Gigi Hadid was minding her own business in a crowd of fans and paparazzi when a man came up behind her and lifted her up without her permission. She elbowed him in the nose and he ran away, but the 21-year-old model was shaken.
Gigi defended herself when a man grabs her after the Max Mara show. pic.twitter.com/IsHEkTkkER
— Hadid News (@HadidNews) September 22, 2016
GIRLS, prepare yourselves so that, if you ever feel in danger, MUSCLE MEMORY can fight back for you. Thank you all so much for ur support.❤️
— Gigi Hadid (@GiGiHadid) September 22, 2016
Gigi is used to throwing punches with her trainer Rob Piela, and she had a pair of bodyguards at her side to make sure things didn’t escalate, but what was a traumatic situation could have been much worse if she didn’t pack a punch. Gigi warned her fans to prepare to defend themselves in case they feel in danger, but if you can’t drop hundreds on a personal training session, what can you do to get the know-how you need to be safe? We talked to former Olympic boxer and seven-time world champion Regilio Tuur about the fundamentals of self-defense. Here’s what you should know:
Assess the situation to avoid freezing up. “Boxing is not a sport to engage in combat on the streets,” says Tuur. “First of all, if you can avoid it in any which way, avoid it. If you can scream, run, whatever, I will always advise that first.”
Know the sensitive parts of the body. “Of course, the groin is the most sensitive part,” says Tuur. “The chin is a light switch. If you hit the chin — it doesn’t have to be hard enough — if you hit it correctly, the lights will go out. If you just want to hurt somebody, then you punch to the body. But if you’re not very strong and a guy attacks you, a body shot won’t have much effect for you. It won’t buy you time, because you have to be able to punch a guy really hard to hurt the body.”
Keep up your guard. “You have to have your hands high because the jaw is the most sensitive part of the body… So you need to keep your hands in front of it,” says Tuur. This position also trains your neck, shoulder, and arm muscles and helps you to protect your vital organs.
Keep your distance. “If you’re attacked from behind, there are a couple of ways to look at it,” says Tuur. He advises addressing a situation based on your height. If you are shorter than the person holding you, stomp your heels onto the person’s feet. “If you do that hard enough, they’ll let go,” says Tuur. If you’re taller than them, follow up with an elbow to the jaw, like Gigi did. Tuur thinks she did the right thing, since the jaw is one of the body’s most sensitive areas. “Then you’ll try to turn around, and the first thing you’ll do is a jab to create a distance,” says Tuur. “A jab to the head is your offense and your defense. It then puts you in a safe distance between you and your attacker. That’s the best way to buy you some time and also the best way to set yourself up to be effective in your attack.”
If you want to learn to defend yourself and get model-fit, head to Dogpound gym in NYC. Regilio Tuur designed its program for an Olympic-level workout, favored by Victoria’s Secret models, that teaches you more about authentic boxing than most other gyms you’ll find. “If you go to any other boxing gym, you will throw punches in a certain way that is not supported by real boxing, because it’s just based on fitness,” he says. “If you go to many boxing classes, you throw hooks every which way that, nine out of 10 times, leads to injuries in real boxing. I do not do that. I teach punches in a very authentic way that can also be used in self-defense. Our system has a very authentic professional boxing core.” Have fun, and keep your guard up.