Model Mugging

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Model Mugging is a form of self-defense training that uses padded trainers or Model Muggers to simulate assaults. Its inspiration was the 1971 rape and beating of a karate black belt.[1] [2]

The program was created in 1972 to 1974 by Matt Thomas (martial artist).[1] working with a group of people including Danielle Smith, Julio Toribio, Sheryl Doran, Mark Morris and Irene van der Zande. Model Mugging classes were taught in the Palo Alto area and at Stanford University.

Many of that original group went on to create their own training systems based on Model Mugging. In 1985 Bay Area Model Mugging (BAMM) was created by Sheryl Doran and later in 1989 changed its name to “Impact Personal Safety”. Kidpower (organization) a non-profit organization was created in 1989 by Irene van der Zande. Bill Kipp created Fast Defense. Meredith Gold created R-A-W Power. Melissa Soalt aka Dr. Ruthless founded Model Mugging of Boston, Inc., in 1987.

Model mugging training involves students role-playing and sometimes fighting through a variety of assault scenarios. Students are taught physical defenses, methods of avoiding or defusing potential assaults, verbal defenses, and decision-making under the pressure of such situations.[3]

During the simulated assaults, heavily padded instructors, often referred to as muggers, accost, grab, or directly attack a student, who may respond (if they believe a physical response is appropriate for the situation) with full-force attacks to the padded instructor. The emotionally charged nature of the scenarios combined with the full-force nature of the fighting tend to create an adrenalized state similar to that of someone facing a real assault. The adrenalized nature of the training is intended to teach the student how to think clearly and respond in adrenalized situations.[4]