Safe for Life testimonials

What participants have said about Protect Self Defence

After training with Phil & Athena I am definitely more aware of my surroundings and look for possible threats and escape routes. The course is very realistic and is a real eye opener. It certainly makes you conscious of your actions and how a simple comment might provoke a potential attacker. Be prepared to step outside of your comfort zone and see some things that will shock you. 
Helen - Auckland 

Feedback from the husband of a "Safe for Life" course participant: She was brought up by a step father who frequently beat the mother and three children with his fists, sometimes to the point of breaking bones; often continuing the assault after the victim was unconscious. From an early age she learnt to submit to this treatment, because fighting back brought something even worse -step brother was hospitalised after being struck in the face with a rifle butt. At sixteen years of age she was ambushed on the way home from school, beaten and raped repeatedly by four assailants who left her battered, bleeding and naked in the railway yards outside the small West Coast town. The rapists were never found - they could be walking your streets today. Thirty years later the sight of a country railway yard (even on TV) can induce an adrenalin dump and serious stress reactions: for an asthmatic this can be so life threatening that she dare not watch TV alone. Your course has turned her around. Through your programme she was able to re-live the experience in a positive way; you have given her the confidence that if it happens again the rapist will come off very badly. She can talk in a matter-of-fact way about the experience and, after thirty years of hidden terror, she feels 'free to get on with life'. Every woman should do this course. 
"Name Withheld" - Christchurch 

In the weekend a friend and I went to Protect's Safe for Life Women's Self Defence seminar. I thought it would be something beneficial to do and a good way to spend time with a friend. Although I had never been to a self-defence course before, I have done Karate and thought it would be similar to that and more of a physical workout than actually provide me with the amount of beneficial information and skills it did. This course is designed especially for women and is focused on sexual assault and rape. I know many of you maybe thinking "this is not going to happen to me" because of a number of reasons i.e. "I live in a safe neighbourhood", "I have a boyfriend" etc. However, this course is truly worth doing. There are not many things that I give a full 10/10 for but this is something I did. The tutors are Athena and Phil and people who both can talk from experience and provide you with real skills in how to defend yourself if you were attacked. Some of you may do martial arts and may be thinking that because of that you don't need to go to such a course but talking from my own experience, Karate doesn't really teach me how to fend off a six-foot man! Karate gave me a whole lot of synchronised moves that I am sure if I were attacked in the middle of the night I would not be remembering. 
Sukhdeep Johal - Auckland

I have done a couple of 1 day courses with Phil and Athena and it is the best thing I have ever done for my own personal safety. The courses have given me the confidence to know that I don't have to be a victim, I CAN keep myself safe. I also learnt to be much more aware of your surroundings at all times, which I think is the key to removing yourself from danger in the first place. I have no doubt you will learn a lot of useful stuff, you will also have fun - it's great! 
K Chinnery - Auckland

Recently I was out walking by myself, it was about 9am and bright and sunny. I thought I was pretty safe so didn't take a cellphone or anything. I took a wrong turn down a street and this guy popped out of nowhere. Instantly the awareness system Phil and Athena had taught me went off in my head. I felt something was wrong even though this guy was across the street. I saw him turn down an alley way so thought I wouldn't have to worry about him anymore. All of a sudden he was RIGHT BEHIND ME! I am guessing he crossed the road as quietly as possible. I walked off the concrete onto the grassy verge, I don't know if this was the right thing to do but I did not want him right behind me. He was breathing heavy. I tried walking slowly to let him overtake but he just wouldn't!! I saw his hands around his pants and really thought he'd pull out a knife but instead he pulled out something else and had a hideous look of intent on his face as he came towards me. I ran as fast as I could down the road, I didn't know where I was or where the guy was, I was really scared but managed to hail down the first car that came by. Luckily it was a nice lady who took me home. It could've been so much worse but I'm SO thankful I attended the self defence course. 
Holly - Auckland

"This is the second time I have done this seminar and again it was awesome and I learned lots! 
A Reeder - Whangarei

"Excellent! Especially psychological side of self defence and target areas. Will recommend it! 
S Scholl-Latour - Northland

"Fantastic self defence course! Exceeeded my expectations. I definitely feel more confident in defending myself. Thanks, awesome team! 
C Johnson - Whangarei

"Great seminar! Very real and practical. Definitely valuable! Thanks." 
Dr Thu Thach Fourth degree black belt ITFNZ

"The course was fantastic! I feel like my self belief and ability to defend myself have improved about 300%! I'll definitely attend more given the opportunity and recommend it to others." 
Y Perrott - Auckland

"The confidence I have gained from this course is overwhelming! Thank you" 
T Shaw - Auckland

"I feel a lot more confident and also feel good that I am not been paranoid about safety and protection especially with home invasion set ups. Very good" 
V Ting - Auckland

"This seminar provided me with useful and practical skills and a lot more confidence" 
A Durrant - Auckland

"Fantastic! I feel safer and more aware and feel like I now have permission to defend myself. This should be compulsory for all women. Thank you! 
P Isom - Auckland

"I would recommend this to my friends as it is very practical and simple" 
R Morgan - Auckland

"Excellent seminar! Realistic real world situations addressed..." 
D Warren - Auckland

"This course was great for my confidence. Phil and Athena are very engaging and that helps with getting the most out of the course. Excellent. I will recommend to others!" 
V Parkinson - Whangarei

"AWESOME! Very good seminar a lot of useful information" 
A Purdee - Whangarei

"Invaluable learning experience which gave me an insight into real world attack situations. I am confident I could apply the knowledge learnt if faced with a dangerous situation" 
M Fahy - Auckland

"This course is a REAL EYE OPENER! I've come out of it feeling that if I was attacked I'd have the skills to defend myself. Very realistic and true to life" 
R Gardiner - Auckland

"Excellent course. Gives the confidence to deal with a situation if needed" 
G Walkden - Auckland

"It has been a fantastic afternoon! It has helped me so much!! Athena and Phil are a wonderful couple. Great job guys!" 
A Gooding - Auckland

"A great seminar with practical theory and scenario's. 10 out of 10" 
S Grove - Auckland

"The course is very grounding and the use of reality based scenarios give you the opportunity to learn new survival techniques" 
C Harris - Whangarei

"This is simply the best self defence course I have ever done. You guys are so far ahead of the others it is amazing! Keep up the good work guys, you are going to save peoples lives" 
A Baker - Whangarei

"Priceless! Totally changed my mentality from victim to one of empowerment" 
N Alach - Whangarei

"Awesome as usual (second time I have attended). Nice to re-affirm things I have learnt previously" 
K Donker - Whangarei

"I found the course incredibly valuable! My mindset changed from thinking I probably wouldn't be able to ward off an attacker to being sure I could! 
M Treadaway - Auckland

"This was great! I feel much more confident in surviving a real situation" 
F Tapper

Walking down a street in Paris on a recent vacation, I found myself being followed by two men on separate occasions only fifteen minutes apart! Because of what I had learnt a month earlier at a Safe for Life seminar run by Phil and Athena Thompson, my awareness kicked in and I was able to avoid what could have been one or two potentially dangerous situations. Thanks guys! 
L Denton - Auckland 

Awesome! Fantastic like nothing I’ve ever done before. Empowering! 
C Richardson

Hugely Valuable! Every woman should do this. Great value for money and it could save your life!
K Richards


Simple and effective! 10 out of 10.
H Nikora

After this seminar is when you realise it is essential. I will tell all female family members and friends to do it. It is like insurance, but for your most valuable asset – you! Athena and Phil are fantastic! 
H Norton

It was fantastic. It was realistic, practical and empowering. My mind set has totally changed. 
T Ungaro

I found it extremely valuable. I’ve been sexually assaulted and now I’ve got these key points of protection I am a stronger, more powerful woman. Thank you!
D.B.

Fantastic, eye opening seminar. Very empowering for women. The seminar allows us to believe and trust in ourselves. 
J Poh

Excellent. More realistic than other courses so I feel I would actually react to an attack now!
W Stevens

Awesome. I know I could new defend myself against an attacker if needed.
H Hiscoke

I found it extremely useful and I learned a lot. I have a lot more confidence within myself and I know I can defend myself in any situation.
S Ivil

It is incredible to think that a simple 6 hour course can leave you feeling empowered, and it’s all thanks to Athena and Phil who did a great job! Thank you.
K Hamilton

What a great course! Well done Athena and Phil. As a mother of two young girls you have given me the confidence to protect myself and my girls.
N Areora

Wicked! I feel more empowered and confident that I could escape from a difficult situation and maintain the safety of both me and my daughter.
L Tupai

Found it very valuable – Great to realise that we already have the skills to defend ourselves and just needed to be aware of it! 
L Tee

This seminar really opened my eyes to real life situations. I now feel capable of protecting myself. Fun, and learnt so much!
K Marshall

Very valuable. It taught me that I have the ability to “handle” different situations and be safe. I now feel like I have power and control. 
S Polkinghorne

Informative and stimulating. Makes you very aware of your own abilities.
M Offen

Fantastic! I’ve been wanting to do a course like this for years. Thank you so much!! I will spread the word! 
J Fawkner

This seminar looks at defence in a more realistic manner that people can relate to.
P Cowan

Fantastic! Learnt that I can defend myself no matter what size my opponent is.
S Macdonald

It’s very empowering to now know that I have the ability to protect myself.
T Myers

The seminar was great. It gave us the knowledge to use the tools we already possess. 
A Chitty

Real skills for real people and real situation! 
S Van Dyk

I’m glad this was the first course I’ve done because it was the best. So real and I didn’t have to undo other foolish stuff.
C Rogan

Great seminar – learnt heaps. Will recommend to all. Hope there is another one here as I’ll send my daughters.
Y Stubbing

Fantastic. I thought it was going to be a long day but instead it was a huge learning day – I really found it valuable.
E Vander Fluit

Fantastic. Every female should do it! The hours flew by and I now know I can look out for myself.
L Dickens

I found it extremely valuable. Before this seminar I felt anxious and didn’t believe if I had got in a situation I would have the strength to get out. But now I’m positive I can fight back and come out on top!
J Rogan

Before this seminar I would have hesitated (in a dangerous situation), now I KNOW I would not and if I had to I could fight back. 
S Sharpe

Being an (ex) victim this really helped me feel like I’m never going to be a victim again. I feel more confident and less vulnerable. 
L.S.

Brilliant course to teach you skills and mindset that become second nature in the event of the “worst thing that can happen” situation. Everyone should do this course in today’s society and times. 
C Clarke

Very valuable. Especially contradictive to what I thought was the right thing to do. 
A Waetford

This seminar was very useful and the situations were true to life. It gave me real tools to use and the confidence to know that I could! 
S Buckton

Oh my goodness. This could save my own and my daughter’s life. Want to do more of it with you. 
B Attwood

It was enlightening. Amazing to watch scenarios and the power endowed on those women just by knowledge.
R Allen

A little frightening to confront my own fears but it has given me confidence that I have the tools to safely get out of potentially dangerous situations. 
N Osbaldston

Fantastic. Practical and reality based. A real confidence booster. 
B Goodwin

Empowering – Gave me the mindset to become the ‘attacker’ not the victim in these dangerous situations. 
R Phillips

Great. It is so easy to just bury your head in the sand and think nothing like this (dangerous situation) would ever happen to you. I learnt valuable tools to deal with dangerous situations.
C Henty

I really liked how you incorporated both the physical and psychological info so we know exactly what to do! 
R Himiona

This is something all women need to be aware of – how to keep themselves safe in today’s society.
L Parker

I feel so much better and much more prepared by attending this courses and I highly recommend it. It should be compulsory at high school to learn these skills. Excellent instructors too – Easy to relate to. 
C Timoko

Great self defence and the way you put us through the steps bought it all together very easily. 
M Trinder

I previously had no idea what to do or say in a confrontational situation. I’m now equipped to handle it to the best of my ability. 
M Lim

Excellent reality based stuff! Great to have an opportunity in a safe environment to physically defend against an attack. 
D Wai

Even though we’ve been taught lots of tools to use operationally the psychology behind the offenders actions and the personal commitment and very hands-on approach is absolutely invaluable.
S Goldworthy (NZ Police)

I would thoroughly recommend this course to any woman! 
K Jackson

Absolutely fantastic, totally blew me away! I now feel 100% confident that I could fight my way out of a rape situation – Thank you so much. 
J Macdonald

Amazing – Very real situations – I feel I can really protect myself now... 
T Campbell

Realistic, easy to learn and “real life” examples which gives you the chance to learn what you are capable of. 
M Steyn

This was a fantastic day – felt very confident and empowered to handle any uncomfortable situation.
N Bray

Absolutely valuable. I am already a victim/survivor and this seminat has given me the skills and knowledge to ensure that it will never happen to me or my family/friends again.
Louise Nichlolas 

Incredible! I feel so lucky to have taken part in today. I learnt a lot! I don’t think you can put what you gain in this seminar into words. 
N Tayler

This is the most realistic and practical seminar I have attended.
C Bennett

Fantastic – Beyond anything I ever expected and so valuable. I am suggesting it to all of my friends. 
C Rowe


I was abused as a child and it was amazing to feel the power to be able to fight back. I was not the “scared child” anymore. 
M.S.

It was great to learn that I can cause real damage to save my life if I had to. 
S Mahindra

It was extremely valuable! Both Athena and Phil are committed and informed ‘lecturers/trainers’. They’re certainly empathetic though “full on” and I feel far more confident about myself and my own safety. 
V Steyn

I found the course today invaluable, informative and realistic. I appreciated Athena and Phil being open about their own pasts. I thought the real life examples were well chosen and pertinent. 
R Gin

This seminar was one of the most useful things I have ever done in my life. I know now I can protect myself in real life situations. 
J.H.

I found this seminar very valuable. 
A Noble (NZ Police)

I loved the fact that Phil and Athena have real life experiences behind their teaching. I feel more confident! 
S Shaw

Gave me a lot more confidence and took me outside my comfort zone which made me feel really good. 
C Bell (NZ Police)


You’ve given me confidence and strength to defend myself, to continue working in my occupation where often I do feel threatened. 
H Walsh 

Really empowering! Should be compulsory somehow! 
C Mcintosh

Such a good experience that really pushed comfort zones! Really, really useful and thank you so much Phil and Athena. 
R Polachet


Very valuable. Good to understand as a woman what we can use to defend ourselves. 
D Jeffery

Fantastic seminar! Learned and practised good self defence skills. 
S Russell

I learnt some valuable life saving skills today. The instructors taught with sensitivity and compassion. Thank you. 
S Bayly

It was fabulous! Very worthwhile and I will be recommending it to all of my friends. Well run and VERY informative. 
J Pekelhoring

This was a fantastic course. Thanks for your energy and professionalism. Making it real was key! 
J Bridgen