Once upon a time I used to be regular reader/subscriber to Guns & Ammo Magazine. Every month when I pulled those pages out of the mail box, the first thing I did was to turn it over and open the back cover to see what the Gunner's Guru was going to share with me. Jeff Cooper's straight forward and eloquent writing style never ceased to educate and entertain. His passing was a tremendous loss to the firearms community, but his teachings and writings will never die nor loose their relevance, for they are truly timeless. No finer example exists then the immortal words he penned on the subject of fighting mindset in the pages of Principles of Personal Defense. I believe it is Cooper's shortest book, but don't let that fool you, it is a wealth of knowledge. It had been nearly two decades, since I last read it. Some jerk barrowed my previous copy and never returned it. I recently replaced it and while I was reading it, I came to realize just how much impact it on my daily life; it was especially obvious on the subject of alertness. Just little things like how I never sit in the middle of the room in a public restaurant or pub, how I never put my back to the entrance without a mirror in front of me, how I never step blindly into or out of doors, how I take wide turns around corners, how I am always scanning my surroundings even when engaged in conversation. I've been asked, "What are you doing?" "Nothing, nothing at all", I'll reply with a slight smile. If you don't know you just don't know. One of my very favorite quotes in the book is where Cooper is talking about anger and aggressiveness when faced with life treating situation, he states, "The foregoing is quite obviously not an approved outlook in current sociological circles. That is of no consequence. We are concerned here simply with survival. After we have arranged for our survival, we can discuss sociology." It just doesn't get any more straight up and truthful than that. If we don't survive the current situation nothing else matters, nothing. The entire book is full of such truisms. In the forward, Louis Awerbuck claims "Principles of Personal Defense is like a twentieth-century Western Civilization equivalent of Musashi's seventeenth-century Book of Five Rings, it should be read, studied, and then periodically reread and restudied." Jeff Cooper's Principles of Personal Defense are: 1. Alertness 2. Decisiveness 3. Aggressiveness 4. Speed 5. Coolness 6. Ruthlessness 7. Surprise Learn them, study them, practice them, they just might save your ***.