Facing Violence with Rory Miller – DVD Review

Facing Violence: 7 Things Every Martial Artist Must Know with Rory Miller is not a program full of techniques.  Nor will it enable you to take out 27 ninjas that jump you in a back alley.  (First, ask yourself what the heck are you doing in an alley with 27 ninjas out to do you harm?)  The DVD won't necessarily make you a better fighter, and it certainly isn't a “Self-defense curriculum” or the “Ultimate Self-defense program."  So why watch this DVD?  What will you get from it?

First, you'll get a lot if you pay attention, think about what Miller discusses, and implement his ideas into your overall self-defense strategies and training.  Second, watch this DVD because Miller knows what he's talking about and addresses a lot of things that aren't mentioned in most self-defense and martial art training DVDs.

This DVD is a companion to Miller's book of the same title.  Both the DVD and the book Facing Violence cover seven important things any martial artist or person wanting to know about self-defense must consider when dealing with real fights, real attacks and real violence.  These seven areas are: 1) Legal and ethical implications  2) Violence dynamics  3) Avoidance 4) Counter-ambush  5) Breaking the freeze  6) The fight itself  7) The aftermath.

Much of the DVD is lecture format. Some of the material is better in written form, such as the legal considerations, so Miller doesn't go into as much depth here.  Miller has a group that he teaches to, and they interact with Miller, and thus is makes this DVD more like being in a live seminar with Miller. In fact, Miller does teach these seminars.  At times, it takes on the appearance of a live program and not the rehearsed “DVD programs” that many of us are used to.

I hope that some won't become bored with some of the lecture format and talking.  Again, as I mentioned, there is much more talking and lecture than action and techniques. But this stuff is important!  You need to listen to this.  You need to pay attention.  And you need to let these lessons sink in to help you be better prepared to face actual violence.

Miller is not the most polished or dynamic speaker.  You'll hear some ums and ahs, and you'll hear some profanity.  He's not real animated and his voice is rather quiet. However, what he does have is a lot of hard-won knowledge that he shares honestly.  He sincerely delivers the information in this program to help people avoid if possible, and survive if necessary, when dealing with the real-word violence found in today's streets.

No, this isn't the normal self-defense DVD, it's something different.  It's a program I strongly recommend people watch and learn from to help with their martial art and self-defense training.  If you are a self-defense instructor, you must be including these seven areas in your teaching.  If you aren't, you are doing a disservice to your students.  This DVD, together with the book of the same name, you'll be much better prepared to face real violence, and you'll be a much better self-defense instructor.

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