• Randy England

Book Review: Principles of Self Defense, Jeff Cooper


Recently I read Principles of Self Defense by Jeff Cooper, the second edition from 1989. Jeff Cooper passed in 2006. He was a retired Colonel of the United States Marine Corps, author of many books written about self defense and firearms, and he was the creator of Gunsite Academy. This book was a short but good read. Colonel Cooper does have a more recent edition that was published in 2006. It has around thirty more pages of information added. He begins the book by explaining that no matter where people are in the world or during what time period they lived, there is always going to be violence. This means there will always be a need to practice forms of self defense and his principles of self defense in order to protect ourselves and our loved ones. Cooper has seven principles that he believes are the foundation for people to practice their forms of self defense. There is a lot of good information in these principles. One point that stuck with me the most was when Colonel Cooper says, “It is true that a victim who fights back may suffer for it, but one who does not almost certainly will suffer for it. And, suffer or not, the one who fights back retains his dignity and his self-respect.” This is a very simple point, but important to me. Even if failure is likely, I would feel better about fighting to protect myself or loved ones than to just lay down and give the coward what he wants. If they want it, they are going to have to work hard for it. In many cases, swift, aggressive action is enough to either deter the attacker or give the victim the element of surprise to over come the attacker. Cooper even covers a couple incidents in his writing in order to illustrate this point.

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