"Surviving physical violence demands from any human subject responses which integrate the specific need contained within the violent moment with flexibility and tenacity of body, mind and spirit. A delicate, yet powerful web is woven from this balanced integration unique to our human design, whereupon we walk from here to the other side of our day – safely.
Attack Proof offers the discerning subject who desires a source of reliable and valid strategies and tactics for surviving a violent confrontation, a naturalistic perspective for managing such aggression.
Specifically, the Attack Proof perspective presented to the reader strives to reawaken and assert the innate human ability we all are presumed to possess from birth. The process with which this book guides the reader involves refining an awareness and a capacity for producing physical movement which has enabled the human model to survive thousands of years of physical conflict.
Void of overly mechanical, prearranged sets of techniques to be memorized, this book offers specialized conditioning drills based not on memorization of movements, which merely succeeds in obscuring innate ability over time, but, instead, reinforces and reintroduces the practitioner to the power of spontaneous, free-flowing play.
From such a paradigm of learning movement in relationship to violent encounters, the practitioner discovers the immediacy of producing situationally correct proaction upon demand within the violent movement at hand. While seemingly soft and playful, the movements are extremely effective in application and devastating in their transfer of energy. The practitioners involved in or familiar with traditional, Asian martial arts, will recognize many of the movements as being reminiscent of the internal energy generated by the individual who has captured the essence of The Drunken Monkey. The practitioners steeped in the European Traditions (Russian Martial Arts), will also recognize the essence indicative of the drunken ice-skater.
Regardless of the combative system practiced, specificity governs human movement in such a way that we truly can accomplish only that which we have been prepared to do. The diverse nature of combat demands a diverse approach to training. With a limited life-span and with the constraints of a 24 hour day, Attack Proof has successfully organized a system of physical movement natural to the human structure and function that will adequately prepare the human model to meet the ever changing variables of a violent encounter.
The theme or premise for the Attack Proof training paradigm stipulates that under the duress of combat, a human subject will resort to instinctive responses, regardless of any previous conditioning designed to handle violence. The more one’s training protocol has involved highly orchestrated, memorized sets of techniques artificial to the individual’s anatomy, psychology, and physiology, the greater the likelihood of the system’s failure under pressure of real-world mayhem.
The idea of Attack Proof, therefore, is to become proficient with the application of our instinctively human responses to the conflict. The drills set forth in this book are specifically designed to refine these responses. It stands to reason that training and preparing the mind and body for the ever-changing and dynamic arena of physical violence must follow a path that maximizes naturally occurring attributes of the individual and not one which negates these preexisting attributes. The idea, then, is to maximize what we already possess – not extinguish and relearn something foreign.
For example, instead of learning powerful, mechanical-like blocks delivered with rigid stances performed in response to a potential strike to the face, the more instinctive response is to flinch back with an immediate raising of the hands to protect the face. Taking this flinch-response, refining it and building naturally upon this, we discover the potential, whip-like counter strikes to off-set the potential attack as well as an elusive removal of our body from the line of attack. Essentially, we have refined our natural ability to evade and counter, simultaneously, in response to an attack. The movements were already within our ability. We merely needed an awakening to such capacity.
This and other instinctive responses are not contested, but are identified, drilled and refined. Attack Proof maximizes human responses made in conjunction to their appropriate threats, and then integrates these responses in such a way as to drill an economical and correct counter action to assaults.
The book expands upon this theme in three specific parts. In the first part of Attack Proof, the overall importance of individual awareness is stressed, along with basic strikes and strategies offered through the performance of specialized drills. From here, we move on to concepts of relaxed, total body movements where one learns how to unify and coordinate natural body responses in appropriate defensive actions in the second part of the book. Balance, energy use and conservation, sensitivity to power application, and a non-mystical account of “internal energy” are explained through actual physical drills and textual explications. Part three delves into practical applications of the previously covered material. Again, drills proliferate throughout this section as with all previous sections, in order to offer the practitioner immediate, hands-on experience for understanding what has been explained in easy to understand wording.
The third part also lightly touches upon ground fighting, defensive actions for countering multiple opponent attacks, stick, knife, and handgun assaults, along with the folly of striving for joint-locking and complex, manipulative restraining actions in response to explosive, violent assaults.
The simplicity of the authors’ explanations when describing concepts which can be difficult to understand, is what makes the book a valuable aid for comprehending the chaotic environment of physical violence. But as with anything in life, when one path is adhered to, all others are sacrificed. With its simplistic nature of making sense of concepts which have, in other systems of self-defense, been overshadowed with a high degree of mysticism or plain fabrication, this book may read overly simplistic – even childish to some. If the reader can practice a healthy dose of humility and strive to actually practice the principles set forth in this manual, a realization previously clouded by too much excessive hocus-pocus or commercial hype, will be set aside for a clearer perspective of the reality of physical mayhem.
While the book offers a combative, utilitarian simplicity, Attack Proof’s drills are not always easy, but demand self-discipline, humility, diligence and vigor in practice for the development of their subsequent combat mastery.
The one objection to the book is the use of the phrase “Ultimate Guide” in the subtitle. Being a human creation, the book is innately fallible. Anything we do is subject to our finite understanding. Such words as “ultimate,” “best,” “secret,” are always about marketing, and truly do not reflect the essence of what’s contained. [Author's note: the name of the book is presumptuous and was forced upon us by the publisher. We wanted to call it "In the Eye of the Storm." See "Attackproof?"] Maybe not an ultimate guide (for an example – the photos needed to be taken with the opposing models contrasting one another in dress. As they were taken, the models often both wore dark colors which caused the demonstrated movement’s specifics to disappear in a blur of darkness), the book definitely offers a very strong and pragmatic foundation from which a realistic, individual training model can be created. From the base of operation the individual will have the opportunity to develop real-world skills that will afford the practitioner a very good chance for survival, should the chaotic brutality of violent conflict confront this person.
Without any vague mysticism or outlandish claims of internal power obscuring reality, the physical principles outlined and contained within the drills presented in Attack Proof, offer a practitioner the opportunity to unlock the mental, physical and spiritual potential of the Self resting deep within.
All truly combative systems of all nations will reveal the same ideas and principles contained in this book, whether one struggles through the training protocols of Russian, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, Native American or West European battlefield disciplines. The book’s information isn’t new, but how the information is presented is uniquely learnable, providing anyone literate a chance to glimpse into, and possibly, awaken his or her latent abilities. The book, if read and practiced, can not help but alter the participant’s overall perspective, one way or the other.
The authors are unknown to this reviewer and subsequently has only the information provided from the publishers – Human Kinetics.
Human Kinetics Publishing Company, however, is a well known publishing company respected for their undergraduate and graduate-level texts on human movement, anatomy and physiology. Reputable and credible, Human Kinetics applies the same high standards of academic excellence, equally, to all of its instructional manuals. I find no reason to doubt this standard of excellence when they decided to produce Attack Proof.
Nothing is perfect in our world, especially in the martial arena. However, excellence must never be compromised because of this fact. Human life is at stake. Attack Proof aspires to this ideal of excellence and delivers the message, emphatically and with a sense of playful energy affording one an environment suitable for exponential learning."
--Arthur C. Anderson, Loudonville OH