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E288: Meditations on Violence for Your Survival with Rory Miller

Author and corrections officer Rorry Miller joins us once again. We discuss his book Meditations on Violence and important lies that might get you killed.


From the description of Meditations on 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.

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.

Meditations on Violence is as heady as it is easy to read. But more importantly, it is wisdom and advice from someone who knows violence… a. lot. of. violence. If you read just one book this year, read this one. If you listen or watch just one episode this year, this is the one.

Meditations on Violence Topics Discussed:

  • Why the current competitive victim mindset is dangerous
  • Understanding why you should, “never delegate responsibility for your own safety.”
  • Diving into violence and how it is truly an unknown to most of us
  • Why the stories we tell ourselves could get us hurt or dead
  • What unicorns and rhinoceroses have to do with self-defense
  • The four truths of assaults even most hard training folks don’t know
  • How sparring trains you more how not to hurt someone than how to hurt someone
  • Deeply giving yourself permission to fight back and seriously hurt someone else
  • How to develop the predator mindset as a civilian


Rory Miller is a seventeen-year veteran of a metropolitan correctional system. 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.

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.

In his free time, he enjoys hogging the remote, surfing, scotch, mental masturbation and debate over philosophical topics, and shooting stuff--usually not all at the same time.

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