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Reality Based Personal Protection Paperback – December 30, 2005

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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About the Author

A former soldier, jailer, street cop, SWAT officer, diplomatic bodyguard and counterterrorist agent for the U.S. government, Sgt. Jim Wagner is one of the world’s top police and military defensive-tactics instructors. He has trained elite units such as the U.S. Marshals, FBI SWAT, German GSG9, Israeli Special Forces, U.S. Border Patrol, U.S. Navy, Brazilian GATE, U.S. Marines and many organizations around the world. In addition to teaching Reality-Based Personal Protection worldwide, Sgt. Wagner is a reserve police officer currently assigned as a defensive-tactics instructor, a firearms instructor and a tactical-team member.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 377 pages
  • Publisher: Black Belt Books; 1 edition (December 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0897501497
  • ISBN-13: 978-0897501491
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,921,723 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book has a lot of good information in it. But, I was really put off by a couple of things. For one, the author talks about 25 years in the marital arts and then explains why you should not waste your time doing the same. He discards the value of kata, for example, and replaces them with role play-acting. He also advises responding to imaginary attackers. Isn't this kata, or does using the word drills make a difference? The author uses a lot of marketing and politically correct phrases, another major put-off. How can you teach reality-based techniques and use euphemisms in place of reality terms. The author says that you don't have time to determine what grip an attacker has on his knife but you should have assessed the threat level, using "The Jim Wagner Reality-Based" force ladder, and decided if you are in a green or yellow state, and the consequences of using excessive force, and assumed a conflict resolution position. I know that is a huge run-on sentence but these things are more important to know than whether your attacker is using a forward or reverse grip. It is probably also the reason you didn't have time to check out his grip.

By the time I had gotten part way through the book I was tired of being bombarded with the phrase "The Jim Wagner Reality-Based.........." I found myself skipping entire sections because I was sick of reading that phrase repeated on almost every page and often attached to photos of the techniques too. If you left out "The Jim Wagner..." stuff the book would only be half as thick. Enough already! The guy's name is on the cover I know who wrote it. How often does he feel he needs to remind the reader? In the end I do not feel like I learned any new techniques from this book and I felt an overwhelming desire to retreat to the dojo and do some kata.
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Format: Paperback
All the training and studying I've done teaches that the battle is won or lost first in the mind. The way to begin to win that battle is with good information. This book is loaded with good information. Reading Jim Wagner's resume you get a serious look into how a "been there, done that" kind of person is represented in print. That extreme depth of experience has lead to an equal depth of knowledge that is on display in this book. He's a good writer which makes the communication of his ideas very clear. This is helpful because some of his ideas will be hard to understand. Some will be hard to take if you come from a very traditional martial arts background or you're very wrapped up in the latest MMA craze. Mr. Wagner cuts through the extraneous and unnecessary material and gets to the core of the issues at hand.

But, this does lead to the one problem I have with the book. It constantly bashes other martial arts training. I will grant you that some, many, most if you want, martial arts schools don't teach the nitty-gritty "what is really going to happen to you" kind of stuff that Mr. Wagner is presenting here and in his courses. However, they can't possibly be as big a waste of time as he represents especially when you consider his own background in those same martial arts.

Once you get past that single issue, this is a fantastic and informative read. I've been especially impressed with how his knife disarms work. I've been trying them out with my own training and I'm seeing an improvement in an area where I was weak. You may or may not agree with some of his techniques, but his training methods are based on established approaches taken by the military and police all over the world.
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Format: Paperback
Jim Wagner's Reality Based Protecion System is the most thorough street based system i've seen. He covers all the bases;from events leading to conflict, some simple but effective techniques to help you survive, and what to expect in the aftermath including first aid and all the legal hassles. Also included is the importance of realistic training, and what to expect in a real world conflict. He truly presents all the tools and ideas you need to survive in the modern jungle. If i could own only one martial arts book, this would be it, hands down. be forewarned, if youre looking for the typical "1,001" mysterious deadly techniques picture book, this ain't it.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book, as described. Good delivery.
A couple hang ups like others have stated in their reviews, such as bashing long term martial arts training when he did it himself. That seems to be the norm these days with self proclaimed modern system creators and instructors.
The one thing that bothers me is looking at his resume, he hasn't stayed at anyone one agency or department long enough to have gotten that much expertise in a particular field.
Not saying he hasn't trained with some greats and markets himself way too much, but honestly doesn't have a whole lot of real world experience to back up his claims or concepts.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have enjoyed Jim Wagner's "High Risk" column in "Black Belt" magazine, so I was looking forward to reading his book, "Reality-Based Personal Protection." Despite "Jim Wagner Reality-Based Personal Protection" being a bit over used throughout the text, I found this book to contain a lot of useful information for the person wanting to know more about protecting or defending themselves. It is a good addition to any self-defense library.

The author discusses his own traditional martial art background as part of the genesis of his system, but then spends a lot of time stating how his system is better than those traditional arts. I will agree with Wagner to a point. It really depends on why a person is training, and who the instructor is. Yes, I am familiar with some "traditional" schools that have black belt students that would not fare well in an actual fight. I also know "traditional" instructors that have students that will hold their own with any training out there. So it just depends. I do believe if all you want to know is how to fight or defend yourself, training such as Wagner's program, or that such as Kelly McCann teaches (McCann is one of my favorite instructors) focuses on that one thing, defending yourself. Many martial art programs have different focuses, and therefore they have other benefits besides just learning to fight. Again, it depends on the goals of training.

With that said, let's look at Wagner's book. At the beginning he provides some background and history of his work and training. Some of this I knew, some I was not familiar with. Wagner does have an impressive resume.

Chapter One: Knowledge Domain: The Foundation of the System.
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