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Review: When Violence is the Answer by Tim Larkin

When Violence is the Answer: Learning How to do What it Takes When Your Life is at Stake

By Tim Larkin

Tim Larkin often says that violence is usually not the answer, but when it is, it is the only answer.

I’ve listened to several of his interviews, watched several of his videos, and read more than one of his books. His message is consistent. 99 percent of conflicts are what he calls “antisocial.” The schoolyard bully. The angry red neck. The drunk guy at the bar. These all can and should be avoided. Violence is not the answer to these encounters. The answer is to stay polite and walk away.

What about the other 1%? These are asocial encounters. We’ve moved beyond “monkey politics,” as Larkin calls it. There’s no communication. There’s no social posturing. There’s only a predator, and he intends to get what he wants regardless of what he has to do. Your life, or your family member’s life, is at stake. You can’t talk your way out. You can’t run. Now is when violence is the answer.

If you’ve read Larkin’s other books, you won’t find a lot that is new here A slightly different focus, maybe, but the same basic message. But if you haven’t read any of his writings, I highly recommend this one as it is the most up to date.

Another note: this book is not full of self-defense techniques. There are general principles, but not specific techniques. As Larkin says, this is not martial arts. You don’t have to know a fancy technique to cause serious injury using just your body.

There is a lot of good information in this book—information that could save a life. I read it with interest, and I’m sure I’ll read it again.


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