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Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence Paperback – June 6, 2008
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The Amazon Book Review
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“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, Best-Selling Author of Self-Defense Books)
From the Publisher
(Sponsored by USA Book News)
FINALIST for Book of the Year Award: Body/Mind/Spirit, 2008
(Sponsored by ForeWord Magazine)
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very insightful and great distinction on martial arts vs. self defense.
There were no specific techniques mentioned, but a great overview of the mindset and types of... Read more
A really detailed and insightful look into violence on a personal level. The author describes and analyzes violent acts providing the reader clear understanding of the subject.Published 1 month ago by Nick E
Very engaging read. The author gives a thoughtful, introspective, and well supported (given the topic) introduction to a very complex subject. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Jonathan Turner
This is a great book. The author seems to be extremely honest, reasonable, and knowledgeable. You don't often get that combination, so this book is treasure.Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
Superb book on the real-world psychological costs of violence, self-defense preparedness, and the ways martial arts often fall short of equipping students for real-world violence. Read morePublished 2 months ago by Eric S. Raymond
I am a martial artist with 26 years experience. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I love the way Rory uses language to discuss self defense in ways that are engaging and... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Pen Name
Every now and again, I like to totally stretch my mind by reading something way outside of my comfort zone. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Caleb Winebrenner
Absolutely brilliant essay on the kinds of violence faced in the criminal justice system in 21st Century America. One can tell that Sgt. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Matthew Dambro