Personal Self Defense Review
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Personal defense hasn’t been high on my priority list. Sure, I try to always be aware of my surroundings, but I’m not the kind of person who feels the need to practice self-defense techniques or take a class—probably because I grew up in the country. So when I picked up a copy of Mark Raatz’s Personal Self Defense: Street Smart Tactics for Men, Women, and Children, I was afraid that I wouldn’t identify with the book’s premise. I was wrong. Raatz’s book is a good introduction to personal self-defense for someone like me, though it’s not perfect.

The techniques Raatz describes in the book seem legitimate, and he’s very thorough in describing what to do. As the book suggests, readers “Quickly learn the five basic attack points” in these 24 pages. I was pretty sure that I understood the techniques described, and it did give me a lot to think about. However, Raatz doesn’t provide any background on himself to provide credibility, which makes me concerned about using his book as a sole source for learning self-defense. The reader doesn’t know if the author saw these techniques online or on a show or if he learned them as a police officer or karate instructor. Knowing more about Raatz’s background would have helped ease my mind a little, but his Amazon bio didn’t even have that information for me.

Unlike other materials on the subject, Personal Self Defense: Street Smart Tactics for Men, Women, and Children does not include any diagrams or pictures to illustrate the techniques. Raatz states in his introduction, “You can read this book one time, set it aside and it’s not going to do you any good. Don’t waste your time or money buying this.” However, besides the odd cover, there aren’t any pictures to describe any of the techniques he suggests that you practice. I had to wonder why, if he really felt this way, he didn’t take the extra effort to provide some more instruction through visual aids.

Personal Self Defense: Street Smart Tactics for Men, Women, and Children by Mark Raatz feels like a small book for $2.99, but it also seems like a valid introduction to self-defense. I wouldn’t recommend it as your sole source, but it’s a good start and a fast read if you’re in a pinch.

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