Dr.Ruthless: About Melissa Soalt

A Fresh Voice. And Unabashedly Funny

"Every once in a while, someone comes along and not only leaves an indelible impression on you, but changes the way you perceive yourself and your place in the world. Melissa Soalt is one such person... Melissa Soalt has a lot to offer the world." -- Black Belt Magazine's Woman of the Year

"Dr. Ruthless KICKS ASS!" -- BUST Magazine

"Your teaching and words saved my life, Melissa...I know they saved others too. You pre-programmed my response at an unconscious level and when it came time to pull on that, in the matrix of that moment, in the scariest attack I've endured, my conscious harnessed it."

-- Cheri Heberling, CEO: Super Body Care

"You are an AMAZING person Melissa. You are a total package. Gentle and ruthless. External and internal. I was bowled over by the several ways you synthesized thinking and action in the training.... Top notch thinking and knowledge." -- Siddharth Shah, CEO: Greenleaf Integrative Strategies, training NGO's and Government Agencies world wide

"Melissa Soalt is probably the most powerful female self defence instructor in the world today." -- Geoff Thompson, legendary UK Self Defense Pioneer, Screenwriter & Author

"Fantastic ... You're a crusader for the cause!" -- Life On Purpose radio show host, Deb Colitti

"Melissa is a legitimate combat talent. She's explosive, fast and yeah she's diminutive, but how'd you like to get shot with a bullet her size?" --- Kelly McCann, Renowned Combatives expert, author, former CNN analyst

"You are kick ass...Thank you so much for coming, teaching us incredibly useful moves and how to be a 'scrappy bitch.' -- Young Feminist Collaborative (Teens)

"We just love this woman to death! ..." -- Crook & Chase TV hosts

"Melissa, you are woman of power! It was just 3 hours of self defence training you gave to us, but the impact is for a lifetime.... the best self defence trainer anyone could ask for. I walked out the door a different person and stronger woman than I came in. You will see the difference!"

--- Seema Ks, Head Coordinator, TSLD, New Delhi, India

Melissa Soalt is an award-winning women's self defense expert, a Black Belt Hall of Fame recipient, creator of Fierce & Female, and a former trauma psychotherapist.  

Named one of TOP FIVE "Tough Girls" by Black Belt Magazine. 


To view a full  bio with stories and hightlights please click here. 

A Black Belt Hall of Fame Recipient and Woman of the Year -- awarded for her significant contributions to women's self defense-- Melissa has also received the Industry Award for Best Women's Self Defense. A frontrunner in full-force (padded-attacker) scenario-based methods, since 1986 Melissa has shown thousands of women how to protect themselves from danger, safeguard their boundaries (and that which we hold sacred) and summon their primal powers to fight back and survive. She is widely respected for her no-nonsense methods, emotional depth, and unabashed call for all women to become physically literate in self-protection. Her Fierce and Female DVD has been hailed by law enforcement, street fighters and women's groups alike. 

Melissa was a senior personal safety and women's sexual asssault trainer for Global Journalist Security, focusing on training for journalists, international NGOs and aid workers.   

Melissa also has first-hand experience with attack. While living in Israel, then traveling across Asia on her maiden voyage into the world (mid-1970's), Melissa successfully fought off physical and sexual / rape attacks. She also endured violent groping and indignities-- and was rudely awakened to the mistreatment of women worldwide. A decade later in Boulder, Colorado, after years of martial arts training, a terrifying home-alone encounter with a knife-wielding would-be rapist led her to more down-and-dirty methods that "would become me." (She foiled that attempt.)

The founder and former owner of Model Mugging of Boston, in 1986, Melissa brought Model Mugging's scenario-based, training method to the East Coast. Under her dynamic leadership, aided by her background in psychotherapy and trauma recovery, it quickly  emerged as one of the most successful full-force self defense schools nationwide-with specialized training for women, teens and men. Melissa's on-site seminars have been conducted at such notable institutions as Harvard, Polaroid, Hewlett Packard, Reebok, UPS, Procter and Gamble and the Miami Herald. Based in the US, she has also taught in Germany, Switzerland, Nairobi, and India and Nepal where she has also worked with at-risk women and girls.  

She is honored to have provided dedicated training and support to India's renowned group, Red Brigade Lucknow. Melissa also serves on their advisory board.  

MELISSA'S TV / Radio/ Electronic MEDIA CREDITS HAVE INCLUDED:  THE VIEW, NBC Nightly News, INVESTIGATION DISCOVERY, NPR, Asia News International, Bangalore Headline News, Seattle's Northwest Afternoon, Deb Colitti's Life On Purpose, RADIO KANTIPUR out of Kathmandu Nepal, where was interviewed in-depth. and numerous other media and online venues. 


Melissa has been cited, featured and shared her expertise in national and international publications, including SELF, MARIE CLAIRE (South Africa) Woman's Day, The Wall Street Journal, The HIMALAYAN TIMES, Negarik News (Nepal), THE HINDU (India), HOLLYWOOD.COM, CosmoGirl, BLACK BELT, BUST, Germany's Stern Magazine, Newsweek Japan, The Times of Israel and The Prague Post.  Her "DHARMA of DEFENSE" was featured on Feminist Pionner GLORIA FELDT'S  site .   

On a topic dear to her heart-- journalists and humanitarian Aid Workers and the need for sexual assault preparedness training-- Melissa shared her knowledge with The Committee to Protect Journalists, and was a senior sexual assault preparedness trainer for GJS, a US Based Hostile Environment Training Company. She has has been cited in The American Journalism Review and The Ryerson Review of Journalism and was interviewed for a Q & A on POLITICS DAILY.  

Melissa has also published feature articles, and penned a personal safety newspaper column; she blogged for The Huffington Post and guest blogged for FORBES (Being Nice Can Kill You) and was a columnist for Self Defense For Women Magazine. Her essay, Fierce Love: The Heart of a Female Warrior, was featured in a Warrior's anthology. Melissa is back at work on her first book—a paradigm-shifting work infused with artful narrative, PRACTICAL self defense skills, and calling for all women to embrace this deep-seated potential.

You can find Melissa posting like mad on her Face Book Page, where she freely dispenses lifesaving wisdom, and on her BLOG "Find Your Fierce." 

An impassioned and articulate presenter with a fresh voice, compelling messages and no-nonsense expertise, she welcomes MEDIA and PUBLISHING inquires. Please contact me here.  

Gather The Women: A Personal & Urgent Note  

These are perilous times for women and girls all over the world. Violence and sexual attack against women is pandemic. That this rages unchecked in the 21st century is an outrage and tragedy-- so I'm bringing my Fierce & Female messages and methods to regions of the world where the skills and spirit of self defense, along with all efforts to stem this violence, are urgently needed. To effect lasting changes in safety and status, women and girls MUST enable this power, re-seed this consciousness and harvest its competencies. 

Half the world's population should not live in fear of the other half. 

Not only is the learning of self defense vital to increasing women’s safety and to reducing the ills and indignities imposed by FEAR, but embodying the female warrior spirit is vital to restoring balance to the world--and ultimately to creating far more equitable societies. (To learn more about my views, go to FAQ).

To bring me to your locale, or to explore joining forces with efforts in your area, please contact me via email.

Michael Haynack is Dr. Ruthless' fabulous co-trainer for hands-on and full-force seminars.

A lifelong student of martial and combative arts, he holds black belts in Aikido and Karate and is an avid practitioner of Philippine blade, stick and empty-hand systems. He is also a certified Police Combat Shooting instructor and a certified instructor in Paul Vunak's "Progressive Fighting Systems." A personal protection specialist (e.g., bodyguard), former bouncer and police trainer, Michael has intervened in innumerable "battles," and has defended himself and others against single, multiple and armed attackers—individuals much larger than himself. At a whopping five feet, five inches tall, Michael brings a wealth of real world experience to his teaching.

Michael has been donning the 'Bulletman" armor since 1991 and is co-founder and former chief instructor of the Rocky Mountain Combat Applications Training. He has trained Special Forces in the applications of adrenaline-state training methods and has appeared in sundry self defense and knife fighting videos. An accomplished scout, tracker and aficionado of wilderness survival, he is well-versed in the scholarly study and practice of warrior arts, and is a passionate champion of women's self defense.