Book Review: Sharpening The Warrior’s Edge – The Psychology & Science Of Training by Bruce K. Siddle


Zy Marquiez
June 26, 2016

Sharpening The Warrior’s Edge – The Psychology & Science Of Training by Bruce K. Siddle is a book that takes a scalpel and dissects the many deep aspects of the psychological process when coupled with high stress survival situations.

Siddle does a pheSgtress nomenal job of bringing forth a very systematic approach into the many crevices that encompass the totality of a warrior mindset.  The author also delves  into the oft-overlooked spiritual component that many other authors overlook in this field.

Although relatively complex in its breath and scope, the book actually is a quick read.  That’s always a plus.

The way the author distills potentially intricate subjects such as survival mindset, implementing survival research, survival reaction time, the neural basis of survival motor programs and condenses them to bite-sized chunks makes the book that much easier to read.

Anyone from any walk of life could pick this book up and be able to garner useful information proportional to the motivation driving them.

Personally, the stress management, and breath control management information and discussions were the most useful for me, but your millage may vary.

All the information discussed is appreciated because it all forms various components of a robust methodology which can be employed in potential combat/survival scenarios of all types.  Each of those areas of an individual’s repertoire discussed by the author can mean the difference between life and death, and to have that information discussed objectively put together for individuals is something that is beyond priceless.

Book Review: US Military Pocket Survival Guide Plus Evasion & Recovery by Matt Larsen

Zy Marquiez
February 24, 2016

As someone who’s been in countless disaster scenarios, knowledge about preparedness has always been seen as valuable by me. Being in many hurricanes, countless blackouts [that’s what happens in 2nd/3rd world country infrastructure after all] & a few blizzards, while also living in the southern portion of tornado alley gives one plenty of experience in what one knows, but more importantly what one does not know. And in most of the scenarios, a common theme emerged: most people were wholly unprepared for what was coming, even though they had ample time to prepare, and unfortunately, lives were lost when they shouldn’t have been.

That above is mentioned to lay the foundation that this book was seen as part of a more robust general preparedness plan that would help in any emergency scenario, or if one is stranded in the woods on a daily hike or gone camping. Yes, this particular book was made specifically for the military, but it matters not. Useful information is useful information, no matter who it was made for.

This particular book US Military Pocket Survival Guide Plus Evasion & Recovery by Sergeant First Class Matt Larsen, was suggested to me by a friend of mine who’s former Marine after we got into a discussion at length about potential ‘survival scenarios’ regarding many different subjects.

He talked about it obviously not replacing real world experience, but for folks that were looking to learn more about certain circumstances, then this book would have plenty to offer. In that, my friend’s advice was spot on.

This book is a rather quick read, and even quicker if you’re familiar with much of the information provided. As mentioned before, this ‘survival guide’ was obviously developed for military personnel in mind, but it has plenty to offer inquiring individuals. How much, depends on where you live, whether you go out into the wilderness a lot, and what other dangers one might be exposed too.

Larsen did a rather incisive job of distilling the information provided to the most vital components, which is greatly appreciated. Many books will go much further in depth, and that’s great if you’re looking for more latitude in respect to this subject, but it’s outstanding to have a rather concise summary of information that could be helpful in a myriad of ways. The book has enough density for it to be worthwhile for most people. Unless one is a seasoned veteran [no pun intended] or a survival guru, then the book has quite the range of information.

From Navigation, Communications, Signaling and so on, to Medical information, Food Procurement to Personal Protection Equipment, there are many subjects that are covered. One need remember though, this is a synopsis, and throughout the entire book the information provided is in its most distilled form, meaning one is only getting the most bare bones needed facts.

One great point of the book is that it has more illustrations than were expected by myself, and that was rather a pleasant surprise. At least a third to one half of the book has illustrations. For me personally, it’s always helpful to have illustrations, especially ones that help clear up possible confusing information.

Also, another great point is the size of the book.  It can fit nigh anywhere, as its size is extremely convenient if one needed to have this book somewhere a regular sized book might not fit so well.

For all that the book has to offer, there’s still a lot that goes uncovered, and it makes sense given its original target audience. What’s meant by that is that the book could have delved into other topics, or perhaps explored certain ones in more precise detail, but it opted not too because [and this is just an educated guess] that information would probably be known to most in the military.

With that said, merging the information within this book with information provided with the books below would further increase an individual’s depth of knowledge as far as possible emergency/survival scenarios goes. Books suggested include:

98.6 Degrees – The Art Of Keeping Your Ass Alive by Cody Lundin
Bushcraft: Outdoor Skills and Wilderness Survival by Mors Kochanski
Bushcraft 101: A Field Guide To The Art Of Wilderness Survival by Dave Canterbury
SAS Survival Handbook – The Ultimate Guide To Surviving Anywhere by John Wiseman

The totality of information provided by the above books, as the well as the prior one discussed would lay a rather robust foundation for any individual looking to learn more about these abstruse subjects. The each cover information that’s rather unique, and although the information at times does dovetail, each of them has separate/unique enough components that it’s rather worthwhile.

In any case, the information provided is for anyone that’s searching for information that might help them learn more about general preparedness. Any of the books mentioned offers ample data points and skills that one can hone which could help people in many scenarios. It does not take an end-of-the-world emergency to employ much of what’s offered.

As the book 98.6 Degrees details, people have died mere a mile from their car while in their wilderness just because they didn’t have the right clothing. How unfortunate is that? Of course, that’s not the only unfortunate passing that’s taken place, and won’t be the last.

This book serves as a solid component in a more wider preparedness plan. If you’re interested in these concepts, then you’re urged to do your research and see if these, or any other of the books might be of interest.

Book Review: Disaster Preparedness For EMP Attacks & Solar Storms by Arthur T. Bradley Ph.D

By: Zy Marquiez
February 1, 2016

The subject of EMPs/Solar Storms, as the author makes a it a point to allude to, is merely one component of a more robust preparation plan.

No, this book is not about doom and gloom, or the end of the world. This book, is however, about the very realistic fact that solar storms do and have taken place, and EMP [electromagnetic pulses] are a realistic concern/threat among many high-level individuals.

Many people scoff at the notion of having knowledge of preparedness and these are the same people that will literally spend thousands of dollars yearly on all types of insurances, for things they will in all high probably likely never use. That’s how the Insurance Companies make money, you know.

Ironically, the mere mention in some circles of a month’s worth of food – that you’re going to eat anyways, and thus not incur any additional financial cost like “real insurance” – makes some believe that certain preparedness principles are far out there. The reason? With TV Shows & Media that do nothing but marginalize individuals that are into preparedness, it’s no wonder the lot of the populace is brainwashed on the subject. And yet, all of our ancestors practiced – as they had too prudent preparedness in the past. Don’t believe me? How was food stored over the winter? It was canned and stored in a myriad of ways, among other things. It had to be, if not, you might eat less, or might not eat. It was certainly stored other ways as well. That shows a very practical precedent for general preparedness.

In any case, this book is more of an advanced tier into preparedness, but a needed one nonetheless.

Disaster Preparedness For EMP Attacks & Solar Storms by Arthur T. Bradley Ph.D is a rather swift read. It should take no more than 2-3 hours tops, or even quicker if you know many of the topics already covered.

The book is rather incisive in that it cuts through much of the BS that is out there online in regards to protection in mitigating EMP/Solar Storms. This is my favorite part of the entire book.

In a rather comprehensive way, this book addresses all areas of concern individuals interested in preparedness should be pondering. That is very helpful especially if you are a beginning prepper and just managed to jump into this topic.

Out of all preparedness subjects, an EMP/Solar storm threat is one of those issues that is extremely unlikely to happen, and yet, it’s quite possible especially when extreme solar activity and solar storms are taking place.

It really doesn’t take a lot to get prepared if you do it right. There is much misinformation/disinformation out there in regard to these subjects. This is one great reason why this book stands out.   Bradley goes straight to the point, and keeps it practical while not also overdoing it.

All in all, this book is a vital component for individuals interested in general preparedness.

That being said, before jumping on this book, people should probably make sure they have other more likely areas of concern [more possible/common areas]- such as earthquakes, tornadoes [we live in Tornado alley here], hurricanes, etc. – addressed.

Bradley makes his case with sound, verifiable and meaningful information that is sorely lacking in many other disciplines.   This can see throughout the entirety of the book, and only serves to buttress the information provided by the author.

The book even showcases a table that is very useful which outlines the shielding effectiveness of various enclosures.

While not in most people’s most likely scenarios to happen – and rightly so – EMPs/Solar Storms are something to keep in mind. If you think this book might help you, then by all means give it a consideration. The book is definitely high quality work for such an abstruse subject.


Other suggested reading:

98.6 Degrees – The Art Of Keeping Your Ass Alive, by Cody Lundin
The Survival Medicine Handbook – A Guide For When Help Is Not On The Way, By Joseph Alton M.D. & Amy Alton A.R.N.P.