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Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected [Kindle Edition]

Rory Miller , Barry Eisler
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (22 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Gold Winner – 2012 eLit Award
Finalist – 2012 USA Best Books Award
Honorable Mention – 2012 Eric Hoffer Award

Seven Steps to Legal, Emotional and Physical Preparation

This book stands alone as an introduction to the context of self-defense. There are seven elements that must be addressed to bring self-defense training to something approaching ‘complete.’ Any training that dismisses any of these areas leaves you vulnerable.

1. Legal and ethical implications. A student learning self-defense must learn force law. Otherwise it is possible to train to go to prison. Side by side with the legal rules, every student must explore his or her own ethical limitations. Most do not really know where this ethical line lies within them.

2. Violence dynamics. Self-defense must teach how attacks happen. Students must be able to recognize an attack before it happens and know what kind they are facing.

3. Avoidance. Students need to learn and practice not fighting. Learning includes escape and evasion, verbal de-escalation, and also pure-not-be there avoidance.

4. Counter-ambush. If the student didn’t see the precursors or couldn’t successfully avoid the encounter he or she will need a handful of actions trained to reflex level for a sudden violent attack.

5. Breaking the freeze. Freezing is almost universal in a sudden attack. Students must learn to recognize a freeze and break out of one.

6. The fight itself. Most martial arts and self-defense instructors concentrate their time right here. What is taught just needs to be in line with how violence happens in the world.

7. The aftermath. There are potential legal, psychological, and medical effects of engaging in violence no matter how justified. Advanced preparation is critical.

Any teacher or student of self-defense, anyone interested in self-defense, and any person who desires a deeper understanding of violence needs to read this book.

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Product Description


"When you re done reading, read it again."--Lt. Jon Lupo, NYSP"

About the Author

Rory Miller, former Sergeant, has been studying martial arts since 1981. He's a best-selling writer and a veteran corrections officer. He's taught and designed courses on Use of Force Policy and Decision Making, Police Defensive Tactics, Confrontational Simulations, and he has led and trained his former agency's Corrections Tactical Team. Recently, he taught how to run a modern, safe, and secure prison at the Iraqi Corrections Systems, Iraq. Rory Miller resides near Portland, Oregon.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even better than Meditations on Violence! 31 May 2011
Rory Miller's book, Meditations on Violence, is one of my favourite self-defence books of all time and this one is even better. If the first book was an introduction to violence this is the senior's class. The subtitle to the book is Preparing for the Unexpected and while it does cover a small amount of ground from Miller's previous book it doesn't labour it and instead uses it as a starting point for further exploration.

The topics covered include: the legal and ethical issues, the dynamics of violence, avoiding violence, the counter-ambush, the freeze, what to do when you do need to fight and dealing with the aftermath. All the sections are fantastic with Miller not just drawing on his considerable experience but also the work of others like psychologists, anthropologists and criminologists. Yet, despite this extra depth the book remains very readable.

One of the chapters that stands out for me is the first one about the law and ethics. In here there is a superb section on criminal and civil courts. I know a fair bit about criminal and civil court due to my health and safety training so it's refreshing to see it discussed in more detail. Another section I really like is about freezing in a dangerous situation. This section spans some 16 pages and goes into detail about what happens within us when we freeze, why it happens and what we can do to recognise it and do to break it.

Overall I really think that this book is superb and I really like the extra depth that you don't usually find in these types of books. If I had one criticism it is that I have been spoilt with this extra depth and now I want more but that's what the further reading section is for. That said, I really am struggling to think of another book that brings together so much self-defence knowledge within its covers. It really is essential reading even if you think you've read everything on self-defence, I guarantee this book will surprise you.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real-world wisdom for the martial artist 8 Sept. 2011
Among the many martial arts books on offer, precious few are written by experts on the real world of violence - a world that's very different from the dojo environment. Rory Miller is one such author. He established his credentials in blistering form with the outstanding `Meditations on Violence'. Now, in `Facing Violence', he delivers more of the same calm, considered advice in a highly readable and engaging way (and with a touch of deadpan humour that makes his writing all the more readable). If you rate self-protection authors such as Marc MacYoung, Kane & Wilder and Geoff Thompson, Rory Miller is a new voice with a valuable perspective to add, and he sits very naturally in this company.

Having said this, I opened my copy of `Facing Violence' with some trepidation, not because I expected little from it, but rather the opposite. I'd found Rory Miller's first book `Meditations on Violence' so good that I had doubts whether he could reproduce such a feat without retreading old ground (as so many books seem to do). I'm happy to say my fears were groundless. `Facing Violence' covers plenty of important new ground. In particular it gives detailed and sound advice on preparing yourself for violent encounters, not just physically but emotionally and ethically, with considerable thought given to the tricky question for the martial artist: when to fight and when to walk away.

Read this book, add Rory Miller's knowledge to your own, and keep it on your bookshelf next to your other important reality-based martial arts guides.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb follow on from his first book 27 Jun. 2011
I ordered this book plus the Kindle book on drills Drills: Training For Sudden Violence (A Chiron Manual) based on how good the authors first book was.

Once again this is an excellent read, but less 'raw' and much more structured. Sgt. Millar provides detailed consideration of the common types of violent encounter, how each type begins and escalates, how it can be avoided, diffused or resolved and afterwards how to cope with the legal and psychological consequences.

Essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the difference between martial arts training and self defence.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must have!!! 22 Sept. 2011
This book is just brilliant!! I started off with reading 'mediations on violence' which I recommended you buy along with this book, as both are really informative and provide strong building blocks into how to survive real world violence and not the nonsense you see around us in the everyday world from the media, this book doesn't go into detail on martial arts technique as it is quite flawed which the book covers in much detail. Its all about keeping it simple and easy, many martial arts books won't account for when you freeze in a violent encounter or early signs of detecting when something bad is about to happen, but most importantly it covers the law side, which I feel is not covered enough as before I read this book I didn't know the laws in my area, many people know there right from wrong which is all in well but knowing that could still land you in prison. So what good is having flawless technique when you freeze when it comes down to a real fight that is nothing like how you trained, this book offers the best advice for such a situation. I have found myself noticing more of the world around me unconsciously, I just feel more aware of my surroundings, I feel that Rory Miller's books have really opened up the world to me for the better!

All I can say really is buy these books, once you got them don't read them once, not even twice but 3 times at the least, every read you will find yourself picking out information you missed on the first and second read. They are not only informative but are well written and quite easy to digest, I quite simply believe they will change your life for the better and Rory Miller is quite an inspiring man especially for a young person like myself.

Be smart and get this book :)
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent but occasionally disturbing
An excellent read, but occasionally disturbing. The author has been dealing with violence in a number of roles and brings a wealth of experience. Read more
Published 1 month ago by P. Thomas
5.0 out of 5 stars Good supplement to my Krav maga training
Great read and a good supplement to my Krav Maga training. Some of the techniques decribed are difficult to understand without fuller graphics or images (which were not provided)... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Skydiver7
3.0 out of 5 stars meh
Not my cup of tea. Very bleak outlook. Expect the worse 24/7 type book. Not a happy read.
Published 4 months ago by Mark B
5.0 out of 5 stars Great follow up to his second book
Great follow up to his second book. Having trained with Rory Miller I can vouch for his skills. A lot of it is logical but many are things we take for granted. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Peter H
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Very interesting approach. Well worth the read
Published 5 months ago by Murph
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Fantastic read
Published 6 months ago by anitabruce
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I have ever read concerning the topic
Best book I have ever read concerning the topic. Would highly recomend it to all who teach and practice Martial Arts.
Published 8 months ago by David Bernard
5.0 out of 5 stars Very honest
Published 17 months ago by BOY PLONKER
2.0 out of 5 stars Too spread out
I do not doubt that the author knows what he is talking about but the book is over 220 pages. Why? If you find yourself in a fight, a short book would be more effective. Read more
Published 19 months ago by James
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent
I got this book so that I would be better equipped to recognize violence. I had my eyes opened. I would recommend this book to anyone. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Mandy
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