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Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training and Real World Violence [Illustrated] [Paperback]

Sgt. Rory Miller
4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
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Book Description

1 Mar 2009
Explores the complexity of violence, critical thinking, and the mind of the predator. This title offers martial arts training guidance and resources, and discusses how to overcome personal fears, and how to deal with the aftermath of violent encounters.

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Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training and Real World Violence + Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected + The Gift of Fear: Survival Signals That Protect Us from Violence
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Product details

  • Paperback: 180 pages
  • Publisher: YMAA Publication Center; illustrated edition edition (1 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594391181
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594391187
  • Product Dimensions: 21.9 x 15.7 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (36 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 22,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


Rory Miller has been studying martial arts since 1981. Though he started in competitive martial sports, earning college varsities in judo and fencing, he found his martial -- Rory Miller h Lawrence A. Kane, Pac-10 Stadium Security Supervisor Author of Surviving Armed Assaults Miller's insights could very well save your life one day. Rory Miller will wipe away any fantasy you have about fighting. -- Rory Miller will wipe away any fantasy you have Not only do I highly recommend this book, but it will be required reading for my students. --Not only do I highly recommend this book, but it wil

About the Author

Miller, Rory |s In the course of a week almost everything in my biography is wrong. I'm no longer a tactical team leader, no longer a sergeant working for a corrections agency in the northwest. Just Rory Miller, citizen. Citizen on his way to Iraq.To teach what I have been doing for the last seventeen years in a new place, a new culture, with a new language barrier. I've been stuck for a couple of years wondering what the next steps were on my path. This looks like it. This will be very cool.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
4.9 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
68 of 68 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Phenominal... a true "must read" 23 July 2008
At the beginning of this exceptional book is a black and white photograph of a bathroom with a swirl of sticky-looking muck on the floor and a few little droplets splattered across the side of the toilet. Since there is no color it takes a moment to realize what you are looking at, but this mess is clearly human blood, a LOT of human blood. You don't know what happened but it was obviously something awful. A slowly drying pool of blood is not what one might expect to find at the beginning of a typical martial arts book, but then again real-life violence is not a subject that martial artists typically understand or write about.

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.
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18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy of your regard! 9 July 2009
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
My first review for Amazon i think, and I have to say how much I enjoyed this tome.
Turned up Saturday lunch time & i had finished it by 3 that afternoon.

If you are a martial artist then i believe this book is of genuine service to you. Rory Miller has to utilise acts of force in his day job & teach these attributes to others. There is a palpable air to this book that what is being discussed is real & valid

Confrontations are not as the average martial arts practioner believes them to be. they are nasty, brutish, quick & surprising. Mr Miller talks us through some past experiences & provides insights & observations on violent incidents.

The book deals with the mindset, situation & aftermath of a violent assault & I think covers more ground than the usual self defence related material. Mr Miller's real life role (Now training U.S. armed forces in theatre, according to his blog) adds substantial weight & realism to the topics he discusses.

I found this book to be a real gem & will look forward to any new work with interest.

Rory, been reading the blog for a few months, excellent & bought this off the back of it, best wishes & you take care.

Matt Richards
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
"Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence" is without a shadow of a doubt one of the best books on self-protection ever written. I really enjoy books that cut through the crap and give useful (i.e. potentially life-saving) advice in a down to earth and accessible way. Rory has a great writing style and the hard-won information he presents is imparted in way that is very easy to digest. The student in the martial arts can run in to the problem of being given dangerous misinformation by people with no idea of what a real situation involves. There are also those who understand the realties of violence, but are unable to communicate it effectively. Sergeant Rory Miller is one of the rare, and much needed, instructors / authors who has both "been there" and is also able to effectively communicate what the unforgiving world of real violence truly demands. To get to the point, this in an outstanding book that all martial artist need to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Reality 31 Oct 2009
By G. Kerr
A thoughtfull and realistic view on violence from someone who has obviously experienced it ,unlike most self defence teachers/sensei's. Having experience of both martial arts and true violence my opinion ( for what is worth)is that it is a sad fact that most martial artists even the talented ones have no idea what a real fight or attack is like and get a very rude awakening when they find themselfs in a violent confrontation. If you have an interest in learning without putting yourself in potentialy violent situations then books like this are a must for if we can put our ego's aside the reality is nothing like what we have been brought up to expect due to brainwashing by tv,films,dvd's and sorry to say some inexperienced martial arts teachers. This ranks along side books from people like Tim Larkin, Geoff Thompson etc as an honest view of the reality of true violent encounters and may help dispel the mith of having a good old punch up and if it only makes you stop and think before letting a situation escalate then it has done some good. A book to read more than once and take to heart.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredible book 7 Sep 2010
This book was reccommended to me by one of my martial art instructors; a former prison officer and now police I figured if anyone would know about the gulf between training and reality it would bee him.

I have trained in various martial arts for about 20 years (on and off) and have sadly been in a fair few "real life" encounters. If there is one thing I took away from them it's the fact that my finely honed and polished techniques tend not to work in the real world. This is not to say that combat training is useless; but the reality is if you try and "do a technique" you'll probably find yourself in a lot of trouble.

This book dissects the reasons behind that and examines how training can help - but only if you have the right mindset. If you genuinely believe your martial arts training will give you a huge edge in a real fight then you need to read this book. If you are interested in the theory and psychology behind confronting violence; you need to read this book. If you teach martial arts; you need to read this book.

In need to read this book!

Extremely well written, engaging, often brutal but also eloquent and concise. This is an absolute must-have for anyone engaged in any form of combat training; be it classical martial arts, sports forms or even the mililtary.

Read it and read it now!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars I like this item
Well written, solid views and thought provoking items covered, I like this item.
Published 20 days ago by Phillip Carless
5.0 out of 5 stars great insight and honest commentary
Sgt Miller's book is a engaging read that offers valuable guidance to everyone, regardless of any martial arts training. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book!
This is a brilliant book. I would strongly encourage everyone who is serious or wants to be serious, about the study of martial arts to read it. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Dr Frank Rinaldi
3.0 out of 5 stars Insightful but not what i expected
This book gave an insight into the whats and whys but was short on practical examples. Still a good read but not what i had expected!
Published 5 months ago by SLovell
5.0 out of 5 stars Deals with the darker issues of self defence and martial arts
While not the best written text there is a lot of real value here, worth reading even if you are not into martial arts or self defence as it clearly explains how your body will... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Si
2.0 out of 5 stars Pretty much wasted time and money
Well, I honestly read this one. I had good expectations because of this bunch of super positive reviews, but what I found is a collection of common sense observations, some kind of... Read more
Published 12 months ago by Oso Togari
5.0 out of 5 stars Meditations on violence
Meditations on voilence
Great book, a wake up call, for all martial art's people you'd be a fool not to read it
Published 12 months ago by Kenneth pAUL bRYAN
5.0 out of 5 stars A wake up call
This is a book written without any thought of self promotion. It is written by a prison officer with a great deal of practical experience who is not shy in explaining a point by... Read more
Published 12 months ago by R. REED
5.0 out of 5 stars Essentially MA Reading
Any serious martial artist who is interested in the psychology behind the arts (regardless of what you practise) should pick this up and read it. Then read it again.
Published 13 months ago by George Lockett
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
This is from a guy who has been there, got the tshirt, and it has blood on it.

He was worked with people right at the bottom end of the spectrum of humanity and there... Read more
Published 16 months ago by Matt S
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