Self-protection with and against weapons – using everyday objects

Sascha Dierschke, 1st Technician Escrima and an instructor in Berlin, was invited to hold a seminar for this year’s personal protection trainee intake at the Berlin and Brandenburg Police headquarters. The idea was initiated by Sifu Michael Banse, 3rd Technician WT and personal protection instructor.

The title of the seminar was “Self-protection with and against weapons – using everyday objects“.

Owing to the nature of the participants – they were all police officers with many years of experience in various units of the Berlin and Brandenburg Police – it could be assumed that they all had an awareness of dangerous situations in day-to-day police operations and were able to recognise critical situations in general.

All the participants had multiple responsibilities in their daily work:

- they had a responsibility towards the persons to which they were assigned for protection

- they had a responsibility towards their colleagues

- and they had a responsibility towards themselves and therefore their families.

This provided the basis for familiarising these really motivated and extremely fit men with the concepts of Escrima by means of various technical presentations, followed by intensive practice and open, problem-solving discussions.

The fact that most of the seminar participants already had experience in various areas of self-defence presented no difficulties when it came to familiarisation with Escrima. All the participants showed a very open attitude to further, new martial arts and self-defence possibilities, and therefore also their professional application.

Consequently it was a major part of the seminar to apply the Escrima concepts to the weapons normally issued to close protection officers (impact weapons such as the baton, tonfa etc.), with the aim of integrating realistic and practical, learned movements into daily police service.

These concepts were then translated for use with everyday implements such as flashlights, umbrellas, ballpoint pens and of course no weapons at all.

The importance of this part in particular was not lost on the participants, who spend most of their professional time heavily armed.

All of them very soon realised that “less is more“.

After the seminar both the instructors and all the participants clearly showed great interest in holding more Escrima seminars for the training of personal protection officers.

Until that time, all were clearly informed that they would be welcome at the martial arts schools operated by the EWTO to learn Escrima and its concepts.