About Evolutionary Self-Protection
‘Evolutionary Self-Protection is a holistic and realistic approach to self-protection, health, fitness and personal security.’
What does this mean though?
A Self-Protection system is different to a Self-Defence system, though the boundary is so blurred today that many do not make the distinction. Many self-protection systems are more honestly self-defence systems, and many self-defence systems are, if more honestly labelled, truly self-protection systems. A Self-Defence system is reactive, usually relying on the aggressor to initiate combat, and always relying on a combative situation to have started prior to acting. A Self-Protection system is proactive, encompassing more than just physical training. Self-Protection does not rely on the aggressor to make the first move, thus encompassing concepts such as pre-emptive striking. Pre-situation threat awareness, threat evaluation and threat avoidance strategies are integral to Self-Protection in addition to the physical combatives of Self-Defence. It is best to avoid judging classes on whether they call their system a Self-Defensive or a Self-Protectionist approach, however, as the terminology is not widely adhered to.
A holistic approach is one which endeavours to give due consideration to all parts of a complete whole, rather than specialising in one factor. Holistic approaches involve comprehending the parts of something as being intimately interconnected with other factors of a larger entity, concept or system. This comprehensive approach constantly attempts to take into account all information available. This applies both to the kinds of techniques learnt in training and their applications. It also applies to our students and instructors – our training is not just learning how to cause and avoid injury, but encompasses the wellbeing of the individual from every angle. A chain is only as strong as its weak link. Despite being a glaring cliché, it demonstrates the concept well. An unbalanced physical body in any respect leads to combat disadvantages; if an individual’s general health and fitness is not maintained, his or her ability to protect themselves is very severely compromised.
Realism in training is essential. It is the resulting quality from representing and considering things as they are, striving for objectivity and adopting a true scientific approach to strip away all illusions and misconceptions. Everything that is taught in ESP sessions is constantly tried, tested and reviewed, and students’ opinions are valued as well as those of the instructors. Training sessions end in a short period of discussion where anyone is free to share their thoughts with the group on their training. Everything should be questioned at all times, including our approach! We do not profess to be the one system to rule them all – we are merely one adaptive, continually evolving approach in a growing, interconnected network of different approaches to self-protection. You won’t find an ESP instructor bad-mouthing this system or that; we respect all systems for what they are and are not concerned with political debate on whether Japanese methods are better then Chinese, or any of the rest of such generalised arguments.
A system is a complex web of interconnected things that make a hyperconnected whole, and this definition works for the system we use. A linear syllabus can sometimes be followed in such a way that techniques from early training are forgotten as new ones are picked up, as the more advanced ones render then redundant. ESP does not subscribe to this approach. What ESP students learn in their first lesson remains with them throughout their life, and is constantly used, adapted and perfected through their training; never forgotten. The basic aspects of ESP training are the intrinsic building blocks of the advanced ones; not separate entities. This progressive, adaptive, ‘grass-roots’ approach is key to ESP training.
I think that more or less sums us up! If you have any questions, then feel free to get in touch however you like and ask.
Last updated on 15.02.2013