Best Self-Defense Books- revised!

A Listmania! list by Christopher Geer (Orange, CA United States)
(REAL NAME)   
The list author says: "These are the best resources for learning practical and reliable self-offense for street combat/defense. Some are DVDs."
Combatives for Street Survival
1.  Combatives for Street Survival by Kelly McCann
The list author says:
  "An excellent book by Kelly McCann, an authority on the subject.  Also read any and all articles by Carl Cestari, Bob Kasper, and Dennis Martin."
$15.99   Used & New from: $11.88
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (39 customer reviews)

Bruce Tegner's Complete Book of Self-Defense
2.  Bruce Tegner's Complete Book of Self-Defense by Bruce Tegner
The list author says:
  "An excellent book by Bruce Tegner, a guy who took the mysticism out of martial arts.  This book is very practical in that it covers the whole "least amount of force required to difuse the threat" mentality.  Highly recommended reading to the lay-person.  Also sections on female and child defense."
Out of stock
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

Kill Or Get Killed
3.  Kill Or Get Killed by Rex Applegate
The list author says:
  "From one of the Fathers of WW2 Combatives.  Some of the best info collected in a single source on practical assault-type fighting."
$28.69   Used & New from: $22.51
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (47 customer reviews)

Get Tough! How to Win in Hand-to-Hand Fighting, as Taught to the British Commandos, and the U.S. Armed Forces
4.  Get Tough! How to Win in Hand-to-Hand Fighting, as Taught to the British Commandos, and the U.S. Armed Forces by W. E. Fairbairn
The list author says:
  "Another classic in the WW2 vein from W.E. Fairbairn another "father" of self-offensive tactics."
$15.16   Used & New from: $11.72
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (50 customer reviews)

Shooting to Live With the One Hand Gun
5.  Shooting to Live With the One Hand Gun by W. E. Fairbairn
The list author says:
  "Realistic primer on defensive shooting under duress."
$9.88   Used & New from: $9.71
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Cold Steel
6.  Cold Steel by Jim Grover
The list author says:
  "Another Volume of great value to the training of WW2 style combatives.  Get some friends together and try this stuff out (safely)- it works."
$17.26   Used & New from: $3.96
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (49 customer reviews)

Hardcore Self-Defense
7.  Hardcore Self-Defense by C. R. Jahn
The list author says:
  "Still on my list.  Excellent info on the proper combative mindset and information on weaponry."
$13.46   Used & New from: $6.19
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

Black Medicine: The Dark Art of Death
8.  Black Medicine: The Dark Art of Death by N. Mashiro
The list author says:
  "Targeting is important in violent altercations... though getting too specific can strangely limit your options."
$16.29   Used & New from: $5.41
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

Fighter's Fact Book 2: Street Fighting Essentials (No. 2)
9.  Fighter's Fact Book 2: Street Fighting Essentials (No. 2) by Loren W. Christensen
The list author says:
  "Good info from Loren Christensen, a cop who has been there and done that.  His sections are excellent, but those by some of the other sources are dubious."
$17.01   Used & New from: $6.49
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)

Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence
10.  Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence by Rory Miller
The list author says:
  "An excellent book by a prison officer about what really happens during violence, including adrenal response, making your training effective etc.  Can't praise this one high enough."
$12.78   Used & New from: $8.78
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (168 customer reviews)

Floor Fighting: Stompings, Maimings, And Other Things To Avoid When A Fight Goes To The Ground
11.  Floor Fighting: Stompings, Maimings, And Other Things To Avoid When A Fight Goes To The Ground by Marc MacYoung
The list author says:
  "Still a great reference for causing damage if things go to the floor without getting your buttocks handed to you, and more importantly- getting back up."
Used & New from: $30.00
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

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Attack Proof - 2nd Edition
12.  Attack Proof - 2nd Edition by John Perkins
The list author says:
  "The Drills in this book will make anyone a better fighter- period."
$13.86   Used & New from: $7.09
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)

Hand-to-Hand Combat
13.  Hand-to-Hand Combat by U.S. Naval Institute
The list author says:
  "Another WW2 classic.  Details lots of info on how to hurt someone quickly, though some of the "disarms" are dubious."
Used & New from: $234.54
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Handbook of Self-Defense in pictures and Text Law Enforcement Officers' Manual of Offensive and Defensive Techniques
14.  Handbook of Self-Defense in pictures and Text Law Enforcement Officers' Manual of Offensive and Defensive Techniques 
The list author says:
  "Search for this on the internet as a pdf.  Excellent book on basic and more advanced combatives."
Used & New from: $99.92

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Modern Self Defense
15.  Modern Self Defense by R. H. Sigward
The list author says:
  "Same as above."
Used & New from: $54.95

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Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence
16.  Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence by Gavin de Becker
The list author says:
  "Still one of the most important books on avoiding violence."
Used & New from: $5.74
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,043 customer reviews) | 2 customer discussions

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Strong on Defense
17.  Strong on Defense by Sanford Strong
The list author says:
  "This book is a must-read written by a San Diego Swat team leader.  It details LOTS of horribly violent situations often from the surviving victim's perspective.  It will tell you what to do when violence suddenly errupts, and give you all the info you need to know to avoid such situations.  It is grizzly, but that's what makes it so important.  Violence isn't a game!"
Used & New from: $36.66
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (57 customer reviews)

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Jiu Jitsu Complete
18.  Jiu Jitsu Complete by K. Nakae
The list author says:
  "This book is really great.  It's some of the most practical application of a traditional martial art with great line drawings that make the techniques really clear... however grabbing shouldn't be your first priority in a fight (no grappling should)- striking should be."
Out of stock
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)

Jim Grover's Combatives Series: Volumes 1-3
19.  Jim Grover's Combatives Series: Volumes 1-3 DVD ~ Kelly McCann
The list author says:
  ""Jim Grover" is Kelly McCann.  And this dvd series is excellent in teaching combatives to anyone very very quickly.  McCann is a great teacher.  Also watch The "Old School Series" by Carl Cestari available on his site."
$99.95   Used & New from: $74.95
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

Jim Grover's Situational ""Self-Offense"": A Hard-Core Guide to Offense-Based Defensive Tactics
20.  Jim Grover's Situational ""Self-Offense"": A Hard-Core Guide to Offense-Based Defensive Tactics DVD ~ Kelly McCann
The list author says:
  "For when you're in a bad situation.  Another Kelly McCann... noticing a trend here?"
$49.95   Used & New from: $37.95
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

Minimum Damage, Maximum Effect: A Complete Guide to the Use of Pepper Spray, Less-Lethal, and Improvised Weapons
21.  Minimum Damage, Maximum Effect: A Complete Guide to the Use of Pepper Spray, Less-Lethal, and Improvised Weapons DVD ~ Kelly McCann
The list author says:
  "Carrying and using less than lethal weapons for defense.  Another McCann... noticing a trend?  Always deploy your non-lethal first, unless you are in VERY dire straights!"
Used & New from: $39.95
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Kelly McCann's Crucible High-Risk Environment Training, Vol. 6, Ground Kembativ2: Street Solutions to Common MMA Set Ups
22.  Kelly McCann's Crucible High-Risk Environment Training, Vol. 6, Ground Kembativ2: Street Solutions to Common MMA Set Ups DVD ~ Kelly McCann
The list author says:
  "How to counteract a lot of fluff people are taught these days, as almost everyone has seen MMA on tv.  These guys are great athletes, but throw in that "no rules" qualifier and they'll catch a blade when they come in for the "take-down."  You have to train without rules to be prepared for something without rules.  Crazy concept I know!"
$49.95   Used & New from: $45.95
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

Bob Kasper's Sting of the Scorpion: A Fundamental Guide to Knife Combat
23.  Bob Kasper's Sting of the Scorpion: A Fundamental Guide to Knife Combat by Bob Kasper
The list author says:
  "Most practical basic knife course- specifically about fighting with a knife!"
$13.26   Used & New from: $4.99
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Bob Kasper's Individual Close Combat Volumes 1 & 2
24.  Bob Kasper's Individual Close Combat Volumes 1 & 2 by Bob Kasper
The list author says:
  "More from the same author on Unarmed combatives."
$12.42   Used & New from: $8.43
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

The Art of War
25.  The Art of War by Sun Tzu
The list author says:
  "Good info."
$5.39   Used & New from: $0.77
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (990 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

Warfighting
26.  Warfighting by U. S. Marine Corps Staff
The list author says:
  "Also good info."
$8.99   Used & New from: $0.87
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (34 customer reviews)

The Book of Five Rings (Bushido--The Way of the Warrior)
27.  The Book of Five Rings (Bushido--The Way of the Warrior) by Miyamoto Musashi
The list author says:
  "More good info."
Used & New from: $0.87
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (72 customer reviews) | 1 customer discussion

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The Art of the Dynamic Handgun
28.  The Art of the Dynamic Handgun 
The list author says:
  "If conditions are ideal for deploying a handgun (which they often aren't) this is the best primer, period.  Excellent production value on these Magpul videos.  Their stuff is excellent."
$45.29   Used & New from: $39.94
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (115 customer reviews)

Sharpening the Warriors Edge: The Psychology & Science of Training
29.  Sharpening the Warriors Edge: The Psychology & Science of Training by Bruce K. Siddle
The list author says:
  "Excellent book on adrenal response training."
$15.62   Used & New from: $7.80
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

On Combat, The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace
30.  On Combat, The Psychology and Physiology of Deadly Conflict in War and in Peace by Loren W. Christensen
The list author says:
  "Good book on psychology of combat."
$17.78   Used & New from: $14.22
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (333 customer reviews)

On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society
31.  On Killing: The Psychological Cost of Learning to Kill in War and Society by Dave Grossman
The list author says:
  "Still important.  Try to avoid killing people if you can please, humans aren't meant to do it.  If it happens, there's good info here."
$17.00   Used & New from: $7.53
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (242 customer reviews)

Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion
32.  Verbal Judo: The Gentle Art of Persuasion by George J. Thompson
The list author says:
  "According to Mom: "Use your words!""
Used & New from: $4.00
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (150 customer reviews)

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Fence
33.  Fence by Geoff Thompson
The list author says:
  "An excellent tactic for defense."
Used & New from: $10.75
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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The Art of Fighting Without Fighting - Techniques in Personal Threat Evasion
34.  The Art of Fighting Without Fighting - Techniques in Personal Threat Evasion by Geoff Thompson
The list author says:
  "Excellent book by same author as above."
Out of stock
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Working with Warriors
35.  Working with Warriors by Dennis Martin
The list author says:
  "Good book on Western Martial History by someone that was there."
Used & New from: $7.37
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)

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The Tactical Skills Of Hand-to-Hand Combat
36.  The Tactical Skills Of Hand-to-Hand Combat by Bradley J. Steiner
The list author says:
  "Very good little book on Combative PRINCIPLES from someone who has thoroughly (read 30 plus years) studied the subject in a practical setting.  Some great advice."
$12.51   Used & New from: $9.66
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)

CATCH WRESTLING: THE LOST ART OF HOOKING STARRING TONY CECCHINE, 10 VOLUMES ON 4 DVD'S
37.  CATCH WRESTLING: THE LOST ART OF HOOKING STARRING TONY CECCHINE, 10 VOLUMES ON 4 DVD'S 
The list author says:
  "Although I don't like traditional sport-minded fighting techniques, Cecchine gives some excellent info here for controlling someone in a grappling situation and his little details on neck manipulations and arm manipulations are very painful and insanely practical.  Will make some of the above grabs, etc. work.  Strike first though!"
$49.99
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)

Defensive Tactics: Modern Arrest & Control Techniques for Today's Police Warrior
38.  Defensive Tactics: Modern Arrest & Control Techniques for Today's Police Warrior by Loren W. Christensen
The list author says:
  "When you really need to control someone.  Some good tips here- combine with the Catch-stuff above."
$22.46   Used & New from: $16.20
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

How to Survive the Most Critical 5 Seconds of Your Life
39.  How to Survive the Most Critical 5 Seconds of Your Life by Tim Larkin
The list author says:
  "I like a lot of the Tim Larkin stuff (not crazy about the slow mo striking method however), but you basically just need to know this- if you hurt someone they will automatically do certain things, capitalize on that.  This book contains good info on the difference between asocial violence and social fighting!  Don't get involved in fights.  Violence is what happens when things are unavoidable."
$13.10   Used & New from: $12.87
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)

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Author

Christopher Geer (Orange, CA United States)
(REAL NAME)   
Qualifications: Hard Won Knowledge.
Last updated: 5/1/10
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