I’ve always said that as a self-defense instructor, and someone who teaches principles and strategies of staying safe, I need to continually learn from others. I’m constantly reading, watching videos, and attending seminars so I can better help others. I also believe in supporting those who are also out there helping others stay safe and defend themselves. This is especially true of those doing a great job. That is why I want to recommend Self-Defense Tips Everyone Should Know: Practical advice to help you take responsibility for your own personal safety by Neal Martin.
Right from the title I liked this. “Take responsibility for your own personal safety.” Yes! This is what I teach people. Also from the title, you get that this is a book of self-defense tips. It’s not an exhaustive text on self-defense, but rather some practical advice to help you stay safe.
There are thirteen short chapters in this book, which include: Take Responsibility For Your Own Personal Safety, Make A Game Plan, Awareness, Improve Your Communication Skills, Know Yourself, Learn To Manage Fear And Adrenaline, Learn Situational Control Skills, Get Fit, Train In Combatives, Learn To Hit Hard, Tap Your Aggression, Learn To Hit First When It’s Necessary, Self-Defence And The Law, and a bonus chapter of Violent Intent and Instilling Panic In Your Attacker.
Martin starts out a bit harsh with his words to a lot of the “self-defense” material out on the web, but then quickly gets into what he wants to share about self-defense and staying safe. I like that he starts out be insisting that you refuse to be a victim and take responsibility for your own personal safety. This is so important. Next was the chapter on awareness, a topic I write and speak on quite a bit. I liked what Martin had to say in this area. I also liked that he added communication in the book, but would have liked a bit more, but I do understand this is just a book of tips. I’d hope after reading this, readers would continue their education in effective communication skills. They can and will help you stay out of trouble and more safe. And I could say this about other chapters too. There is more to be said on all of the topics here, and I’m sure Martin could fill a huge volume with what he knows. He pared it down to some simple essentials. And he did so well.
The only negative things I can say about this simple guide are that I found some typos and the font used for some of the quotes is a bit harder to read. A different font might make the quotes not only easier to read, but stand out and be more poignant. And when these are the only negatives you can find, you are reaching, and that’s because this book does contain a lot of good, simple, practical advice that can help people stay safe and protect themselves if needed. The few editing and formatting mistakes don’t take away from the important message Martin is conveying.
Some people might object to some of the language, and it might not be the first self-defense book you give your young children. The book contains four letter words, and Martin has his reasons for using them. (Get you mad and in the right mindset to take on your attacker.) I point this out because some of the groups I teach to, and who look to me for recommendations, would be offended if they were not first prepared for some of the four letter words in this text. For others, it is not an issue at all.
Staying safe is important. I’ve already said that I agree with Martin that we all need to take personal responsibility for our own safety, and one of the ways you can do just that is by reading this simple book of self-defense tips and incorporating the advice into your life and training. Do it and stay safe!
Check out Self-Defense Tips Everyone Should Know on amazon: