• Jackie Bradbury

The Self Defense Library



Martial arts training is much more than just kicking and punching and waving various objects in the air or trying to hit stuff with them.


What we do is just as mental as it is physical. In fact, it may be more mental than physical.


This is especially true when it comes to self defense. Self defense is not just about techniques and strategies to keep us safe. It's also about ethics and the law.


Today, I want to share with you some books and reference material I have found very valuable in the complete picture of self defense. These are books I've read myself and found useful.


Periodically, I will update and refresh this post, so if you have some books you think I need to check out and include in this list, let me know.


The Law of Self Defense - Andrew Branca


Up front, this book is basically gun-oriented in terms of self defense. But what I really love about this book is that it's really, really good in orienting you into what is, and is not, self defense from a legal point of view (in the United States).


Andrew also has state-specific courses and other good material on his site, The Law of Self Defense. It's good to know what applies in YOUR specific area, because the rules from, say, New York can be very different than they are in, say, Missouri.


In the Name of Self Defense - Marc MacYoung

What You Don't Know Can Kill You - Marc MacYoung and Jenna Meeks


Marc MacYoung is a fantastic resource for self defense (and other topics). His writing style is easy to understand and accessible for most of us. For self defense you have to read these two for sure, but check out all of his works.


The Little Black Book of Violence - Lawrence Kane, Kris Wilder


A very nice book that fills in the gaps of the assumptions we all make about common dangerous situations.


Meditations on Violence - Rory Miller

Facing Violence - Rory Miller


Both of these books opened my eyes not to the legality, but to the ethics and the personal choices I'd have to make in a self defense situation. Whether or not you agree with his conclusions, these books make you THINK HARD before you get into a bad situation. Rory Miller has a lot of books that help you though this process and will always challenge your thinking on the topic. Highly recommended.


Verbal Judo - George Thompson


How about not fighting, huh? How to use your words and empathy to keep yourself out of bad situations. After all, the best battle won is the one you don't have to fight!


The Gift of Fear - Gavin de Becker


Fantastic book about learning to trust your instincts to avoid trouble in the first place. Very much a must-read.


Enjoy these great reads, and I hope you find them as useful as I have!

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