Home of America's first Mixed Martial Art Training Method for the Entire Family
There is nothing more difficult to plan, more doubtful of success, nor more dangerous to manage, than the creation of a new system. For the initiator has the enmity of all who would profit by the preservation of the old institutions and merely lukewarm defenders in those who would gain by the new ones."
"The Prince" by Niccolo Machiavelli, 1518
American Self Protection (A.S.P.) is America's first original mixed martial art training method (i.e., 1965, Patent Registration on March 4,1969) developed By internationally recognized scientist and educator Evan S. Baltazzi, D.Sc., D.Phil. Unlike many traditional oriental or asian martial arts, A.S.P. continues to conduct research and evolve with the help of leading educators and scientists.
A.S.P. was first conceived in 1954 and made public in 1965 at the West Suburban YMCA of Metropolitan Chicago, LaGrange, Illinois. By now it is known in the five continents. Much has been accomplished during that time in terms of selecting and organizing material, refining teaching methods, and steering clear from detrimental compromises for the sake of expediency. This statement situates all martial artists in relation to A.S.P. Once understood, it proves to be an ally rather than a competitor or a foe. U.S. Patent Office Registration Numbers: 865,959 (March 4, 1969) and 926,581 (January 4, 1972).
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What is American Self Protection?
American Self Protection ("A.S.P.") is a holistic self protection program including: unarmed/armed self defense, mind-body (psychosomatic) exercises, nutrition, urban/wilderness survival techniques, first aid, water safety, orienteering, and overall physical/mental fitness. American Self Protection (A.S.P.) was devised and developed by Evan S. Baltazzi, D.Sc., and D.Phil. and is the result of many years of rigorous research. Dr. Baltazzi is known throughout the scientific community as a leading researcher and has chaired major national and international scientific committees and symposia. In order to be practical, A.S.P. contains little which is vague or esoteric. Each one of its component parts are self contained and may be studied independently of the others. All the same, maximum benefits are derived when one follows step by step its progression.
A.S.P. is a holistic self protection program which is unique in terms of its training methodology as attested to by several leading physical educators from here and abroad. American Self Protection is a novel revolutionary concept for developing motion skills and training in the mixed martial arts and sports. It is not another "martial arts style", which are typically rearrangements of known martial techniques to suite ones individual preferences, but a scientifically developed method of mixed martial arts training and learning suitable to all persons.
A.S.P. is based on the systematic use of the five universal principles governing all forms of combat, without exception, whether one uses his bare hands or a missile, and a limited number of select elements of motion of great versatility. Through their use in a great number of techniques practitioners develop conditioned reflexes resulting in much faster learning, greater degree of retention, and safer practice.
Great emphasis is placed on mind-body coordination. A.S.P. methodology has been applied to a wide variety of combative arts, sports, and self-protective knowledge. A.S.P. also includes self-defensive aerobics, self-defense for people with disabilities and other areas of self-protection. Individual A.S.P. techniques taken out of context, while quite effective, do not demonstrate the A.S.P. approach and derived benefits. Only the progression within the system does.
"The main theory behind the A.S.P. learning methodology is not to teach numerous techniques, but to teach elements of motion and few techniques with broad applicability to different situations."
A.S.P. IS A SYSTEMATIC METHOD FOR DEVELOPING MOTOR SKILLS PARTICULARLY SUITED TO THE MARTIAL ARTS AND SPORTS. AT THE SAME TIME IT DEVELOPS MIND-BODY COORDINATION. A.S.P. IS NOT A CONCOCTION OF VARIOUS MARTIAL ARTS TECHNIQUES, BUT A SYSTEM AND METHOD TO ACQUIRE SAFELY ANY COMBATIVE KNOWLEDGE FASTER AND RETAIN WHAT HAS BEEN LEARNED MUCH LONGER THAN WITH ANY OTHER METHOD. ASP TECHNIQUES TAKEN OUT OF CONTEXT, WHILE QUITE EFFECTIVE, ARE NOT ASP AND DO NOT DEMONSTRATE THE ASP SYSTEM AND METHOD.
Origin of of the term "Martial Arts"
The origins of all combative arts are survival and war. Man is deeply ingrained fighting spirit is such that, when strife subsides, he finds pleasure in duplicating fighting under more or less safe conditions. He cannot, however, easily dismiss the horror and the killing which are its integral parts. Rationalizing, he tries to guide his fighting instincts toward apparently worthwhile goals. Readiness against aggression is a time-honored subterfuge. Thus, the channeling of the fighting spirit and excess energy of youth are the origin of all combative sports. Through their practice, young people are benefited in the area of general physical fitness and appropriate mental attitudes, learning to accept challenge and face victory and defeat. Physical mental and even spiritual benefits derived from the practice of combative sports have been recognized through the ages, and young people of both sexes have been and are being encouraged to practice them. It is in this context that the various warlike arts in which one either uses his own body as a weapon, or weapons as such, became idealized into the various combative sports as we know them today.
Their practice has become safe to a large extent by the adoption of rules of more stringent nature. With the progress of civilization and man is increased concern for his fellow man, restrictions aiming toward greater safety were gradually introduced resulting in more or less stylized forms of fighting, with or without weapons. Typical examples of such evolution can be found in the comparison of modern fencing to ancient and medieval forms of sword fighting and or primitive all-out weaponless fighting to Grecco-Roman wrestling.
The main differences among various combative sports reside mainly in their systematic approach to the corresponding knowledge and in the rules adopted in order to make their practice safe. For instance, men have noticed from time immemorial that poking someone in the eyes or twisting his joints brought about spectacular results. Depending on a number of reasons, such dangerous practices were either eliminated or stylized for safety, according to the often arbitrary requirements of each particular fighting system. It would be naive to consider that any one person or people has invented such elements. For example, many Judo, jujitsu or Aikido holds are known in their fundamentals to free style wrestlers; however, much of this knowledge cannot be used in the practice of their sport because it happens to be prohibited by its rules. Many other such parallels exist. In actuality, it is hard to draw a sharp distinction between a safely practiced fighting art and a so—called combative sport. Much confusion exists in the use of these terms. Such nomenclature should be understood as a distinction in the extent of potential danger.
In recent years, particularly after World War II, many oriental combative arts were introduced to the Western World, mainly because of the impression they made on members of the Allied Forces stationed in Japan. These arts known hitherto under the inappropriately exclusive name of "martial" were transplanted to Europe, Australia and the Americas where they quickly met with great popularity. In view of this historic development, systems of fighting knowledge imported from Japan were generally considered by the non-initiated as an exclusively Japanese invention. Later, when it was realized that the Japanese did not have the monopoly on such knowledge, Chinese and generally oriental martial arts were incorporated under the "martial" denomination. Today, the word "martial" (pertaining to the Grecco-Roman god of war Aries, or Mars) is almost exclusively used in connection with oriental martial arts and sports. Few will accept this term as applicable to e.g., fencing, savate, free style, Grecco-Roman, Swiss and Turkish forms of wrestling, cornubreton or any other non—oriental combative system. This state of affairs is unfortunate because it creates the wrong impression.
Since the bulk of the population in Australia and the Americas is descended from European immigrants, we shall briefly consider the evolution of fighting arts in Europe. Even the most superficial student of European history will be amazed by the incredible number of fighting arts and weapons used by Europeans since earliest recorded times.
Ample evidence of this may be seen by any casual visitor to European historical museums. The student of European history will also notice that the intermingling of essentially all the European peoples through wars and invasions, and their astounding technological advances, tended to destroy traditions related to various forms of fighting as soon as these became of questionable usefulness. Furthermore, the interpretation of ideas and fighting methods, and the slow disintegration of the rigid feudal structure prevalent in the Middle Ages, led Europeans toward new fighting arts and sports better adapted to their needs. Where tradition was somehow maintained, as for instance in the case of fencing, unexcelled mastery was the result.
On the contrary, isolation and social thought patterns of an essentially feudalistic society helped many oriental nations such as China and particularly Japan to maintain their traditional combative systems and to develop from them sports suited to local needs. However, there is no doubt that the elements in Judo, Aikido, etc., were known since ancient times. They have only been put together in a way to yield systems best suited to local needs at the time of their inception. Their novelty then resided precisely and uniquely in the system and not in its elements. The foregoing should not be misconstrued as an attempt to detract anything from the many merits of the oriental martial arts - far from it. Let us repeat, oriental martial arts introduced to the West have many merits which, however, are neither unique nor novel.
Merits of A.S.P.
A.S.P. is not in competition with any other martial art or sport, since, in a way, it encompasses them. It's method can be used by all and, once understood, it becomes an ally rather than a competitor. A martial artist who wishes to take up A.S.P., has to condition himself to see beyond its individual techniques taken out of context, and to follow their progression. Only then will he understand the merits of A.S.P. Those with previous martial arts experience discover quickly that much of their skills have a place within the A.S.P. program.
Those not familiar with A.S.P. might be expecting to see a very large number of techniques included in our system. This is not the case, since we are not aiming at bulk but only at quality and yield; for this reason we have confined ourselves to practically useful material.
Techniques included lend themselves to a staggering number of combinations. The eager and thoughtful students will soon discover the merits of A.S.P., while these will escape the superficial reader scanning this site only for the purpose to find similarities with what he already knows or thinks he does, so as to dismiss the whole A.S.P. system as being beneath his level of expertise.
Furthermore, anyone can pick-out an individual technique from the A.S.P. program and say that it is, for example: Aikido, Jujitsu, Kung Fu, Tai Chi, or Hapkido. The truth of the matter is that many of the same techniques can be found across the board in many of these oriental martial arts and beyond. What separates many of these oriental "styles" are: philosophical differences in how to execute the techniques, focus on one technique set over another (e.g., kicking vs grappling), cultural differences, religious beliefs, and socio-political foundations. Some of the individual techniques are, in many cases, the same. An example of this is Kote Gaeshi which can be found across the board in, for example: Hapkido, Aikido, Jujitsu, Karate, Ninjitsu, Tai Chi, and Kung Fu.
All one needs to do to create a new "style" of martial art is to rearrange known techniques to ones personal preferences, perhaps focusing more on one area over another. Such new styles offer nothing really new and are not holistic. Often, "styles" compete with one another by bragging they have more techniques than the other. Nothing could be more inefficient than to have five thousand self defense techniques to master. A select number of well practiced techniques that apply to numerous situations is always superior to an individual technique designed for a one in a million instance.
Having mastered several fighting arts Dr. Baltazzi knew well the effectiveness of individual techniques. However, as a well established researcher and educator, Dr. Baltazzi easily recognized the need for improved methods of learning by which a student would:
1. Develop mind-body coordination in a truly accessible, practical way.
2. Gain a much higher yield for his or her efforts.
3. Retain better what is learned.
4. Be able to progress at his or her own rate and be recognized for it.
5. Acquire the ability to develop his or her own techniques within a framework.
6. Find enough variety to suit his or her needs and inclination.
7. Be able to apply this knowledge effectively within the law.
8. Practice safely without risk of injury.
The A.S.P. method was created after much thought and research, outside of individual technique concerns.