I believe I mentioned, during class, that every karate practitioner who may, at some point in life, have to defend himself _ should read these two indispensable books by Rory Miller_ 1. Meditations on violence and_ 2. Facing Violence_ available from Amazon for a few dollars.
Some comments on the books
You would shoot an attacker raging at you with a huge butcher knife and you are cornered with no place to escape. But if that attacker were 15, or 12 or 8, or a woman, a pregnant woman, kids in the room, your kids in the room? Mr. Miller puts a real face on violent situations.
He plays out how to defend yourself in the courts after you have defended yourself against a live attack. It is an important point, maybe you survive an attack, but spend your fortune and spend years of your life in jail because a jury does not believe it was self defense.
Perhaps you have trained for decades in deadly martial arts. For decades you have pulled punches and kicks, choke holds and strikes because you do not want to injure your students or training partners. Your groin strike hits the thigh so you don't disable the groin. Now what happens in a violent situation? You have trained to miss, so your reaction is trained to miss.
This last important point is really worth exploring as to 'what ingrains' in our training…going deep into our subconscious.
Another good point covered by Rory is this, and something we discussed at class
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.
This I believe to be a crucial part of any training, and Rory explains the nuances of such a critical component as no other I have ever seen.
And yet another critical aspect of confrontations that Rory covers in his book 'Facing Violence' is the so called 'verbal self defense' _ defusing and avoidance that we have bantered about on these forums in the past. My suggestion to anyone who really has an interest in the concept of 'verbal self defense' is to buy the book and read chapter 3.
Chapter 3 of the book outlines what 'verbal self defense' really entails when attempting to use it under extreme stress, and in the real world of street violence that brings to light the 'interview' and 'monkey dance' processes that only very few people like Rory can lay out for a martial artist.
For example Rory points out that verbal de-escalation rarely works worth a damn in certain situations where almost anything you say will be interpreted as a further excuse to escalate the impending beating.