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Articles: Society and Self-Defense

Calibrating the Moral Compass

James V. Morganelli, August 6, 2018

The value of life involves two distinct aspects: the physical—life itself or the actual human “being” of aliveness—and the metaphysical in orbit around it that is everything we consider worthwhile in life—our loves, ambitions, and desires, including our sense of oughtness referenced within morals, ethics, justice, and rights. More >>

The Way of the Warrior

Daniel Modell, June 18, 2018

In the witching hours of night, after a softball game with friends, police officer Stacey Lim was returning home. As she parked, a vehicle carrying five members of a local gang crept behind her. A young man emerged from the vehicle. He meant to murder her and to steal her car. He wanted to prove himself to fellow gang members. Officer Lim stepped out of her vehicle and turned into the looming barrel of a gun. More >>

Good People Who Want to be Better People Get Trained

James V. Morganell, June 4, 2018

"I'm at Laughing Man Tavern in Washington, DC." This is the last tweet of Kevin Joseph Sutherland. It's dated July 3, 2015. In the early afternoon of July Fourth, Sutherland boards the Metro Red Line to meet friends downtown to watch fireworks. He is twenty-four, has recently graduated from American University, and has been hired as a digital strategist for a DC firm. More >>

The Protector Ethic

James Morganelli, May 21, 2018

Take this true story of a young man who went to the aid of a young woman—she was being beaten. This fellow tried to thwart the attack by attacking her attacker. But, unbeknownst to our hero, the aggressor's friends were not far behind, and when they came on their comrade receiving a knuckle sandwich, they served up several of their own. Whatever happened to the girl is anyone's guess. More >>

No, Fairy Tales Are Not Morally ‘Ambiguous,’ And That’s Why They’re Worthwhile

James V. Morganelli, May 14, 2018

“Darth Vader was seduced by the other side of the Force.” Actually, it was the dark side, not the other side. Vader was seduced by a set of values in contradiction to what Jedi took for granted about the Force and its usage. More >>

Discipline: Keep Cool

Dr. Phillip Stephens, May 7, 2018

One of my teachers frequently used the phrase, "Keep a cool tool." Samurai Miyamoto Mushashi expressed this a bit more eloquently centuries earlier, saying, "You must remain calm at all times; in this way you can control the attack." More >>

Winning Fights is Based on Principles—Not Techniques

Dr. Phillip Stephens, April 9, 2018

Technique is important. But techniques change, adapt, and evolve. Principles are timeless. Bruce Lee recognized this truth, and advised to “absorb what is useful, discard what is useless and add what is specifically your own.” To Lee, there was no single superior style of fighting. He even referred to his methods as the “style of no style.” More >>

Winning Fights

Dr. Phillip Stephens, April 2, 2018

Everyone knows that any fighter can win or lose on any given day. There is even a saying among fighters that there is always someone bigger and better. No one can consistently predict the outcome of two fighters facing each other who possess equal skill. The Navy SEALS have the same problem. Men of all sizes, body types and different skill sets wish to enter SEAL training. More >>

Can We Win the War on Terror?

Daniel Modell, Lieutenant (ret.), New York City Police Department, March 19, 2018

Terrorism and Rapid Mass Murder seem to be permanent, lurking shadows darkening the stage of modern politics. Experts weave a nest of causes, from untempered religious orthodoxy and the moral queasiness of the West to historical grievance and the Internet as a mechanism for radicalization, among others. All, perhaps, carry their measure of truth. I would like to suggest that whatever volatile mix of causes accounts for the menace of terrorism, as a practical matter, the problem is intractable. The prevailing structure of our institutions offers no response to it. More >>

The Spirit of the Warrior

Daniel Modell, March 12, 2018

The spirit of the warrior touches many across time and place. It is not exclusive to those professionals who devote their lives to it. It touches the mother who, with blinding ferocity, protects a child against danger. It touches the young man who blazes like a flame and charges forward when an armed terrorist storms onto the train that carries him. More >>

Sumo: David vs. Goliath

Andrew Zerling, February 10, 2017

In Malcolm Gladwell's very popular book David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, the author deeply explores the lessons behind the three-thousand-year-old Biblical story of how the small young David defeated the giant warrior Goliath. More >>

Simple Drills Worth Knowing

Rory Miller, January 30, 2017

The following are important things, some little, some major, that lend themselves well to simple drills or exercises. Backing up is almost never the answer. Unless you are excellent at reading and remembering tactical terrain, you might not know what or who is behind you. More >>

MMA Champion, Lyoto

MMA Champion, Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida, Incorporates Sumo into his Fighting Style

Andrew Zerling, January 5, 2017

A prime example of how a MMA fighter has incorporated sumo into his game is former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Light Heavyweight Champion Lyoto "The Dragon" Machida. He has a strong sumo background, but his primary style is traditional Shotokan karate. More >>

Sumo: A Case Study in Size vs. Technique

Sumo: A Case Study in Size vs. Technique

Andrew Zerling, November 7, 2016

Sumo is the fusion of honored ritual with unbridled power. Even in a combat sport like sumo, where great body mass and girth are often winning factors, superior technique can overcome size and strength. More >>

Evaluating Drills—Part 2

Rory Miller, October 31, 2016

I get especially annoyed with weapons. Unarmed defense against a weapon sucks. Never, ever, ever practice dying and do not train to be killed. The stakes are too high to blindly imprint a habit, even a habit as simple as handing a weapon back once you have disarmed someone. More >>

Evaluating Drills—Part 1

Rory Miller, October 24, 2016

I'm not a big fan of most drills. There is a fine line, but conditioned reflexes are crucial in a fight and habits will get you killed. Conditioned reflexes are things you do without thinking about it. They are essentially trained flinch responses. If something suddenly comes at your eyes you WILL do something: block, move your head or, at the very minimum, blink. More >>

The Hidden Roots of Karate and Jujitsu

The Hidden Roots of Karate and Jujitsu

Andrew Zerling, October 5, 2016

This article will discuss several martial arts to illustrate how different looking martial arts are apparently closely related and how the idea of hidden historical roots applies to many martial arts. First the origins of karate and Okinawan sumo will be explored. Then the root of jujitsu will be uncovered. More >>

Not Parlor Tricks

Not Parlor Tricks

Rory Miller, September 12, 2016

The following aren't actually tricks. They are exercises that you demonstrate once to show a deeper truth. Most will not work on people a second time. Some will learn to game it. More >>

Brain Damage: Do Football Helmets Help?

Jason Thalken PhD, September 5, 2016

Recently, the National Football League is facing a 765-million-dollar lawsuit filed on behalf of more than 4,500 former players regarding the concussions and potential chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) sustained during their careers. Similar lawsuits are underway against the National Collegiate Athletic Association as well as the National Hockey League, and football helmet maker Riddell is facing multiple lawsuits over claims about the effectiveness of their helmets at protecting athletes from concussions. More >>

DRILL: The One-Step

DRILL: The One-Step

Rory Miller, August 29, 2016

The one-step arose as a useful accident. Many years ago I was reading George Mattson's The Way of Karate and I completely misunderstood his description of ippon kumite. I thought, "That's brilliant—unscripted but safe, just looking at this whole thing as a meat geometry problem…" More >>

Training for Sudden Violence

Rory Miller, August 15, 2016

I teach about violence. As I left “the life” I discovered that my niche wasn’t so much teaching cops as I had expected, or even teaching civilian self-defense. The material seemed to resonate most with experienced martial artists who were coming to discover how little they really knew about violence. More >>

Defending Against Multiple Assailants Part 2

David Kahn, July 25, 2016

The axiom that street violence is volatile and unpredictable could not hold truer than when facing multiple assailants.  Facing multiple assailants, let alone multiple armed assailants, is an extremely dangerous proposition.  Try to recognize the situation as soon as possible such as if two people are walking towards you and they suddenly fan out to your left and right.  Running and escaping is your best solution. More >>

Defending Against Multiple Assailants—Part 1

David Kahn, July 18, 2016

Street violence is volatile and unpredictable.  An attacker will seek every advantage including ambushing you in concert with multiple confederates.  You may well find yourself in a "negative five" position or initially unprepared for the fight of your life.  Krav maga (Hebrew for "contact combat") developed for the Israel Defense Forces will provide you with the instinctive tools and ability to fight for your life and win. More >>

Self-Defense: A Unique Teaching Challenge

Rory Miller, June 27, 2016

There are six very important distinctions that make self-defense different from almost every other subject we teach. Rarity. Emergencies are extremely rare, complex, and varied. Rarity means there is very limited experience available on how to deal with such an event. More >>

Use of Force and Law Enforcement

Sergeant First Class Mick McComb, Ret., May 9, 2016

My opinions on the use of force (UOF) are based on twenty-five years of service with the New Jersey State Police. For ten years I was assigned to the NJSP Training Bureau in roles including lead academy instructor; assistant unit head for the Firearms and Self-Defense Training Unit; use of force instructor; and lead defensive tactics instructor including training recruit, advanced, and in-service members. More >>

Optimizing Force Using Krav Maga

Optimizing Force Using Krav Maga

David Kahn, April 12, 2016

A combative strike will have optimum force if you accelerate your strike in combination with correct body mechanics. Principally, this involves a total body weight shift through the target. Physics teaches that acceleration times mass equals force. Your strike will generate more force if you accelerate your speed as you extend your arm and put all of your body weight (mass) behind your strike. This requires proper body positioning and technique. More >>

The Israel Krav Maga Advantage

The Krav Maga Advantage

David Kahn, March 29, 2016

The key is your mind-set: to neutralize an opponent quickly and decisively. In fighting sports, the following tactics are generally banned: eye gouges, throat strikes, head butting, biting, hair pulling, clawing, pinching or twisting of the flesh, striking the spine and the back of the head, striking with the tip of the elbow, small joint manipulation, kidney and liver strikes, clavicle strikes, kneeing or kicking the head of an opponent on the ground, and slamming an opponent to the ground on his head. These are exactly the combined core tactics krav maga emphasizes. More >>

Defending Some Common Upper-Body and Lower-Body Attacks, Throws

Some Krav Maga Guidelines

David Kahn, February 22, 2016

Footwork and body positioning combined with timing, whether standing or prone, allow you to simultaneously defend and attack, leading to seamless combative transitions essential to retzev or "continuous combat motion." More >>

Krav Maga's Training Philosophy

Krav Maga's Training Philosophy

David Kahn, January 25, 2016

Krav maga is designed around a few core tactics to counter a myriad of attacks. Defenders get tools for their toolboxes along with a general blueprint for how to use them. Imi's goal was survival in any defensible situation. While there are no set solutions for ending an armed confrontation, there are preferred methods using violence of action combined with retzev, or "continuous combat motion." More >>

Foam or Knuckles—Navigating the Illusion of Safety

Jason Thalken PhD, January 18, 2016

If you really want to understand how gloves contribute to the safety of our athletes, especially when it comes to their brains, take a closer look at the physics behind taking a punch with a bare fist or a glove. More >>

Hooks in Violent and Non Violent Encounters

Hooks in Violent and Non Violent Encounters

Rory Miller, January 12, 2016

Dealing with people who routinely used violence to get what they want, they often sought a "hook." A hook is an excuse to act out or a rationalization that will allow them to excuse their actions later. More >>

Physical Reaction to Information

Physical Reaction to Information

David Hopkins, December 14, 2015

Our right to physically defend ourselves is widely accepted in the contemporary world. Most countries have laws protecting the individual from prosecution when he or she is under direct threat and must defend against bodily harm or even death. What is less clear, though, is the degree to which we are allowed to protect ourselves in that narrow window when an aggressor has decided to attack but has not yet attacked. More >>

Nonphysical Reaction to Information

Nonphysical Reaction to Information

David Hopkins, November 2, 2015

We all have the ability to use our instincts. The problem is that we often bury that inherent skill under a lot of what we need to learn to get along in contemporary society. So sometimes we may get a warning message about a potential threat, but then we choose to ignore it, perhaps out of doubt in ourselves, and our feelings, or perhaps because we just don't want to believe we may be in danger. The first task, then, is to hone our instincts through improving our ability to experience anxiety and to proficiently process the information coming in from our environment. More >>

Motivation of the Warrior

Motivation of the Warrior

David Hopkins, October 12, 2015

The motivation of the individual or group plays an integral role in determining the final outcome when facing a combative or self-defense situation. Intention that is positively grounded increases focus, strength, speed, and endurance. Think of a mother lion defending her cubs. She experiences anxiety but is fearless in protecting them. People are the same. Through my years of experience, I am convinced that when we are motivated by what is good, we will eventually prevail over those who are not. We all choose to live by either service, which we might even call love, or power. More >>

Power Issues Relating to Women

Power Issues Relating to Women

David Hopkins, September 28, 2015

According to the World Health Organization, one in three women worldwide will be the victim of violence, including sexual violence. Over twenty-two million women in the United States have been sexually assaulted. The FBI estimates only 46 percent of these assaults are reported. These statistics tell us it is vital for every woman and girl to take courses in combatives, both armed and unarmed. This may seem drastic, but facts are facts, and the danger is real. More >>

Guns, Knives, and the Hollywood Death Sentence

Guns, Knives, and the Hollywood Death Sentence

Jason Thalken PhD, September 21, 2015

In order to become a successful screenwriter in Hollywood, you need to watch a lot of movies, so you can learn from the screenwriters who came before you, and so you can get a feel for what else is out there and popular today.  Unfortunately, this important part of a screenwriter's education is also how Hollywood ends up propagating and recycling incredibly stupid ideas over and over again to the point where the audience just accepts it without question. More >>

Psychology at Work: Developing the "Third Ear" and the Mob Boss

David Hopkins, August 31, 2015

In his book Listening with the Third Ear, the psychologist Theodor Reik applies the third ear principle to the process of practicing psychotherapy. He says the proficient psychotherapist must be attuned to the instincts, the third ear, in order to truly understand clients and be sensitive to their needs. In exercising this faculty, we hear what is being said, but another "listening" is taking place as all of the information is coming in through the senses, prompting unconscious responses in the form of associations and spontaneous thoughts and feelings on the part of the therapist. More >>

Boundary Setting—Society's Rules

Boundary Setting—Society's Rules

Rory Miller, August 3, 2015

One of the advantages of living in society with a set of rules and mores is that the boundaries are supposed to be set for you. In a homogenous society everyone has similar ideas of right and wrong, appropriate and inappropriate. The rules say who you can and can't touch and how, what you can and can't say and to whom. More >>

Rory Miller

Don’t Take It Personally

Rory Miller, June 15, 2015

What does that even mean? In Conflict Communications the meaning is very specific. It takes history to hate a person. There must be a history of wrongs or perceived wrongs in order to get a deep and personal emotional bond, positive or negative. More >>

Rory Miller

The Why and Wherefore of Conflict Communication

Rory Miller, June 9, 2015

How often have you found yourself in an argument with your wife, husband, or significant other and thought, "Here we go again"? Have you ever found the answer to a real problem and had it ignored while the person you are trying to help wastes time and energy picking at you, trying to create a personal problem from a good thing? More >>

The Players in Self-Defense

The Players in Self-Defense

Rory Miller, Lawrence A. Kane, February 2, 2015

No matter what levels of force you need, the players stay the same. It is critical to be able to read the players. The threat dictates the situation. You must understand the problem before you can choose a solution. A charm predator is one thing. A drunk wanting to show off for a girl is an entirely different problem. You must learn to read threats and threat dynamics. More >>

Avoiding Workplace Violence

Avoiding Workplace Violence

Lawrence A. Kane, January 26, 2015

According to the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, 18,000 people a week are victimized by some sort of workplace violence in the United States. In fact, although industrial accidents abound, homicide is actually the leading cause of death among female workers and the second leading cause of death for men. More >>

Rory Miller

The Practical Problem of Teaching Self-Defense

Rory Miller, January 19, 2015

Self-defense is unlike anything else humans train for. Unlike engineering or architecture, you can't have any idea of the problem you need to solve. An engineer knows if he will be building a bridge or a tunnel. A self-defense student will never know if they might someday face a rape attempt, a kidnapping, a drive-by shooting, or a simple assault. More >>

I.M.O.P. Principle—Intent, Means, Opportunity and Preclusion

I.M.O.P. Principle—Intent, Means, Opportunity and Preclusion

Rory Miller, Lawrence A. Kane, October 6, 2014

How do you know when it is legal to get physical with an adversary? Learn the I.M.O.P. (Intent, Means, Opportunity, and Preclusion) principle. All four of these criteria must be met before you have a good case for taking action. If one or more of these conditions are absent, you are on shaky legal ground. More >>

Never Hit A Girl…Unless She's Armed

Never Hit A Girl…Unless She's Armed

Lawrence A. Kane, Kris Wilder, September 29, 2014

Sun Tzu and Miyamoto Musashi made no distinctions regarding gender. To them all adversaries were defined as combatants. In today's world, distinctions of gender are made by friends, family, police, and the courts. The role of combatant is, oftentimes, secondary. While experienced bouncers, bodyguards, law enforcement officers, soldiers, jail guards, and martial artists know that women can be just as dangerous, or possibly even more so than men, (such as instinctively going for the eyes during an attack) the courts don't often see it that way. More >>

Michael Clarke

Modern Trends: Reality-based Martial Arts

Michael Clarke, September 15, 2014

The rise in recent years of so-called ‘reality’ based martial arts reminds me of other great scams committed against the general public, like bottled water, and who can forget the panic that gripped the world in the 1990s over the Y2K dilemma that was supposedly going to see aeroplanes fall from the sky and shut down every computer on the entire planet. More >>

Account for Adrenaline

Account for Adrenaline

Rory Miller, Lawrence A. Kane, September 1, 2014

When I took a defensive handgun course several years ago, I was taught to train for handling the survival-stress reaction commonly associated with actual combat. To simulate the reaction, we had to do as many pushups as we could as fast as we could for one minute. More >>

A Few Fighting Techniques Found in the Dukkha Series

Loren W. Christensen, June 17, 2014

Many kind reviewers for Dukkha: The Suffering, Dukkha: Reverb, and Dukkha: Unloaded have commented on the realistic violence, in particular the fight scenes. This is always nice to hear because I work hard to infuse the scenes with authenticity and truth. After spending 30 years around man's inhumanity to man, first as a Military Policeman in Vietnam and then as a street cop for 25 years in Portland, Oregon, I find many authors' and movie directors' depiction of violence to be sadly lacking or simply off base. More >>

Common Sources of Knowledge About Violence

Common Sources of Knowledge About Violence

Rory Miller, March 31, 2014

We are, all of us, both teachers and students. As teachers, we give our students information. As students, we learn from our teachers. The teachers give us knowledge. This knowledge came from somewhere, from one of four sources. More >>

The Victim Interview

The Victim Interview

Rory Miller, Lawrence A. Kane, February 17, 2014

I was parked alongside a major street in downtown Seattle. My hands were full of boxes and the mid-afternoon sun was glaring in my face, making it hard to see despite my polarized glasses, so it took a couple tries to get my key into the lock. I awkwardly dragged the door open, nearly dropping some of my packages, and began shoving my purchases in to the car. More >>

Teaching Joint Locks

Teaching Joint Locks

Rory Miller, February 3, 2014

About 2003, the training unit at my old agency got some pretty disturbing numbers. Assaults against staff and hospitalizations had increased dramatically. The programs taught at the academy and approved by our agency weren't cutting it. The Training Unit tasked a few of us to redesign the Defensive Tactics program from the ground up. More >>

Leverage in Fighting

Principles Common to Both Qin Na and Ground Fighting

Al Arsenault, Joeseph Faulise, September 30, 2013

A lever is the simplest of machines, which utilizes a rigid bar to rotate around a fixed pivot point called a fulcrum in order to exert force on an object (load). If the resistance or load exceeds the strength of the bar, the bar will break. Biomechanically speaking, the arm is a bar, and when the fulcrum is at or above the joint, breakage can easily occur. More >>

Kravist Weapon Defense Drills

Kravist Weapon Defense Drills

David Kahn, September 26, 2013

Working with a good partner to practice and perfect weapon defense techniques is instrumental to your development as a kravist. The force and speed of the mock attacks should be gradually built up over time as your defensive skill sets improve. More >>

Sport versus Combat

Sport versus Combat

Kris Wilder, Lawrence A. Kane, May 27, 2013

It was the first time I’d ever made it to the finals. Win and I’d take home the first place trophy; lose and it’d still be a pretty cool piece of hardware. I’d come in third a couple of times, but the little statues weren’t nearly as prestigious as the big ones. And I really, really wanted to earn one of the big ones. More >>

The Ground. The Dirty, Filthy, Dangerous Ground

The Ground. The Dirty, Filthy, Dangerous Ground

Kris Wilder, Lawrence A. Kane, April 29, 2013

The Raiders fan had biceps that could put Hulk Hogan to shame and a physique that was nothing short of awesome. He stood out in a bar full of average guys, not only because he was ripped, but also because he was the only person cheering for the other team, the only one doing it vociferously anyway. More >>

Karate A Fighting Art: Use Technology

Karate - A Fighting Art: Use Technology

Loren W. Christensen, February 18, 2013

I began training in the martial arts in the summer of 1965. Months earlier, I had broken my lower back in a weightlifting contest and the doctor told me to stop lifting weights and to try something less violent on the body. Therefore, I began karate training. More >>

Lethal Force: Firearms - Part 2

Lethal Force: Firearms - Part 2

Rory Miller, Lawrence A. Kane, February 1, 2013

Don’t over-romanticize guns. A handgun  is a nifty machine that throws a hunk of metal in a straight line. No more, no less. A .45 caliber bullet, unless it hits bone and sends fragments spinning, does just as much damage as driving a blunt 45/100 of an inch-diameter stick into the body. More >>

Lethal Force: Firearms - Part 1

Lethal Force: Firearms - Part 1

Rory Miller, Lawrence A. Kane, January 28, 2013

While handguns, shotguns, rifles, and carbines can all be used in self-defense, it can be very challenging to justify anything other than a handgun in court, save for in your home (or some places of business) where castle laws might apply. More >>

The Three Golden Rules

The Three Golden Rules

Rory Miller, December 24, 2012

1. You and your partners go home safely at the end of each and every shift. 2.The criminal goes to jail. 3. Liability free. The three golden rules, first written by Dep. Paul McRedmond of the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office, must be the basis of all officer training. More >>

Level 6-Lethal Force

Level 6-Lethal Force

Rory Miller, Lawrence A. Kane, November 19, 2012

Gary Fadden was a salesman for firearms manufacturer Heckler & Koch. On February 24, 1984, he and his fiancé were driving their Ford pickup along Route 50 in Virginia. This was before cell phones became ubiquitous and he had no communication device inside his vehicle. More >>

Interlude-On Killing

Interlude-On Killing

Rory Miller, Lawrence A. Kane, October 22, 2012

I don’t shoot targets. I shoot men. Honestly, I figure I owe them that much. I know that when I kill someone I am doing to their family-their mothers and sisters and brothers—what the assh*le who murdered my sister did to mine. My mother will never recover all her sanity from that. She won’t ever stop grieving. More >>

Introduction to Violence-Scale of Force Options

Introduction to Violence: Scale of Force Options

Rory Miller, Lawrence A. Kane, October 8, 2012

Even if you have never completed a woodworking project, you probably know that you could pound nails with a drill. You also know that it’s not a horribly effective method of doing it. And it is really tough on the drill. More >>

A Police Officer’s View of Scaling Force

A Police Officer’s View of Scaling Force

Rory Miller, September 3, 2012

Fights are dynamic and chaotic situations. A simple escort hold, walking a drunk off the premises can turn into a knife fight or a struggle for your weapon in an instant. Or you and several other officers could be fighting against a large, vicious threat who is acting completely inhuman and have him suddenly go limp. More >>

Hand Defenses Against Edged Weapons

Hand Defenses Against Edged Weapons

David Kahn, August 27, 2012

Prior to covering krav maga weapon defenses, we need to revisit a few of krav maga’s control holds, two of which are known as cavaliers. Cavaliers are designed to use your powerful hip muscle groups and bodyweight to torque an opponent’s wrist to take him down while establishing strong control over the weapon for removal. More >>

Krav Maga: Defenses Against Hot Weapons

Krav Maga: Defenses Against Hot Weapons

David Kahn, July 9, 2012

If someone pulls a gun on you and does not shoot, he or she wants something. It is possible that he or she may still shoot you, but not before achieving a desired ends. When possible, compliance with the gunman’s demands is the best solution. More >>

Fight, Flight or Freeze: Trained and Untrained Responses

Fight, Flight or Freeze: Trained and Untrained Responses

Michael Rosenbaum, July 2, 2012

School is out for the summer and it is a normal day, like any other. The sun is shinning, birds are singing in the trees and you’re working part time at the local grocery store, bagging groceries to pay tuition. More >>

 Krav Maga: Leg Defenses Against Edged-Weapon Attacks

Krav Maga: Leg Defenses Against Edged-Weapon Attacks

David Kahn, June 18, 2012

You will need any and every advantage to defend against a determined assailant using an edged weapon. An edged weapon does not jam or run out of ammunition and can seriously injure you with every thrust or slash. A significant number of the population worldwide carries folding edged weapons or some other type of cutting instrument. More >>

Interacting with Law Enforcement Personnel

Interacting with Law Enforcement Personnel

Lawrence A. Kane, May 21, 2012

The person in custody must, prior to interrogation, be clearly informed that he has the right to remain silent, and that anything he says will be used against him in court; he must be clearly informed that he has the right to consult with a attorney and to have that attorney present during interrogation, and that, if he is indigent, an attorney will be provided at no cost to represent him. More >>

An Introduction to Force Decisions

An Introduction to Force Decisions

Rory Miller, April 30, 2012

This book (Force Decisions) is a gift, a peace offering. It is an attempt to communicate across a vast gulf in culture and experience, the gulf that exists between the Law Enforcement community and those whom they protect. More >>

How to Evaluate a Force Decision

How to Evaluate a Force Decision

Rory Miller, April 16, 2012

Fighting is ugly. Killing is ugly. Getting involved in any force incident is dangerous and it hurts. Violence affects humans at a very deep emotional level, and when we see or hear of an act of violence most people are sickened or outraged. And our default assumption is that anything that sickens or angers us so much must be wrong. More >>

In-Group, Out-Group: Two Sides of a Hot Issue

In-Group, Out-Group: Two Sides of a Hot Issue

Loren W. Christensen, December 5, 2011

As both a military policeman during the Vietnam War and as a civilian police officer for 25 years, I was involved in dozens of demonstrations and all-out riots. More >>

Gangs: A Bigger Problem Than You Think

Gangs: A Bigger Problem Than You Think

Lawrence A. Kane, November 14, 2011

Partygoers got nervous as they noticed groups of young men “mugging” each other at the car show in Kent, Wash., a suburban town just south of Seattle. They weren’t stealing anything, that’s not what mugging means More >>

Counter Assault: Surviving Attacks

Rory Miller, September 12, 2011

Talking to a friend in a public place, her eyes suddenly focused over my shoulder and went wide. I turned fast, elbow up, spinning and drop-stepping towards the Threat. Didn’t feel the solid contact of a head, but felt an arm brush away and continued. More >>

Counter Assault: Attack from the Front

Counter Assault: Attack from the Front

Rory Miller, September 5, 2011

When a threat attacks you, he has a plan and his is counting on your surprise. He is expecting you to freeze in fear and leave him free to do whatever dastardly things he has planned. He expects your own adrenaline to ensure that he wins. An operant conditioned response will kick in before the adrenaline surge that might trigger freeze rather than fight or flight. More >>

Saving Yourself in a Crowd

Saving Yourself in a Crowd

Lawrence A. Kane, August 30, 2011

Mobs are dangerous. Highly emotional and impulsive, they often erupt violently. Crowds can turn into mobs if members become indifferent to laws, choose to disregard authority, or take advantage of the perceived anonymity that a large group can provide, and follow instigators into violent acts. More >>

Facing Violence: The Unconscious Stuff-Finding Your Glitches

Rory Miller, August 1, 2011

In my own experience, almost everyone hesitates before doing a dangerous or uncomfortable thing. Whether jumping out of an airplane or diving into cold water or singing karaoke in public, very few people can just go for it without hesitation the first time. More >>

A Plethora of Weapons for Self-Defense

Lawrence A. Kane, June 27, 2011

There are a plethora of deadly objects out there that you may encounter on the street. Knowing how they work can give you a leg up on protecting yourself from harm. Major categories include hand weapons, knives, swords, mass weapons, pole arms, multi-element weapons, projectiles, and unusual weapons. More >>

Fighting Ranges and Danger Zones

Lawrence A. Kane, June 20, 2011

Once a criminal selects a victim, he must move into a position from which an attack is possible. Always remember that to assault, rob, or rape you, he must be close enough to talk to you. He will attempt to maneuver into this position by stealth (which is defeated by being alert), or by ruse… Positioning prior to the assault is vital to him, as he relies almost totally on surprise for success. More >>

More About Violence Dynamics

More About Violence Dynamics

Rory Miller, May 23, 2011

Social violence can roughly be delineated as the Monkey Dance (MD), the Group Monkey Dance (GMD), the Educational Beat-Down (EBD) and the Status-Seeking Show (SSS).  The MD and GMD were discussed in part one of this article. We will continue starting with the Educational Beat-Down. More >>

Violence Dynamics

Violence Dynamics

Rory Miller, May 16, 2011

Bill and I were talking to the warden in an Iraqi prison, drinking chai. A gun fired. Other than ours and the warden’s bodyguards there shouldn’t have been loaded weapons in that section of the building. I put down my tea, stood and drew my sidearm. I started clearing the building. More >>

Self-defense: Down and Dirty

Self-defense: Down and Dirty

Rory Miller, May 9, 2011

Let's start with one, very simple thing—power generation. A traditional martial artist is taught how to hit hard. Different systems have different methods of power generation, but two of the most common involve a solid connection with the ground and good structure. More >>

Interview with Kris Wilder, Nicholas Yang, and Rory Miller about "Crossing the Pond Martial Expo 2010"

Kris Wilder, Nicholas C. Yang, Rory Miller, September 13, 2010

YMAA Publication Center supported the inaugural "Crossing the Pond Martial Expo" held Aug. 14-15 in Seattle, and Aug. 21-22 in Coventry, UK. This expo brought together six well-known and highly-skilled instructors of martial arts and self-defense. More >>

The Dojang—A Safe Haven During 9-11

Doug Cook, September 6, 2010

On September 11, 2001, I was employed in New York City at a job that I would soon vacate in favor of teaching martial arts professionally. On that tragic but stunningly brilliant morning, I stood on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Nineteenth Street watching the destruction of the World Trade Center unfold before my very eyes. More >>

Bomb in Times Square (Credits: Reuters)

Thwarting Terrorist Bombing Through Awareness—Part 2

Lawrence A. Kane, June 28, 2010

Awareness of timing has to do with the time of day during which terrorist attacks are most likely to occur. Terrorists are very conscious of media attention, timing attacks carefully to achieve the highest possible level of public impact. More >>

Thwarting Terrorist Bombing Through Awareness—Part 1

Lawrence A. Kane, June 21, 2010

This article was written right after the bombing on the London transit system in 2005 and was published in Neth Publications. It is just as timely today with the recent bomb threat in New York City in April 2010. Although some of the statistics are five years old, the core of the article tells you that awareness is the key to survival... More >>

Wicked Words that May Kill You

Lawrence A. Kane, March 15, 2010

While sticks and stones can break your bones, your words may actually kill you. They can also save your life. Having to be right despite the cost, reacting indignantly in the face of a threat, or insulting an adversary often guarantees that a conflict will escalate to violence. More >>

It’s Hard to Fight When You Can’t See

Lawrence A. Kane, February 1, 2010

I purchased the wrong type of coffee yesterday, a ground drip blend rather than the whole bean variety that I normally buy. When I popped the top of the vacuum-sealed can, a blast of grit exploded into my face and left eye. More >>

Miller outside Rusafa 1 Prison Complex in Baghdad

The Seven Aspects of Self-defense

Rory Miller, January 13, 2010

The following article is an excerpt from an upcoming book by Rory Miller, tentatively titled 7. It will explore the seven aspects that are critical to self defense, giving you a few hints on staying alive, or if you teach self-defense, some critical information you can pass along to your students. More >>

Listen to the Subtle (and Not-so-Subtle) Warnings

Lawrence A. Kane, Kris Wilder, January 6, 2010

We’ve spent much time writing about awareness on the street. It’s important in relationships too. Don’t turn your brain off when you walk into your home. More >>

Violence: What Everyone Needs to Know About Fighting

Lawrence A. Kane, Kris Wilder, August 2, 2009

According to the Bureau of Justice Statistics, men commit about 80 percent of all violent crimes in the United States, serious stuff like homicides, rapes, robberies, and assaults. Men are twice as likely as women to become victims of those same violent crimes, except for rape. More >>

Never Surrender

Lawrence A. Kane, June 16, 2009

The goal of self defense is not to win a fight, but rather to avoid combat in the first place. After all the only battle you are guaranteed to walk away from unscathed is the one you never engage in. Taking a beat-down can seriously mess up your life, yet winners have consequences too. More >>

Spotting an Adversary’s Tell

Lawrence A. Kane, April 27, 2009

In more than twenty years of working stadium security I have witnessed, interceded in, stopped, or prevented well over 300 fights. Yet in all that time I have only been sucker-punched once. I didn’t like it much, but obviously I’ve managed to avoid repeating that mistake by taking it upon myself to pay close attention and learn from the behavior that precedes violence. More >>

A mob attacks a man. Photo: Andrew Meares

Mob Violence Is An Eruption With No Warning

Kris Wilder, February 17, 2009

Gang violence gets a fair amount of copy in the media. But another form of violence is mob violence.  Mob violence rises up, explodes, and then recedes. More >>

Occasionally Hollywood Can Actually Teach You Something

Lawrence A. Kane, January 5, 2009

Recently I watched "Felon", a movie that makes some realistic and valuable points about self-defense. In most jurisdictions a person can only resort to deadly force to escape imminent and unavoidable danger of death or grave bodily harm. More >>

Violence is what it is

Meditations on Violence

Rory Miller, May 22, 2008

People are weird. They have an almost infinite ability to learn and communicate. At the same time, this amazing ability is used as much for fantasy and entertainment as it is for information and survival. Take, for example, the rhinoceros and the unicorn. More >>

Videos and Podcasts...

Episode 1

Episode 1.
Chinese Martial Arts Definitions

Episode 2

Episode 2.
Retreat Center Interview PART 1

Episode 3

Episode 3.
Retreat Center Interview PART 2

Episode 4

Episode 4.
Northern and Southern Chinese Styles

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