areas of the body and will produce intense pain sensations which might force him to stop his attack or lessen his abilities.

In the video, we see Nashali unleashing dozens of strikes and punches to the predator's face which clearly disorients him and causes him some pain. Besides the physical impact of her punches to his face, it also send a direct message to the attacker that she is not going down without a fight. Most predators seek easy fights and weak victims so targeting his most vulnerable areas communicates to him that he may have made the wrong choice.

6. Not Allowing Him To Mount Her On the Ground

Going to the ground in an assault is one of the worst positions to be in!

We saw a segment from the Tamron Hall Show that says getting close to the male attacker is a smart move so he can't use his longer arms and reach to attack you. This is the exact opposite of what you want to do in an attack! Always try to keep your distance and never let him use his size, weight, and gravity to bring you to the ground and mount you because then your chances of surviving are much lower.

7. Fleeing The Scene

Escaping from the scene and running away from the perpetrator is the smartest thing to do in a dangerous situation. Once Nashali knew that the attacker was disoriented and weakened, she fled the scene. She didn't continue to fight him out of anger or spite. She didn't try to hold him to the ground. She didn't try to call the police while still in the danger zone. She fled as fast as she could once she saw an opportunity.

This is an important self defense lesson for everyone out there. Once the perpetrator is weakened or distracted, and you see a real opportunity, you should flee the scene as fast as possible. Always be mindful and alert to entrances, exits, and windows in your environment so if a dangerous situation were to occur, you can flee without hesitation.

8. Determination

It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog. Nashali was determined to fight for her life and survive, and her willpower didn't let her down. In interviews, Nashali says that she knew she was stronger than her attacker and could fight him off. Now that's confidence for you! The human spirit is an amazing thing and we are glad that Nashali had the determination, confidence, and willpower to fight off her attacker and survive. 

What Nashali Taught Us

Nashali is not your average woman. She stays active, works out, and exercises which undoubtedly helped her survive the attack. Fights are extremely high-intensity and having great strength, conditioning, and endurance gives you a much higher chance to survive.

Nashali also taught us that any women or person can be a survivor. Attacks never happen the same way and there are hundreds of variables that can alter the outcome. Do not assume that if the attacker is bigger, or stronger, or a man, that you can't win. Nashali proved to us that any woman can be a survivor if she fights back even if the perpetrator is bigger than you. So always seize the moment, fight back, and tell yourself not today!

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