SELF-DEFENSE FOR WOMEN

OUR MISSION:

"A WOMAN CAN AND INDEED SHOULD BE ARMED WITH COURAGE, DETERMINATION, SPIRIT AND KNOWLEDGE, WHETHER OR NOT SHE IS ARMED WITH ANYTHING ELSE."

THE HISTORY OF "STREET SMART"/Model Mugging:

Street Smart Self Defense for Women was founded in 1999 after the program became recognized as a national Model Mugging affiliate for the State of Pennsylvania. Matt Thomas designed this system, which is based on 40 years of research on how men actually attack women, because a black belt friend of his had been raped. He felt that women needed to be trained "smarter" not "harder". The program is based out of California with several chapters nationwide. Matt Thomas is a highly acclaimed national figure in the area of martial arts, self defense, and law enforcement tactical instruction. He is also the author of "Defend Yourself--Every Woman's Guide to Safeguarding Her Life." He has appeared on several national talk shows (such as Oprah in 1999) as well as many women's magazines. The result of his diligent research is the most comprehensive full contact self defense program of it's kind -- Model Mugging! Model Mugging concentrates on muscle memory patterns, as well as the emotional/psychological aspects of self protection. This is a much more realistic approach than traditional martial arts instruction. In Erie, the Street Smart Self Defense Academy was founded in November, 2000 to reach the women, teens and children of our community to better serve their individual needs and to educate on rape awareness and effective self protection.

ABOUT THE INSTRUCTORS:

MODEL MUGGING INSTRUCTORS ARE CERTIFIED TO TEACH AFTER CAREFUL SELECTION AND TRAINING. YOUR ERIE INSTRUCTORS ARE HIGHLY SKILLED MARTIAL ARTISTS AND WERE CHOSEN FOR THEIR SENSITIVITY TO THE PSYCHOLOGICAL ASPECTS OF TEACHING THIS COURSE. COURSES ARE LED BY AT LEAST ONE FEMALE INSTRUCTOR AND ONE MALE INSTRUCTOR (MODEL MUGGER). "MODEL MUGGING" INSTRUCTORS WORK TOGETHER TO PROVIDE A SAFE, SUPPORTIVE AND SACRED ENVIRONMENT FOR STUDENTS TO LEARN, EXPLORE AND GROW.

WHO IS RACHEL CHEESEMAN?
RACHEL CHEESEMAN IS THE FOUNDER AND HEAD INSTRUCTOR OF STREET SMART SELF-DEFENSE FOR WOMEN. SHE WAS INSPIRED TO TEACH SELF-DEFENSE AFTER HER SISTER WAS RAPED IN HER OFF CAMPUS COLLEGE APARTMENT. RACHEL LEARNED THE PRINCIPLES OF "MODEL MUGGING" FROM THE CREATOR MATTHEW THOMAS IN LOS ANGELES, CA. RACHEL IS A 2nd DEGREE BLACK BELT IN THE ART OF CHINESE KUNG FU KARATE SELF-DEFENSE AND HAS STUDIED FOR THE PAST 27 YEARS. SHE IS ALSO A MEMBER OF THE AMERICAN WOMEN'S SELF-DEFENSE ASSOCIATION AS WELL AS BEING A SUPPORTING MEMBER OF THE PENNSLYLVANIA COALITION AGAINST RAPE AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE. IN ADDITION, RACHEL SERVED AS A VOLUNTEER LEGAL COUNSELING ADVOCATE FOR SAFENET. DURING HER QUEST TO EDUCATE ON RAPE PREVENTION AND AWARENESS TO MEN AND WOMEN THROUGHOUT ERIE COUNTY, RACHEL HAS PERSONALLY TRAINED HUNDREDS OF WOMEN AND CHILDREN THROUGH THE MODEL MUGGING PROGRAM AND HAS ADDRESSED THOUSANDS OF MEN AND WOMEN IN LECTURE FORMAT ON THE ISSUES SURROUNDING VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN IN TODAY'S CULTURE. RACHEL HAS ALSO APPEARED ON ALL MAJOR TV NETWORKS IN ERIE AS WELL AS THE ERIE TIMES NEWSPAPER. RACHEL WAS ALSO FEATURED ON "JET RADIO 1400 A.M." IN ERIE CONCERNING CHILD ABDUCTION PREVENTION AND WOMENS SELF DEFENSE.

HONORS & AWARDS:

RACHEL RECEIVED THE "VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR AWARD" FROM THE OPHELIA PROJECT (An organization dedicated to saving the selves of girls) IN OCT. 2000 AS WELL AS BEING CHOSEN AS ONE OF THE "DYNAMIC DOZEN" FOR 2002 BY THE MERCY CENTER FOR WOMEN. ADDITIONALLY, RACHEL WAS SELECTED AS AN INSTRUCTOR FOR THE NATIONAL CONVENTION FOR THE AMERICAN WOMEN'S SELF DEFENSE ASSOCIATION DURING AUGUST, 2002 IN PHILLIPSBURG, NJ, WAS INDUCTED INTO THE USA MARTIAL ARTS HALL OF FAME IN APRIL, 2004 AS THE FEMALE INSTRUCTOR OF THE YEAR AND AGAIN IN 2005 AS THE FEMALE MARTIAL ARTIST OF THE YEAR, INDUCTED INTO THE ACTION MARTIAL ARTS MAGAZINE HALL OF FAME IN JANUARY, 2005 FOR HER OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE MARTIAL ARTS AND ALSO INDUCTED INTO THE WORLD KARATE UNION HALL OF FAME IN JULY, 2005 AS INSTRUCTOR OF THE YEAR IN SELF DEFENSE.

 
RACHEL CHEESEMAN -- OWNER -- FOUNDER -- INSTRUCTOR