Our brief introduction last week to Sgt. Rory Miller, modern self-defense thinker/expert and author of “Meditations On Violence”, turned out to be the perfect way to wet our feet before heading into one of Rory’s 8-hour seminars. Inspired as ever, Mike, Dan, Keith and I dropped in to ‘play’ with Rory again this past Sunday. This time it was at New England Muay Thai Institute in Everett. Rory’s unique insight into what martial artists profess to do provides a perspective that I would say many practitioners, professionals and everyday citizens never fully open their eyes to.
If you don’t at least think about your training in a way Rory nudges you towards, even just a little bit …well then I think you’re nuts. We’re talking about a straight up look at what you are really training yourself for and how that plays out against preconceptions in one’s training lines. It is not about ‘what if’ scenarios, or LEO tactics or any of that. This was physics, physiology, balance, and timing. All those tools we seek to develop in forms, sparring and various sporting applications. And then it is about your psychology and that of human violence, and all the elements inherent in a violent incident that one tends to ignore or overlook if you afford yourself that luxury. Rory has a great mind for teaching these subjects and is a real thinker if you know what I mean. And, if you know Jack Summers you know what being a thinker means in the martial arts.
In all the time following Jack, Jackie, the late George Bosworth, and many others I feel privileged to have been introduced to over the years, I can say I remember exposure to pieces and parts of Rory’s knowledge base in the past. It may have been in very different or specific other contexts, from varying types of sources, and never all at once. But, Rory isn’t just re-teaching basics. He is encouraging our critical thinking. The knowledge he has assembled, combined with his own personal experiences and some really thoughtful teaching tools he hands you, develops into the clearest self-defense message I’ve heard in a while. Study for just a moment what your training actually is, …and what it is not. Think about all your tools. How and what it would mean to use them in a true self-defense scenario.
See Mike D, Keith Dan, Eric, Rich, Max or I for our humble individual takes on Rory’s stuff. And certainly look for his book on the store shelves if you are at all intrigued!
Furthermore, it was our absolute pleasure to meet, learn and train with the really great bunch of men and women who attended this event. About 30 people from differing MA backgrounds turned out to listen, train and learn. It is a credit to the character of such like-minded people that they possessed eagerness in learning and working with each other throughout the entire day. I really wish I could have spent more time talking with each of them and regret not getting all of their names. There is never enough time for that I suppose. Most attendees were fairly local and I very much hope we’ll run into some of them again at future venues.
Many, many thanks again to Jeff and the Muay Thai Institute. With a somewhat ad hock crowd, Jeff managed to put together and host one of the better martial arts related seminar’s I have attended in recent memory. You just can’t place enough value on time spent at one of these things when its done right. I guess now the work begins to digest and internalize this stuff back on the floor! I know I have my work cut out for me.
Billy G. / IOK, Quincy