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About Rory Miller
Rory Miller is a seventeen-year veteran of a metropolitan correctional system. He spent seventeen years, including ten as a sergeant, with the Multnomah County Sheriff's Office in Portland Oregon. His assignments included Booking, Maximum Security, Disciplinary and Administrative Segregation, and Mental Health Units. He was a CERT (Corrections Emergency Response Team) member for over eleven years and Team Leader for six.
His training has included over eight hundred hours of tactical training; witness protection and close-quarters handgun training with the local US Marshals; Incident Command System; Instructor Development Courses; AELE Discipline and Internal Investigations; Hostage Negotiations and Hostage Survival; Integrated Use of Force and Confrontational Simulation Instructor; Mental Health; Defensive Tactics, including the GRAPLE instructors program; Diversity; and Supervision.
Rory has designed and taught courses including Confrontational Simulations; Uncontrolled Environments; Crisis Communications with the Mentally Ill; CERT Operations and Planning; Defensive Tactics; and Use of Force for Multnomah County and other local agencies.
In 2008 Rory Miller left his agency to spend over a year in Iraq with the Department of Justice ICITAP program as a civilian advisor to the Iraqi Corrections System.
He has a Bachelor's degree in Psychology, a blackbelt in jujutsu and college varsities in judo and fencing. He also likes long walks on the beach.
His writings have been featured in Loren Christensen's "Fighter's Fact Book 2: The Street" Kane and Wilder's "Little Black Book of Violence" and "The Way to Blackbelt." Rory is the author of "Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training and Real World Violence" published by YMAA; "Violence: A Writer's Guide" published by Samshwords; and the soon-to-be-released "Facing Violence" out in May 2011 from YMAA.
How to make a Rory:
First you take a kid and raise him without electricity or running water or television. Especially television. You get a whacked out doctor to convince his parents that he has a birth defect such that if he ever loses muscle tone his joints will spontaneously dislocate, so you encourage hyperactivity. Instill a love of reading and introduce to meditation at a young age. Teach him to hunt and track. Send him away to college at the age of seventeen painfully aware that he has almost no experience with people. Arrange for him to luck into world-class trainers in his first martial arts. Let him obsess on martial arts even at the expense of his school work. At some point he will get a need to go someplace strange, maybe Reno, and do something different, like be a bouncer. Let him, he'll come back. When he comes back, if he falls in love with the right princess ('cause every thug needs a princess) he'll start doing crazy things like joining the national guard and working in a jail. Let him. He'll discover that he has a way with violent and crazy people and might wind up doing stuff like running a tactical team and teaching officer survival skills and designing classes and teaching jujutsu. If he has an ugly year (and he will) he'll start writing. If he gets really bored he will suddenly quit and go to Baghdad. We're still waiting to see how that part turns out.
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USA Best Book Award FINALIST - 2008
A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real-World Violence.
Experienced martial artist and veteran correction officer Sgt. Rory Miller distills what he has learned from jailhouse brawls, tactical operations and ambushes to explore the differences between martial arts and the subject martial arts were designed to deal with: Violence.
In section one, Sgt. Miller introduces the myths, metaphors and expectations that most martial artists have about what they will ultimately learn in their dojo. This is then compared with the complexity of the reality of violence. Complexity is one of the recurring themes throughout this work. Section two examines how to think critically about violence, how to evaluate sources of knowledge and clearly explains the concepts of strategy and tactics. Sections three and four focus on the dynamics of violence itself and the predators who perpetuate it. Drawing on hundreds of encounters and thousands of hours spent with criminals Sgt. Miller explains the types of violence; how, where, when and why it develops; the effects of adrenaline; how criminals think, and even the effects of drugs and altered states of consciousness in a fight. Section five centers on training for violence, and adapting your present training methods to that reality. It discusses the pros and cons of modern and ancient martial arts training and gives a unique insight into early Japanese kata as a military training method. Section six is all about how to make self-defense work. Miller examines how to look at defense in a broader context, and how to overcome some of your own subconscious resistance to meeting violence with violence. The last section deals with the aftermath—the cost of surviving sudden violence or violent environments, how it can change you for good or bad. It gives advice for supervisors and even for instructors on how to help a student/survivor. You’ll even learn a bit about enlightenment.
Rory Miller has served for seventeen years in corrections as an officer and sergeant working maximum security, booking and mental health; leading a tactical team; and teaching subjects ranging from Defensive Tactics and Use of Force to First Aid and Crisis Communications with the Mentally Ill.
Survival Favors the Prepared Mind—Robert Crowley
eLit Award GOLD WINNER - 2012
USA Best Books Award FINALIST - 2012
Eric Hoffer Award HONORABLE MENTION - 2012
This book stands alone as an introduction to the context of self-defense. There are seven elements that must be addressed to bring self-defense training to something approaching ‘complete.’ Any training that dismisses any of these areas leaves you vulnerable.
- 1. Legal and ethical implications. A student learning self-defense must learn force law. Otherwise it is possible to train to go to prison. Side by side with the legal rules, every student must explore his or her own ethical limitations. Most do not really know where this ethical line lies within them.
- 2. Violence dynamics. Self-defense must teach how attacks happen. Students must be able to recognize an attack before it happens and know what kind they are facing.
- 3. Avoidance. Students need to learn and practice not fighting. Learning includes escape and evasion, verbal de-escalation, and also pure-not-be there avoidance.
- 4. Counter-ambush. If the student didn’t see the precursors or couldn’t successfully avoid the encounter he or she will need a handful of actions trained to reflex level for a sudden violent attack.
- 5. Breaking the freeze. Freezing is almost universal in a sudden attack. Students must learn to recognize a freeze and break out of one.
- 6. The fight itself. Most martial arts and self-defense instructors concentrate their time right here. What is taught just needs to be in line with how violence happens in the world.
- 7. The aftermath. There are potential legal, psychological, and medical effects of engaging in violence no matter how justified. Advanced preparation is critical.
Any teacher or student of self-defense, anyone interested in self-defense, and any person who desires a deeper understanding of violence needs to read this book.
We strongly recommend this book to anybody wishing to learn self-defense, or understand how to stay safe should violence rear it's ugly head
“Novelists need to be experts on storytelling. For everything else, we need to fake it convincingly. If you want to become a real expert on violence, you can spend years in a dojo, and in a jail, and on the street, and in Iraq, and in conferences and libraries analyzing your real-world experiences. Or you can borrow the expertise of someone who's done all that. Clear, concise, invaluable. Sgt. Rory Miller has written the best book on violence I've read.”
--NYT Best-selling author Brent Weeks
As a former corrections sergeant and tactical team leader, Rory Miller is a proven survivor. He instructs police and corrections professionals who, in many cases, receive only eight hours of defensive tactics training each year. They need techniques that work and they need unflinching courage.
In Training for Sudden Violence: 72 Practical Drills Miller gives you the tools to prepare and prevail, both physically and psychologically. He shares hard-won lessons from a world most of us hope we never experience.
• Train in fundamentals, combat drills, and dynamic fighting.
• Develop situational awareness.
• Condition yourself through stress inoculation.
• Take a critical look at your training habits.
“You don’t get to pick where fights go,” Miller writes. That’s why he has created a series of drills to train you for the worst of it. You will defend yourself on your feet, on the ground, against weapons, in a crowd, and while blindfolded. You will reevaluate your training scenarios—keeping what works, discarding what does not, and improving your chances of survival.
Miller’s “internal work,” “world work,” and “plastic mind” exercises will challenge you in ways that mere physical training does not. Sections include
• Escape and evasion
• The predator mind
• Personal threat assessment
This is a fight for your life, and it won’t happen on a nice soft mat. It will get, as Miller says, “all kinds of messy.” Training for Sudden Violence: 72 Practical Drills prepares you for that mess.
Use too little force and you're in for a world of hurt.
Conflict and violence cover a broad range of behaviors, from intimidation to murder, and they require an equally broad range of responses. A kind word will not resolve all situations, nor will wristlocks, punches, or even a gun.
In Scaling Force, the authors introduce you to the full range of options, from skillfully doing nothing to applying deadly force. They realistically guide you through understanding the limits of each type of force, when specific levels may be appropriate, the circumstances under which you may have to apply them, and the potential cost, legally and personally, of your decision.
- Level 1: Presence. Staving off violence using body language alone.
- Level 2: Voice. Verbally de-escalating conflict before physical methods become necessary.
- Level 3: Touch. Defusing an impending threat or gaining compliance via touch.
- Level 4: Empty-Hand Restraint. Controlling a threat through pain or forcing compliance through leverage.
- Level 5: Less-Lethal Force. Incapacitating a threat while minimizing the likelihood of fatality or permanent injury.
- Level 6: Lethal Force. Stopping a threat with techniques or implements likely to cause death or grievous bodily harm.
"Where the hell was this book when I started teaching!? I could have used it...and will be better at my trade now that I do. Everything Rory writes is exceptional. But this one goes beyond. It took me exactly two and a half pages of reading to realize this. If you are an instructor (doesn't matter what subject), then this book IS required reading, no exceptions. I regret I didn't have this book before I started my instructional career! If you are simply a "student" of self-defense (if not...why not?) then it is even more important for you, as it will help you face realities that will guide your time allotments and mentor/instructor selection. Not many writers make me think, but Rory does. He will make you think. And most importantly, I believe he will help change how you think. That my friends is the key! Read this book. Re-read it! Think and act on what you learn. If you are an instructor, give yourself a hard look and fix the holes. A student, the remember the key word in self-defense is "self." It's your path, walk it wisely!" -- Mike Seeklander Owner, Shooting-Performance LLC, and founding member of the American Warrior Society
"If you teach, or want to teach, people how to defend themselves, you must read Principles-Based Instruction for Self-Defense. If I had to sum this book up in one word, it would be “brilliant.” Rory Miller has a rare and unique way of explaining the complex and whittling it down to an efficient, practical, and usable model. He does that here with the singular goal of making you, the reader, a better instructor when it comes to teaching self-defense. The information contained within these pages is invaluable as it covers many aspects of teaching others to defend themselves. It's not a book of techniques, nor is it a book about martial arts. It focuses on making you a better instructor when teaching people to survive among chaos and fear. Apply what you learn from this book and you won't only be a much better instructor, you just may save someone's life with what you teach." --Alain Burrese, J.D. Writer-Speaker-Mediator
Cooperation, Compliance, Control.
In a free and peaceful society where so many have been taught that all violence is wrong, citizens are often confused and dismayed when officers use force, even when the force is perfectly lawful and justified.
This book allows you to 'take' a basic USE OF FORCE class just as if you were a rookie at the police academy. Below are some highlights of what is included in 'your' basic use of force class:
SECTION 1. TRAINING. I explain policy and laws that officers are taught. We examine use of force, how to define a threat, and the difference between excessive force and unnecessary force.
SECTION 2. CHECKS AND BALANCES. This section explains how an officer's decisions are examined if suspected of being bad decisions.
SECTION 3. EXPERIENCE. We explore how officers see the world that they live in. Somewhere in the fog between training and experience, the officer has to make a decision. Sometimes decisions will be made in a fraction of a second and on partial information. Sometimes a decision will change the lives of everyone involved—forever.
SECTION 4. ABOUT YOU. Review what you should have learned. Why does community action fail? What is it that can really be done? Know how to behave when faced by an officer. Until this section, I have tried to put you in the headspace of an officer, giving you an overview of his training and a taste of his experiences. Now I will try to let you feel like a suspect. That's a lot of mind bending for one book. Get plenty of sleep and drink lots of water.
Any civilian, law enforcement officer or martial artist interested in self-defense, or anyone wanting to understand the duties and responsibilities of civilians and police officers needs to read this book.
Campfire Tales is not a collection of macho stories. It's a primer for what you'll need to know to make it out on the edge. It's what to remember when you're dealing with dangerous people and difficult situations. It's what attitudes, knowledge and perspectives you'll need to get through. It's 'what I wish someone had told me when I started.' It's how Hollywood and fiction can -- and will -- get you killed or thrown into prison. It's what you need to know to fill the holes in your self-defense or defensive tactics training. In a different direction, writers can learn from the people who actually do what they're writing about. But most of all, Campfire Tales From Hell is a collection of stories and wisdom that tells you, 'you too can get through.'