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on 22 October 2013
I decided to buy this book on the strength of the authors other book, Self Defense Tips Everyone Should Know, and because I'm a fan of his blog. I'm glad I did because this is an excellent book, and as luck would have it I have just begun to teach self defence myself, so the book couldn't have come at a better time. Let me say though, that this book is not just for instructors or those who are thinking of teaching (although this is the main focus of it). Students of self defence will also get a lot from this book, for like the authors other book, it is full of insight and information gleaned from personal experience that will enhance your training.

The book opens by asking the question how much experience does a person need to teach self defence. The author draws on his own experience here, talking about his bouncing days as well as getting opinions from some other instructors which really helped to answer the initial question. I'll let you read the book to get the answer to it.

From here the author goes on to discuss combatives and does a great job of detailing and explaining an actual combatives syllabus that anyone reading the book can follow themselves, or structure their own syllabus around it. Students can also compare their own training syllabus against it to see if theirs stands up in terms of practicality and usefulness. The author is not a fan of fluff, either in his writing or in his training, so the syllabus contains only essential techniques and concepts, but as he explains, if you go deep enough there is a lifetime of learning in it. This section also contains many photos that help to illustrate the text. I found them useful, if a little small in size. It is followed by several chapters on training practices and methodologies that I found very useful.

My favourite part of this book was the section on developing students (and yourself). This section is full of great information on increasing confidence, learning to think critically, the dangers of overthink and of course, how to develop a good combative mindset. This is stuff that I have never seen talked about from any instructor as most of them tend to focus only the physical techniques, but this stuff is just as important as the author points out. Just like with his other book, this is where the author's strength lies, in talking about the mental aspects of training and doing so in very practical terms, offering information that is immediately useable.

The book also contains a section devoted just to training drills, which I also found to be very useful. There are many drills in this section that deal with striking, defence, multiple attackers and weapons defence. The drills are well explained and some are illustrated with photos. This is the most practical section of the whole book and self defence/combatives practitioners will get a lot out of it.

The final section of the book has several chapters that expand upon some of the concepts already mentioned in the book. These chapters add more detail and really help you to understand better the material in question.

On the whole I thought this was an excellent book. It's well written (apart from a few mistakes here and there, nothing major) and it contains some of the best information on teaching self defence that I have come across anywhere. I will certainly be keeping this book close at hand for future reference. A great addition to any martial artist's library.
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on 26 June 2015
This is more of booklet with small printing , there are good ideas and for one hour I read half the booklet but it lacks ( i have finished the rest now ) , if you want to save yourselve a pounds , think , elbow strike and palm strike with aggression then you have the concept here. nothing much on headbutts , nothing much of foot sweeps nothing on elbow strike defences if you are close in fighting . But my biggest disappointment are the pictures which are so small and very badly taken and no pictures for the drills ( plus the booklet needs much better details about drills " more drills with better pictures of those more drills " ) . The booklet is well written but could have been SO MUCH better as i am sure the write knows his stuff.

I have bought lots of books on SD and martial arts and the book that shines thru is Geoff Thompsons book and Ian Abernathey book on locks.I bought this book as a student not as a teacher. I do agree with the author that in martial arts their are to many techniques and SD is the way to go. I am sure the writer could do a much better book than this and i will buy when he does

or if you dont want to go to the time to learn SD buy a good pair of running shoes and when you see the bad guy coming off you go.

The booklet says you can go to the web site and see videos of 30 min in length well i can only find 3 years old videos that are 5 min and these are posted on youtube

The author sells 4 " booklets " on his web site and if you put them all together you still wouldnt have enought for a whole book !
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on 19 December 2013
Having been involved in martial arts , boxing, self protecting coaching now for a number of years like any honest trainer we are always looking for ways to become better at what we do. In my opinion ( and i have worked/ trained with some great no bull martial artist , combatives, boxers over the years) neal martin does what it says on the tin. In all honestly im going between two of neals books. Self defence tips everyone should know plus this latest one combatives instruction. I cannot give a full summary as i havent finished reading yet but i think i know a good honest combatives instructor when i see one. Neal covers the lot in combatives instruction. Im gonner continue to read and absorb this information and already have gained insights , tips and great info i can incorporate in my coaching.. I dont normaly bother with revues but in my opinion if your are simply a normal guy / girl who simply wants to gets some self protection skills you can put into practice or you are a coach then this book would offer you great information and skills that can only advance your reputation as a coach .. A brilliant , honest book .. Tony.. Essex
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on 15 February 2014
good book, wanted more shame it wasn't a bit bigger. Would recommend to anybody who's interested or participates in self defense.
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on 14 August 2014
In terms of being a self defence book this book is not to teach you how to do techniques but is a very good book on what you should be considering teaching if you are already in the martial arts/ self defence world. There are a lot of good ideas& info that you should be aware of or considering, very informative & gives ideas for a possible syllabus to follow or create if your studying this sort of stuff.Didnt fully agree with his syllabus content but thats down to the individuals taste.Everyone whos into this stuff will "push" what they are familar with or what they found works for them & thats fair enough plus he goes against some of the main stream ideas & with good views of why which i found refreshing.A well thought out & planned book with if your serious about self defence & "do" something just now then this is a book & an author you should be seriously considering. I am now off to look at his other books & his website.
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on 15 February 2014
Excellent book from an expert in his field. Nicely written easy to read clear concise instruction throughout. This definitely does what it says on the tin!
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on 13 November 2013
Clear concise instruction that has been pressure tested so I know it works.this will help in any confrontational situation,from physical and mental perspective .
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on 12 December 2013
Great book not just for instructing but also for people just getting into combatives training ,would highly recommend this to any one
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on 6 November 2014
Makes some good points and moves
In the right direction and rightly underlines the need for simple executable and effective methods.
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on 1 August 2014
Very well written, highly descriptive, perfect for new movement and your Kata.
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