Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Thanks, Paul

Paul Kirchner is the author of "Bowie Knife Fights, Fighters and Fighting Techniques" and "Jim Cirillo's Tales of the Stakeout Squad" and some other books that will probably creep onto my "to read" stack. He sent an e-mail after reading "Meditations on Violence" and "Facing Violence." He wondered why Col. Jeff Cooper wasn't in the bibliography.

The short answer was that I've never read his stuff.

I read. A lot. But there is a huge amount of information out there. There are experts I haven't read. Many of them. People I've never studied with. Months ago, I did a post on possibly working up a course for extreme CQ gun, specifically deploying under attack... and a lot of people gave me leads on work already going on. That was a relief. The late Jim Cirrillo or Southnarc or Mercop are the people who have had to do it and someone in the middle of the problem will tend to understand it far better than someone who has only brushed at the edges.

The list is long, and I make it longer by reading sometimes skeptically. If an author intrigues me, I tend to dig into his bibliography, and sometimes an author's sources do not say what he claims. I like reading on the edge of the field. I know what it feels like to be in certain kinds of problems, have developed a comfort level. I actually learn less from people with similar experiences than I do from researchers or sometimes reporters. If you know human pack behavior, sometimes books about dogs or apes will give a new piece of the puzzle.

Anyway, Paul very graciously sent a copy of "Principles of Personal Defense." It was a short book, I read it while waiting for the coffee to brew. But it was concise, accurate and wonderful. The reading list grows.


Paul Kirchner said...

Rory, I have gotten a great deal out of your writing and have been spreading the word among those who would appreciate it.

While Jeff Cooper saw combat in World War II, he never worked in law enforcement or corrections and had no first-hand experience with the criminal element. You, who have had that experience, are able to take the basic themes he covers and provide a great deal more depth.

Still, I recommend the Cooper book for its straightforward message and bracing style. As you say, it's a short read and thus makes a good primer for the recent convert.

igor said...

I have read Paul's books and Jeff Cooper's books. I concur with Paul's recommendation.