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Dead or Alive: The Definitive Self-Protection Handbook (Summersdale Martial Arts): The Choice Is Yours - The Definitive Self-protection Handbook [Paperback]

Geoff Thompson
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
RRP: £17.99
Price: £14.39 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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Book Description

29 Feb 2004 Martial Arts
One of the few real self-protection guides on the market today, this book will teach you first and foremost how to avoid violent situations. But should you find yourself in one, it will also show you how to control yourself and your emotions so you can function on a physical level to defend yourself.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 253 pages
  • Publisher: Summersdale Publishers; New Ed edition (29 Feb 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1840242795
  • ISBN-13: 978-1840242799
  • Product Dimensions: 17 x 23 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 20,162 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
43 of 45 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The information in this book may save your life. 21 Dec 2003
By mr_ska VINE VOICE
Format:Paperback
This is a very special book. Second only to Peter Consterdine's "Streetwise: Manual of Personal Security and Self Defence" in terms of giving you all around and essential information on self protection, this book is an absolute 'must have'.
Whilst "Streetwise" gives you almost everything you need, this book complements it perfectly and supplies the few missing pieces necessary to round out the picture. The author, Geoff Thompson, has a background as a doorman, and has put in a great deal of effort to study and learn both the 'street' skills of combat and the academic and intellectual tools to understand violent situations.
Combining elements of academic psychology with interview evidence from a range of violent criminals, from muggers to rapists, even murderers, Thompson shows the mindset and attack rituals of these criminals. This vital information combined with the simple but not simplistic self protection ideas that Thompson explains enable you to fully understand how to firstly, avoid and evade trouble and dangerous situations, and secondly, how to stand a chance of dealing with a potential assailant that you have been unable to escape from.
This is no fools advice though. Thompson does not attempt to fill your head with unworkable super techniques. His advice is based on his own experience that the simple and 'scruffy' stuff is what works. Indeed it is all you will be capable of doing if you are caught in a situation where it is all kicking off, and far from being the coward's way, Thompson proves that running away is by far the better option.
The best thing about the book though is Thompson's discussion on the law as regards self defence. This will prove to be a real eye opener to many readers and certainly forces you to adopt realistic attitudes to the world.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dead or Alive 27 Nov 2009
By Spider Monkey HALL OF FAME TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
`Dead or Alive' is a self defence book written by one of the UK's most well known martial artists. Whilst it has much sound advice and suggests you run away before you attempt to fight in any confrontation, it doesn't shy away from telling you what needs to be done to protect yourself, however ugly or scary it may seem. This looks at attacker and victim mindsets and also interviews various attackers to gauge how they choose victims and when they will walk away. The chapters showing the various techniques are illustrated with clear black and white photography and there are chapters on the law and how alcohol affects conflict. The early chapters look at physiological responses to conflict and how you can best control them to protect yourself. Some of the accounts are quite shocking and even scary to read, but if you want to protect yourself you have to know the truth of confrontation. I think this book would be best if used in conjunction with a self defence course and as such would provide an excellent reference book. Overall the advice is clear and sensible and whilst this is sobering reading, it is also required if you take personal protection seriously.

Feel free to check out my blog which can be found on my profile page.
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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Realistic Martial Arts for realistic people 20 May 2004
By Andy
Format:Paperback
This book is one of the best in this range that I have read. Having studied martial arts for years, and having experienced that the 'street' and 'real life attacks' are very different to 'dojo' training, i finally got round to reading this. Its a very down to earth approach to staying alert on the street, and being aware of the real monster... adrenaline.I experienced a real attack scenario, where a thug threatened me on a train, and we had a face off, with the potential of violence.I had read the section in this book about 'adrenaline dump', 'signs of violence', the 'aggressor bluffing' and confidence etc...This enabled and warned me on how to get over the shock, and fear, of the initial verbal assault, while my adrenaline dump and brief weakness hit me, I held my ground against this person so THEY ended up backing down. (although Geoff Thompson recomends flight before fight.... sometimes you have to stand your ground....especially when like me you were on a train!!!)So read this book wether you 'know' kung fu - or not!Very helpful.
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to win a fight (by not being there...) 2 Oct 2001
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Most other self-defense books emphasize which fighting techniques to use in a particular situation. This book teaches how to avoid to get in that situation in the first place, and how to react to aggressive statements like "What are you looking at!". It even informs you what to tell the Law in case you won the fight...
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars damn good book read it 29 Jun 2002
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
This book has been written by a group of people who know what they are talking about. They have focused on some really good points that work in real life. I was pleasantly supprised at geoff thompsons attitude to self defence i expected this ex doorman to be telling you how to get in there a rip their heads of instead he gives you a clear and realistic ways of staying alive and avoiding these situations, however he does follow his avoidance speach with if you have to get in there and hit them this is how to do it with clear and real ways of disabling your attacker and getting away.
I think that this book is a must for all people who wish to protect them selves in this crazy world. So buy it!
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars If you're reading this, you need this book 29 Oct 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
'Dead or Alive' is simply the best book on the subject of self-defence. Every relevant area of self defence is covered extensively, and backed up with anecdotes and examples of real life incidents. Further more, the book offers a fascinating insight into the mind of criminals. The information in this book is priceless. If you have any interest in keeping yourself safe in the real world, you need this book. If you have no reason to believe you need any knowledge of practical self defence, you need this book. If you have no idea what self defence entails, what it is, you need this book. even if you feel you would be helpless in a dangerous situation, this is THE book which will help you. The importance of protecting oneself is made clear from as little as a glance at the 'blurb' on the back of the cover, and the information inside is essential for anyone who doesn't want to become a crime statistic. This is an essential purchase for everyone and anyone.
Reviewed by: The Holographic Scott James
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brillient.
It opened my eyes to things that had happened to me in the past but didn't understand it. I've not been beaten up, but I've had the pincer move tried on me and the good old... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Jay
5.0 out of 5 stars a MUST READ!!
Anyone interested in Self Defence MUST read this book. It contains essential information that will help you spot trouble and avoid it before you ever get to the stage of have to... Read more
Published on 26 April 2012 by RNE02
5.0 out of 5 stars This book may save your skin
I brought this book years ago when I first got into martail arts and competitive fighting. Having read some of the 1 and 2 star reviews, all I can say is that those that have rated... Read more
Published on 18 Mar 2012 by The Wonk
4.0 out of 5 stars Dead good
Dead or Alive is well written and packed with useful information whether your a Psychologist looking into aggressive behavior or a martial arts enthusiast, Geoff does however seem... Read more
Published on 2 Jun 2011 by Stevie Wevie
4.0 out of 5 stars To most part, highly valuable expert advice
This book tells you how to avoid falling victim of a violent crime. Mr. Thompson is a former nightclub bouncer who has been in many physical conflicts. Read more
Published on 3 April 2011 by Printul Noptilor
4.0 out of 5 stars Unique insights into a grim world
Having trained martial arts for the better part of my life, I have in recent years taken an interest into how violence happens "in the real world". Read more
Published on 3 Mar 2011 by Thomas Jensen
4.0 out of 5 stars Reality check and a really good read for martial artists and...
This great book is about the mechanisms of violence and how to deal with it, physically as well as mentally. Read more
Published on 26 Nov 2010 by Simon Birksø Larsen
4.0 out of 5 stars Real self defence
Far better than most books written on this topic. A lot of great advice on how to avoid trouble.
It really does emphasise this, which is a welcome change from many similar... Read more
Published on 16 Nov 2010 by The Emperor
5.0 out of 5 stars The choice is yours
I have read many so called books on self-protection and i must say this is by far the best. It is filled with so much good solid common sense advice its unbelievable! Read more
Published on 2 Sep 2010 by S. o'brien
1.0 out of 5 stars A "common sense" guide to self-defence
I am new to the world of self-defence but I found nothing in this book which isn't obvious common sense. Read more
Published on 25 Nov 2008 by Stephen Ryan
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