Facing Violence video by Rory Miller

Rory Miller just released a new video called “Facing Violence” and it’s pretty damn good. It doesn’t go into the typical martial arts content you usually see in instructional videos though. What it does is explain and demonstrate crucial concepts you need to know and train for to survive real violence. Like Rory says in the beginning: it has nothing to do with martial arts, it’s an introduction to violence. He shows you how violence really happens and how criminals and thugs actually attack.

If you want to improve your self-defense skills, pick up this video. I’m pretty confident you won’t regret it. Here’s a preview:

Book review: Meditations on Violence by Rory Miller

Here’s the book review of Meditations on Violence” by Rory Miller I promised a while ago. I met Rory a while ago and he’s become a friend of mine, just so you know where I’m coming from. That said, we don’t agree on everything (that would be boring…) so I feel comfortable enough writing an honest and objective review of his bestselling book.

Here goes:

Book review - Meditations on Violence by Rory Miller

Rory and me doing so light sparring, having a great time. Barry Eisler and Kris Wilder in the background.


Book review: Meditations on Violence by Rory Miller

Meditations on Violence starts with a foreword by Steve Barnes, followed by a short introduction and preface.

Chapter one covers “The Matrix” but Keanu Reeves doesn’t show up anywhere so don’t worry. Instead,Rory explains a tactical and strategic framework that helps you determine what your martial arts is best suited for.

The next chapter covers “how to think” and gives you some interesting concepts on how to approach learning and training for self defense or martial arts. Rory talks about how you can fool yourself easily, even if you’ve trained for a long time. He also takes a critical look at the different sources knowledge can come from and how to think in the moment when you’re smack in the middle of a fight.

Then we move on to the different types of violence where he describes the common characteristics of real-world violence and the human body’s reaction to it. Another topic is how violence is time-related and happens in specific places. [Read more…]

Interview with Rory Miller, part 2

Here’s the second part of the interview with Rory Miller. Enjoy!

Q: You worked as a corrections officer for a long time. Why did you decide to take on that job?

A: Uh, just married and a baby on the way and I desperately needed a real job. It turned out to be one of the best jobs ever. There is nothing else that takes everything you have- every shred of knowledge, every iota of communication skill and psychology and sometimes fighting and lays it on the line like Corrections.

Here’s the basic job for a rookie: you are unarmed, just a set of keys and a radio. No armor, no partner. You will be locked in a room of 32 very bad guys (murderers, some multiple, rapists, serious multiple assaults) or 75 bad guys (assaults and rapes, some murders, drug dealers with gang ties….) or 190 not-so-bad-guys (drunk drivers, minor assaults, drug dealers and burglars). [Read more…]

Interview with Rory Miller, part 1

Rory Miller is a former corrections officer and author of the acclaimed book “Meditations on Violence”. In it he explains his views on violence and training to prepare for it in detail. It’s a great read, packed with solid information and on my review list. I finished preparing the interview with Rory yesterday and here’s part 1. I’ll put part 2 on line later this week. Enjoy!

Q: Can you give a little background on your martial arts and self-defence training?

A: Sure. I started in judo in 1981 and loved it. Judo was my baseline for a long time but I dabbled in everything I could- karate, TKD, eclectic stuff, collegiate fencing, medieval European weapons. About 1987 I had just moved to Portland and was looking for a judo dojo and stumbled into Dave Sumner’s Sosuishitsu-ryu jiujitsu dojo. I was hooked. He was an amazing teacher and the ryu was simply the most brutal system I had ever seen. I stuck with Dave until he retired. [Read more…]