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Women of Faviana: Self Defense


The Women of Faviana is an empowerment council within Faviana International, focusing on the wellbeing, personal and professional development and leadership of female employees. The organization meets one time per month to discuss assigned reading, sit in on presentations from thought leaders, and host discussions around core topics relevant to empowering their lives and professional experience while at Faviana.

In November, our Women of Faviana event was hosted by Brand Marketing Coordinator, Micaela Altieri, on the topic of “Wellness” with demonstrations on self defense! Micaela had a secret many of us at the office did not know about her. Not only is she the Brand Marketing Coordinator at Faviana, but she is also a second degree black belt with an eight year extensive background teaching and practicing mixed martial arts! She is a certified instructor who has taught all ages, from 3 years old to 73 years old, on the ideals and practices of self defense, kickboxing, and fitness. So, as you can see, she clearly rocks.

Most of the employees at Faviana live in New York City, so having a basic knowledge of some self defense skills is extremely important. This event was devised to make us more aware, prepared, and ready for any situation we may encounter in our everyday lives. Micaela taught us some simple moves we can do to get out of certain physical situations.

Here are some techniques in defense against attacks that she taught us:

Front Choke

The two handed front choke attack is a very dangerous attack, especially if you are caught off guard by someone who is much bigger and stronger than you. If you are in this position, the first thing you are going to do is step back and clap your hands to create a wedge with your arms. You are then going to use the power from your legs to break their arms free from your neck. Clear their hands and then grab their shoulder and elbow with your back arm and grab them with both hands to create a frame and knee them anywhere on their center line i.e. chest, stomach, groin.

Straight-On Wrist Grab

If someone were to grab your wrist with one hand, the first thing you are going to do is take a step back to gain more stability. You are then going to grab your own fist and pull your wrist toward the attackers thumb. Pulling your wrist away on the side that the thumb is on rather than the side that their other four fingers is on is much more effective, because the one finger has less strength than the other four fingers combined. 

Defense Against a Weapon

If someone comes at you with a weapon and is swinging from the side, the first thing you are going to do is take a step inside so the weapon misses you. You are then going to make a “knife hand” and bring it to the middle of the attackers forearm and bicep at the same time and then chop them in the neck with your knife hand as you grab their wrist. Then, as you have their wrist, grab their neck and pull down so their arm is in the air and in an awkward position. With the back knee, knee their face or anywhere down their center line and push away.


It is definitely important to take the time to learn some basic self defense moves. Overall, everyone in attendance walked away from this event informed and well prepared with a solid foundation of some basic self defense techniques.

Have any other advice? Share with us on social media by tagging our blog’s Instagram @glamandgowns, Faviana’s Instagram @Faviana_NY, and Twitter @FavianaNY!


The Faviana Team

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