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Surviving Armed Assaults
Lawrence A. Kane
The value of this book is not necessarily in the physical techniques. Which we will tell you right now are largely traditional martial arts based. Will they work? Well it depends on what has been lost from what you were taught. But that isn't the value of this book.
What makes this book an absolute must-read for martial artists is because it clears up many misconceptions about weapons and how they are used outside the dojo.
It especially debunks the dangerous fantasies that have crept into dojo training about FACING an armed opponent bare handed. Can it be done? It depends. What it mostly depends on is whether or not you try to 'fight' an armed opponent like you do an unarmed one.
This book is a good introduction to the difference between what martial arts trains you to do in the face of a weapon and how weapons are used by criminals and the violent.
While martial arts shows you a way to use a weapon -- that does not mean you are prepared to handle ALL the ways weapons are used.But before you can research these crucial differences, you need to know that they exist and what they look like.
Softcover Item# Bsurvivingarmed
Book -- $22.00 Retail: $24.95
Comments on Surviving Armed Assaults include:
I will admit that I started reading this book a bit biased toward it
being good. I have read other books by Kane that I enjoyed, I've contributed
a chapter, as did Kane, to Loren Christensen's "Fighter's Fact Book 2" and
Christensen wrote a Foreword for the book, and to top if off, best selling
author Barry Eisler mentioned me in his praise for the book on the inside
cover. So yes, I expected it to be a good book and one that I would like.
However, what I did not expect is how good it really is and how much excellent material Kane offers in this one volume. Because of the things mentioned in the first paragraph, one could easily say I am biased, and maybe I am a bit. With that said, I am writing a review and endorsing this book wholeheartedly because it is an exceptional addition to anyone's self-defense library and a book that has potential to save lives if people read it and listen to Kane's advice.
The first chapter is on awareness, a topic I also write and speak about, so I was especially interested in what Kane had to say. So what does he do? He starts the chapter off with a quote from Ani DiFranco, "Any tool is a weapon if you hold it right." This grabbed my attention because I once headed the local security for a concert of hers and had a very good talk about penjak silat with her bodyguard as we waited for her to change so we could walk her to the bus. It means nothing to anyone else, but hooked me. I continued and was fully engrossed with the statistics and examples Kane provided relating to violence. Reading those made me glad that there are those of us out here doing what we can to prevent violence and teach people to avoid or deal with it if necessary. Something Kane's "Surviving Armed Assaults" does very well. Kane did an excellent job with his chapter on awareness, and even though he teaches a modified color code a bit differently than I teach, I believe this chapter should be read by everyone in order to wake up and be more aware so they could avoid many potentially dangerous situations.
Speaking of avoidance, that was the focus of chapter two. Kane not only makes a great argument of why you should avoid violence, but provides strategies to do so. He follows this with a chapter on scenarios that extends the awareness and avoidance topics to situations such as car jackings, cash machine safety, hostage situations, sexual assault, rape, workplace violence and more. Before dealing with physical responses, Kane focuses on de-escalation strategies in chapter four. This is an often overlooked aspect of self-defense books and a welcome and needed addition here. Many self-defense books focus on striking and kicking and forget that if you can talk your way out of a situation you will be much better off than having fought your way out. Kane gives some excellent advice with his de-escalation strategies and I again wish everyone would learn these. One of the reasons a person is much better off by de-escalating a situation is because of the potential legal ramifications that may follow a physical altercation. As an attorney, I am very familiar with such things, and feel that Kane did a good job with his chapter on countervailing force that included legal considerations.
The remaining chapters focus on armed conflict, rules to live by, the aftermath of violence, and weapon features and functions. Some of the information in these chapters is biased toward Kane's karate training. Practitioners from other styles may not benefit from these chapters as much as the first ones, but I would encourage everyone to take even the karate parts and look how the principles behind what Kane teaches applies to their own art or self-defense system. (Kane's nine rules could apply to any art or system)
This is an excellent book filled with practical and realistic information related to weapons and violence. There is researched data and personal anecdotes that support Kane's perspectives on violence and his illustrations of real violence and what to do about it, or most importantly, how to be aware of it and avoid it altogether. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to martial artists and anyone interested in self-defense. -- Alain Burrese
If the title "Surviving Armed Assaults" catches your eye because your current situation causes you some concern that you might have to someday; I think buying Lawrence Kane's latest book would be money exceptionally well spent. Why? Within its 329 pages, you will find clearly written, easily understood, and also remembered, hard earned wisdom backed up by numerous real life depictions, and even some mistakes by experts. You could spend thousand of dollars and countless hours in class work and individual practice and yet not gain some of the insights that Kane provides. An example, from pages 133-135 on Verbal Judo, rings true to me as we use VJ extensively in my work with forensic psychiatry. Emphasis on situational awareness and avoidance is also well represented. As as I have written elsewhere in Loren Christensen's book "Warriors"... 'The Cost of It'... of taking a human life, even with justification, may carry with it a very high emotional price. Lawrence Kane provides more than enough well documented examples to help you avoid such a 'cost' for most of us out there "on the pointy end" of life. Read it, then periodically read it again, practice, maintain situational awareness and as necessary follow through via his excellent and comprehensive bibliography / web site data for further information as your personal situation dictates. And don't get hung up on the Japanese translatons or exotic weapons that are also covered primarily for the martial artist readers. You never know when you may meet a crazed person with a sword (page 248)... From my forensic experiences, I could tell you stories, but Kane does it better. Read and heed, you will be safer for doing so; even if you skip the keys defense, pages 238-39, which I, as other reviewers have mentioned, find inferior to a kubaton or the like. Be prepared, as this book may help you do so, and you should be safer "on that day"... -- Jack Finch
I had the honor of writing the Forward to Surviving Armed Assaults, an
incredibly information-packed book on the subject. It's quite different than
others on the market in that while it does offer techniques for
self-defense, it's more about strategy, mindset, and fighting concepts and
principles. Take it from a guy who has trained and taught the martial arts
since 1965, and who has faced not just a few violent encounters in my 25
years as a police officer and a soldier in Vietnam: it's strategy,
principles, and mindset that are going to save you.
Kane goes into detail as to how to avoid a confrontation with an armed assailant, the importance of awareness, and the absolute necessity of preparedness. Practicing these things is not as fun as sidekicking and executing throws, but they are proven techniques that will save your bacon.
He also provides important technical information about various weapons. He even talks about explosives. The more you know about the intricacies of the many weapons that can end your day, the better your defense. Knowledge is power.
Lawrence Kane, by virtue of his job, has faced the dragon in hundreds of confrontations with violent people. He has learned from these unique experiences what works and what doesn't. Few people, and even fewer self-defense instructors, have had his real-world contact with highly dangerous assailants (though that hasn't stopped the two-year black belt instructors from teaching ridiculous techniques).
Buy this one first and then buy the technique-driven books. -- Loren W. Christensen
"Surviving Armed Assaults" is a terrific addition to any serious library of self defense books. Its emphasis on awareness and avoidance as your most effective survival strategies makes it a worthy companion to works by authors such as Alain Burrese, Loren Christensen, Marc MacYoung, and Peyton Quinn. Kane covers enough aspects of the topic to make the book useful as an encyclopedia, and yet his prose is so readable, and he uses so many real life anecdotes to illustrate his points, that you'll have trouble putting it down. I'll be drawing on some of the lessons learned from SAA in future John Rain books. -- Barry Eisler
"22 knives," Lawrence Kane said. We had just passed through security at a
football game and taken our seats. "I just counted 22 knives between the
security and our seats." He then proceed to explain to me the "tells" the
knife carriers had, where they wore their knives and what that meant as
The world hasn't changes much in many ways, one of those constants is people kill each other. They use, make-shift weapons, and weapons deliberately designed to kill you. Put these weapons in the hands of a remorseless punk, career criminal, the mentally imbalanced, just stupid, or even ad hoc terrorist and the problem is all on your end. Kane instills awareness without paranoia, wisdom with context and opens your eyes to the subtle precursors to violence.
"Surviving Armed Assault"...get it, get the edge. -- Kris Wilder
"Surviving Armed Assaults" is by far and away the
BEST book on protecting yourself against weapon attacks
that I've ever read. It's incredibly thorough and 100%
B.S. FREE! There's no "kick the knife out of his hand"
silliness in this book; just straight forward, practical
It's absolutely superb. And it's not just me who thinks so. The book has endorsements from many luminaries from the worlds of martial arts, self-protection, and security including Peter Consterdine, Dave Grossman, Jeff Cooper, Dan Anderson etc. This is a book that anyone who is serious about self-protection or practical martial arts needs to read.
If you want to learn how to protect yourself against armed assaults, this is the book! Indeed, if you buy one martial arts book this year, it should be this one! -- Iain Abernethy
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