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

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Training designed for the real world, not the boxing ring or martial arts studio

The reality is that almost every ‘self defence’ school/course teaches from a similar perspective; That is that “self defence” is all about physical moves and physical responses.

This is mainly because of the martial arts influence and the martial arts leading the public to believe that they are self defence systems, which is very rarely ever the actual case.

Putting aside the fact that the majority of the physical techniques taught would not work in reality anyway, this article is to drive home that real self defence goes far beyond physical responses. In fact, the physical aspect is just one of four equally important stages to real self defence. At Protect you will learn them all so that you are fully equipped with effective, relevant, legal, moral and ethical options to ensure your safety based on any situation.

The four stages to self defence that we teach at Protect are:

1 – Recognition to enable avoidance: This includes developing strong self beliefs and conviction, separating awareness from paranoia, recognising the psychological and behavioural manipulation strategies that people use against females to lure them into dangerous situations, heightened situational awareness, understanding fear, understanding intuition, recognising behavioural cues (what our organisation calls ‘Pre-Contact Indicators’), Predator Types and their methods, Predator motivations, survivor mentality, Understanding the anatomy of the various types of attacks, and a lot more...

2 – De-escalation and defusion: We teach conflict resolution skills which work under stress and pressure. These include psychological manipulation and behavioural tactics to enable a situation to be defused (literally ‘talk your way out of it’) if possible, or if not possible to ‘set the person up’ psychologically to enable the effectiveness of your physical response to be maximised if it is necessary. And again, a lot more...

3 – Physical Response: This is when we are left with no other choice but to physically defend ourselves using what we call ‘Protective Offence’. Whatever physical response is given needs to work against a much larger and stronger aggressor, in any environment (sitting, standing, in bed, in car, dark etc), in any situation, while under the effects of extreme stress, fear, and pressure. It needs to include training against multiple opponents, various types of weapons, including human variable error and situational factors. Fancy moves such as wrist locks, ‘milling’, Jiu Jitsu locks or flash kicks and punches have little to do with this. It is just an illusion (albeit an all-too-common one) to believe otherwise. But this is what is commonly passed off as ‘self defence’. Basically 95% of what is generally taught is the physical aspect only, and even then 95% of the physical aspect that is taught is usually unrealistic and not functional anyway.

4 – Post event Issues: This stage includes such things as what to do after an event, how to get help, how to deal with Police, court, counselling, PTSD, possible retaliation, emotional effects on spouse and other family/friends, and a whole range of other things.

All of these four pillars have benefits which positively affect most other areas of a person’s life as well, outside of protecting against violence. A few examples of this would be: Increased overall confidence, Increased self-esteem and self-belief, Increased communication skills, Conflict resolution skills, Greater social skills, Increased fitness, Improved physique, More patience, understanding and empathy for others, and many more.

This is what true self defence entails. And although it may seem like a lot, it does not take long to learn and more importantly learn in a way that will be retained and recalled when it is required. Contrary to popular belief people do NOT need to train for years to learn to protect themselves. Even one-day courses provide a massive benefit provided they teach the right stuff and in the right way. We have had multiple people who have been training in martial arts or fighting systems for years (even Master Instructors, people who have been training over 30 years, Police instructors, and many more) tell us that they learned more about real self defence in our one day course than in all of their years of martial arts training. And that is not surprising, because most martial arts and fighting systems are NOT self defence systems despite their claims, and never will be. This is not to say they are not good for other things, because they are. Martial arts provide amazing benefits for many different aspects of life, and there are often things that they will teach you that you can use to defend yourself, but they are not self defence systems. (Disclosure: I trained in martial arts for over 20 years and held black belt levels or higher in several different systems)

Unfortunately until the perception around what self defence is really about changes, more people will refuse to attend a course or come to classes because they “Don’t want to be scared”, “Did a course at High School”, “Don’t think I could fight off an aggressive guy anyway even if I learn that stuff”, “Live in a safe neighbourhood”, “Have a big dog”, “Am too unfit”, etc... And other common objections, all of which are completely irrelevant, misinformed, or just plain wrong. But I can see where these come from given what the public are generally sold as ‘self defence’. Most of what is taught is done in such a way as to make reality fit around the technique, as opposed to the other way around. People are not stupid, they instinctively know deep down that that stuff would never really work so why bother learning it at all? Who can blame anybody for that? It is worrying to me and my team that this is the case, but at least we know the problem and can keep working at changing it, even though we are one organisation swimming against a very large tide.

So come along and experience the value of learning how to deal with real life situations, in a safe environment with cool people. Oh yeah, and have some fun and get in good shape at the same time! See you at class!

Phil Thompson 2012