This book stands alone as an introduction to the context of self-defense. There are seven elements that must be addressed to bring self-defense training to something approaching ‘complete.’ Any training that dismisses any of these areas leaves you vulnerable.
1. Legal and ethical implications. A student learning self-defense must learn force law. Otherwise it is possible to train to go to prison. Side by side with the legal rules, every student must explore his or her own ethical limitations. Most do not really know where this ethical line lies within them.
2. Violence dynamics. Self-defense must teach how attacks happen. Students must be able to recognize an attack before it happens and know what kind they are facing.
3. Avoidance. Students need to learn and practice not fighting. Learning includes escape and evasion, verbal de-escalation, and also pure-not-be there avoidance.
4. Counter-ambush. If the student didn’t see the precursors or couldn’t successfully avoid the encounter he or she will need a handful of actions trained to reflex level for a sudden violent attack.
5. Breaking the freeze. Freezing is almost universal in a sudden attack. Students must learn to recognize a freeze and break out of one.
6. The fight itself. Most martial arts and self-defense instructors concentrate their time right here. What is taught just needs to be in line with how violence happens in the world.
7. The aftermath. There are potential legal, psychological, and medical effects of engaging in violence no matter how justified. Advanced preparation is critical. Any teacher or student of self-defense, anyone interested in self-defense, and any person who desires a deeper understanding of violence needs to read this book.
Rory Miller has been studying martial arts since 1981. He’s a bestselling writer and a veteran corrections officer. He’s taught and designed courses on Use of Force Policy and Decision Making Police Defensive Tactics Confrontational Simulations and as a sergeant, he led and trained his former agency’s Corrections Tactical Team. In 2008 and 2009, he taught methods to operate a secure prison for the Iraqi Corrections Systems, Iraq.
Contents • Acknowledgements • Foreword • Introduction
1: LEGAL AND ETHICAL 1.1: Legal (Criminal) • 1.2: Ethics
2: VIOLENCE DYNAMICS 2.1: Social Violence • 2.2: Asocial Violence
3: AVOIDANCE 3.1: Absence • 3.2: Escape And Evasion (E&E) • 3.3: De-Escalation • 3.4: Altered Mental States • 3.5: Hostage Situations
4: COUNTER-AMBUSH 4.1: Foundation • 4.2: Examples 5: THE FREEZE 5.1: Biological Background • 5.2: What Freezing Is • 5.3: Types Of Freezes • 5.4: Breaking The Freeze • 5.5: Anti-Freeze Habit
6: THE FIGHT 6.1: You • 6.2: The Threat(S) • 6.3: The Environment • 6.4: Luck • 6.5: The Fight • 6.6: A Letter To Johann – On Intervening
7: AFTER 7.1: Medical • 7.2: Legal Aftermath • 7.3: Psychological Aftermath • 7.4: Retaliation
• Afterword • Glossary • Further Reading • On The Human Monkey • On The Legal Stuff • On Dynamics Of Violence And Criminals • On People • Other Books And Resources • And, Finally, Some People • Index