You may have seen the recent self defense video from Tech Insider with Gabrielle Rubin. You may have seen the backlash from the MMA, brazilian jiu jitsu, and general martial arts community, about how terrible her self defense ‘expertise’ is. In the video, Rubin makes wild claims about what she’s touting as ‘self defense’. Unfortunately, Rubin is far from the first person to do this.

I’m a martial artist, Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor, personal trainer, and triathlete with a passion for empowering women. My martial arts practice includes Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, Shotokan Karate, and some thai boxing. I’ve always been aware of the grifters out there, trying to make some money off of women, trying to empower and protect themselves; and this past year has really tipped the scales. With the ease of making and uploading videos onto the internet and then sharing via the various social media platforms available, there is quite a bit to sift through in order to weed out the tomfoolery.


So, how can you differentiate between fake self defense and real self defense? Fake self defense videos or blogs make wild claims that don’t have logic in them. For example in Rubin’s recent video she has her assistant imitate an attacker, trying to choke her from behind. Rubin’s immediate advice is to not pay attention to the arm that is choking you, but rather to focus on stomping the attackers foot or elbowing them in the stomach. It can take as little as 3 seconds to be choked unconscious; particularly if the victim is not trying to address the choke. The very first thing that you should do, is address the choke.

Another general cue for ‘self defense tomfoolery’ is the flashiness of the video. It may sound corny, but videos that have ridiculous editing cuts, wild zoom-ins and outs, ridiculous music, or movie-style scenarios, often do so because they are trying to ‘make up’ for a lack of content and validity. The flashy style wows people: don’t fall for it.

But this is still incredibly general on how to sift through the self defense tomfoolery. So, let’s dig deeper.

This upcoming series of blogs is meant to help the general public sift through the mass of misinformation on self defense. I hope to help you find effective ways to feel safer, as well as to offer some basic and effective self-defense advice.

About The Author


Jessica Stone

Certified Personal Trainer, Corrective Exercise Specialist, and Women’s Fitness Specialist by the National Academy of Sports Medicine

Jessica is a Buffalo, NY native who can find the sunshine in any snowstorm. She is a seasoned Personal Trainer who has experience training clients ranging in ages from 14 through 76; all with varying levels of fitness and goals ranging from peak performance to being able to properly stand up from a chair.

Jessica is also a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu instructor, a competitive Olympic distance triathlete and martial artist, with experience training in Judo, Shotokan Karate, and Thai boxing.