' Protect - a real martial arts alternative - uniquely effective training for the real world   Phone (021) 366 585 for more info'

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About Us


Protect offer the most comprehensive and effective self-protection and self-defence programmes available in Auckland, Wellington, and throughout New Zealand. But more importantly, they are also some of the most simple.

This website is dedicated to Protect's public classes but for information on Protect's corporate training and training for schools and organisations CLICK HERE

Think of your mind as a filing cabinet. Most people do not know how to deal with truly aggressive confrontation or real violence because they have never experienced it - they don't know what causes it or what a real attack actually looks and feels like. It's certainly not like you see it on television or in the movies. They panic because they don't have a ‘file’ to refer to.

Protect's self-defence classes and courses build up those mental files with easy to understand theory and controlled exercises and drills. If the real thing happens and you find yourself in danger, you won't be taken by surprise, panic or freeze up; instead, you'll have the right file to refer to when a confrontation arises and the knowledge and skill to best protect yourself and get home safely.

Protect’s programmes are based on four pillars: avoidance, diffusion, physical response and post-event issues. We teach you effective and easy-to-learn ways of identifying and avoiding danger if possible, communicating your way out of danger if needed, and finally protecting yourself in a physical way if absolutely necessary. But we also go beyond that by dealing with what happens after an event: your own psychological and emotional responses, possible retaliation, dealing with law enforcement and so on.

Protect covers the entire gamut of experience - from potential threat to post-event emotional responses, as well as your responsibilities and rights within the law to deal with an attacker. Our unique system of personal protection draws largely on Richard Dimitri's Senshido concepts, one of the most successful methods of self-defence used worldwide. Protect's founders, Phil and Athena Thompson, are New Zealand's only qualified and certified Senshido instructors.

Protect does not teach complicated and unfamiliar 'moves' that require hours of practice. Instead, we impart instinctive self-protection techniques that feel natural and are easily remembered when under pressure. Protect's programmes have been tried, trained and tested over many years. They have been successfully used by Police, security personnel, corporate front-line teams, and everyday men and women of all ages to keep themselves safe and avoid or survive potentially violent situations.

About the instructors

Protect's instructors an assistant instructors have been hand picked for their expertise but just as importantly for their personality and genuine caring attitude. We are very proud of our team and of the great job they do and the impact they have on people's lives and the community as a whole. The best way to find out about our team is to come along and meet them for yourself!

Protect's head instructors in New Zealand are:

Phil Thompson

Phil is the co-founder and International Director of Protect Self Defence. He is the author of two highly influential books on self defence, a keynote speaker and highly regarded self-protection expert. Phil leads seminars and instructs a huge variety of clients and students in Protect programmes all over New Zealand and further abroad. 

With over 20 years experience in his field, and in-demand speaker, trainer, and advisor he has helped empower thousands of people with the skills and confidence to protect themselves and their loved ones.

Phil believes that beyond the physical, effective self-protection involves a variety of behavioural, emotional, psychological, ethical and legal aspects. To understand them all is to truly feel safe. He is a member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association and an acknowledged expert on the pre-contact stages of violent confrontation. He is also the sole male in New Zealand to be certified as a Senshido instructor (2006) and member of the Senshido International Alliance.

Students and clients include members of the general public, as well as professionals not new to violence, such as Police (including special units), ambulance officers, and government staff. He has also served as a consultant to Government departments on training module design for at-risk staff. He regularly teaches corporate clients, businesses of all sizes, schools, special needs organisations and everyday men and women concerned about their safety and the safety of their loved ones. 

Phil has appeared on several national television programs and is the nation’s leading expert on the topic of self defence/self protection. His unique perspective on self defence and personal protection, developed in part by his own life experiences dealing with real violence and conflict, has pioneered a new standard in the industry. Phil can be contacted at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.