Armored Assailant Training: What is it?

Posted by on Mar 11, 2013 in Self-Defense | Comments Off on Armored Assailant Training: What is it?

Armored Assailant Training: What is it?

What’s Armored Assailant Training?

Armored Assailant TrainingToday’s column is about the “new” self-defense teaching method of armored assailant training.  I chose this topic because I’m so excited to now own state-of-the-art “instructor armor“ I can’t think about anything else!  (I took possession of a “Predator Suit” from Bill Kipp last week and practiced using it with my students over the weekend.)

Modern self-defense “instructor armor” has actually been around for decades.  Basically, it’s a protective suit worn by an instructor so students can strike his or her head and groin full-force with little chance of injury to either student or instructor.  After students learn basic striking, the instructor simulates an actual confrontation with threatening statements and body movement, but does not actually strike the student.  The student, however, strikes the instructor as hard as they can (beginning when verbal defense is clearly insufficient) until the instructor decides it’s time to “play dead,” ending the fight.

I began to understand the value of “instructor armor” when I took an IMPACT women’s basics self-defense class, in Santa Fe, a few years ago.  The reason I took this class was to experience this “great new thing” called padded assailant training.  I wondered how far into the twenty-hour course we’d be before we hit the armored assailant.  In fact, we eight (6 complete beginners, myself, and another martial art instructor) began striking our padded assailant just three hours into our first day!

Sure, it was scary.  But, it was also empowering.  When I saw how much those six beginners learned in only hours, I understood the value of the armor. For one, it’s a teaching tool decreasing the time required to become proficient in applying self-defense strikes. For another, practicing against an armored assailant trains a person to deal with the “emotions” of a confrontation, something other teaching methods simply cannot do.

It is not a “test” of one’s self-defense ability.  In fact, there is no such thing.  Practicing against an armored assailant is also much more than hitting a moving human-shaped punching bag.  For example, the instructor manipulates the location of your fight to keep you from breaking a window or landing in the lap of the person waiting to go next.

Armored assailant training, which I am excited to now offer, is a teaching tool completely in its own league.  Not only does it cause students to learn things no other training will, but it’s really fun, for both the student and the instructor.

As my readers know, I believe everyone with a body should learn as much as they can about how to protect it.  But, with armored assailant training, learning self-defense feels more like an amusement park ride than a chore.

If you ever get a chance to experience armored assailant training, after you’ve finished, you’ll be so excited you’ll feel compelled to talk about the experience with those you shared it with as well as your friends and family.  That’s how it was for the women who took the class with me in Santa Fe, and for my students who helped us practice using our new armor last weekend.

Even if you never get a chance to experience it though, remember that any self-defense training can be something you really enjoy, that benefits you in multiple ways, even if you never need to use your skills to protect yourself.


Marcy Shoberg is the creator of “Bring Out Your Inner Bodyguard in Two Weeks or Less” home study course for adults and seniors. See