The public’s fascination with models and their various workouts has been long documented. Don’t we all enjoy watching perfect human specimens flexing their muscles and working up a sweat—all while looking effortless?
Gigi Hadid is one of those fitness-focused models, who has been known to share pictures of her various workouts on social media. Included in those snaps were images of the leggy blonde donning boxing gloves, but last week in Milan, she had to put those hours of training into practical use. While Gigi and her sister Bella were exiting the Max Mara show, a stranger (who has since been identified as “celebrity prankster” Vitalii Sediuk) attacked Gigi and grabbed her by the waist. The model did exactly what one should do in that position: fight back.
This morning, the wronged Hadid sister spoke out about the incident in Lena Dunham’s Lenny Letter. “I started boxing two years ago and I always remembered that. Since then, I hadn’t been in a situation that forced me to fight back, but it just came out when he grabbed me—it wasn’t a choice. I do have that fighter in me,” she recounted to Dunham, that same evening. She went on to encourage women to not only fight back, but to feel justified in doing so.
“Practicing self-defense is important so that when you’re in the moment, reacting from muscle memory comes more naturally to you than freezing up. Confidence in your own ability to defend yourself comes with educating yourself about it, and is a massive advantage when in an unsafe situation.”
Even her mother, Yolanda Hadid, was quick to give an Instagram shout out to Gotham Gym, the Manhattan training facility where the model refined her boxing skills. Here are five other NYC boxing gyms where you can also refine your self-defense skills.
This West Soho training spot combines cardio training with all sorts of bag work, promising that their workouts are “as close to actual fighting as you will get outside a ring.”
1 Renwick Street
Overthrow New York
The instructors here are pro fighters or top level amateurs, so they are guaranteed to push you to the limit–while sharpening your reflexes.
9 Bleecker Street
Church Street Boxing
Major boxing greats, including Evander Holyfield and Lennox Lewis, have trained here. It must have something to do with the community vibe, or the varied schedule of Muay Thai, kickboxing and boot camp.
25 Park Place and 52 Walker Street
Former champion boxer Michael Olajide, Jr. preps clients for real life encounters, by focusing on both the physical and the mental aspect of boxing.
This workout’s mix of shadowboxing (which requires no contact, but focuses on technique and rhythm), bag work and training intervals will make you stronger—and prepared for the unexpected.