“A nation that will insist on drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man will have it’s fighting done by fools and it’s thinking done by cowards.” Sir William Francis Butler

I tell those going through the USKMA’s instructor training that if they teach self defense to others and don’t read these books listed below it is like asking someone to learn from a history professor who has never read a history book! Sometimes I hear “I don’t like to read.” My thought on that is that I don’t like to exercise but I do it because it’s good for me! I want USKMA instructors to be educated, not just parroting what others told them. When students come to us for self defense they are literally putting their lives in our hands. We should know what real violence is, know what stress, the adrenaline dump and exhaustion do to us, know what kept people alive who have actually been there, etc., etc. The reading list I recommend to anyone teaching self defense (in order of my recommendation);

-Meditaions On Violence by SGT Rory Miller. An amazing book. Learn about real world violence from a guy who’s seen a bunch of it.

-Facing Violence by SGT Rory Miller. Goes over everything you could want to know about having to face real world violence. Talks about how to spot potential conflict, body language to look for to tell you an attack is coming, what stress and adreniline will do to you, how you will feel afterwards, what the police will want to hear and what they will do, what the court system will do to you, etc, etc. A must read!

-Strong On Defense by SGT Samford Strong. A tough read but a must read for those teaching self defense. Several interviews with people who have survived crimes.

-Conflict Communication by SGT Rory Miller. See the monkey dance and head it off.

-The Gift of Fear by Gavin DeBecker. Another must read. Will have you listening more to those voices in your head.

-On Killing and On Combat by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman. Shows us what BS the movies have told us about killing and violence. Studies how stress, adreniline, etc. will effect us.

-Blink by Malcom Gladwell. Ever just had a feeling about something? This book explains why and will have you listening to those feelings from now on!

-The Book Of Five Rings by Miyomato Musashi. There really is nothing new. What some self defense guru’s are saying is theirs and new was done thousands of years ago!

-In the Name of Self Defense by Marc MacYoung. Marc’s been writing books for decades…you can’t go wrong with any of them!

-Deep Survival by Laurence Gonzales. Why do some survive an incident while others perish during the same incident? Cool book.

-The Survivor’s Club by Ben Sherwood. Very similar to the book above.

-Sharpening The Warrior’s Edge by Bruce Siddle. Scientifically explains how we should be training for life and death situations.

-Training at the Speed of Life by Kenneth Murray. Similar to the above book.

-Combat Focus Shooting by Rob Pincus. Takes the no BS approach to shooting that Krav Maga does with self defense.

-Inside the Criminal Mind by Stanton Samenow. A bit dry but you’ll understand the scumbags better…and quit feeling sorry for their poor childhoods.

-The Truth About Self Protection by Massad Ayoob. An expert in the field.

-Mark Slane has a couple of books that are definately recommended by…Mark Slane. Be Safe, Self Defense For Women in the Real World, American Krav Maga and Krav Maga for Law Enforcement. Available on Amazon or on

-Probably should have been at the top of the list but the Bible. Cool stories of dudes taking on long odds and kicking butt. Even one about a guy who took the jaw bone of an ass and killed 1,000 heathens!


Final Krav in America cvr



  1. Hi Mark, while Blink is a relatively straightforward read, there are other books that might permit someone interested in biases, cognitive dissonance etc. to gain a better insight. It’s been a while since I read it but Kahneman’s “Thinking Fast and Slow” is one such book. It may help with understanding our own limitations, but also the motivations of others.

  2. Kill or be Killed was required reading when I was active duty in the Marines. A wee bit dated at this point but still useful.

Comments RSS TrackBack Identifier URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s