Home of America's first Mixed Martial Art Training Method for the Entire Family
The origin of all fighting arts is survival and war. Man's 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 at 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 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 relatively safe by the adoption of rules of more or less stringent nature.
With the progress of civilization and man's 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 swordfighting and of primitive all-out weaponless fighting to Graeco-roman wrestling.
The main differences among various combative sports reside mainly in their systematic approach to the corresponding knowledge and in the rules adopted 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 safe practice, 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 mainly be understood as a cautioning to practitioners against the extent of potential danger.
In recent years, particularly after WWII many oriental martial arts were introduced to the Western World, mainly because of the impression they made on the minds of 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 of such knowledge, Chinese and generally oriental martial arts were incorporated under the "martial" denomination. Today, the word "martial" (pertaining to the Graeco-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, Graecoroman, Swiss, and Turkish forms of wrestling, cornu-breton, or any other non-oriental combative system. This state of affairs is unfortunate because it creates the wrong impression. The Japanese, Chinese and some other with vested interests in this field, carefully cultivate this misconception which serves them so well. A brief excursion in history will perhaps serve to clarify some facts. Those who wish to keep their mind open will be easily convinced that neither exclusivity, nor superiority exist on the part of the oriental systems.
Since the bulk of the population in Australia and the Americas has originated 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 the Europeans since earliest recorded times. Ample evidence of this may be seen by any casual visitor of European historic 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 interpenetration 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 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 e.g., judo, aikido, gung fu, etc. were known since time immemorial. They have only been put together in such a way as 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 merits of the oriental and in particular the Japanese martial arts. Far from it. We are only challenging the claims to exclusivity and unquestionable superiority of many exponents of the so-called "martial" arts. Particularly so, since such claims extend not only to a given martial art per se, but also, to the supposedly inherent superiority of Orientals as its exponents. The so prevalent attitudes of granted superiority and infallibility of many oriental "masters" cannot be justified by facts and should be dismissed as braggadocio. Let us repeat, oriental martial arts introduced to the West have several merits which, however, are neither unique nor novel. It is, furthermore, questionable whether they are well suited to occidental, or even to modern needs in general. It would seem that there is room for a combative system better adapted to the modern way of life. Such is the "Art of Self-Protection" known also as ASP, a new SYSTEM which has been developed with the needs of modern man in mind.
What is ASP?
ASP is a self-protection system concerned with man as a whole, since self-protection of the mind, as well as the body, is by far more important than self-defense per se. In order to be practical, ASP is simple and contains little that is vague or• esoteric in nature. Since modern man thinks along pragmatic lines and, being solicited by many activities, has little time to devote to any one field, his efforts must be guided toward high yields. For this reason, the techniques developed for basic ASP are simple, versatile, yet efficacious: they build conditioned reflexes through the repetition of a small number of simple motions. ASP teaches also to work with principles rather than with a large number of individual techniques; thus, the type of a given threat becomes relatively unimportant. Furthermore, the defender must be given a very real choice to proportion the severity of his defense to that of a given attack. Many of the recently imported arts hardly take into consideration the legal aspects of self-defense; one may well win a fight, but land in jail, and have to face lengthy and very, very costly legal procedures. The movements of the human body and their combination are infinite in number. Developing intricate and complex systems is, therefore, much easier than developing a simple yet efficient and, for all practical purposes, well rounded selected on a basis of their frequency in the modern world. It also comprises exercises for developing timing, the sense of distance and direction, and the use of the principles of leverage and momentum. Defensive techniques of limited applicability are discarded since ASP aims at the development of conditioned reflexes by repetition of a few versatile techniques of great effectiveness.
1. ASP aims to personal well being.
2. ASP imparts the ability to protect oneself mentally and physically.
ASP is a body of systematic knowledge just like wrestling, judo, aikido, fencing, boxing, karate, and savate, only it is better adapted to the modern way of life. Students of ASP are encouraged to study other fighting arts and to compare results in terms of similar efforts. It is this author's belief and observation that the yield of ASP is superior. Other. systems are either unilateral, or esoteric, or vague, or require a lifetime of dedication. ASP can also be used to help others. Let us see first what ASP does not claim to be: It does not claim to be the one and only superior art because no art can seriously claim that. It does not claim that it renders its practitioners invulnerable for this reason: the best art in the world can only give a fighting chance in case of danger. It does not claim to render its practitioners "fearless of no man". Being fearless is a frame of mind independent of fighting knowledge. Besides, it is well known that many acts of bravery were performed by men who were afraid indeed. It does not claim to be an "instant" art to be learned in ten easy lessons. It DOES claim that it can give its practitioners a fighting chance in case of danger as well as any other art, but with considerably better yield in terms of efforts devoted to its study. It claims also that it is better adapted to the needs of modern man.
ASP SHOULD NOT BE REGARDED AS A CONCOCTION OF JUDO, AIKIDO, JUJITSU, KARATE, YOGA, ETC.,
As stated earlier, the elements of these arts were known since time immemorial and no one can claim that he has invented them without considerable lack of modesty and without distorting the truth. Such elements, however, may be organized in different ways to yield different systems. ASP is one of them in its own right. It is not in competition with any other system such as judo, karate, etc. Its goals are distinct and well defined: "To keep in good order the mind-body relationship and to afford a fighting chance in case of danger." These goals are attained with minimum effort and maximum efficiency. ASP comprises two parts: (I) "Somatic ASP," which studies means of protection against physical attacks and, (2)"Psychosomatic ASP," dealing with the mind-body relationship with appropriate practical knowledge and exercises. and leverage. Blocking techniques are not used since they require strength and destroy relaxation. Rather, ASP makes use of deflections. Throwing and striking techniques, and attacks on pressure points are simple and kept to a strict minimum. Indeed, efficient self-defense requires only a few techniques mastered to perfection. Complexity generates confusion and, therefore, inefficiency. Chokes and locks are dealt with at a later stage. Defense against multi-opponent attacks, attacks from certain animals and techniques for giving help to others are part of intermediate and advanced ASP, which also includes many other aspects of self-protection. ASP Guidelines and Progression Perhaps it will help to better understand ASP if we briefly describe its guidelines and progression.
A. Any form of self-protection must consider man as a whole, otherwise it becomes not only incomplete, but also inefficient. As already mentioned, ASP is geared to total self-protection, including physical fitness and body-mind coordination.
B. Man lives in the society of his likes. None of his actions may disregard his responsibility toward his fellow man, no matter who he is. For instance, if one pushes me, I have no right to kick him in the groin. The defender must always proportion his defense to the attack, else he is legally liable. In order to do this efficiently, it is imperative that he be given a choice of retaliations through appropriate conditioning. Naturally, because one could apply a given technique this does not imply that he must abdicate his judgment.
C. The best and most efficient bodily, "somatic," self-protection against armed and unarmed attacks is accessible to any whole and healthy individual. This is evasive action. Therefore, the first goal for efficient self-protection is to learn how to dodge an attack. Retaliation, if necessary, is subordinate to this goal.
D. In his daily active life man prefers the erect posture to all others. The sense of balance enabling him to preserve this posture is at the same time delicate and essential to self-protection. Indeed, a good sense of balance increases one's capability of avoiding attacks. Here is a blueprint of ASP progression:
1. Our first concern is to develop coordination, particularly with what is described in ASP as body motion management, that is to say, the use of the body to evade an attack and to position oneself advantageously for retaliation. Initially at least, the latter is mainly achieved with throws emphasizing the use of balance, weight, leverage and momentum. Striking and kicking techniques are deliberately deemphasized. These are studied, however, but mainly as a means to develop coordination and, particularly the kicks, balance "Somatic ASP" in its basic form comprises fifty defensive techniques against fifty different armed and unarmed attacks
2. After this goal is reached, kicking and striking are further studied per se in conjunction with the fullest utilization of the body. The so-called "focusing" is studied at later stages, in such manner that ASP exponents may kick or strike adding the extra dimension of "focusing" only when the occasion calls for it.
3. Means of controlling an opponent with joint twisting techniques and chokes are gradually introduced. Finally, grappling is studied mainly with a view of getting back to the standing position, or making the opponent give up by appropriate application of controlling techniques.* unnecessarily damaging, and even lethal. Against a moving target such as the human body, "focusing" affords little control. If one, however, has learned first to use ordinary kicks and punches in full balance and after he has mastered this, has been trained in the extra dimension of "focusing", he then has the choice, not only of the target, but also of the type of kick or blow he is going to use. We in ASP believe that this degree of freedom is invaluable. ASP Style
4. An ASP system of physical fitness is incorporated from the beginning of training. Other aspects of self-protection are studied later, and special emphasis is placed on exercises for keeping the body-mind relationship in good order. Means of recognizing people who are potentially dangerous on other accounts than bodily harm are also dealt with.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN ASP AND THE "ORIENTAL MARTIAL ARTS"?
l. ASP reaches a broader public. Grappling and kickboxing have been purposely left outside the basic promotional program. The homemaker, as well as the fighter can progress, find something worthwhile for their taste and needs, and receive recognition in doing so. Those who are interested in grappling and kickboxing may practice these skills in special classes.
2. ASP is to the martial arts like the new mathematics are to the old. It deals with basic principles leading to a variety of applications, rather than with several individual techniques. *NOTE: Name and insignia filed with the U.S. Patent Office #865,959 March 4, 1969. For this reason, the yield and degree of retention are much higher. Furthermore, the legal aspects of self-defense are never lost from sight.
3. ASP aims at an integral approach. We do not believe that all situations can be handled indiscriminately with PUNCHES AND KICKS alone, with JOINT TWISTING alone, or with THROWS alone, as some martial arts seem to preach. In our basic system we achieve this integral approach in a simple, yet effective way accessible to everyone in good health who is willing to exert him/ herself moderately.
4. ASP offers a practical way to keep the mind-body relationship in good order.