When Violence IS The Answer: A Book Review

I’ve just finished reading Tim Larkin‘s new book, When Violence IS the Answer, and have posted a review on Amazon.com.
I have to say up front that it’s a very good read. That is prejudicial on my part, but honest to boot. I have learnt much about violence over the years, and I know that makes many uncomfortable, so be it.
Violence is merely a tool – a tool that is used by the bad to take advantage of the good in many instances, but luckily for us, not all. We can use it too – to either STOP or prevent them from using it for evil purposes, simple as that.
I know the word violence and the statements make many uncomfortable, but for those of us who choose to wield the tool of violence for YOUR protection it’s just a bland way to describe what we do professionally for the safety of all.
As a violence professional, I have dedicated myself over the last 9 years to serving the public and their safety. Putting their safety and needs before my own, and or to the benefit of my family. I did so willingly, and KNOWING that it was the right thing to do.
All I ask in return is some understanding, and some self-education. If you wish to understand something like violence, you simply need to research, study, and do so with an open-mind. Ask questions – I can tell you a lot, but not everything, as my study is incomplete, or even very specific.
I know it’s uncomfortable, but it could save your life, does that make it easier to at least TALK about?
Violence IS the Answer can open a new vista for you. It’s simply a book of ingredients if you want to simplify things and take out the negative connotations that you probably already assoicate with the word violence or even the title itself. It’s much more than that in fact, it’s really just a book about a tool that you may never have to use at all, now does that make you feel better? BUY it, READ it, SHARE your experience – YOU might just save someone else’s life – better now?
on September 24, 2017

Ingredients, and nothing more? A recipe for disaster? Those statements are not meant to be derogatory, in fact it’s as simple as I can break this book down to – ingredients and recipes. What Tim Larkin has provided with this new book is a list of ingredients, and what you do with them, when to use them, or IF to use them, how to mix them together is totally up to the chef. As a violence professional, it’s a great guide to dealing with ONE type of violence, but I can see possibilities to using it with the other, albeit in a different ‘manner.’

Tim defines violence as a tool – concise, and if we understand that anything can be a tool, and that it’s totally up to the user HOW to use it, WHEN to use it, of IF to use it, that analogy makes perfect sense AND takes some of the negativity out of this ‘conversation.’ Let’s face it the word VIOLENCE sparks enough emotional content in all of us to be a conversation stopper. When I tell someone that I am a violence professional, I’ve just SLAMMED a door shut between us – two words that in conjunction summon up DARK thoughts on the other end of the phone line between us. BUT, a tool is simply that – an implement to get a job done. Hopefully the perfect tool to get the job done properly.

This book was probably designed for a specific marketplace, but I think it’s also meant to start a conversation. For the uninitiated, it may come as a shock, or a gift – that all depends on the audience. To me, it’s one more book in a large collection of similar tools that I need for work and perhaps future projects. As a violence professional, I have spent nine years of my life protecting people form other people. To that end, I NEEDED tools. Like a packrat I have accumulated hundreds of books and videos, read countless articles from ‘experts’, studied YouTube offerings, and fortunately (or not?) had firsthand up-close and perhaps too personal one-on-one encounters with those that CHOSE to use the tool of violence in a BAD way – against a victim that THEY chose. Often that victim was me.

It’s hard to be concise here, as it could violate certain expectations, but suffice it to say that I have dealt with a lot of bad during my nine years. Stabbed, bitten, spit at, kicked, punched, pushed, shoved – you get the idea. The fact that I am still here to testify speaks volumes, or it should IF you are paying attention. Violence is a tool, and nothing much more than that. You can choose to use it any way that you’d like. Perhaps for good, or evil, right? Well WHY would you assume it’s only an EVIL tool and not a GOOD tool? I can tell you that it’s a totally acceptable option in my world – in fact I have wielded it with a LOT of success – in stopping it being used as an EVIL implement.

Look, let’s face it, talking about violence will strike a chord within each of us, sometimes similarly, sometimes NOT. To say that “violence has never solved anything” is a stupid thing to say. Historically violence has been used to solve a LOT of things, and SOEMTIMES we’re alright with that notion as long as we don’t look too closely under the hood, or dwell on it.

Violence CAN be used for good, period. That’s really all I should have to say here. I know firsthand. I have the scars and memories to prove it. I know in my heart that I did what I had to using the tool of violence for good – to protect others and myself when it was used by another with evil intent.

TO use it successfully, we need ot have a conversation, and you may need to change your worldview, as I did. I’d lived MOST of my life without ever having to wield this tool, but when I chose a new career, I couldn’t FIND information fast enough. I had to approach THIS in steps, because like many, it was NOT a subject that I wanted to discuss, let alone study! First I had to try the self-defense/martial arts route. Knowing that I was putting myself in danger every day, I knew early on that this was NOT the solution that I needed. My sensei got me started one day when he showed me a specific thing – a technique that I had no idea about. THAT one demonstration open a new world, the first of many as it would turn out.

Fast forward and I started looking for ‘techniques.’ HOW does anyone learn 1000 techniques and maintain that level of expertise? They don’t, simply. The next phase was learning about Israeli SD – Krav Maga. I was told that it was more like what I should be studying, but “it’s brutal.” NOT what I’m looking for, without even looking, let alone understanding. SO I looked, and while it seemed to open a new door, and it did indeed, I still has a lot of reservations.

I found my teacher through that exploratory procedure, and started on a long journey. Principles vs. techniques was outlined, and bingo, that struck a chord! Next up was finding Tim Larkin and TFT with Chris Ranck-Buhr. I invested, and started to read, study and ponder. It was another LARGE step in my growth evolution, but one that is still paying off. While I didn’t fully understand what I had committed to, it’s still useful and worthy of more study. I won about everything that Tim has marketed, and only used a small portion of his output in my professional career – the study of body mechanics.

This book opens up some more access to those tools which had been previously provided and purchased. It fine tunes some of the subject matter, and points you to specific areas that should be required, in my opinion. Tim has been quoted as saying the book started out at over 2-3 thousand pages – I’d LOVE to see what was cut!

In short, if you want to prevail in an ugly encounter, you owe it to yourself and your family to BUY this book, read it, and know that it’s a primer for that outcome. Tim can only put so much information out there as the book you’d really need would be thousand of pages long, and who would read that except for only a few, and they’d likely only do so for purely academic reasons. This book gives you some of the ingredients that you will need when facing violence. You’d be stupid during this time in history to continue to turn a blind eye and hope that it happens only to someone else.

Ingredients, nothing more, and it’s here for the taking. You’d be a fool NOT to. In fact, the knowledge herein can save your life or the lives of others. That’s a powerful statement, and one that I don’t make lightly. Keep this in mind if you need further encouragement to start your journey by reading this book – how long will it be before someone can get to you when your life is on the line? Violence happens fast, and if you’re caught unprepared, you will likely lose – and that can mean anything from injury to death, within seconds. Most violence happens that fast. It takes longer to dial 9-1-1 to even let them know that you’re in trouble or have seen someone else in trouble. Do you see my point?