Rory Miller`s “Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of martial Arts Training & Real World Violence.”
I reread books that resonate with me. I just reread Rory Miller`s first book “Meditations on Violence.”
I had become familiar with Rory Miller through George Mattson’s Website’s forums and bought his first book as soon as it was out. I have continued to buy his material as soon as he puts it out.
I have trained some form of martial art for most of my life which I realized in one of Rory’s seminars was a very long time when he was asking us to hold up our hands for how long we had trained.
I had the usual scuffles growing up, but I have not had multiple force encounters. I’ve stepped between some one with a knife and the person they wanted to hurt and talked them down but that is my extent of real experience against a knife. I’ve never had a gun pulled on me. I’ve had many non-physical conflicts due to my previous profession which involved dealing with people who were exceptionally angry; however, despite the possibility of violence the actual chance of it going physical was pretty slim.
I have for many years studied video of violence and heeded the words of two mentors Van Canna and Jim Maloney to make my training as real as I could.
But all of that weighs little compared to actual experience.
Rory has experience with violence (he will say with a slice of violence).
Rory also has an analytical mind that I admire because I try to apply the same dissection to body mechanics and application that he has to violence.
So, when Rory Miller a classically trained martial artist with real world experience dealing with violence, decided to write a book of how martial arts training meets and connects and differs from the real world – I was in!
Rory’s writing style is a comfortable read. His words and stories roll off the page and can be taken in without effort but not without thought and deep contemplation.
It is a book I think all martial artists should begin with.
It is definitely a book all martial artists with limited real experience should read.
The information is gold.
The approach is truthful but respectful.
It is also a primer for his next books which begin to take this large subject of violence and preparing for violence and dealing with violence and dealing with the outcome of violence – and break them out into ever finer slices and deeper coverage.
It prepares us for those discussions and that learning.
It will (or perhaps I say should) change how you train. I know it changed how I train.
It will improve your training and your teaching.
Without the real world check the fantasy of the unicorn can infiltrate the dojo, and the student (and instructor) can be devastated to find that in real life the unicorn they have to deal with is a rhino.
I will reread this book again after I run through Rory’s next books. This time I broke a long habit of not highlighting and making notes in books I knew I would be keeping but I’ve found highlighting and making notes improve my learning so I did it. The only issues is singling out the most golden chunks to highlight because if I highlighted everything I found valuable I would end up with a book of bright yellow pages.
This note is for the instructors, if you really want to give your students the best training go beyond reading Rory’s books – Rory does seminars and is an excellent presenter.