I occasionally receive email regarding good sources of self defense information. There’s books and DVDs out there but I never felt they were good enough or complete enough to recommend them.
This weekend while looking around a local bookstore I came across a pretty good book by Mike Young, called “Martial Arts Techniques for Law Enforcement”. After checking it out I paid the 40 USD (books are expensive here) and brought it home. The book isn’t flashy, the photographs are black and white, but what I was interested in, the information provided, that was pretty good.
You often come across books promising this or that secret ninja technique, extremely deadly of course. The martial arts books that are good, they don’t cover everything you’d like. Mike Young’s book has no such marketing scams, it delivers what the title says. It covers some of the most common and most effective hand to hand techniques, knife and gun defense. There’s also grappling and some other immobilization techniques, Mike Young often tells you that this or that move worked very well for him on the streets or when trying it with his students, others not so much, so its valuable to have these anecdotes and stories along with the explanations. The manual delivers what it promises and the photographs are enough to explain what needs to be explained. I’ve never came across a book that summarizes so well and includes all the basic techniques from boxing, Thai box, jujitsu and other marital arts applying them to self defense on the streets. The gun and knife disarm are also good, so you get a lot of valuable self defense info, all the basics, in one good manual.
I’ve read half of it already and skipped through the rest, every move and technique explained works and has been proven. Mr. Young isn’t trying to reinvent the wheel and that’s a good thing, he’s simply summarizing a lot of martial arts experience into a self defense manual for law enforcement officers, just like the book title explains.
The only technique I found that I’m not crazy about is hammerfist strikes. In my opinion and what I’ve seen in fights, you risk breaking the metacarpal. I’ve seen people break their hand this way in two occasions. I would not recommend this type of strike. If you can’t hit with your knuckles then go for a heel of the hand strike, avoid the hammerfist. Other than that, the book is the best one I’ve came across, and I have lots of them. There are of course certain things a civilian wouldn’t have to do, situations you’d be best walking away from and not getting involved but the basic concept of armed and unarmed self defense applies both for police and ordinary citizens. Want a realistic self defense book? Get this one and follow his recommendations.