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Book Review: Meditations on Violence

First time I’m writing a book review, so I’ll start off with a caveat actually. Similar to the one the author gives himself, funnily enough!

When it comes to your own security or the security of those you hold dear, do not take any advise at face value. Make sure it actually works when you do need to use it. Everything that is written or that you see is not necessarily true. Just because it is in a book or on TV doesn’t mean it is half as good as they make it out to be. Don’t hazard your own or others lives on something you haven’t tested!

Having said that, I find this book to give a very interesting insight into the minds and behaviours of various types of personas that may want to try to take your worldly possessions (or life) off your hands.

Here we have a book written by Sgt. Rory Miller, a guy who has worked, and still is, in high security prisons as a security guard. His resume is impressive, but it is already in the book so if you’re curious, read the book. Let’s just say, I personally think he has the qualifications to speak on the subject.

There is a big discrepancy to what is taught in a regular dojo versus what you may encounter outside the dojo. Firstly, in the dojo, you are training with your mates. They usually won’t try to hurt you, at least not too badly. Even if they do swing a sharp blade at you, their behaviour is slightly different to how they would swing at someone unknown to them, who they do mean to harm. It would be highly unusual if they actually tried to do you physical harm in the dojo. This difference is what underpins the entire book and goes through, in high detail why this is, what you will found “on the outside” and what you really need to consider when you run into the really nasty people who have zero regard for your (and others) life.

Believe what you will about your fellow man, but do remember, you are quite possibly entirely wrong when you place any assumptions on how someone will behave when faced with a life threatening situation. Including your own self. There is no substitute for experiencing a situation where your life depends on your immediate, accurate and correct response. Not even training in a dojo where you’ll have a whole bunch of others (usually friends) who attack you.

This is highlighted very much throughout the book, and one assumption after another is torn to shreds. I especially find the chapter on predators a big eye opener. I mean, you try to think the best of people, but there is some seriously screwed up people out there too. It reminded me why I do train, and it will make me train both slightly differently as well as harder.

In any case, if you do train in a dojo and you have never really been in a fight on the streets, then you should really read this book. If you train for competition and think you can stand on your own two feet in a fight, you should really read this. There is nothing like deceiving yourself into believing you can take on anyone, anytime, anywhere. Reality is, you may not even see them coming.

So, read this, as it definitely has opened my eyes. It has given me some ideas and has certainly changed my training.

You can find it here:

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