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Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence Paperback – June 6, 2008


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Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence + Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected + Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision Making Under Threat of Violence
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 202 pages
  • Publisher: Ymaa Publication Center (June 6, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594391181
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594391187
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 6.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (177 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #49,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"A must read book for LEO’s, Martial Artists...highly recommend!" (Detective Sgt. Tony Urena, SWAT sniper, 6th dan, narcotics officer)

“It’s the real thing!” (Steve Barnes, author, martial artist)

“A fresh voice writing from the trenches on the realities of real fighting. Listen to him!” (Loren Christensen, 7th dan, Police Officer, author)

“One of the best books on self-protection ever written! Outstanding!” (Iain Abernethy, 5th dan, British Combat Association Hall of Fame Member)

“A stark look into the real world [of violence]. Highly recommended!” (Robert Carver, 6th dan, USMC Ret.)

"...required reading for all serious martial artists, law enforcement officers, security professionals, and anyone else who might have to deal with violence in some capacity. illuminating and very likely lifesaving as well." (Lawrence A. Kane, Book Reviewer for ForeWord Reviews, martial artist since 1970)

From the Publisher

FINALIST for National Best Books Award: Current Events - Political/Social, 2008
(Sponsored by USA Book News)

FINALIST for Book of the Year Award: Body/Mind/Spirit, 2008
(Sponsored by ForeWord Magazine)


More About the Authors

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Customer Reviews

This book is a must for anyone in the martial arts, law enforcement or self-defense communities.
Tim Bown
Rory does a great job waking you up to the fact that the real world (of violence) is very different from what you experience in class.
C. Cheong
That style might be the most interesting aspect of the book for a reader like me -- who wants a good read as much as good info.
Chowderhead

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

188 of 193 people found the following review helpful By Melissa Williams on June 22, 2008
Format: Paperback
I highly recommend this book to anyone. As a civilian who dabbled sparingly in martial arts most recently over a decade ago, I am in no way an expert in anything that is contained in this book except for the fact that I have been a victim of violent crime. Any one of us could be the next victim of violence and the ideas that Sgt. Miller proposes on preparing yourself to survive assault should be basic lessons for anyone wanting to learn self-defense. Being aware of your surroundings, knowing your E&E routes, understanding that if someone hits you, you will freeze, and understanding that to an assaulter, you are just a piece of meat standing between what he wants and you have. These lessons are important, and in all the self-defense classes for women I've seen, only the first of that list has even been mentioned.

Sections 3 and 4 were enlightening into a realm of human experience I am profoundly grateful that I do not have to deal with or even think about for a vast majority of my life. I am very grateful to the small group of individuals who deal with the criminal aspect of our society and create that opaque veil that shields us from ever having to deal with the thought of humans enjoying hurting and killing others of their species. Law and Policy Makers should really read this section and try to understand it. Then ask the question: Are we making our society better with our incarceration system?

Finally, on a very personal note I found Section 6 to be insightful for its practical look at the problems of training. I am one of those survivor-students that looked for an Instructor to teach me how to never be raped again. I tried Tae Kwon Do, Shotokan Karate and finally Jiu-Jitsu trying to find an instructor that could give me that peace of mind. Sgt.
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82 of 83 people found the following review helpful By L. A. Kane TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 20, 2008
Format: Paperback
At the beginning of this exceptional book is a black and white photograph of a bathroom with a swirl of sticky-looking muck on the floor and a few little droplets splattered across the side of the toilet. Since there is no color it takes a moment to realize what you are looking at, but this mess is clearly human blood, a LOT of human blood. You don't know what happened but it was obviously something awful. A slowly drying pool of blood is not what one might expect to find at the beginning of a typical martial arts book, but then again real-life violence is not a subject that martial artists typically understand or write about.

Like a pool of blood, violence is a very sobering subject; one that must be treated seriously in order to do any good. Meditations on Violence certainly fits that bill. It is a refreshingly frank, honest, and in-depth assessment that teaches readers how to think critically about the subject, determine how to evaluate sources of knowledge, and understand how to identify strategies and select tactics to deal with violence effectively.

As a corrections officer and tactical team leader Miller regularly tangles with hard-core predators. He describes his job this way: "I beat people up for a living. I can pretty the phrase up a lot, but in the end I get paid (and paid well) to go into a situation, usually alone and usually outnumbered by sixty or more criminals, and maintain order."

This is a guy who routinely survives brutal encounters that would leave the average person physically and emotionally shattered. Unlike most martial arts instructors, he has first-hand experience that separates longstanding myths and heroic fantasies from merciless reality.
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95 of 98 people found the following review helpful By Chowderhead on June 24, 2008
Format: Paperback
I'd always had a nagging feeling about my martial arts training; though there was no question it was good for my health, I was never too sure it was really relevant to self defense. The scenarios we practiced had nothing in common with the (few) *actual* violent encounters I had witnessed, which were short, brutish, and entirely unfair. (And for some reason didn't involve "Needle to Sea Bottom" or a Gracie-esque arm bar.) Since I live a pretty staid life, my training never gets tested.

Which is unlike the author of this book -- a jail guard involved in physical confrontations on a near daily basis. In this book Rory Miller pretty much devastates the notion that what goes on in most martial arts classes has anything in common with the fights and strategies he's observed in his work. He details types of confrontations, the people likely to be involved in them, and strategies they're using, and the often critical flaws in the way students are "prepared" for them by movies or the dojo.

As such, this is pretty much required reading for anyone taking or teaching martial arts for self-defense.

He doesn't offer a specific training program as a solution -- which is kind of the point. He's asking the reader to chew on the facts, not the fantasies. Fights aren't likely to be fair, or resemble sparring sessions. But they do have predictable participants, patterns and dynamics -- from the "Group Monkey Dance" to the "permission" that people give themselves to go on or give up.

It's a very particular reality he's describing; the book is pretty much a straight download from the author's life and brain.
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