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The Bay Area Martial Arts Podcast

May 1, 2018

“I get paid (and paid well) to go into a situation, usually alone and usually outnumbered by sixty or more criminals, and maintain order. I prevent them from preying on each other or attacking officers. That’s the job. Now, since I don’t fight every day or even every week (anymore — I’m a sergeant now, one step behind the front line) most of the minutes and hour of the day are pretty easy, far too easy for what they are paying me. But every once in a while on a really, really ugly night, I more than earn my keep.” — Rory Miller (Meditations on Violence)


To most of us, that may sound like a crime novel — but for Rory Miller, that was his day job for seventeen years. Rory Miller is a prolific writer in martial arts and violence. He’s been training in the martial arts since ’81 and he’s been a corrections officer (with many of his years in maximum security) since ’91. He has a B.S. degree in Experimental Psychology from Oregon State. In the martial arts, he’s tried everything from judo to fencing, karate, and taekwondo — he has even studied some European weapons. He’s a member of the corrections team SERT — a corrections emergency response team.


In this episode, Rory Miller talks about his background and experience in the martial arts, how he became a corrections officer, how he came about training people on violence and the mentality of violence, life after working in a jail for 17 years, where he would like to see martial arts headed in the future, and his future writing projects.


Key Takeaways:

[:43] About Wade’s guest today, Rory Miller, and an excerpt from his book, Meditations on Violence.

[2:22] Welcoming Rory to the podcast.

[2:33] What Rory is currently up to in Oakland today.

[3:20] Rory qualifications and background for talking about violence.

[3:55] How did Rory end up becoming a jail guard?

[5:50] About Rory’s background in Experimental Psychology.

[6:07] Rory’s background in the martial arts and what he’s currently studying right now.

[9:15] Life after working in a jail for 17 years and how his perspective has changed.

[11:21] A chilling account from a prisoner and Rory’s take on ‘evil’ people.

[13:10] How Rory came about training people on violence and the mentality of violence through teaching and educational seminars.

[18:42] Does Rory see society as a whole becoming less and less independent? And his concerns about how passivity has become a virtue.

[20:17] Where Rory would like to see the future of martial arts headed? And what would he like to learn next?

[22:26] How training in the martial arts has affected Rory’s personal and professional life.

[26:19] Where does Rory think the future of martial art is headed?

[28:52] What Rory is planning to do next.

[30:21] Where to find Rory online.

[30:57] What we are consistently doing wrong in training and why people get so excited about Rory’s practical seminars.

[32:15] How Rory gets people ramped up in a safe environment to understand the severity of taking action in a fight or dire situation.

[34:30] Rory’s last nuggets of wisdom he’d like to impart to listeners.


Rory Miller’s Links:

Rory’s YMAA Page

Rory’s Amazon Book Page


Mentioned in this Episode:

Oregon State University

Meditations on Violence: A Comparison of Martial Arts Training & Real World Violence,

by Rory Miller

Kris Wilder

Kris Wilder (Part A) (BAMAP Episode)

Kris Wilder (Part B) (BAMAP Episode)

Martial University in Seattle

Jon Bluming

Dan Carlin’s Hardcore History

Freakonomics Podcast: How Can This Possibly Be True? Episode

Mom Asks 911 For Permission To Shoot Intruder — Actual Call (Youtube)