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message 1: by Stacia (new)

Stacia Kelly (staciakelly) | 2 comments Mod
We're building a list of the best Self Defense books out there. What are a few of your favorites that you feel ALL Martial Arts students should read?

message 2: by Todd (new)

Todd Ellner | 2 comments The first thing I have to do is distinguish between martial arts and self defense. They are very different things. People do martial arts for a variety of reasons. Self defense is only one of them.

Many of the training methods, techniques and principles from martial arts may be useful, but it may take many years for them to reach full effect. And many of them either prepare the student for the wrong fight - sword vs. naginata has limited modern application - or are for some other purpose like cultural conservation, sport, physical fitness or something else.

What exactly are you looking for in a self-defense book? Physical techniques? Criminology? Inspiration? Guiding principles? Survival and Recovery? The right answer depends on the question.

message 3: by Ian (new)

Ian | 5 comments A good topic and some very valid points there Todd. Two self-defense books that I would recommend are Dead Or Alive by Geoff Thompson and Rory Miller's Meditations On Violence.

message 4: by Nathaniel (new)

Nathaniel Cooke | 3 comments Both great books - for me,it has to spend as much time talking about not fighting as it does about fighting since most of the dynamics of violence occur before the first punch is thrown.

Todd,I agree that people who train in MA do so for a miriad of reasons, and must find the right style for their needs - which is the best for self defense is another, probably endless, discussion. But I think self defense is different. Personal safety is a more measurable outcome than most reasons to train, and is less subjective. A friend of mine described self defense as the last true martial art and, when you think about where most arts come from, he may have a point...

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