Standing Strong: Valuable Self-Defense Lessons from Nashali Alma’s Story


Today, the importance of personal safety is felt by many. The challenges encountered by Nashali, a dedicated fitness enthusiast, serve as a powerful echo. One evening, while in her apartment’s gym, she faced an unexpected challenge. Recognizing a fellow resident struggling to enter, she assisted, only to confront an attempt at assault. The gym’s security system captured the incident, leading to the man’s arrest. This widely viewed incident underscores the importance of personal safety and preparedness. With empathy and care, we’ll discuss the lessons learned from her experience in this article. Viewer Discretion/Trigger Warning: The video captures Nashali’s courageous resistance against an attempted assault. It depicts actions like grabbing, bear hugs, and being pinned down. Nashali’s resilience shines as she escapes, but please be aware that the content can be unsettling for some. Click the video below to see what happened.

Verbal self-defence lessons as a de-escalation technique

Verbal self-defense, also known as verbal judo or verbal aikido, is a strategy and set of communication skills used to prevent, de-escalate, or end an attempted assault or any aggressive behaviour through the use of language. It’s about using words and body language to prevent or end a potentially harmful situation without resorting to physical violence. In Nashali’s case, we witness from the beginning her telling the attacker to back off, to not grab her, which was 100% in alignment with her body posture and movement.

Strength Isn't Just Physical

Beyond her physical strength, Nashali’s mental resilience was evident. Throughout the entire incident, she continued to fight her way out to escape and did not stop. She kept believing in her ability to defend herself. Why it’s important: Mental strength often plays an important role in critical situations. Physical strength is vital, but mental strength is the anchor that holds it all together. 


Trust Your Intuition

From the outset, Nashali’s instincts were on high alert. She was aware of her environment and as soon as she noticed him coming closer she stopped training, both her hands were free and she was facing the attacker. She noticed the attacker coming closer, not respecting her personal space and used both her hands to push him away and create distance. Shortly after, she grabs her phone with one hand while using the other hand to keep him at a distance. Why it’s important: Our intuition is a powerful tool and trusting it ourselves can be lifesaving, which goes far beyond self-defence lessons. 


Space is Your Friend

Nashali’s tactic of maintaining distance was crucial. She was able to use the workout bench to create space, giving her time to access her phone to call for help. Also, whatever opportunity she got she used to move and run away. She never stood still. Why it’s important: Having space between you and potential threats can be a crucial buffer, allowing you to think and act. A practical tip to adopt this mindset is to practice situational awareness. As you navigate your day, take brief moments to observe your surroundings, spotting potential tools that could help create space, offer defence, or alert nearby individuals. This practice trains your mind to spot immediate solutions.

Self-Defense Lessons: Basic Moves to Learn

Nashali was focused on ensuring her safety. By acting quickly and avoiding extended conflict, she reduced danger. With confidence, she used palm strikes, hammer punches, and her arms to maintain distance. Impressively, she even turned her phone into a self-defense tool, striking the attacker’s face and causing some injury. Sometimes everyday objects can be your allies in ensuring safety. Why it’s important: Basic self-defense techniques can be empowering. It’s like having a first-aid kit; you hope never to use it, but it’s comforting to know it’s there. In a world of uncertainties, being equipped with defensive skills offers a sense of control. In the video, we notice two simple actions – palm strikes and hammer punches. Just knowing these can help a lot. It’s not about how strong you are, but using what you know and trusting it. Every bit of learning helps. Below we have a short video showing what the difference between a punch, palm strike and hammer punch is.


Nashali Alma’s story serves as a powerful reminder of the importance of willpower. As she said herself in the video; “as long as you don’t give up, you fight back, you show him that you are strong, that you are one to fight back and get out of that situation, I believe it’s possible”. After some research, we found out that Nashali teamed up with Youfit Gyms and instructor Jason Bleistein to teach self-defense classes. 

Her commitment to empowering others is a testament to her strength and resilience. Every step we take towards our safety, no matter how small, is a step towards empowerment. Whether learning a simple self-defense move or being more aware of our surroundings, every effort counts. 


How do you empower yourself and ensure your personal safety in your daily life? Share your tips and strategies with our community.


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Picture of Palesa Mashinini

Palesa Mashinini

About the Author: I am an advocate for personal safety, and I am passionate about all things personal development.


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