Model Mugging

I was in therapy this week unraveling a chain of reactions, as we survivors often have to do. My mom is anxious, and I have PTSD, which makes you anxious, and being around her, you guessed it, makes me anxious. So I try and pad her up, fix her, so she won’t be anxious (which doesn’t work), but also so she’ll be strong and brave and stand between me and my abuser/father like she did so ineffectually back then. Never mind that I haven’t seen him in about 20 years and don’t plan to.

Now, once I realized that is why I do that, I also realized that of course, I’m quite capable of defending myself from a physical attack from my father now. He’d be nutless before he hit the floor if he ever tried anything. The important thing is to convince my inner child of that.

Suddenly I had an inspiration, a kinesthetic memory of what it actually feels like to knee a man in the groin full force. I felt myself kneeing him hard in the groin and the fear of him was defeated.

The first time I kneed a man in the groin was in my first Model Mugging class. This, is not, as it sounds, a class where we mug skinny adolescents with fake boobs, but a self defence course where we actually ‘modeled’ what it’s like to fight full force against a male assailant. The teacher is a woman, and our ‘target’ is a specially trained (and carefully padded) man, who co-instructs but mostly gets knocked around.

The male co-instructor, in his padded suit, but not wearing his helmet, came up to each of us in the first class and invited us to knee him in the groin. I did so, half heartedly. I’d never hit another person before, except one brief schoolyard tussle, and it just felt wrong. He quite correctly pointed out that I hadn’t done it hard enough, and that by bringing my knee up solidly between his legs from underneath his testicles, that it would hurt a lot more.  During the course of this two week course, I got familiar with the feeling of kneeing a man properly in the groin, jabbing him in the eyes with my hands, and even stomping on his head once he was down (used if help is far away and you need to insure he’s unconscious for long enough to get away. ).  We would set up a ‘model’ incident or fight simulating a real attack, starting from a standing, walking or laying down position, and practise kicking ass, with our team of classmates yelling instructions that still echo in my head. Elbow! Eyes! Groin! Stomp!

So when I remembered with my body what it felt like to knee a man in the groin and applied that to my father, it gave me more than an intellectual realization that I am no longer in any physical danger from him.

Living or dead, spiritually, intellectually, socially and physically, I can kick his ass.

6 thoughts on “Model Mugging”

  1. This is an old post, but I thought I’d relay my own self defense experience. I took a one credit hour college class in the early 90’s where we did full force self defense against padded attackers. I graduated feeling confident, but about 6 months later, I actually had to use my skills. I was assaulted outside a club walking home.
    It was stupid of me, but I had to walk down an alley to get to the back lot I parked in, and I walked alone. It seemed like out of no where I was grabbed, and I had a figure right in front in, and someone grabbed me from behind and was holding my arms in a kind of a bear hug with a hand on my breast.
    I was dressed in a short skirt and tank top and was wearing flat shoes. I am only 5’3” and back then only weighed 115 pounds, but I was fairly strong for my weight and was weight-lifting at the time. I felt the guy behind me had a hard on that was poking at the top of my butt.
    I remember immediately realizing I was being assaulted, but before I could really even think about it, really instinctively, I started fighting as I had trained. I remember I turned and back fisted the man behind me in the balls, and I grabbed them in me hand and through my arm forward as hard as I could, and I know I held them for most of the pull because he slammed into my back and I’m fairly sure he cried out before he fell to the ground right next to me.
    I know I next threw my palms up into the face of the person in front of me, and tried to lift my knee up into his testicles. I must have tried to this technique three or four times, because I traded blows with the person, and got hit in the nose very hard.
    I literally heard a crunch when my nose was struck and it felt like my nose was flattened and I tasted a warm liquid in my mouth. I literally saw light in front of my eyes but I kept doing the same thing, thrusting out my palms hard and raising my knee.
    I thought I broken his nose because I was aware of a liquid on my hands and he brought a hand up to his face. I finally got what felt like a good knee into his balls as I felt his weight on my knee and I felt his body rise up and as I lifted me knee between his legs.
    He slumped over and took aim and powered my knee through the side of his head. I was very confident with the feeling his head made on my knee I had hurt him bad, and he hit the ground and did not appear to move.
    I heard footsteps running away from me and saw a figure running down the towards the parking lot. I quickly looked and I didn’t see anyone else around me, however the attacker who had came at me from behind was still moving and making a little noise, so I quickly dropped next to him and applied axe kicks to the back of his head, maybe three, until he stopped moving.
    I was tempted to just run off, but I did just as I had drilled.
    I then ran back to the club and informed the bouncers, who called the police, and went to catch the guys, who were both right where I left them I am happy to say.
    Once I calmed down a bit I started to cry and my hands were shaking for an hour. I went to the hospital with a broken nose, and my hands, face, and knee were badly bruised and hurt for a long time. I had given though both my attackers a severe concussion, and I tore the spermatic cords of my first attacker, who needed surgery on his genitals.
    They went to jail for a bit. The first time I actually saw their face was at the trial. They’ve long since been out but I have never seen or heard from them since. I became an assistant instructor in the class I took for about a decade, but it’s been years since I’ve taught.
    I’ve only a couple times since ever used self defense since and not nearly to that level, both times to my now husband. Once when we were dating, he was moving faster than I wanted, and when he wouldn’t respond to verbal communication, I gave his balls a quick squeeze, which stopped him immediately. The second time was on a vacation, he wasn’t taking no for an answer and had his erection poking into my back. A quick grab and squeeze and he rolled over and was done for the night. He said his balls hurt on and off all night and for the next several days.
    My husband knew what he was getting into early on. I told him, as I warned all serious suitors that I could more or less turn them into a girl with one hand, and after what happened that night outside the club, I have little doubt I can. Even at my age now, I still am confident I could fight off an attacker. All women should learn self-defense, you never know when you may have to use it.
    You need a class, taught by men or women, where you get to practice techniques multiple times full force. Both men I put in the hospital for those weeks were much taller than me, I’d say they were both 6 feet tall. I used to wonder what they thought when the saw me in person in the light of day and saw what a small woman I am. Hopefully they have never ever tried to attack another woman.
    If enough women learned to fight back and put the bad guys in the hospital, if enough of men like this were put out of commission, number of assaults would drop a lot.

    1. True that. It wouldn’t stop them all of course and doesn’t work for girls, babies and less abled women, but I definitely think being prepared and willing to fight back helps for able-bodied adult women.

  2. I fantasize sometimes about a world in which those of us who’ve been abused as children get – even if it’s only just once – a free pass to lash out our abusers in whatever way we feel necessary. To treat them as a toy, as property, as an object, just as they treated us. To hurt them, instead of hurting ourselves. To hurt them, instead of the people who actually care about us.

  3. I have always wanted to take a Model Mugging class. Healthwise that is not doable right now for me. But I hope to. I have heard that it can be very empowering as well as educational.

    I’m glad that you were able to use the remembered memory to empower yourself further concerning your father. You are powerful.

    Kate

  4. This is so fucking awesome. It empowers all of us to read this and realize that we are no longer in children’s bodies. We now have adult bodies, and angry adult minds, and we can kick ass.

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