Wednesday, 14 October 2009

A book review: Street Smart - a practical guide to dealing with street violence.

I have finally got around to reading Neil Martin's (Urban Samurai) new e-book called Street Smart - a practical guide to dealing with street violence. I would recommend anyone who would like to equip themselves with a complete strategy for dealing with a potential or actual street attack to read this guide.

The things I particularly liked about this book were:

  • It was straight forward and simple to read, it didn't try to do too much or use complicated terminology. At 34 pages long it took me about 35 minutes to read the entire book.
  • It wasn't about fighting. Okay, there was a section that described some principles of good self defense but the majority of the book dealt with preventative issues such as avoidance; coping with fear; the law on self defense - including the difference between fighting and self defense, I thought that was an important distinction; not looking or behaving like a victim; how to avoid escalating situations.
  • I liked the introduction of the concept of the 3 A's : Attitude, Awareness and Action as graded responses to the situation you find yourself in.
  • There is emphasis on staying calm, not escalating a situation, putting away ego and looking for a means of escape as the primary strategies.
  • In the section on Confrontation it deals with principles of action rather than detailed techniques, which cannot be learned satisfactorily from a book. The concept of the 'Fence' is discussed as a way of subtly controlling the situation. Attention to things like balance, distance and timing are discussed rather than details of how to punch, kick or throw for example.
  • It also covers anticipating weapon use, how to utilise your surroundings and use improvised weapons to defend yourself.
  • It is the only book I've read that tells you what to expect in the aftermath of a confrontation - it discusses the syndrome of adrenal-induced Tachypsychia and how this may affect you for some time after the fight.
  • Importantly this book cautions against over-dependence on relying on traditional martial arts techniques whilst acknowledging the benefits that this type of training can still bring - a position I whole heartedly support.

This book will not turn you into a master of street defense overnight - it doesn't try to. The need for physical training is emphasised over and over again. However it will provided you with an overall strategy, raise your awareness of how to prevent or deal with an attack and teaches you some basic principles that you need to know to defend yourself effectively.

I could find no real negative aspects or glaring omissions for a basic guide to self-defense and would thoroughly recommend adding it to your e-library.

To download the book go to Urban Samurai's website and click on the book icon.

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Matt "Ikigai" said...

Agreed - this ebook is definitely worth a read! Nice review Sue - it's always a pleasure stopping by your blog.


Sue C said...

Thanks Matt - always a pleasure to visit yours too.

Neal Martin said...

Hey Sue. Thanks for the endorsement and great review of the book. I really appreciate your support and everyone else's. Thanks and glad you enjoyed the book.

Sue C said...

You're welcome


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