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Articles: Society and Self-Defense

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 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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