Special event testimonials

What participants have said about Protect Self Defence

"On behalf of SEYFF, (Support and Education for our Youth, their Families and their Friends), we would like to thank you again for the excellent workshop that was facilitated by you on Saturday, 7 August, 2010.

It was evident that prior to the workshop, individuals had their own expectations of the day, and all come away with much more. Your presence was very warming from start to finish. An example was the way the group was able to discuss and try things openly within the group environment. This is a credit to your abilities to facilitate a workshop as strenuous as this, - despite the fact that this was your very first group of blind and vision impaired participants.

Feedback included, “I am thankful that I attended this workshop as I can feel comfortable walking home now knowing what my options are”, “I learnt that I don’t need to react all the time to potentially dangerous situations”, “I found that the biggest guy isn’t always going to win the fight”, “I learnt that it’s better to walk away from a fight alive than to be dragged away injured or dead”. 

We fully endorse this workshop and your organisation to any group or individual who wishes to learn about self defence and thank you again for your time with us. We look forward to working with you again in the future.


Daniel Te’o - SEYFF Vice President

Thank you.

"A Supported Life, Kotuku Trust is a service offering persons with an intellectual disability support options that arise from the individual’s own choices and developmental needs.  We are committed to a holistic approach to each individual’s life, by creating networks and natural supports in the community.

To this end we enlisted the resources of Protect Self Defence and in particular Phil Thompson, to give our ‘residents’ the opportunity to learn basic self defence techniques.  Right from the initial contact our organization has had with Phil through to facilitating the training, our experience has been nothing short of outstanding.

I have sourced feedback from both the staff and residents who participated in the training and below are some excerpts from their responses.

“Phil was very clear and taught at a pace that the residents could follow and understand – which is very important; he was humorous, extremely respectful and we learned some very basic helpful techniques in a comfortable safe environment.”

“The trainer was energetic and enthusiastic and related well to the residents.  He kept it to 4 basic movements so it was easy to remember and demonstrated how they were useful in very different situations.  He answered all of the residents’ questions and was very friendly. “

“The trainer was really cool, I learnt a lot of really good stuff, so I can defend myself now”.

For a number of residents who find group situations difficult, they were given the encouragement to come out of themselves and get involved, even participating in the vocal part of the training.  

We also had requests to have follow up training and will look at this option in the near future as we see this as a very important tool in the resources we can provide to continue supporting our residents’ independence within our community."


A Suported Life

"Phil has recently taken a block of four self defence classes for a group of six mild to moderately intellectually disabled young men. These men had requested classes and Phil more than met expectations. He was able to cater for people who were large and small, strong and weak and get a high level of participation and response from them. The programme was well suited to their abilities, both cognitive and physical. 

Over the four sessions the men grew in confidence and assertiveness. More importantly they loved it. I have never seen such enthusiasm for an activity before. I have no hesitation in recommending Phil to other groups." 


Shirley Marshall - Co-ordinator, Eastgate Community Trust

"Thank you for hosting two fabulous events to raise more than $1700 for Rape Prevention Education! 

Your incredible generosity and support allows us to continue our work towards the elimination of rape and sexual abuse. 

In virtually every school in which we work, both low and high deciles, there are disclosures of sexual abuse. To date our youth program, BodySafe has taught more than 18,000 secondary students in Auckland about personal safety. Your generosity allows us to continue this significant work with youth. 

Your donation also supports our telephone, email and website crisis referral and information service. Through this service we provide advice and support to survivors who have experienced the devastating effects of sexual violence. We also help loved ones and professionals working with survivors. 

On behalf of all of us at Rape Prevention Education and BodySafe, we thank you for supporting our important work...And we look forward to working more closely with you and Protect Self Defence in the future!" 


Gina Guttuso - Fundraising and Marketing Manager, Rape Prevention Education 

“Phil, thanks so much for coming to RYLA again this year. As always your presentation and practical examples are always a very compelling for many of our participants especially young males. We really appreciate the trouble you go to in assisting us with this event” 


Peter Ross – Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Committee

"Phil assisted in running a 'Keeping Ourselves Safe' Day at the Centre at Tikipunga High School in Whangarei. The students who attended had a wide range of intellectual and physical disabilities including Hearing Impairments, Downs Syndrome, Autistic Spectrum Disorder to complex Cerebral Palsy with a varied age range from 11 years to 21 years. 

Phil provided a "magical" element to this special day for our students. He was able to reach every student to get his message across. The key components he taught; 

How to recognise how it feels to be potentially unsafe.
How to protect ourselves when we are in these situations. 

Phil was able to do this with ease, pitching himself at many different levels in order to reach every individual within a large group of different abilities, gender and age. His use of visual imagery was astounding and the students found this very easy to relate to particularly with the traffic light analogy in relation to levels of safety. 

Phil provides a fresh energy to the classroom that has both students and staff buzzing, feeling confident and standing strong. I would highly recommend Phil in teaching other students with special needs how to protect themselves."


Skye Clark - Childrens Occupational Therapist, Tikipunga High School. May 2008