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Best Books On Self Defense

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Best Books On Self Defense. I like to say that each person should learn reading, writing, and self-defense. While many of us living in first-world countries feel like we will never get attacked – we think that until we actually get attacked.

Meanwhile, other people are constantly looking over their shoulders, always being afraid of an assailant, considering what they would do and what they Should do if such a situation would arise.

This questioning and sense of fear usually lead people to practice martial arts or to go to a self-defense course – yet the truth is – not all martial arts and self-defense courses are created equal.

Based on the school, style, and instructor – some martial arts classes or self-defense courses can be a hit or miss, as most martial arts instructors will teach you complicated techniques that will take years to master or that in actuality are not effective, while a weekend self-defense course will teach you various “what if techniques,” such as “if an attacker grabs you like this – do this!”, but you will neither be able to learn them so quickly nor will remember them a few days later.

When the situation of learning self-defense is described in this way, it may seem like a gloomy and confusing situation to be in, yet the good news is – you can learn the essentials of self-defense without leaving your home, or even better… Without leaving your couch!

Now I understand that this sounds like a “drink a pill and lose weight” snake oil-salesman type of scheme, but stay with me for just a bit more. The truth about self-defense is that roughly 80%, if not more of what self-defense actually is about – is self-protection and prevention.

Knowing how to spot and avoid a potential attacker, to begin with, or how to de-escalate or avoid a situation that is growing toward a potential threat. And lucky for all of us – this information can be easily found in books.


List Best Books On Self Defense:

1) Meditations on Violence by Rory Miller

Meditations of Violence

Written by a corrections officer and tactical team leader Rory Miller. This book gives a no-nonsense introduction and thorough explanation of what self-defense is about and how to stay best safe.

It beautifully explains the complex subject of self-defense and how to best approach life-threatening situations.

One of the greatest things I find Rory does in the book is the great explanation of the difference between a street fight and self-defense situations.

A common misunderstanding, pointing out that many “street fights” happen not because they are unavoidable, but because two or more individuals engage in what Rory calls a “monkey dance,” or in other words, a battle between egos which may end up being deadly.

While in reality, it can be completely avoided by spotting such an event unfolding early enough and keeping our egos in check.

Throughout the book, other crucial subjects are also explored, such as dynamics of violence, predator mindset, adapting training to the realities of violence, making the physical defense work, and even the after-effects of a sudden assault or long-term exposure to a violent environment.

If you want to become much, much safer in your everyday life and various environments, this book will absolutely play a golden role in helping you achieve this goal.

Link to buy the book:

Meditations on Violence by Rory Miller


2) The Gift of Fear

The gift of fear

This book writes By Gavin De Becker. For the best possible answers on self-defense and personal safety, I was recommended on more than one occasion a book called “The Gift of Fear” written by Gavin De Becker. Initially, it did not seem like a book directly speaking about the subject of self-defense.

I mean, you don’t find pictures of an angry man grabbing a lady on the wrist and in the next picture seeing the lady perform a flashy open palm strike into the nose of the attacker.

Yet, with getting deeper into the book, I realized that it is extremely helpful in understanding what self-defense is truly about. Still, it also helps even more in understanding safety from predators in all possible situations.

Gavin de Becker is a security specialist, primarily for governments, large corporations, and public figures, but he is no stranger to violence in everyday life.

Growing up in a violent environment himself, you could say that he basically became obsessed with understanding violence and, eventually – how to avoid it as best as possible.

Throughout the book, he introduces our intuition’s concept. The vast capacity and knowledge of our subconscious, which collects significantly more information than our conscious mind, and pretty much without failing – warns us about upcoming, possible dangers through a sense of, often seemingly unexplained, fear.

Gavin gives a generous amount of real examples of how this sense of fear saved many lives, or in more unfortunate cases – when this intuition was not listened to and as a result – lead to horrifying outcomes.

By reading this book, you will not only profoundly understand how this process of survival is, that we all inherently already have, works, but you will also learn much more about the predatory mindset and various factors that will help you spot early on, not only the cookie-cutter, hooded attackers in the dark alley, but even more importantly, the much less evident and potentially more dangerous “well dressed” and mannered assailants, who prey on our politeness and unwillingness to listen to our deeper, internal alert signs.

I am no stranger to fear of being attacked myself, but “The Gift of Fear” showed me how to use this fear in an empowering and efficient way, so that in an almost paradoxical way – I would lose fear, or more precisely, would stop being afraid when it is unnecessary, and become allies with my fear, knowing when actually to listen to it. Please read this book and don’t forget to pass it on to everyone you care about to make them safer.

Link to buy the book:

The Gift of Fear –


3) Self Defense book series by Peter Consterdine

Now for all of you, self-defense and martial arts nerds and everyone who has an interest in a complete and comprehensive understanding of self-defense, personal safety, and even bodyguarding – Peter Consterdine’s books are the way to go.

With decades of experience as a martial artist, a bouncer at the rough bars and places of England, and a security expert, he has run EP operations in such diverse geographies as Moscow, Beirut, Madrid, Kazakhstan, London, St. Petersburg, Algeria, and the Far East.

Peter not only has personal experience in all these different fields, but he also possesses a brilliant mind for breaking down the information and presenting it in crystal clear detail. His books include:

Click the book name for a link to buy:

  • Streetwise. A comprehensive book on self-defense and personal safety, in which you will learn the principles of personal security, the threat pyramid, security on the street, fear and adrenal responses, personal threat analysis, legal aspects of self-defense, ranges, tools, handling multiple attackers, situational awareness, the psychology of conflict, conflict resolution, understanding myths behind martial arts and a whole lot more.


  • Fight to Fit. It is then followed by “Fight to Fit” – an in-depth guide of understanding and learning the best ways to train physically and mentally for a physical confrontation.

Fit to Fight

  • Travelsafe. And if that is not enough, you can also check “Travelsafe” – The Complete Guide to Traveling Security, which covers everything from risk analysis to travel and health, surviving hotel fires, hotspots of the world, hostage survival and anti-kidnap procedures, crisis planning, and evacuation, and yet again, a whole lot more.

Travel Safe

  • The Modern Bodyguard. And then, if that is still not enough, you can read Peter’s “The Modern Bodyguard” – a book that will help you understand what Executive Protection is really about.

The Modern Bodyguard



While not all self-defense experts present the subject appropriately, there are indeed excellent experts out there. With that in mind, I also wanted to give worthy mentions of these self-defense experts and to announce their shared knowledge and wisdom: Geoff Thompson and Tony Blauer.

These are the self-defense experts I’ve learned a lot from, and I encourage everyone interested in self-defense to check them out. I am sure the list could also be expanded with even more awesome individuals.

Alright, now you can run off and start reading these excellent self-defense and personal safety books to make yourself and others around you safer! Self-defense books are incredibly good at providing this crucial, life-saving information. Grab these books and increase your knowledge about self-defense.

Maybe one day, when you face a dangerous situation, you know what to do and can save your life. Stay Safe!


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