Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Review of Verbal Judo

    In order to practice what would actually be self defense, you have to incorporate more than just the physical techniques that are taught in many dojo that proclaim self defense.  Verbal defense should be a major part of any self defense course.  It may be realistically, more important than the physical part that we normally call self defense.
    As many martial arts that say they teach self defense only concentrate on the physical part, I took it upon myself to do some self education on the verbal aspect of self defense.  That was the the reason I decided to pick up Verbal Judo by George J. Thompson, and Jerry B. Jenkins (from the Library, seriously, look into inter-library loans).  I had heard that this was a classic in that field, so I decided to check it out (ha, ha, ha!).  The version I read was the one from the picture, the updated edition.
    First, the book is very well written.  It is enjoyable to read, and you can feel the authenticity and authority of the author(s).  It says its written by two people, but there is really only one voice in the writing.  They very succinctly lay out the steps, ideas, and procedures for applying their Verbal Judo techniques.  The authors also give personal experience to support how their methods work, and walk you along with them on how they developed the techniques in the first place.  Their layout and description are great, and as far as I can tell, their advice is sound.  Altogether, it makes it an enjoyable book, very readable.
    My criticism of the book is where the author is coming from.  The book is written for people in authority positions to get others to come along with their plans.  The original idea seems to be based on police cooperation techniques, and then how to apply the same ideas to other authority positions like supervisors, managers, or teachers.  This is extremely useful, but it wasn't quite what I was looking for.  I was looking for more of a verbal self defense book.  The ideas and procedures can be applied to self defense situations, but their examples are all from the authority position.
    Overall, the book is well written, useful, and precise in its demonstration of their techniques.  It just wasn't what I was looking for in particular.  I still learned a lot, and can apply almost all the techniques in self defense situations.  As such, I'm going to give it 4.5 Ninja Stars.  I would easily recommend it, as a starting point, for anyone looking for verbal self defense.


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  4. Verbal judo? First time I hear something like this.