The questions most frequently asked
Q. I am presently training in martial arts and am very interested in Protect's self defence classes, will studying with Protect interfere with my present training in my style?
A. Protect is not a style and doesn't teach memorisation of techniques. Rather than provide technical aspects for people to use in particular situations, we provide analytical skills that will be useful in any situation. Cross training with Protect will on the contrary, enhance your training in your present style.
Q. Will learning self defence with Protect make me more aggressive or prone to get into fights?
A. On the contrary, Protect's primary directive is to avoid violence and confrontations all together. We enhance your survivability by getting you re-acquainted with your intuition and enhancing your awareness so that you may detect and avoid trouble. We then teach you to de-escalate and defuse a possible confrontation through proper fear and stress management strategies, verbal tactics and conflict resolution strategies. But for when avoidance and/or defusion is not possible, we provide you with the necessary physical skills based on your natural patterns of reaction and gross motor skills to survive a physical confrontation with minimal or no damage. Last but not least, we address the post-event issues, such as emotional trauma, potential relatiation, dealing with police and strategies to reduce the chances of psychological trauma to yourself and your loved ones after an event.
Q. Is Protect a Mixed Martial art or similar to what I see in the UFC?
A. No. On the surface, it may seem similar due to the fact that from a physical perspective, we cover all ranges of combat (Kicking, Boxing, Close Quarter Combat, Grappling and Groundfighting) but Protect is a reality based system. What differs us from the MMA are the emotional and psychological components of violence reality presents but the sports arena does not. For example: We teach people to recognise the signs of violence to heighten their awareness, thus improving their chances of being able to avoid a violent situation altogether, We also teach conflict resolution strategies, verbal defusion, and de-escalation strategies to whenever possible avoid a situation becoming physical unless there is no other option. The physical differences between sport and reality are immense and far too numerous to outline here. One simple example of many is that there are no weapons in MMA events. Your opponent won't pull out a knife in the middle of your bout and start gutting you with it. He won't crack your arm with a baseball bat. He won't break a beer bottle and try to severe your jugular with it. He won't pull out a gun and shoot you with it. This is but one of many, many differences between street and sport.
Q. I'm presently training in martial arts and am interested in your system but my sensei/sifu/instructor won't permit me to cross train in another style or system. Do you mind if I'm training elsewhere?
A. We firmly believe that the more education you get, the more beneficial it is for you. However, only through specialised education can you acquire specialised knowledge. If your present instructor has a problem with you training elsewhere at the same time, then maybe there's something he/she's not telling you...
Q. I'm a law enforcement officer, security guard, bouncer, etc. Will Protect's training be beneficial to me?
A. Protect is NZ's only Senshido affiliate, licenced to teach its concepts and methods. We have trained NZ Police at a national training level as well as at local levels. In addition we have trained Police Special Tactics Units, Customs Officers, Fisheries Officers, Corrections Officers, Security personnel and Military personnel. We have specialist courses and programs designed specifically for Police and other law enforcement personnel in NZ which are seperate from our public courses. We are officially approved to teach NZ Police personnel throughout NZ. We are also a member of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association. Contact us for more information on these programs. For copies of testimonials and references from law enforcement organisations, contact us.
Q. Is Protect better than traditional martial arts?
A. Protect is neither better nor worse than traditional martial arts, just different. It just depends on what you are looking for. Protect's only concern is enhancing your personal safety and confidence. Everything you learn is functional and effective in relation to safety in the face of violence. We do not concern ourselves with belts, rituals, uniforms, kata's, tournament techniques, trophies or memorisation of techniques as they are irrelevant to what we do.
Q. Who can attend Protect's trainings and seminars?
A. Protect's training is designed for anyone and everyone. However, from a physiological, psychological or physical perspective no one is built the same way, and since various people, ages, groups, genders and professionals get attacked differently, Protect caters its training methodologies to suit the individual. Our group classes are open to everyone over the age of 16 years. For younger people, our 'Guardian angel' seminar is designed to educate parents and children on child safety strategies and is is the only one of it's kind in New Zealand, contact us for details of the next seminar or check out the calendar.
Q. Do I have to be in great shape or have experience in martial arts to take one of your programs?
A. Absolutely not. Protect's training is designed for anyone and everyone. One of the benefits of Protect's group classes is getting people back into shape as well as giving them the necessary tools to effectively defend themselves. We have worked with people with disabilities, the elderly, out of shape people and complete novices and have benefited their lives in various ways. Many have lost serious amounts of excess weight by training in our group classes. Protect's strength training regimen utilises functional core muscular development as opposed to developing 'mirror' muscle. Our seminars require no physical fitness or prior training whatsoever to attend.
Q. What do I wear to class and do I need to bring anything?
A. Wear whatever you feel comfortable in. For the regular Self Defence group classes, wear whatever you would normally wear, jeans, shorts, track pants, t-shirt, jersey etc...Please just be aware that these clothes may be pulled and could be damaged so don't wear your best. Please wear trainers or running shoes, not hard soled street shoes as they damage the floor. Please ensure that you bring your own towel to every class as things get a bit sweaty at times...
Q. Do I need to buy any special/expensive equipment to train?
A. No, absolutely not. We have pretty much everything you will require. The only other piece of equipment we recommend for all members is a mouthguard, which we can order for you and range from around $15 to $25. Groin guards for the guys are also a good idea.
Q. What is the minimum age to be able to train with Protect?
A. For our regular group classes, you must be at least 16 years of age (15 years with parental consent). For younger people and children we have our 'Guardian Angel' Child Safety Course. There is also the option of taking private lessons with Protect's founders Phil and/or Athena Thompson. Contact us for details.
Q. How do I join?
A. For the regular Self Defence classes just let us know that you are coming and just join straight in to a class. The first class costs $20 which is deducted from your fees when you decide to join. Our trainings are informal, open and friendly and there will be plenty of our team there to assist you on the first night.
Q. Where does training take place
A. Protects offers Self Defence training in Auckland, Wellington, and throughout New Zealand.
For more information on Protect, make an enquiry
- A Van Heerden – SSTT Instructor, NZ Police