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Avital Zeisler

LISTENING IN: To fight back, she built a business | Interview By: Susan Rocco

This week, I had the pleasure of interviewing Avital Zeisler, founder of The Soteria Method, a unique practice named after the greek goddess of safety and based on the philosophy of “Krav Maga.” Avital has had the opportunity to work with everyone from celebrities such as Amanda Seyfried and Keri Russell, to military personnel and corporate executives from all over the world. Her one-of-a-kind method for self-defense incorporates the full mind, body and spirit combination that saved her own life after going through a devastating sexual assault when she was a teen. Her work has landed in the pages of Women’s Health magazine, The Huffington Post, Shape Magazine and the New York Post. It is now her mission to teach this method to as many women as she can reach and empower them to live and defend the life they were given.

Here are a few takeaways from our interview:

Simplicity equals survival. Statistics tell us that one in three women will suffer some form of assault in their lifetime. That’s a remarkable number, and we should all be prepared in the event that we happen to be that one in three. Avital says the simpler the technique, the more effective it will be when needed. “When you’re looking to turn your body into a weapon, and facing adrenalin, you want to train your mind and body in the simplest way possible in order to have one concept that you can apply to a variety of situations,” she said.

Positive “situational awareness” is a better way to live than in defensive mode. Avital created for herself what she calls “positive situational awareness” so that she can be more present in her life and enjoy the experiences she has rather than live in fear. She went through a traumatic event, but even those who have not been through something like that tend to live defensively because of the constant reminders to do so. “There’s a nice balance that I’ve created and had success with in being on guard in a positive way, and my students have had the same experience,” she said.

It is often at our lowest point that we find the strength to move forward. The day that Avital found herself completely lost and afraid was the exact moment that she found the strength to stop dwelling on the past and take action. The flashbacks she was having because of the violence she endured slowly began to be replaced by feelings of empowerment. “I had the privilege and opportunity to work with some of the highest ranked self-defense instructors and security specialists around the world, and these experiences are what led me back to living life fully again,” she said. I asked Avital if she ever finds herself back in those moments of insecurity and fear. “The positive results I see every day through my work keep me in the present,” she said.

It is her mission to “teach women to create and defend the life they love,” and her goal moving forward is a simple one: ”to reach as many women as I can around the world.”

To listen to the complete interview, go to www.women2watch.net and click on podcast.

Originally posted on Bizwomen.com. Philly Femfessional Susan Rocco is a weekly columnist for Bizwomen.com, The Business Journals. Sue Rocco is the founder, producer and host of Women to Watch, a live radio program and weekly podcast with a mission to inspire and encourage more women to pursue leadership roles worldwide.

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