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A Busy Week and an Online School for Tai Chi, Hsing-I and Bagua

Martial Arts Book Worth Reading

Our good buddy Evan Yeung suggested this book, and from what I've read about it, it's a winner. Today I ordered "Meditations on Violence" by Rory Miller. It's a real-life look at violence, and how the martial arts that we often study and practice don't really cut it in a real-life situation. Rory Miller knows violence first-hand.

A few years ago I had a dream that woke me up in a cold sweat. I was walking down the street. A car screeched to a stop next to the curb and four big guys got out and ran at me -- hard -- with the obvious purpose of violence. Just as the first one was reaching me, I woke up and realized that in a situation like that, most of the things we practiced in any of the schools I'd studied in were worthless. I considered it a wake-up call, that my inner consciousness was reminding me of something very important.

Now, I'm also one of those people who isn't about to throw away the "art" in my martial art and replace it with the type of brawling you see in mixed martial arts on TV. But it never hurts to be reminded of the fact that reality is far different than class. In fact, it might hurt NOT to be reminded.


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Chris Miller

Bruce Lee said it right. I don't fear the man who has practiced 10000 techniques once. I fear the man who has practiced one technique 10000 times.

Having recently in the last summer been confronted by several aggressive thugs, I would like to agree with Jamie.

Big thugs or not, and two of the guys were bigger than me. I had zero doubt in my mind that I could destroy them. Not just defend myself but utilize what I've learned with deadly effectiveness. I demonstrated to them that had no chance of hurting me and that I could not be intimidated, and the fight ended without me having to hurt anyone. Since that altercation, there has been zero crime in my neighborhood.

It comes down to how you train yourself. Regardless of what your teacher may show you, and how ineffective it may seem, there are going to be techniques that work for you as an individual. That is why they have been passed down. Not all techniques work for everyone, and to disregard what generations of masters have passed down can be a great disservice to whatever art we may practice.

The importance of this however, is find the techniques that work for you. And master them. It doesn't matter if you can't throw a straight punch to save your life, if you have a backfist that can break concrete and is as fast as lightning. You still need to practice your straight punch, because someday you may be called upon to show someone else how it's done.

There are some techniques I think just suck. However, I won't give them up, because there is a value in practicing these to pass on. Everyone is different and will excel in different areas.

The top 10% of masters realize that, and they promote those strengths in their students, and mitigate their weaknesses.

Just my two cents.


Pretty cool, Chris. I found myself in a similar situation at a rock concert a few years ago. Three very rowdy and obnoxious guys -- one of them quite drunk -- told me "the three of us could take you on." I looked at my wife and she laughed. I could envision driving a peng chuan through the first guy's skull to put the fear of God into the others. But instead, I diffused the situation and they calmed down. I realized it wasn't worth a lawsuit or losing my job. The feeling of knowing some powerful arts and the confidence that I could use them was pretty intense. I was also proud of myself for showing some self-control.

Douglas Nakamoto

I'm a member of an e-mail forum* that Sgt. Miller belongs to as well. Over the years, I've read his postings with interest and respect. He writes with knowledge and understanding (his blog: and seems to have a solid background to support his statements.

* The e-mail forum that I mention is related to this website - which I highly recommend:


Douglas Nakamoto

Evan Yeung

I thought that Sgt. Miller's book was remarkable in many different ways. It would be on my short list of books that every serious martial artist needs to read...

I thought one of the most important sections of the book dealt with people's physiological responses to a true life-threatening situation, and how those physiologic changes impact your ability to respond to a threat. Almost as important was a section on the different types of aggressors, their motivating factors, and general strategies on dealing with them to resolve the conflict. These are topics that are rarely discussed in any self-defense class, but they are important, if one is to recognize what you are fighting, and what may happen to you when you're in the middle of it.

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