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Cheap Shots, Ambushes and Other Lessons: A Down and Dirty Book on Streetfighting and Survival Paperback – Jan 1989

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Product details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Paladin Press,U.S. (Jan 1989)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0873644964
  • ISBN-13: 978-0873644969
  • Product Dimensions: 21.5 x 14 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,003,494 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.5 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 28 Sep 1997
Format: Paperback
The majority of martial arts books/self defense books place much of their emphasis on technique, form,and tepid "how to instruction".Physical skills are emphasized at the expense of common sense and awareness. This was perhaps the first book to point out that exercising proper discretion and understanding why certain individuals pose threats to our well being can be more vital in many instances than possessing the ability to deliver lightning kicks and punches.The author,a veteran of many street wars when younger, believes your mind is still your best weapon and realistically exposes the myths behind traditional martial arts training which sadly leads many students to believe their training is a step towards immortality. I own this book approximately 8 years,have read it three times, and will continue to use it as a source of inspiration and reference. Many others of it's type have followed, so Mr.MacYoung must have been on to something.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 27 Aug 1998
Format: Paperback
Although Mr. MacYoung does offer a lot of advice about streetfighting, the heart of his book is really about how you can avoid dangerous situations entirely. Much of this is common sense, gut instinct kind of stuff -- which of course most people ignore! 95% of bad situations can probably be avoided. As for the remaining 5%, he has good advice for the dojo trained: there's a BIG difference between the dojo and the street. It's the difference between fighting and combat. If you're not bothered by the author's frequent salty and street language, this is an entertaining book that is practical and informative.
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By koga on 21 May 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Having read and reviewed one of his latter books I looked forward to reading this book.I was sadly disappointed to say the least,I did not finish this book.As I started to get into the book I began to question the validity and authenticity of the contents.Rather than getting too much flak from Mr. Macyoungs fans I think it best if I left it there.In conclusion it is very doubtful that I will add any more of the authors books to my collection.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 11 May 1999
Format: Paperback
Great ideas to help you learn to read situations and avoid a fight. Also, some good ideas on what to do if (when?) the above fails.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 37 reviews
37 of 38 people found the following review helpful
A good place to start, even if you go no further 23 Aug 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I like this book. I like the author, and get every book I can by him. He is funny as well as being informative. He is rude and uses some very rough language, but that is a breath of fresh air after reading some of the psuedo- zen stuff that passes as martial arts these days.
MacYoung makes fun of himself and is quite willing to tell how he made mistakes so that the reader can avoid making the same ones. No huge egos here, well.....maybe he has an ego but it doesn't seem to get in the way like some of the ones I have seen.
This book is described as a primer for reading cook books for martial arts. That may sound strange, but if you have never learned how to cook then the first time you pick up a cook book you will be lost because you will not know the language or the sklls needed to use it. In terms of martial arts, this book explains all the points that standard martial arts books leave off. After you read this you can look at other martial arts book and be able to tell what they are doing as well as being able to tell if they would be effective on the street or are just another "McDojo" trying to attract students.
Even experienced martial artists should enjoy this book. In fact I highly recomend that everyone who is in martial arts for the purpose of dying in bed (either of old age or in the arms of a red head- preferably both) pick this book up and confirm that what they are doing is consistant with the real combat lessons that MacYoung and his friends have paid such a heavy price to learn.
I am happy to say that what I do is consistant with what I read in this book, but there are some points I would not have been aware of had I not read it. This is the value of the book for even experienced martial artists. Some people just go through the motions and they have no meaning. This book will help add meaning to your practice IF you are doing something worthwhile. You may just find out that you are wasting your time, at which point this book may save your life by getting you out of a bad dojo before it is too late. I like to learn from my mistakes, I really like to learn from other people's mistakes- less blood on my part. Anyone who feels the same should get this book. And then they will probably do the same as I and get everything else this little maniac has published.
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
The Bible of Self-Defense! 4 May 2000
By Michael B. Bruneio - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I do not exaggerate when I tell you that reading Animal's book saved my life: using his awareness techniques, I was able to avoid a mugging in a rather seedy neighborhood of New York City. As a professional bouncer, it is my opinion that MacYoung covers the realities of fighting and violence like no other "martial artist" on this planet. This man has been there and done that! As I read this book, the truths of violence and fighting suddenly became very clear, due to MacYoung's no-nonsense, hilarious writing style. This is the book that started a whole new way of looking at the TRUTH of violence, self-defense, and fighting. I cannot recommend this book enough!
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Cheap Shots Yes, but One Hell of a Great Book! 19 Mar 2007
By Shawn Kovacich - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Once again, Marc gives you a no-holds barred look at the reality of fighting and surviving on the street. This book is simply loaded with sound principles and easy to learn techniques for making the most of a bad situation. Marc spends a good deal of time discussing the principles behind the techniques and what to look for. I find this information on the principles behind the techniques very useful, and it is usually a very good indicator of a high quality self-defense and/or martial arts book.

Because of the limited amount of space I have to write and post this review, I am only going to hi-light just a few of the many interesting things in this particular book.

Introduction: It is painfully obvious that Marc has had some bad experiences with formal martial arts training and that is too bad. However, one must remember that, "One bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bunch babe." I believe that is either an old parable, or a line from the Jackson 5, if I'm not mistaken. Or it may even be both.

The Foundation: Attitude or Spirit: This can also be summed up as your desire to do whatever you have to do in order to not only survive a violent encounter, but also to come out on top.

Fear and the negative voice in your head: In this section Marc discusses fear and the negative reinforcement training that we receive from the time we are able to crawl until the time you are put into a wooden box.

Difference between fighting and combat: Believe it or not, there is a difference between fighting and combat. Generally speaking, fighting is usually a combination of stupidity and hormones gone amuck. While combat is serious life and death. And yes, sometimes fighting can lead to combat.

Blows: In this section Marc discusses 4 different types of blows and what their designed or intended to do. They are as follows:

Set-ups: These can be (and do include) the boxers jab. These are designed to confuse and create an opening or openings on your opponent so that you can exploit them with heavier more dangerous blows.

Rattlers: These blows hit a little bit harder than an initial set-up blow and are designed to "rattle" the senses of your opponent.

Maimers: These are blows that are designed to do the most damage after initial contact with your opponent has been made. For example; a slap to the side of the head by an open hand that once it hits the head, reaches up and grabs a hold of the ear and rips it off the side of your skull.

N.N.B.R.: I have to chuckle every time I read about N.N.B.R.'s. Not that they are inherently funny, but what the acronym stands for is pretty hilarious. What these blows are designed to do is to put your lights out, nappy time, kissing the canvas, etc. They knock you out!

Punches: Although several good points are brought up in this section, the one that is perhaps the most important is this, "As fast as your punch goes out, it should be just as fast coming back in."

Kicks: Now before I get into the "nuts & bolts" of this section, I have to admit that the subject of kicking is a sore spot with me. Not in the sense of being against it, as a matter of fact it is quite the opposite, but as being totally in favor of kicking as a means of self-defense when the kick is executed correctly, and applied properly. This in itself can be the deciding factor between improving your chances of victory, or total humiliation with a smattering of pain thrown in for good measure.

Here are two important points to remember when reading this section.

a. For the most part, a lot of what Marc says about kicking is correct.

b. However, it is not the kick that is ineffective, but rather the improper application of the kick that is ineffective.

Anger, Bullies, and Berserkers: Marc gives you an extremely good profile of the 3 types of people you are most likely to be confronted by during a self-defense type situation. He also gives you sound advice on how to handle each one of these threats.

Sucker Punches, Low Blows, and Tricks: In this section Marc discusses the theory and principles as well as some myths about cheap shots and so forth. Very informative information that, like the rest of the information in this book, should be stored in the old grey matter.

Weapons: Marc discusses various types of weapons you are likely to encounter and spends a good deal of that time discussing the most common of them all, the knife. He also includes 4 rules for using a weapon that are very sound and should be followed.

Martial Arts vs. Street Fighting: Once again I have to take a bit of an exception with Marc's comparison of PKA (Professional Karate Association) to self-defense. To me, this is like comparing apples to oranges. Although I do understand the comparison he was trying to make. Again I must emphasize that, "One bad apple doesn't spoil the whole bunch babe."

Teachers: A good teacher is worth their weight in gold, just like a bad one is worth their weight in crap.

Like all of Marc's books, this one is straight forward and well worth the price.
22 of 26 people found the following review helpful
It was pretty good 17 Aug 2000
A Kid's Review - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
After reading the great reviews, I really had high hopes for this book. I read 40 pages the first day I recieved it, and was constantly left in a state of.... ( and...ok... when do we get to the USEFUL stuff.) It's a well written book, but it's all COMMON SENSE. I could of told you everything this book does. The pictures aren't helpful at all, in that you have no idea what's going on, or how to perform any of the very few moves described in this book. If you're looking to learn how to fight, look elsewhere. If your looking to read a book on common sense, DING DING DING, you found it.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Generaly good book 14 Dec 2004
By Slavisa Nesic - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
The book presents the author's attitude and practical knowledge of fighting and combat obtained from the streets. All his arguments are sound and clear. You will find the concepts and mostly not the specific martial art techniques. In my opinion the book is for all sorts of people, for housewives, for young men, and for martial arts experts too. The writing style is from the streets, making the book more colorful and interesting.

Maybe the best side of the book is 'Martial Arts vs. Street Fighting' chapter; I think this chapter answers the childish questions which martial art is the best, what moves from dojo should not be implemented and other. This is very valuable chapter, even to martial arts experts.

There are several chapters on mental characteristics of 'bed guys'. There is also a chapter 'Alpha and Beta', which structures the problematic groups and make very good points. This is definitely an interesting text because it is the essence of acting on streets.

The other chapters are also informative, and they all convey the street concepts - and that is the most important of all. I surely recommend this book.
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