An easy to read, well presented book, 'The Art...' is filled with colourful anecdotes, simply explained concepts, and clear diagrams where necessary. It does what it says on the cover; explains how to recognise and avoid potentially dangerous confrontations. Geoff Thompson uses a great degree of personal experiece to explain what to do to avoid ugly incidents, what to say to potential bullies, and how to save your backside when the situation escelates towards violence. It has a fairly in depth analysis of what will be going through the mind of thugs and victims at times of conflict, how to use your charisma and intelligence to talk your way out of trouble, how to override those feelings of fear, and deal with the situation in a practical, logical manner which excludes violence. However, while this book is a good stand-alone in it's own right, it feels like a component of a greater whole. The reader may be left with unanswered questions. For anyone who is seriously interested in self defence, this book is a starter course. 'The art...' teaches some sensible concepts, but anyone who wants a thorough understanding of every aspect of self defence needs a book like Jerry Vancook's 'Real world self defence' and/or (preferably 'And') Geoff Thompson's 'Dead or alive: the choice is yours.' It's well written and interesting, but 'The art...' may leave the reader with unanswered questions. The topics in 'The Art' are covered in more depth in 'Dead or alive...', along with everything else you need to know. Don't waste your money on a lightweight starter; sink your teeth into the main course. For the extra few pounds, 'Dead or alive' makes a much more substantial buy and offers better value for money for anyone interested in any area of self defence.
Reviewed by: The Holographic Scott James