The women of Playa Vista learn how to fight back
By Jessica Koslow
While a few vendors are still packing up from the Saturday farmers market, a small crowd forms outside of an empty storefront at Runway. Inside the large store 13 athletically clad women are grabbing, kicking and screaming at a man named Nelson Nio. Though it might appear they’re angry at Nio, that’s not the case. He’s actually the instructor of this afternoon’s women’s self-defense workshop. Nio is the founder of SHIELD Women’s Self Defense System and an advocate of ending violence against women. He’s helped train the Kardashian sisters, appeared on numerous TV shows, and his self-defense program is the only one endorsed by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health Office of Women’s Health.
These are Nio’s top seven tips for women’s self-defense:
1. Make a lot of noise. Be as loud and as nasty as you can.
2. When you fight on the street, you always bite! And when you bite, don’t let go. Let him rip it off.
3. Get in the center (inside) position — his arms are outside and your arms are inside. Use both hands to grab on to him.
4. When you knee the groin, get very close with the front leg, and smash with the back leg in an upward momentum. Grab on to him close, and rock your hips upward and smash from underneath.
5. When someone is grabbing you from behind, hold on to his arms, move your hips sideways, and smash
the groin with your fist.
6. When someone is grabbing your hair, grab and hold on to his hand, lock it to your core, and step back until you bump into him. When you bump into him, move your hips sideways and smash the groin with your hammer fist.
7. When you fight, be fully committed and go all out. It’s your life that is
at stake. Go ballistic, all systems GO, from zero to 100 m.p.h. in a split second. And you never stop fighting. From the first strike you throw, keep striking vulnerable parts (face, neck, groin), and never stop attacking. Become the aggressor until you take him down, so you can safely escape. The goal is to escape safely.
If it’s hard to imagine some of the moves Nio describes, the best way to protect yourself is to train.
“I would highly suggest for women to actually train,” says Nio, who has taught self-defense classes to over 15,000 women and girls in the L.A. area. “It makes a big difference when you train. To feel what it’s like to be jolted off the ground and fight back with full force.”
Nio also advises, “Teach them early, teach them young. It makes a huge difference when you train at a young age.”
For girls ages 6-17, SHIELD Women’s Self Defense System offers an afterschool program teaching self-defense, nutrition, yoga, meditation, assertiveness training, dance, tumbling and more. SHIELD will pick up girls from their schools and bring them to SHIELD’s Culver City studio, and parents can pick girls up by 6 p.m.
The women’s self-defense workshop was presented by Gabrielle D’Addario, Director of Playa Vista Events and Silicon Beach Parents Group.
SHIELD Women’s Self Defense is located at 6295 Bristol Pkwy, Culver City; (310) 854-9239; shieldselfdefense.com.