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Self Defense, Attacker, Protection, Assault, Deadly Weapon
Warrior, Mentality, Life, Death, Survival, Marine, Fighting, Tactics

A Warrior's Guide to Self-Defense - REVIEWS

5 Star Reviews


A Warrior’s Guide to Self-Defense by Kyle Swinehart is a practical guide to self-defence. Swinehart served for five years as a Marine Corps infantry machine gunner and martial arts instructor, and fought in Afghanistan twice in the Battle for Marjah. Since leaving the Marine Corps, he has dedicated himself to sharing his unique perspective on combat operations, and teaching practical self-defense tactics and principles that will actually be helpful in real world scenarios

When you think of practical hand to hand combat, it's hard not to think of the Marines. In boot camp, I remember hand to hand combat, bayonet training, and pugil stick training. Hand to hand instructors taught us to use what was at hand as a weapon or how to take the opponent's weapon and use it against him. Later on while in school for Embassy Duty and while serving we repeatedly trained on defending from knife, gun, and random weapon attacks. We practiced takedown moves as well as incapacitating moves and we learned the weapon was not the firearm, but the Marine.

Swinehart presents something a bit different than the mass market view on self-defense. There is no understanding your attackers mind, blowing whistles, or talking down your attacker. The primary premise is meeting violence with great violence. That is something not taught to civilians, but familiar to Marines. Marines in civilian environments, like Embassy Duty, are not trained to kill, but to immediately incapacitate the victim and end the threat. This means a variety of things as Swinehart mentions a few times of how to snap an attacker’s neck. Gouging eyes, popping eardrums, and sensitive parts of the body are mentioned. He also works on putting the reader in the proper mindset to realize the seriousness of the threat and the need to react. 

Although Swinehart does not go into detailed moves, he tells the reader to practice and to practice enough so your training becomes a reflex action. Be aware of your surrounding. He tells the reader what to look for in his surroundings and how to look like you belong and are not “the weakest member in the herd.” A Warrior’s Guide to Self-Defense presents two main ideas. First, do not be a target. Second, meet violence with greater violence. The book is light on the actual mechanics of self-defense but makes up for that in what is needed first -- confidence and knowing that you can react to a threat. A very realistic and practical guide. ~Joseph Spuckler


I would give this book to my friends or my kids to understand what they need to do to go to a new city or out of the country on their own. I would have them practice the techniques like the information on speed being more important than working on a hard hit so they would see the importance of the information, but Kyle is correct. And, if you want to see why he's right, just watch movies from Bruce Lee, Jet Li, Jackie Chan, or about the Ip Man. They all emphasize the same things. They are not large men or big muscles or boxers, they are fast and accurate. These are the types of moves that make MMA fights interesting to watch - the moves are not one style, they are just effective. I have some background in martial arts and the best teachers I had, the ones not concerned with tournament wins, told us similar things to this books' truths. Win a fight, however you need to, as fast as possible. Someone wanting to harm you won't play by rules and you need to be able to get away, it doesn't need to be fair or pretty. If more women were taught these things as teens, there would be fewer successful assaults. And men are not immune - assault is not about sex, it's about victimizing and taking something. These techniques are about protecting yourself and your loved ones, and the mental attitude it takes to be successful about it. ~Cat Jennings