Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence

Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence
Price: $11.58

  • ISBN13: 9781594391187
  • Condition: NEW
  • Notes: Brand New from Publisher. No Remainder Mark.

Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence
Product Description
Experienced martial artist and veteran correction officer Sgt. Rory Miller distills what he has learned from jailhouse brawls, tactical operations and ambushes to explore the differences between martial arts and the subject martial arts were designed to deal with: Violence.

Sgt. Miller introduces the myths, metaphors and expectations that most martial artists have about what they will ultimately learn in their dojo. This is then compared with the complexity of the reality of violence. Complexity is one of the recurring themes throughout this work.

Section Two examines how to think critically about violence, how to evaluate sources of knowledge and clearly explains the concepts of strategy and tactics.

Sections Three and Four focus on the dynamics of violence itself and the predators who perpetuate it. Drawing on hundreds of encounters and thousands of hours spent with criminals Sgt. Miller explains the types of violence; how, where, when and why it develops; the effects of adrenaline; how criminals think, and even the effects of drugs and altered states of consciousness in a fight.

Section Five centers on training for violence, and adapting your present training methods to that reality. It discusses the pros and cons of modern and ancient martial arts training and gives a unique insight into early Japanese kata as a military training method.

Section Six is all about how to make self-defense work. Miller examines how to look at defense in a broader context, and how to overcome some of your own subconscious resistance to meeting violence with violence.

The last section deals with the aftermath–the cost of surviving sudden violence or violent environments, how it can change you for good or bad. It gives advice for supervisors and even for instructors on how to help a student/survivor. You’ll even learn a bit about enlightenment.
Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence

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5 Responses to Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence

  1. pgp says:

    While the author clearly knows what he’s talking about, his experience and consequently his book is not very useful to the reader. Why ? Because first of all there is a very wide gap between knowing and doing. Secondly the book gets quickly repetitive and confusing with a series of what the author calls matrixes which may have been intended to look scientific and serious but they are actully more of a hindrance than a help … Couldn’t finish the book.

  2. Meditations on Violence is much better than the typical self-defense book. Since a great deal of what is written and taught in the field is worse than useless, it is easy to understand why some reviewers would give this book five stars. It is full of useful information and reading it might lead some people to modify their training in a way that could save their lives. Even so, I can only give Meditations on Violence four stars. This is because I am aware of even more effective self-defense training methods.

    Miller convinces me early on that he is a man with first hand knowledge of violence. He explains clearly why self-defense against a criminal assault is different than a sport fight, sparring session or duel. One place where this is laid out nicely is in the chart on page seven. I sincerely hope that millions of people read Sgt. Miller’s book and finally accept this critical fact. Their well-being could depend on it.

    The strong point of Sgt. Millers book is the way he teaches, by example, to analyze various violent scenarios. One of these analyses is on pages 78 and 79, where he discusses six different types of hostage takers. Unlike many other situations, if you’re ever taken hostage, you’ll probably have plenty of time to think. Understanding the motive of your captors will help you make the best possible plan and give you the confidence to act on it. Of course this is no guarantee of emerging unscathed, but it will increase your odds. Miller doesn’t claim that his are the final answers. He leaves it to the reader to improve on what he offers. You’re invited to add your own information and thought process. He teaches the reader how to use grid charts, which he calls the matrix, and other analytic tools.

    Where the author looses some footing, is when it becomes clear that he is adapting only external martial arts to self-defense. Miller does not touch on the use of internal martial arts. A similar book, also written by a man with much experience, is Attack Proof. The author, John Perkins, is a retired police officer. These two books work together nicely; Meditations on Violence contains plenty of useful information, which is not included in Attack Proof. In his book, Perkins has adapted the internal martial art of Tai Chi Chuan, to handle real world assaults.

    If you’re ambushed or when all else fails and you find yourself having to fight, Perkins’ training will most likely serve you better than Sgt. Miller’s. That’s not to say that Sgt. Miller’s approach won’t work; I believe that it will work extremely well. I am merely saying that Miller’s approach can be improved by applying it to internal martial arts. Although this may take some additional time, it is worth it. There are three major reasons for this. First, the body mechanics developed by internal martial arts allow one to strike very hard from all sorts of normally awkward motions, positions and angles. For example, with internal arts, you can strike with plenty of power, while turning your hips in the opposite direction from your shoulders. Though this twisting is rarely used in formal Tai Chi, it is a stock maneuver in Bagua (another internal art). Perkins’ Tai Chi based method is free form, so twisting is used when needed. Many other limitations of external power generation can be transcended, when using free form internal art body mechanics in self-defense.

    The second reason that Perkins’ internal approach gives you an advantage is that it develops a very high level of sensitivity. This enables one to slip strikes while remaining close and simultaneously striking the assailant. The third reason to go with the internal method is that it is designed to work best when you’re extremely scared. If you correctly follow Perkins’ training methods, you’ll be learning to fight with, rather than against, the primitive parts of your brain. You’ll be in good shape, during an adrenaline rush, when the primitive parts of your brain take over.

    Even with it’s one significant shortcoming, Meditations on Violence is a must read for all martial artist. I hope that Sgt. Miller sells millions of copies, which are read and used seriously. The result could be a long-needed evolution in the training of martial arts for self-defense.

  3. Crass says:

    I’d like to start my review by first saying that the book is on the crappy side of alright, not deserving of the praise that it has gotten. Honestly, half the book is of Rory going on an ego trip of his “expertise” with unnessecary pictures included. Beyond that his writing is atrocious and the terms he comes up (Monkey Dance, Group Monkey Dance, etc) are rather insulting to the reader.

    You can’t only draw on your own experience and interpretations of violence and write a good book. The bibliography is crap. there are no sources listed nor citations and all there is is a list of books that Rory likes. It’s as if Rory read On Killing, On Combat, and Sharpening the Warriors Edge and wrote a Violence for Dummies. Regurgitating others information and does not mean you own it.

  4. K. Wilder says:

    Rory writes the way he talks, and walks his talk. You will get a chance to get inside his head and mine his gems of experience. Experience that he has distilled into one of the most valuable books on real world violence you will ever put in your hands. With chapter titles like, “Threats ain’t normal folks” and, “The go button.” You can’t go wrong.

    Kris Wilder

    Author, Way of Sanchin Kata

    Co-author, Way of Kata

  5. I am a martial artist and a middle aged man and found much of what he said to be truthful and brutally honest in a way that often makes people uncomfortable. in a sense that was one of the themes of the book, victims go with the flow, or freze up rather due to the societal conditioning to not be rude, or awkward. Also, thou I expected a book that was written to tear down martial arts and say they are bunk and worthless in a real fight, what i found was rather a martial artist being hinest about what works when and where, and how one can help themselves overcome their own illusions of what reality is before reality bites them in the rear. If i have a criicism of the book I would say that on a couple of occasions Sgt. Millers own experiences are presented as fact rather than a small example of a greater whole. i understand that this is how he see things, but it does seem to contradict his own philosiphy at times. For example his views on the homeless and on the three types of criminals are overly simplified and make very black and white statements about vast socioeconomic and mental behavioral issues based on one experiment that he was a part of in college, albeit an intense hands on experiment, and his job as a jail guard. In his job he does not really have the luxury of doing anything but dehumanizing criminals becasue to have too much sympathy for them can be extremely dangerous, and i believe that his views on the homeless are actually rather ridiulous and in my opinion smack of his own personal politcal views as much as his experiences. He completely neglects to metion the homless that are mentally ill, or beyond redemtion adicts and dehumanizes them to pure user and abusers of the system. As far as that goes though, take it with a grain of salt as you will. But all in all this is a fantastic book that i think will not only benefit the martial artist but the average person as well. This can help point the average person on the path towards a safer set of life habits, and it can make the trained martial artist truly impervious to all but the most sever of the attacks he refers to.

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