Avital Zeisler -- creator of the popular Soteria Method of self-defense -- shared self-defense tips for college students at the Today Show this morning. (Photo: Facebook)

With returning and first-time students heading to college campuses nationwide for the fall semester, it is more important then ever before that they be equipped with the self-defense techniques to help them escape a dangerous situation. To that end, Avital Zeisler — creator of the popular Soteria Method of self-defense — stopped by the Today Show on NBC this morning to share a few important personal protection tips applicable to all women. Watch the video below.

According to TODAY.com, the first thing Zeisler stresses is to use your peripheral vision to identify suspicious people and potential escape routes. Next, she went over locating the nearest exit, which involves careful consideration. “Just because a sign hangs over a door doesn’t mean it’s a viable exit,” Zeisler said.

If there are no escape routs available, the person should “close in and initialize the threat on the spot before you can safely escape.”

A woman should also be prepared to use improvised weapons, Zeisler told TODAY.com. Something like keys, pens or snow globes can make a huge difference in slowing down an attacker. “Even if we’re talking a few milliseconds, and in self defense that’s a lot of time,” she said.

Another tip is to use your purse, which Zeisler says can make a great shield and serves as a distraction against an attacker. “It’s also effective because it frees your legs up, if you have to kick someone or do anything to weaken him before you close in on the person,” she said.

Finally, Zeisler recommends that women use the “stop and pass” technique. Simply put, if you feel a suspicious person is walking behind you, stop and let that person pass. Never turn your back on that person. Their reaction will determine if they are a threat or not.

Zeisler told TODAY.com that these methods apply to women in all stages of life.

“I’m redefining self defense for women, that it’s about you attacking life and not letting it attack you,” she said. “It’s about learning how to create, how to live a life that you love but still know how to protect it.”

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