English System Principles (E.S.P) is a school of Martial Arts based around the science of defence - learning certain universal principles & applying them to training in order to defend yourself and fight effectively.
While its origins are rooted in the teachings and practices of medieval masters, who were running schools of defence for practical defence and fighting to defend their life and country, we make sure that the application, principles and approach are grounded in the modern world, and are relevant and effective today for fighting, self-defence, keeping your health and staying fit, and bringing something to whatever fight you need or art you use.
The real meat of the system is The Principles and the approaches to learning and applying them - we teach the core principles and techniques used to learn them from the start, laid bare and explained as a science, rather than a mystical art. We don't keep secrets, don't hold things back, and if you don't understand or something makes no sense, just ask and we'll show you and take you through it so you can feel it yourself.
The principles are what makes this art stand out. Using these principles together with applied focus, awareness, intent, movement and body mechanics, allows a structured, scientific and provably true progression in the ability to increase both fighting skills with weapons and unarmed, as well as training solid responses and awareness to enable effective self-defence.
As part of this there are techniques used from historical texts to help ingrain the movements and principles, that have been thoroughly tested and shown to provide solid defence under pressure. However, while there are techniques involved in the learning process, their main aim is to provide a solid foundation in the core principles to help react in the most effective way regardless of weapon, fight or situation. This gives you the tools to look at different techniques, situations, movements and responses to enable self-correction and reinforce core skills through awareness, physical feedback, judgment, etc.
As you go along you will learn reference points, tools and guidelines to help you fight and defend yourself more effectively, analyse opponents and situations, deal with impact and hits, while training fast, simple effective responses when hard pressed in an assault or situation where you are forced to defend yourself or others.
One of the things we do is to remain open-minded about other fighting arts, self-defence and the effective core principles of other styles. This helps to see the common themes and similarities - and the common areas of effectiveness - even when the approaches, structure and cultures are radically different. So we never dismiss the effective areas of other arts and are always open to new ways to look at the common aspects of fighting and what can be learned from each one.
To help with this we have an 'open' session every few weeks where people are encouraged to try things out, ask unusual questions, test out aspects of other arts, use techniques from or against other arts, to pick out the differences and the similarities, test particular areas and to keep us on our toes so we concentrate on the principles rather than specific technique against known attacks. This often includes bringing along other weapons from different stlyes, trying them out and applying the principles or just improvising with what's at hand!
"Go in with the right attitude and awareness and you can learn from anything."