Meditations on Violence
A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence
This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.
ForeWord's Book of the Year Award FINALIST - 2008
USA Best Book Award FINALIST - 2008
A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real-World Violence.
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.
In section one, 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.
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.
The Sun Tsu of Self-Defense
Rory’s insights are revealing, relevant and real. His understanding of Self-Defense is enlightening because it provides a framework to test and explain what years of practice and experience teaches. As a great master explained, “it’s the art of fighting without fighting”, and another explained, “know your enemy and know yourself; in a hundred battles you will never be in peril”. I’ve practiced and used the martial arts and self-defense for over 35 years. On the path I have had many conflicts. Fortunately, the “living” styles I’ve studies have served me well. That said, there is so much “fog” out there that it can be hard to determine the good from the bad. Rory’s hard won lessons are genuine and illuminating if your goal is truly self-reflection, self-awareness and self-defense. This is a MUST read for instructors of self-defense, and those interested in the difference between the “arts” and “sciences” of combat. While Rory does not make the leap from the tactical to the strategic, it is an easy hop for the reader to understand how these insights can be utilized at multiple levels. This is definitely one of those books that you will say, “I wish I had these insights a long time ago...”