August 30, 2014


Art of Manliness Podcast #79: On Killing and On Combat With Lt. Col. Dave Grossman

Last year we did a series of posts about an analogy that breaks the world into three kinds of people: sheep, sheepdogs, and wolves. That insight came from retired Army Lt. Col. Dave Grossman, a man who has spent his career researching, writing, and speaking about an unpleasant topic: killing. Specifically, what happens to a person physically and psychologically whenever they have to take the life of another human to protect himself or someone else. Grossman’s work has provided invaluable insights on how to better train and prepare our warriors for the stress that comes with life and death situations. I talk to Lt. Col. Grossman about the often unspoken act of killing, the mind and body in combat, and what people can do to prepare themselves mentally and physically for violent situations.

Show highlights:

  • How killing and sex are similar
  • What happens to the body and mind when somebody takes the life of another
  • What warriors can do to head off PTSD after a traumatic event
  • How offering someone a drink of water is an easy way to calm them down
  • How to prepare yourself mentally and physically for a life or death situation
  • And much more!


I definitely recommend picking up a copy of On Killing and On CombatEven if you’re not in law enforcement or the military, you’re bound to extract some useful insights from these books. The field-tested tactics to overcome the stress response on the battlefield can also be used in everyday life. Also, make sure to check out Grossman Academy where you can take an online class taught by Lt. Col. Dave Grossman himself using On Combat as the textbook.

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