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Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision Making Under Threat of Violence Paperback – 15 Jan 2013

5.0 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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  • Scaling Force: Dynamic Decision Making Under Threat of Violence
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  • Conflict Communication (Concom): A New Paradigm in Conscious Communications
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  • Facing Violence: Preparing for the Unexpected
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Product details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Ymaa Publication Center (15 Jan. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594392501
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594392504
  • Product Dimensions: 15.1 x 2.4 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 476,272 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

About the Author

Rory Miller has served for seventeen years in corrections as an officer and sergeant working maximum security, booking and mental health; leading a tactical team; and teaching subjects ranging from Defensive Tactics and Use of Force to First Aid and Crisis Communications with the Mentally Ill. Lawrence A. Kane is the author of Surviving Armed Assaults, Martial Arts Instruction, and Blinded by the Night, and co-author of The Way of Kata, The Way to Black Belt, and The Little Black Book of Violence (USA Book News--2009 Best Books Award Finalist; ForeWord Magazine--2010 Book of the Year Award Finalist). A paid book reviewer for ForeWord magazine and Clarion Reviews, he consults with other authors from time to time to help assure realism in their novels, particularly in fight scenes. Lawrence lives in Seattle, WA.


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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this book and others by these very knowledgeable authors to be extremely well researched and written. Containing a wealth of useful, 'real world' information. Some of which was new to me. As a long time martial arts and defensive tactics instructor with over 45yrs in the martial arts and 25+ years teaching I would highly recommend this book. I am going to make it compulsory reading for all my instructors.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If you are in the business of dealing with violence you read to read this and the other Miller books, specifically Meditations on Violence. The man speaks with honesty and clarity - a rarity in this field unfortunately.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book, written by people with real world experience, a good addition for anyone involved in self defence training/teaching. Some of the scenarios are very familiar and their 'take' on them was eye-opening. Obvious now its pointed out, but that's the beauty of it, you can feel the authenticity of the authors.
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Best book ever read on think first and then act rather then end up in a prison cell with a destroyed life! Good examples and comment from real life peoples on violent situations and outcome!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta) (May include reviews from Early Reviewer Rewards Program)

Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars 76 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Primer on Pre-Assaultive Behaviors and How to Avoid Violent Confrontations 27 Jun. 2014
By D. G. Bolgiano - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
First of all, I may have given the book a 5-star rating but for some editing errors that became distracting to this reader. There should be the ability to give a 4.5 star rating, as this book would have landed there. With that said, I highly recommend the book for both novices (E.g., folks who just obtained their CCW or those just wanting to be a safer citizen) and professionals (police officers and even military members operating in an uncertain battle space).
The authors neatly set out the different types of violence - social and predatory - and explain how to better identify them, avoid them and, if necessary, deal with them. Having taught and operated in these realms, I appreciate their ability to communicate these concepts to the "good guys" out here … a definite read for those who have to professionally deal with the violent side of our culture. I also appreciate the lack of false bravado that many authors bring to the discussion.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Framework for Evaluating or Planning Self-Defense Training 3 Mar. 2015
By J. Steinmann - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
It took me a while to get Scaling Force. I'm not entirely sure why, except that Rory has a lot of stuff out there, and I can only read so fast. But I recently got my hands on the Scaling Force DVD (review coming soon), and I figured I should read the book for a full comparison. I'm really glad I did...this is another gem from Rory.

In talking about self-defense with martial artists, I've noticed that there are often two big gaps in their training. One is the psychological aspects of self-defense (what we call Fight One in the PDR/SPEAR System). The other, and honestly, probably the most often ignored, is the legal aspects of self-defense (what we call Fight Three in the PDR/SPEAR system). Scaling Force presents a system and method for martial artists to address fight three in a pretty comprehensive fashion.

The Thing Itself

I read this book on Kindle, so I can't comment on what the hard copy version is like. The kindle format generally works well. My only complaint (and it is a minor one) is that the kindle version seems to think that every single section is a new chapter, which meant that the little ticker at the bottom constantly said "one minute left in chapter" or "chapter complete". Like I said, minor complaint.

What's Inside

Scaling Force begins with an overview of some fundamental self-defense principles. Rory's breakdown of social and asocial/predatory violence appears here, as does some information on situational awareness, the IMOP principle and other legal niceties, and an explanation of what the Scaling Force...scale (it's not a continuum, the authors tell us) is. The scale offers six stages of potential responses to a confrontation: Presence, Voice, Touch, Empty Hand Restraint/Physical Control, Less Lethal Force, and Lethal Force.

(I should expand on that, actually. The point the authors are making here is that the scale isn't something you move up through during a confrontation--you just enter at the level that's appropriate. You don't start with level one if level six is what you need.)

This is all very solid information, though long-time readers of Rory's work will find some of it (particularly the social/predatory violence information) familiar, and possibly repetitive. Personally, I find a good review of good information always helpful. For anyone who is reading Miller for the first time, this stuff is invaluable.

The remainder of the book is six chapters, each devoted to a stage on the force scale. Each chapter provides a breakdown of the force level: how it works, what the key concepts are, and some ideas for drills and training at each level. The information here is all very detailed, but it's presented in a way that's easily accessible for a general audience. None of it is particularly style or system specific, and most of it could be integrated into just about any training system without a great deal of strain.

What's Good

The whole thing.

The legal aspects of self-defense have got to be one of the most overlooked areas of self-defense training. Possibly even more so than the psychological aspects (which at least get some lip service). Scaling Force offers a solution for that. More importantly, because the information is presented in a non-style specific way, it's information that can be integrated into any training method that's concerned with self-defense. Just reading the book will probably illuminate some holes in your training. Actually putting this stuff into practice will fill those holes nicely, and expand all of your skills as a martial artist (or as a human being).

It is worth noting that while each chapter contains some drills and concepts for working on that particular level of force, getting into any level in greater detail requires going beyond the scope of the book. Chapter Four, for example, contains a nice discussion on the mechanics and tactics of joint locking, but getting really good at joint locks is going to require some time on the mat, and probably some hands on training with someone who is good at that sort of thing. That's not a complaint--going in depth on every section of this book would make the book so enormous as to be unwieldy.

Who Is This For?

Self-defense instructors, martial arts instructors who think they are teaching self-defense, or people who practice self-defense but don't teach it. Basically, if you are interested in self-defense in any way, this book is a must read.

If you are a martial artist who ISN'T interested in self-defense, this book might still be worth reading, just to understand where the gaps in your training are. You might not care about filling them, but it's better to know they're there ahead of time than to ignore them and find out later.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential (but scary) information for anyone who plans to defend him/herself 2 Sept. 2014
By DOGSBODY - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Really good and comprehensive coverage of an often overlooked part of martial arts and self-defense training: matching the scale of your response to the attacker's approach. Yes, there is a Castle Doctrine and sometimes Stand Your Ground, but if you unleash a flat hand to the nose just because you didn't like the look of someone, the police will view you as the bad guy, even if the assailant turned victim has a criminal record dating back to the womb.

It also emphasizes that even if the criminal system does not come after you (or disgorges you), you still face what can be time-consuming, expensive and incredibly stressful civil proceedings. All you have to do is look at the news these days to see what the attitude is towards cops doing their duty; now just imagine that it's you and you don't have your police union, a badge and uniform, and a band of brothers looking out for you. Caveat Defensator!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 1 Jan. 2014
By harold travis - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I highly recommend this book, I Have long thought that those of us who have been certified to teach have to face the fact that most people have no realistic understanding of the real cost and dangers of violence. The book really enforces the fact that if at all possible the wisest choice is to avoid violence,because once a situation becomes violent you can't foresee what level it can escalate to. The possible physical ,mental and legal ramifications all point to 1 absolutely true fact violence should only be the choice when there is no other choice.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After reading this you will have a better understanding of the social dynamics in most confrontations 24 Jan. 2015
By good4play - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I'm a fan of R.Miller and his books. After reading this you will have a better understanding of the social dynamics in most confrontations, ways to avoid getting drawn into situations that could ruin your life either by death, injury, criminally charged, civil lawsuit, prison or going bankrupt paying legal fees. I have this book and his "Facing Violence" and I think they both should be mandatory reading. If you read most "self defense" books or go to a class, a lot of times they barely touch on the legal ramifications you may face if you use lethal force even if you are justified and the "you're screwed" if you go beyond the level of force necessary to escape or protect yourself. This book will give you that knowledge from a guy who doesn't just talk the talk but has walked the walk.
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