Meditations On Violence (Review)

From the mind of GabrielĀ  Shear

Sunday, December 8, 2013

 

Meditations On Violence

Meditations on Violence Cover

It’s been a few years since I had regularly practiced any kind of martial art. I was considering reapplying myself in that direction, and wanted to look into some of the various disciplines. To see what art I should move forward with. Looking around at the local book store I came across; Meditations On Violence.

I opened up the book,and began reading the foreword written by the author. Sgt. Rory Miller.

After reading through the forward. I came to the end. Where the author gave this warning about his message within the book.

I present this as a warning. You are what you are, not what you think you are. Violence is what it is, not necessarily what you have been told. This book is about violence, especially about the difference between violence as it exits “in the wild” and violence as it is taught in martial arts classes and absorbed through our culture.

Now, I quickly dropped down my cash and left. After finishing the book. I can tell you it was worth every penny and more. You could spend thousands to train with, and receive this kind of knowledge from someone with so much experience and intelligence in this subject.

Miller’s book starts out discussing how we make assumptions about violence. How we think, and how we should think. Our sources for these assumptions; when we have never experienced a violent encounter, and how these “beliefs” can get us killed. He then moves on to the heart of the matter. Violence itself. Types of violent encounters; truths about violent assaults; how our bodies respond to these situations. and common situations and places that can lead to violent encounters.

Next the book deals with those that would use violent actions against others. Predators. How they think, and what they look for in their prey. Laying out the various types of predators that exist in our world.

The second half of the book deals with training yourself. How to respond to a violent encounter. How our training does and doesn’t prepare a person for the realities of a real situation. Conditioning your body and mind to work together instead of fighting against each other. Making physical defense work. Knowing when to “Go” and what is worth fighting and possibly dying for. These are real and serious questions. That need to be asked for you to effectively defend yourself.

The last part of the book deals with something that is usually overlooked. How violent encounters affect our mental health once we have physically survived. The costs that are paid. People replay these moments over and over in their mind and different people will react differently to such a traumatic experience.

My favorite quote from Miller…

It’s better to avoid than to run; better to run than to De-escalate; better to De-escalate than to fight; better to fight than to die. The very essence of self-defense is a thin list of things that might get you out alive when you are already screwed.

This is in line with my personal beliefs. That avoiding conflict is to outsmart it. Not being a target in the first place. Is better than trying to defend yourself once you have been attacked. Meditations On Violence is one of those rare books that just by reading might actually save you, and your family someday.

I highly suggest you get a copy, and start learning how to save your life.

– Gabriel Shear