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How to Defend Yourself in Three Seconds (or Less): The Self-Defense Secrets You

How to Defend Yourself in Three Seconds (or Less): The Self-Defense Secrets You NEED to Know!


How to defend yourself in 3 seconds or less is a book written by Phil Pierce. I have had possession of my copy of this for some time and have been extremely busy with a number of projects on the horizon that readers of this column will most certainly be interested and benefit from; or I would have already published the review of this little gem. That being said; this writer is already wishing that I would have posted this sooner. Again as a bit of a skeptic whenever it comes to this genre of book; I was expecting a whole lot of proverbial “Hoopla” because of the title. The author even discusses the title of the book by saying that it’s more than just a snappy title. With that established the title is certainly an eye catcher and engages the impulsive part of one’s mind. After reading the title I was thinking simultaneously in two different directions, the first one was impulsive and saying “Read it now because that title just sounds effective”. The other perspective I had was skeptical and brought about thoughts such as “Come on…..really guy? What awesomeness can I possibly pick up from this book that will make me a bad dude in three seconds or less?”

Phil Pierce

The Initial Content

However “snappy” the title; one can say this author is spot on in so much of what he reveals in the book. Again, this writer finds himself perpetually surprised by this particular style of book. Although this book may not have oodles of techniques spread throughout the pages, the ones that it demonstrates are effective when delivered properly. The most impressive part of the book is revealed within the first 37 pages. I absolutely loved the way that Phil starts the book by talking about how to properly use the material covered within its contents; and the use of force. This content is extremely valuable because the author touches on the fact that use of force laws vary by region. The subject of discretionary force and the legalities of such force are all too often neglected by so many authors in this genre. Mr. Pierce hit a homerun with this part.

As a Defensive Tactics Instructor and former Gym owner myself; I can also appreciate the way that Mr. Pierce explains the importance of functional combat fitness, operant conditioning and the fact that running away is an excellent and extremely viable option for self protection. Again the author’s experience and professionalism is demonstrated by the content and delivery of the content in this publication. As a fellow instructor, martial artist and student of all things combative I give Mr. Pierce kudos for his honorable mention of such topics.

On Ground Fighting

“There are two reasons I haven’t included much in the way of ground fighting tips in this guide.

Firstly is my experience. In all honesty I have very little when it comes to grappling styles and it would be a disservice to you, the reader, if I started suggesting things I have no knowledge of.

The answer brings me to my second reason for its lack of inclusion. Ground fighting (grappling) is generally NOT recommended for a self-defense situation”

– (Quoted From the Book)

Both of these are excellent answers for why ground fighting was justifiably omitted from the contents of the book. In my own Combat Application Techniques: Principles of Destruction I refused to cover grappling because in a real situation of life or death, going to the ground is a poor tactical and strategic decision. This is especially true when dealing with multiple attackers. Again this is one of the nuances that make this book such a good read. One can also appreciate the honesty of the author by divulging the extent of his experience. This only adds to his credibility as a subject matter expert in this writer’s opinion.

On Amazon an individual under the name "W. Lambdin" was pretty harsh on the author in his critique citing a quote from Tank Abbot a former UFC fighter who couldnt even be considered marginal in today's sport of mixed martial arts claiming that if you don't know how to fight on the ground, then you don't know how to fight. He also makes a rather cliche and innaccurate statement about a majority of all street confrontations going to the ground. This is rather ironic because Tank Abbot was absolutely terrible on the ground. Mr. "W. Lambdin" clearly either one who has little experience in combat either street or competition, or one who has chugged the Gracie Jiu Jitsu Kool - Aid by the gallon; either way should be reminded almost all fights start standing. Again yet another situation where so many who review other's material are tough guys, experts and the like; under the anonymous guise of the internet.


There are roughly 39 pages describing techniques in this book. It is very apparent by the choice of techniques that the author has spent a considerable amount of time practicing the traditional martial arts. However, the delivery of many of the techniques display a modern tweak per say; with a resemblance of Krav Maga. That said any of the techniques will be effective when properly executed. This is true with almost any technique under the right circumstances.

Bonus material

Another aspect of this book that I particularly enjoyed was the part that discussed drills the reader can practice to develop their skills. This writer subscribes to the philosophy that “Drills Make Skills” a quote that I have adapted and taken from kickboxing great Duke Roufus. Mr. Pierce also briefly describes strategy when dealing with edged weapons, hand guns or impact weapons. Although he does not go into any great depth, the material he presents is extremely accurate. Mr. Pierce also includes information about where his books may be purchased and a link to his site

Overall Review

I think that this an excellent read for martial artists and those interested in self protection for any level of training and or experience. The author is fresh and creative in his approach and comes off as very credible in his presentation. I personally enjoyed this publication as it was very informative, direct to the point and accurate in its delivery. I would recommend this read to anyone looking to add to their self protection repertoire. That is why I am rating this 4.5 of 5 stars. Excellent work Mr. Pierce.

Mr. Pierce's book How to Defend Yourself in Three Seconds (or Less): The Self-Defense Secrets You NEED to Know! can be purchased here on

See the actual URL to Amazon's page below:

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