I recently finished reading, “Fighters Fact Book 2” by Loren Christensen and found it to be a very enlightening reference manual on a wide array of topics dealing with the act of self-defense. This book is a compilation of the views of not only the author, but numerous other contributing authors whom are as follows:
Lt. Col. Dave Grossman
Rory A. Miller
This book covers a broad range of topics from the justified use of force to defend yourself, to various methods of training to improve your self-defense skills. There are also several sections devoted to various techniques such as; punching, kicking, elbowing, clawing, etc. , as well as, grappling and weapons.
One section that I found particularly intriguing was the section on how to deal with dog attacks. This was quite a pleasant surprise to find in this book as I don’t recall very seeing a book or even section devoted to the topic, with the notable exception of an old military manual that I read years ago. Loren covers a lot of very good points in this section and is actually deserving of an entire volume on its own.
I also really enjoyed Loren’s section on “Justification. ” However, I must admit that I did have one small difference of opinion concerning his statement that, “A private citizen has a legal duty to retreat. ” Now I know that this is the case in some states, but not in all of them. Well over a dozen states have laws on the books that state basically to the effect that, “If you have a legal right to be there, you are under no obligation to retreat. ” In other words, if you are at the movie theatre with your girlfriend and you are accosted by an attacker, you are not legally required to leave the area, nor retreat from the possible attacker. Now not all states feel the same way, so it would behoove you to research the laws in the areas in which you live and play.
Lawrence Kane’s sections on using the makiwara to develop punching power and the use of “shock blocks” was particularly interesting and noteworthy among sections which are all worthy of great praise for the quality of information provided within.
Since my own particular area of expertise is kicking, I really dissected the kicking section by Alain Burrese, which I found to be very practical and unbiased since his primary style of study is Hapkido. Alain covers a lot of information on various subjects needed in order to optimize your kicking skills for use in a real self-defense situation. I found all of the information in Alain’s section relevant and noteworthy. However, as Alain points out on several occasions, one must seek out the advise and technical knowledge of a qualified instructor in order to learn not only how to execute your kicks, but also how to apply them.
Another noteworthy section is Richard Dimitri’s philosophical look at hand-to-hand combat. Although I have read similar bodies of text before concerning this subject, Dimitri explains it in a very easy to understand and straightforward manner which should get the reader to really sit down and take note of the possible ramifications of his or her decision to use force. Although I don’t personally agree with his statement of, “Avoid killing at all costs, ” I do understand somewhat where his mindset is on this subject and the ideal that he is trying to get across to the reader. In a perfect world, everyone involved in the violence business would be, out of business. Unfortunately, that isn’t the case and it doesn’t look to promising that it is going to change anytime soon.
Loren’s section on the various uses for working out with the heavy bag was a nice little gem all to itself. Although there were no real defined training routines in this section, there was a lot of good information on how to train with the bag and by utilizing the information Loren provides in this section, you should be able to set up several different training routines on your own to fit your own particular style, experience and training methods.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who seriously wants to improve their own personal ability to fight and fight to the best of their abilities when confronted with the need to do so. Although ideally fighting should be a last resort, realistically it often is the first and only option you have other than becoming a victim. As the old saying goes, “Train for the worst and hope for the best. ”
Shawn Kovacich has been practicing the martial arts for over 25 years and currently holds the rank of 4th degree (Yodan) black belt in both Karate and Tae Kwon Do. Shawn has also competed in such prestigious full-contact bare knuckle karate competitions as the Shidokan Open and the Sabaki Challenge, among others. In addition to his many accomplishments, Shawn is also a two time world record holder for endurance high kicking as certified by the Guinness Book of World Records.
Shawn is the author of Axe Kick the third volume in the highly acclaimed Achieving Kicking Excellence™ series. of martial arts books, and is currently working on several additional marital arts and self-defense books. Which are due to be released in late 2007 or early 2008.