Model mugging

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Model Mugging
Focus Hybrid
Country of origin United States

Model Mugging is a form of self-defense training that uses padded trainers or Model Muggers to simulate assaults. It was founded by Matt Thomas,[1] co-author of the book Defend Yourself!: Every Woman's Guide to Safeguarding Her Life. Its inspiration was the 1971 rape and beating of a karate black belt.[2][3] Model Mugging was originally a self-defense program designed for the specific needs of women. Women learn how to protect themselves from a single unarmed assailant (basic self-defense course), armed assailants, and multiple assailants. Others involved in the early development of Model Mugging include Danielle Smith, Julio Toribio, Sheryl Doran and Mark Morrison

Techniques and training[edit]

Model mugging training involves students role-playing and sometimes fighting through a variety of assault scenarios.[4] Students are taught physical defenses, methods of avoiding or defusing potential assaults, verbal defenses, and decision-making under the pressure of such situations.[5]

During the simulated assaults, heavily padded instructors, often referred to as muggers,[6][7] 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[4] 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.[8]


  1. ^ McCaughey, Martha (1997). "Getting Mean". Real knockouts: the physical feminism of women's self-defense. NYU Press. p. 60. ISBN 978-0-8147-5577-8. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  2. ^ Encyclopedia of Violence: Frequent, Commonplace, Unexpected By Margaret Dicanio, Published by iUniverse, 2004 ISBN 0-595-31652-2, ISBN 978-0-595-31652-6
  3. ^ Representing Rape: Model Mugging's Discursive and Embodied Performances Shannon Jackson TDR (1988-), Vol. 37, No. 3 (Autumn, 1993), pp. 110-141
  4. ^ a b Hartman, Carol (2001-04-12). "Conquering fear". Sacramento News & Review. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  5. ^ American Fitness, Nov-Dec, 1992 by Catherine Gockley Hear me roar: "Model Mugging" self-defense courses teach women to fight back under attack and win
  6. ^ Langsner, Meron. "Simulated Assault: My Life as a Self-Defense Instructor". The Good Men Project. 
  7. ^ Tierney, John (Jan 4, 1993). "Model Mugger Earns His Pay". The News-Journal. New York Times News Service. p. 8. Retrieved 9 September 2010. 
  8. ^ Scripps Magazine by Allison Ryan Take That! Model Mugging 101

External links[edit]