“Scaling Force: dynamic decision-making under threat of violence” with Rory Miller and Lawrence Kane is an excellent DVD to include in a self-defense library as it covers an area that is often neglected when people focus solely on physical techniques. This program explains and demonstrates options to violence and complements the authors' book of the same title. If you are concerned with safety and self-defense, you need to watch this program.
The video starts out with Miller explaining a situation in a bar setting, and then going right into the introduction of the program.
In the Introduction, Miller discusses his three golden rules which the most important is going home at the end of the day. He also mentions that Kane couldn't make it to the filming and that his segments would be cut in later. It is noticeable that Kane's segments were filmed separately, but his contributions do add substance to the program, even though not as professionally filmed. He shares stories and concepts that allow you to learn from his experiences to apply to your own.
The next thing discussed is Risk Assessment. In this section, Miller discusses threat assessment and how to trust instincts. He shares some things to look for that can telegraph violence. A key here is that the higher the danger, the more force needed. This section then goes into a section about Adrenaline, and gross motor movements.
The DVD then discusses the six levels which are: Level 1. Presence; Level 2. Voice; Level 3. Touch; Level 4. Empty-hand Restraint; Level 5. Less-lethal Force; and Level 6. Lethal Force.
After the six levels, some practical advice on fighting out of a crowd is presented, and then the concept of articulation and being able to tell what happened and why you did what you did to the police are discussed. I like that it is pointed out that you should practice these too.
Miller points out near the beginning that he and those helping are not professional actors, and he is not a super polished speaker on DVD. However, there is a lot of great information presented in this program, and one should not dismiss it because it isn't presented in a “sexy” manner and because the program isn't full of fancy martial art techniques. (The program isn't about techniques at all.) Spliced in among Miller's teaching in the bar setting are Kane's segments.
This isn't an exciting video, but it is an important one. When faced with violence, it is important to know the scale of force, and to enter the scale at the right level and then be able to articulate why what you did was appropriate. If you are studying self-defense skills, you need to include the information presented in this DVD with your physical training. Not knowing this information could leave you hanging in the wind when law enforcement, attorneys, judges, and jury members are determining your fate later. I personally know of a case here in Montana where the individual now serving time would have benefited from knowing and heeding the material Miller and Kane present here.
Bottom line: Add this DVD to your self-defense library, study it, and know how to make better decisions under the threat of violence.
Scaling Force DVD available from amazon: