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Born to Be a Badass

Sep 17, 2021

Melissa Soalt is a women’s self-defense pioneer, a black belt hall of fame recipient, former trauma psychotherapist, and the creator of Fierce & Female Self Defense. She is a forerunner in full-force padded assailant scenario training, her approach is both practical and transformational. She has taught thousands of women how to safeguard their boundaries, protect themselves from danger and resist attack while reconnecting women with deep-seated, primal and emotional powers to live safer, bolder, and fuller lives and to reverse female fear. Melissa is an outspoken advocate for self-defense as physical feminism, she has been featured in national and international media and has also taught in Europe, India, Nepal, and Kenya. She provides customized online training and corporate consulting and is at work on a manifesto for women.


In this episode, Melissa and I discuss:

  • When submission is necessary
  • Tonic immobility or rape paralysis 
  • Skills and strategies to counteract tonic immobility
  • Self-defense options when being attacked by a rapist


Key Takeaways:

  • Sometimes submission is the best choice against an attack if there is too much at stake. 
  • Tonic immobility is something that happens to anyone, whether animals or humans, who are attacked by a predator. It serves as an automatic biological response - a cushion for the person who’s supposedly experiencing imminent death. This happens to rape victims too. 
  • Use your intuition to dissuade and trick the predator, make some type of noise with the objects around you. Coil in to yourself and don’t telegraph your thoughts.
  • Bring awareness into the situation but don’t let the assailant’s words get under your skin. 
  • If you see a space to take action, take it. If their face is near your head, scream into their ear. Use your body’s natural weapon or get a weapon from around you. Go zero to a hundred on them. If you can get your legs and heels planted on their hipbone, you might be able to get up and run - control the hip to control the situation.


"Your goal is to facilitate escape. But often, to enable escape you have to disable or hurt something on the other person. That’s what enables our escape. —  Melissa Soalt


Connect with Melissa Soalt:







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