Top positive review
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Even better than Meditations on Violence!
on 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.