National Enquirer – 1989


By Carol Page

grabbed from behind“I’m your worst nightmare come true!” the man screamed at me, pinning me to the floor. “I’m going to rape you. And if you don’t do exactly what I tell you, I’m going to rip your face off.”

Fiercely, I jabbed him in the eyes with the fingers of both hands, while I screamed “No!” into his face.

He jerked back and I flipped him off me with a quick motion of my hips and legs. I got onto my side with one leg drawn up to kick. First I kicked him in the groin, then the face. He grabbed my foot and I turned over onto my other side and started kicking with the other leg, all the time shrieking, “No! You can’t get me. I’ll kill you.” One of my kicks in his groin made him double over. I kicked him in the head once, then again, as hard as I could. That did it — he was knocked out cold.

I’d just finished an attack scenario at Model Mugging, a self-defense course that teaches women to fight — really fight. The Enquirer had assigned me to check out the unusual — and highly effective — course by actually enrolling in it.

fighting backSo far around 7,000 women across the U.S. have taken Model Mugging, developed by Matt Thomas, a martial arts expert. “Of those, 39 have reported that they were attacked some time after training, and 28 of those either knocked the attacker out or disabled him enough so they could get away,” says Thomas. Nine of the women deterred the attacker either by screaming or talking their way out of danger, Thomas added. “In the other two cases, the attackers had weapons and the women decided not to fight and were, in fact, raped. “Several women have actually successfully defended themselves against more than one attacker since their training, and several have defended strangers who were being attacked.”

“Mugger” attacks Carol Page and wrestles her to floor in photos above. But after hours of training, Carol learns how to protect herself, delivering a knockout blow.

For the attacks, “muggers” wear 35-pound protective suits of foam padding and helmets covered with layers of padding and tape. A special heavy-duty webbing over the eye areas allows “victims” to poke them in the eyes without actually hurting them. A “knockout” blow doesn’t actually render them unconscious — but they’d be totally out if they weren’t wearing padding!

The first night of my Model Mugging course in Boston, most of the 15 students had been attacked or harassed, or knew someone who had. I was no exception. I was mugged eight years ago, and terrified that it might happen again. The first thing we learned during the course — which consisted of five classes, each four to six hours long — was to scream. “Sometimes a good loud ‘NO!’ is all it takes to keep an attacker from coming closer,” said Melissa Soalt, one of the instructors and director of the Boston Chapter of Model Mugging. But screaming doesn’t always work so we also practiced elbow thrusts, different kicks and eye strikes.

kick to headWe learned to get down on the ground and get our legs between us and our attackers so we could use our strong lower bodies to fight. As the classes went on the attacks got increasingly violent, not stopping until the victim delivered a “knockout” blow. They taught us to block blows. We learned to move at lightning-fast speed before the mugger had a chance to do anything to hurt us. And as the classes continued I found myself becoming more confident and more able to take care of myself.

One of the women in my class, Marsha Saxton, 37, told me, “Model Mugging has changed my self-image. I no longer feel I’m small and physically weak. I am now capable of defending myself against the most terrifying of women’s fears — violence by men.”

Model Mugging — a nonprofit organization — currently offers classes in Boston; New York City; Washington, D.C.; The Boulder-Denver area; Chicago; Kansas City, Mo., and Honolulu as well as San Francisco, San Luis Obispo, Santa Barbara and Santa Cruz, California Courses cost between $350 and $500.

Contact us to be placed upon our list for upcoming workshops and self defense updates.

Original article in National Enquirer Magazine, March 1989, download file size is .8 MB

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