The Brutal Art of Ripping, Poking, and Pressing Vital Targets” by Loren W. Christensen is a book full of what some people would call dirty fighting techniques. But as Christensen points out, all fighting is dirty. This is not sport, it’s fighting. In the ugliness that is a street fight, techniques to the eyes, throat, ears, groin, nerve points, and other acutely vulnerable targets are not foul, but necessary to ensure you go home unhurt and it is your attacker that regrets attacking you.

While this book is over 270 pages, it has less written words than many of Christensen’s books. There are over 400 clear photographs illustrating the techniques Christensen provides in this text. Christensen’s criteria for techniques included in this book were that they be simple, they hurt, they are executable within just a few inches of space, they give direction to the attacker, and they have psychological and physical shock value.

The book is full of pictures of simple applications of ripping, poking, pinching, twisting and pressing. These techniques may not be the first that come to mind when people think of fighting. Punching, kicking, and grappling probably top most people’s lists. Well, after reading this book, you won’t think a pinch is just a pinch any longer. Christensen’s techniques include things such as pinching your attacker’s eyelid and snapping your hand back as if you are ripping a bandage off a wound. Or how about going Mike Tyson on your opponent’s ear by chomping his ear with prejudice? Christensen advises that you tear into his ear like a dog on a rabbit, jerking your head from side to side.

These are the kinds of techniques this book is full of. These techniques are not pretty, there are not flashy for the movie screen, but these techniques could just save your life. In real fights, you don’t know what you are going to be able to do. You often just take what you can get and count your blessings that you were able to get that. These techniques may be the only ones you have opportunity to use, and if you read this book, add the techniques to your repertoire, and practice them so that you can use them when needed, they may be just the thing that turns the table on your attacker and provides you with the arsenal to be the victor in an otherwise drastic situation.

This book has nothing to do with sport. However, if you are interested in practical, realistic, and sometimes extremely brutal, techniques for real self-defense, this book belongs on your self-defense book shelf. Just make sure you read it, and practice what it contains.

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