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.