Books I strongly recommend for SD

jmf552

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I have recently gone on a reading binge of H2H self defense books that are not from a martial arts perspective, but from people who train professionals who are likely to encounter real violence and need to be able to dependably deal with it. Some of the books I've read stand out. I have seen some people here mention Rory Miller and I have long been a fan of his, although his first book, "Meditations on Violence" is a hard read. He even admits his later book, "Facing Violence" is much better and perhaps the best thing he's done. His experience as a career corrections officer has gotten him in a lot of altercations with hardened criminals. I also like Tim Larkin's book, "When Violence is the Answer."

But the best book I have read so far is Varg Freeborn's "Violence of Mind." Freeborn grew up in a family of violent criminals and at 19, went to prison for stabbing a guy who was trying to kill him. He claims that between his upbringing and prison, he has been in over a hundred fights that had deadly potential. He has shot people and been shot. He has stabbed people and been stabbed. But he turned his life around, got his rights restored by the courts, including being able to own firearms. He threw himself into the study of the martial arts, including H2H and firearms. He now teaches security personnel and police, tactics to deal with violence.

What Freeborn saw a need for in martial training is mental orientation towards violence. He said he learned great techniques, but the mental aspects were either not taught, glossed over or taught wrong. He felt many, although certainly not all, instructors have not dealt with with violence and have a lot of wrong ideas about it. What he learned on the mean streets and prison was that handling violence is 80% mental and your worst threat is most often someone who has no formal training at all, but who knows violence very well. The mental aspect is way more complicated than I imagined. The fact that you and I are not hardened criminals puts us at a disadvantage, but there are ways to bridge the gap. You won't come away from reading his book with that all solved, but you will be able to assess where you are at in relation to violence and you will know what you have to do.
 

Tony Dismukes

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I just looked, and it appears the book is available to read for free with my Kindle Unlimited subscription, so Ill check it out.
 

Buka

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On eBay the cheapest is 26 bucks. On Amazon the cheapest used copy is fifteen bucks.

No fair!
 
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jmf552

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On eBay the cheapest is 26 bucks. On Amazon the cheapest used copy is fifteen bucks.

No fair!
It is well worth it. But if you really can't afford it, put the author's name into YouTube. He has his own channel and he has been interviewed on lot of other channels. You will get a lot of his ideas from listening to him.

I listened to the book on Audible and liked it so much I also got the Kindle version for refererence.
 

Buka

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The Kindle edition is only $10, and you can get the Kindle app for free on your phone, tablet, or computer.
Thanks, Tony, I appreciate it, but I can't do that, I don't do apps. Why? I dunno, I just don't. I'll get the book. I love books. I mean, heck, you can't dog ear an app.
 

Cynik75

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Book for self defence? Thick one.
It will stop the knife or sometimes even bullet.
 

geezer

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Thanks, Tony, I appreciate it, but I can't do that, I don't do apps. Why? I dunno, I just don't. I'll get the book. I love books. I mean, heck, you can't dog ear an app.
"I don't do apps" ...Man, you are really old school, Buka. I mean I don't either ...but my wife does. Problem solved! ;)
 

geezer

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As far as books for self-defense, I recommend a good Random House or Merriam Webster's Collegiate dictionary, hardbound. A good size and weight for one hand or two and really packs a wallop.

For daily carry, I also resort to the newspaper (yes I still get the print copy) tightly rolled. But in recent years it's gotten a bit thin and light for my taste. I guess you really can't depend on the print media like you used too.

For magazines, if you can find them, National Geographic is an old favorite. Duck tape a few issues under your shirt, and be sure to remember the sides, right up tight against your armpits, and you have a reasonable defense against a knife attack to the body. Got that gem from an acquaintance who served time. ;)
 

isshinryuronin

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What he learned on the mean streets and prison was that handling violence is 80% mental and your worst threat is most often someone who has no formal training at all, but who knows violence very well. The mental aspect is way more complicated than I imagined. The fact that you and I are not hardened criminals puts us at a disadvantage
Excellent point. Great for you to bring it up. Too often we martial artists get too caught up in the execution of the physical technique and the physical application of it. But just knowing physically how to do and apply it is different than having the "mental, emotional, spiritual will" to effectively use them against a violent animal trying to kill you.

I used quotes above because I think those words are not completely accurate, but the best I could come up with on the spot. It's really something more primitive. And I used the word "animal" to stress that those we're talking about have little or no human moral restraints.

Most of us civilized folks have not developed this primitive trait for lack of survival need and us being taught since childhood to adhere to civilized social norms. This indeed "puts us at a disadvantage," though years of great MA training can help partially compensate. Those who live in daily life or death environments such as the mean streets, prison, or extended military combat, or have been especially taught violence in SpecOps, for example, have developed this primitive ability to operate as killers when needed. The rest of us have our work cut out for us. I am one of those.

So this is something most of us need to accept and work on in our MA training, if we really want to be able to go toe-to-toe against a committed, hardened, violent foe. We need to put as much effort in this aspect as we do practicing the physical techniques. Violent intent has to be added to our moves.
 

Buka

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Excellent point. Great for you to bring it up. Too often we martial artists get too caught up in the execution of the physical technique and the physical application of it. But just knowing physically how to do and apply it is different than having the "mental, emotional, spiritual will" to effectively use them against a violent animal trying to kill you.

I used quotes above because I think those words are not completely accurate, but the best I could come up with on the spot. It's really something more primitive. And I used the word "animal" to stress that those we're talking about have little or no human moral restraints.

Most of us civilized folks have not developed this primitive trait for lack of survival need and us being taught since childhood to adhere to civilized social norms. This indeed "puts us at a disadvantage," though years of great MA training can help partially compensate. Those who live in daily life or death environments such as the mean streets, prison, or extended military combat, or have been especially taught violence in SpecOps, for example, have developed this primitive ability to operate as killers when needed. The rest of us have our work cut out for us. I am one of those.

So this is something most of us need to accept and work on in our MA training, if we really want to be able to go toe-to-toe against a committed, hardened, violent foe. We need to put as much effort in this aspect as we do practicing the physical techniques. Violent intent has to be added to our moves.
I really wish our sight would allow us to use more than one like/agree thingy.
 

Hanzou

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Excellent point. Great for you to bring it up. Too often we martial artists get too caught up in the execution of the physical technique and the physical application of it. But just knowing physically how to do and apply it is different than having the "mental, emotional, spiritual will" to effectively use them against a violent animal trying to kill you.

I used quotes above because I think those words are not completely accurate, but the best I could come up with on the spot. It's really something more primitive. And I used the word "animal" to stress that those we're talking about have little or no human moral restraints.

Most of us civilized folks have not developed this primitive trait for lack of survival need and us being taught since childhood to adhere to civilized social norms. This indeed "puts us at a disadvantage," though years of great MA training can help partially compensate. Those who live in daily life or death environments such as the mean streets, prison, or extended military combat, or have been especially taught violence in SpecOps, for example, have developed this primitive ability to operate as killers when needed. The rest of us have our work cut out for us. I am one of those.

So this is something most of us need to accept and work on in our MA training, if we really want to be able to go toe-to-toe against a committed, hardened, violent foe. We need to put as much effort in this aspect as we do practicing the physical techniques. Violent intent has to be added to our moves.

I really have to ask though; If you're an adult male in a western country like the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, etc. and you don't work in a field where you're likely to encounter consistent violence, where do you honestly think you're going to need a high degree of self defense skills? If you're a woman who has to travel at night, a teacher in a high school in the inner city, a prison guard, a cop, etc. I can understand why you would need to concern yourself with SD skills and you should train accordingly.

However, if you're just some guy in an office, living in the suburbs with your wife and kids, in what scenario do you really see yourself having to apply these skills against a "violent animal"? In that situation the only thing I can think of is some home invasion situation, and with that you're better off simply buying a good home security system.

Not attacking you or anything, but sometimes I think men in MA have this idea that we're in the wild west and there's threats lurking around every corner. It's the same mentality as the guys who stockpile guns in their houses because they're afraid of the "thugs" planning to raid their home.
 

dvcochran

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I really have to ask though; If you're an adult male in a western country like the U.S., Canada, Western Europe, etc. and you don't work in a field where you're likely to encounter consistent violence, where do you honestly think you're going to need a high degree of self defense skills? If you're a woman who has to travel at night, a teacher in a high school in the inner city, a prison guard, a cop, etc. I can understand why you would need to concern yourself with SD skills and you should train accordingly.

However, if you're just some guy in an office, living in the suburbs with your wife and kids, in what scenario do you really see yourself having to apply these skills against a "violent animal"? In that situation the only thing I can think of is some home invasion situation, and with that you're better off simply buying a good home security system.

Not attacking you or anything, but sometimes I think men in MA have this idea that we're in the wild west and there's threats lurking around every corner. It's the same mentality as the guys who stockpile guns in their houses because they're afraid of the "thugs" planning to raid their home.
I do think this is 100% true but you are definitely on the right track.
A lot of folks (like me) got started for the workout aspect and later for the competition.
 

isshinryuronin

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However, if you're just some guy in an office, living in the suburbs with your wife and kids, in what scenario do you really see yourself having to apply these skills against a "violent animal"?
There's a saying, "Hope for the best, prepare for the worse." Don't know where you're from, but even those in "good" U.S. city neighborhoods may encounter a violent attacker. And suburbanites travel to areas less than good for a night out, a visit, or to stop for gas, etc.

I think it's important for martial artists to understand there is a limit to what their technique can accomplish in certain combat encounters under extreme duress if not supported by a true martial/survival attitude. Many practitioners use MA simply for exercise or as a healthy and interesting hobby, or even for competition. That's fine. Hopefully we can all get thru life without getting beaten half to death.

A decent practitioner can handle many soft to medium self-defense situations; 90% of the time this will be enough. (There's probably less than a 10% chance one will die this year, but then why does one have life insurance?) But for that heavy, life threatening violent encounter with someone who has no problem bashing your head in, more than decent skill and a tournament attitude may be needed. It is not unreasonable to be prepared for that 10%.

I'm not paranoid, but do have situational awareness. There are dangers of all types about us, many we are not aware of. I know I've reached into a brick pile and later discovered black widow spiders residing there. You just never know when something will bite you. But I look at the type of training we're talking about in this thread as just another facet to develop as part of my karate training, along with drills, kata, heavy resistance practice, philosophy, sparring, etc. Not out of fear. Just part of my craft.


 
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Hanzou

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There's a saying, "Hope for the best, prepare for the worse." Don't know where you're from, but even those in "good" U.S. city neighborhoods may encounter a violent attacker. And suburbanites travel to areas less than good for a night out, a visit, or to stop for gas, etc.

I think it's important for martial artists to understand there is a limit to what their technique can accomplish in certain combat encounters under extreme duress if not supported by a true martial/survival attitude. Many practitioners use MA simply for exercise or as a healthy and interesting hobby, or even for competition. That's fine. Hopefully we can all get thru life without getting beaten half to death.

A decent practitioner can handle many soft to medium self-defense situations; 90% of the time this will be enough. (There's probably less than a 10% chance one will die this year, but then why does one have life insurance?) But for that heavy, life threatening violent encounter with someone who has no problem bashing your head in, more than decent skill and a tournament attitude may be needed. It is not unreasonable to be prepared for that 10%.

I'm not paranoid, but do have situational awareness. There are dangers of all types about us, many we are not aware of. I know I've reached into a brick pile and later discovered black widow spiders residing there. You just never know when something will bite you. But I look at the type of training we're talking about in this thread as just another facet to develop as part of my karate training, along with drills, kata, heavy resistance practice, philosophy, sparring, etc. Not out of fear. Just part of my craft.

I'm pretty much from all over the US (military family). Unless you're Batman, there's little reason for you to be running around a bad neighborhood. Now, if you're going downtown for a night on the town, there's a chance you could get mugged, but if someone pulls a gun on you and wants your wallet, just give them your wallet and run away. What's the alternative? Attempting to Jump kick them? If you're at a bar and some guy is puffing his chest out and wants to fight, just get up and leave.

In all seriousness, in what scenario do you feel that you're in constant danger? Again, if you're an attractive woman who has to walk around at night or catch a subway, I can understand. However, the chances that some rando is going to attack and assault the average sized western male is highly unlikely. Add to that the situational awareness you described above, and it becomes even less likely.

If you're that worried, get a gym pass and some protein shakes and bulk up. That will prevent more issues coming your way than a martial art will. It's cheaper to boot, and will help get you laid.
 

geezer

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If you're that worried, get a gym pass and some protein shakes and bulk up. That will prevent more issues coming your way than a martial art will. It's cheaper to boot, and will help get you laid.
Hmmm.... after you pass a certain age, the gym thing doesn't do so much as a deterrent (although it may be important for your health), and even getting laid doesn't seem so important. My dad verified this. He put away his viagra while still in his eighties. He's 96 now.

Around here a lot of old people carry if they are concerned about being mugged, but I'm glad my old dad has put away his guns too.
 
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jmf552

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I think it's interesting that some people on a martial arts site have little concern for real self defense. Isn't that the core of the martial arts historically? Are martial artists OK with their art being watered down to only a sport or a form of moving meditation? I had an instructor who said studying the martial arts without learning real H2H combat is like going to the shoe store and only coming back with a shoebox.

No matter where you live or where you travel, violent crime can happen. Even if it is not likely, when it does happen, it will take all you've got. Capituating to an attacker may not save you. We have fire alarms and extinguishers even though we will probably never have a fire. We wear seat belts even though we may never have an accident. Preparedness is about hoping for the best and preparing for the worst.

I will avoid any fight that I can. But I will not become that running joke of a martial artist who spends years studying but gets his butt kicked in a real fight.
 

Cynik75

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.....But I will not become that running joke of a martial artist who spends years studying but gets his butt kicked in a real fight.
Some time ago I posted in other threads about my gymmate (4 stripes BJJ brown belt, good wrestler, MMA fighter, experienced bouncer) the one who fought in WOTORE (bare knuckle MMA with no weigh limits) and lost half of ear in street fight.
He died a few day ago because of brain injury sustained in street brawl.
 
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