Saturday, December 8, 2012

Facing Violence: A Book Review

“War is a matter of vital importance to the state; a matter of life or death, the road either to survival or to ruin. Hence, it is imperative that it be studied thoroughly.” Sun Tzu: The Art of War 

Rory Miller takes the very first sentence in the Chinese military classic and expands upon it in lucid detail. Facing Violence draws readers into a world and a state of mind that most people in a civilized society imagine but do not really understand.

The title of the book suggests a guide about fighting, but that is misleading. Mr. Miller explores the entire continuum of close combat including:
  • your personal beliefs and ethics
  • the social and resourced based motivations of violent people
  • to the legal criteria for self-defense
  • the psychology of criminal violence
  • your biological and physiological responses
  • the mechanics of realistic combat
  • the legal, social, and psychological aftermath of a violent encounter

Miller writes in a style that is simultaneously sobering, enlightening, depressing and insistent. It isn’t really a guide about how to react to potential violence. It is a well written treatise on avoiding and coping with violence that every martial artist, gun owner and self-defense enthusiast should read to calibrate their training to reality

As a writer, I read this book was to give a more realistic flavor to the characters and situations in my stories that dealt with concepts of violence. As a former, martial artist I highly recommend this book because it help people who have that kind of training adapt the lessons from the dojo into the real world.

Have fun.

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