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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on March 18, 2004
I have nearly all of Geoff Thompson's technical books, and I believe this is the best one. In this book, Mr. Thompson covers the difference between a match fight, a gratuitous assault, and a pre-planned mugger's approach of disarming; the effects of muscle memory and action triggers; the different kinds of adreneline and how they effect a fighter; why you should have a 'main artillery' weapon and how to use it; and training for incorperating these newfound principles. Off hand, I'd say the most valuable part of this book is how to deal with the law when it comes to post-fight conditions. Once again, Mr. Thompson, a karate black-belt turned bouncer, covers his 'fence' system and how to use it. Overall, this book gives the reader a terrific game plan for self-defense by giving him or her true knowledge of how fights go down and what to expect.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on April 30, 2008
One of the best self-protection books out there. One of the few martial arts instructors or self-protection instructors who understands and goes into the psychology of fighting. Most martial arts instructors get it wrong in that they ignore things like adrenaline (!), and the "pre-fight rituals" that go on, from eye contact, to the "what are you looking at...". to the aggressive body language, etc. He shows you how to spot it, and he shows you how to beat it, and defeat the attacker (recognizing that the attack is coming is at least half the battle). He also discusses other, non-violent options, and also that your goal is to hit and run, not fight.

I thought it very interesting the entire discussion of the British legal system in the book. In short: the British police are arming themselves for the new threats around them, which are increasing, all the while, denying the average citizen the very same non-lethal options that they enjoy (CS spray is illegal in Britian, for instance). As the author puts it, the legal and police system in the UK has failed the average citizen, and won't protect you.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on December 27, 2007
Geoff Thompson is an accomplished martial artist and an ex-doorman with a lot experience of how best to deal with the mugger/thug/guy in the pub looking for trouble. The title of the book is a reference to the fact that most fights are over after one punch.

What this short book mainly teaches you is how to recognise the signs that someone is about to give you a whack. If you know before someone is going to hit you, that they are about to do so, you can hit them first. Since the majority of fights are over after one punch you will be the 'winner' if you can do this. This of course pre-supposes that you have the nerve, and have done the neccessary training etc. He covers a number of other topics, most noteably his concept of the fence.

As with all Geoff Thompsons' books that I have read, I found this easy to read, understand and very useful.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 2, 2005
This book includes surprisingly much concept-level information about self defence and real life fighting in less than 100 pages. There are no techniques included, unless you count three different ready positions as techniques. What this book does instead, is teach you about the concepts and principles of fighting, and more importantly, how to avoid fighting in the first place.

The book handles many essential skills and sectors of self defence, like awareness of one's surroundings, the anatomy of a fight and so on. There is also some information on non verbal communications, but out of necessity the information is not very profound. There are also some very good training exercises in the book.

In short, this book includes surprisingly large amount of information, given the low page count. And the information is of excellent quality. As this book is very quick to read, it can be recommended to anyone who wishes to get solid information about real-life self defense.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
This is an excellent book. I won't rehash what all the other reviewers have said, but I agree with them 100%. I am studying a "real world" martial art (Krav Maga), and in Krav they touch on many of the things Geoff covers, but not to the depth that he does. Which is not surprising: many of these things are best taught, not in the dojo, but in a written format where you have time for reflection. It is clear that Geoff not only knows whereof he speaks, but also understands how to get it across to somebody. Teaching and practice are not always combined in a single person, but Geoff does seem to manage it, and my hat is off to him because of it.

Two of his best points are awareness and the fence (physical or verbal). Avoiding fights where possible, and where not possible mentally disarming your opponent are (I believe) two of the most important tactics to take into any fight situation. Thus, I heartily recommend that anybody who wants to be able to use their art in real-world fighting situations read and re-read this book.

So why only four stars? I felt I had to take off one star because this book is so poorly edited. There are typos, run-on sentences, and other problems on nearly every page - often multiple on the same page. Now, I don't mind a few typos: anything can slip by even the most careful editing eye. I would not downgrade a book for a few of them. But there are so many it interrupts the flow of the book. There were several sentences that I had to read a number of times to figure out what the author was talking about.

Don't let this dissuade you from getting this book. But if Geoff reads this, I would ask that some of the editing problems be cleaned up. It would be even more helpful if they were.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on October 19, 2012
Three Second Fighter. By Geoff Thompson

Originally martial arts meant arts for war. As a street confrontation can be compared with war we can have a look at warfare itself. Over the years warfare changed. John Boyd distinguished 3 types. Attrition warfare, manoeuvre conflict and Moral conflict. Preparing for the wrong type of warfare results in military catastrophes like we have seen in the far east and the middle east. Likewise for the small scale war; the street fight Geoff distinguishes Match-fighting, the Ambush and the 3 second fight. The latter being the method applied by street fighters and street muggers, where attackers lead their opponent with deceptive dialogue and distraction on to the road to his destruction, this is the type of fight we have to prepare for. The most important 3 seconds are the ones before the fight, like in the old Samurai adage; the outcome of the fight has been decided already before the swords cross.

After the foreword Geoff starts with a chapter about changing times in which he explains that as the battlefield changes we have to adapt. Next he talks about awareness, explaining the different attacking rituals and ways of approach applied by the potential attacker.

We fight like we train. As we have to practise what we want to be good at, the next chapter talks about muscle memory.

Next Geoff discusses the game plan followed with the support system for when plan A fails.

This brings us to the fence and the attack from the fence.

A final chapter delves into the subject of self-defence and the law.

This book is highly recommended for anyone who wants to be able to survive a physical confrontation on today's streets.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on July 22, 2007
I think I have all of Geoff Thompson's technical books now, and I believe this is the best one. In this book, Mr. Thompson covers the difference between a match fight, a gratuitous assault, and a pre-planned mugger's approach of disarming; the effects of muscle memory and action triggers; the different kinds of adrenaline and how they effect a fighter; why you should have a 'main artillery' weapon and how to use it; and training for incorporating these newfound principles.

One of the most valuable parts of this book is how to deal with the law when it comes to post-fight conditions.

Once again, Mr. Thompson, a karate black-belt turned bouncer, covers his 'fence' system and how to use it.

Overall, this book gives the reader a terrific game plan for self-defence by giving him or her true knowledge of how fights go down and what to expect.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 21, 2013
Geoff Thompson is a no bs fighter and presents his material clearly and logically. Some of the best material I've come across when it comes to solid street fighting.
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on September 15, 2013
Thompson knows his field, and his focus on the mentality and psychology of self defense and threat scenarios makes this book much more than a do this, do that guide. He describes what to expect from your body in a threatening situation, how to shut down a threat before it becomes real, and how to read the signs of a build up to violence. Most importantly he describes the fence, the simple 'invisible' technique of controlling the distance between you and a potential attacker, which also sets you up for a preemptive strike, should the need arise, thus hopefully ending the fight in three seconds without injury to yourself.

It is not enough to read about self defense though, it should also be drilled, and this book tells you how. As a long time practitioner of martial arts, I find this book an eye-opener, as it deals with real situations in ways that traditional martial arts does not. I highly recommend it.
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4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
If you are among those souls that view streetfighting as an opportunity to prove your mettle in some highly idealized exercise in hypermasculinity, or somehow view the activity as a right of passage, then "3 Second Fighter" is probably not for you. On the other hand, if you are a serious student of Urban Combatives or concerned with what works in the "Real World", then the strategy outlined in this book would be classified as imperative. Save the Honor and Glory bit for the appropriate field of battle. Line-up fighting is a highly specialized art form that views such notions as counterproductive. This book is in essence, "The Shining Path."
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