Florida woman who fended off a gym creep is now hosting free Self-defense classes

Nashali Alma is a 24-year-old biomedical sciences student. She made headlines when she fended off a man in her gym at the Inwood Park Apartment Complex in Tampa.

The incident happened on January 22, 2023, and the video footage of the incident went viral on social media. Since then, Alma has become a poster child for self-defense. She is encouraging and empowering other women to survive  by providing resistance and to never giving up.

Partnering with YouFit in Tampa, Alma is now hosting free self-defense classes to teach others techniques that they can use to get themselves out of trouble, should they ever find themselves confronted by a similar attacker.

The young woman has partnered with self-defense coach Jacob Bleistein, who specializes in the Israeli krav maga form of self-defense training.

During the incident, Alma was able to use her weightlifting prowess to fend off  Xavier Thomas-Jones.

Thomas-Jones had entered the gym at the Inwood Park Apartment Complex in Tampa, posing as a fellow resident. Alma opened the door for him, and he quickly escalated. Despite being confused at first, Alma quickly realized the situation and used her training to resist.

Thomas-Jones was later arrested and charged with a myriad of charges. Alma’s experience has made her a powerful advocate for self-defense and a role model for women everywhere.

Self-defense coach Jacob Bleistein has advised anyone in a situation like Alma’s to “get loud” and yell at the man to stop. This can draw attention to the situation and show the man that the victim is willing to provide resistance.

Other tips include taking a step back and putting your hands up, with the dominant foot back. An open-hand strike allegedly can be more effective than  a fist, especially if aimed at the nose, jaw, or ear. Bleistein emphasizes that self-defense training can help anyone prepare for a dangerous situation and increase their chances of survival.