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“When I go shopping I try the shoe on and I’ll immediately get into my survival stance.” Welcome to stiletto self defence


In 2016, a martial arts expert will be offering British women self-defence classes that focus around using their high heels as weapons.

Canadian self-defence instructor and ex-ballet dancer, Avital Zeisler, is a woman’s empowerment coach and combat expert, trained in the Israeli martial art of krav maga.

Zeisler created the Soteria Method, a fitness and self-defence technique she designed following a sexual assault when she was young. She has trained soldiers and her method is supported by actor, Amanda Seyfried, who tells The Sunday Times: “It makes you feel strong…this is so much more than self-defence.”

Now, Zeisler’s more inventive style of self-defence, using high heels, that has become a huge hit in America, will be coming to the UK in January.

“I’m a woman, I love wearing heels and I’m not going to compromise the quality of my life or my femininity for self-defence,” says Zeisler.

The trainer is so adept at living in high heels that she can even sprint on a running machine wearing them.

self defence

In a taster video, Zeisler explains a few of her methods, showing how “literally, the heel on your shoe can save your life.”

Zeisler’s stiletto self-defence method includes a technique she terms the “defensive push-kick”, in which the wearer keeps the heels on and uses them in the fight – either lying down and defensively kicking while on their back. They aim is to target specific body parts, “whether it’s the face, the groin, whatever I’m dealing with,” says Zeisler.

Alternatively, the wearer can remove the shoes and use them as a weapon, hitting, slashing or stabbing, while gripping it around the middle of the sole.

“The heel is something that can really be used as an advantage if you put the effort into seeing it that way,” Zeisler says.

At the end of the video, Zeisler talks viewers through what to look for when shopping for heels, saying comfort and heel thickness are important. She describes her own method, saying:

“When I go in I try the shoe on and then I wait for that moment of opportunity where nobody’s looking and I’ll immediately get into my survival stance.”

Talk about a killer heel. 

You can sign up for classes here.


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