Krav Maga is today's cutting edge self-defense and hand to hand combat system. Initially developed by Grandmaster Imi Sde-Or (Lichtenfeld) for the Israel Defense Forces and other national security services, Krav Maga has been thoroughly adapted to meet civilan needs. The method was designed so that ordinary citizens, young and old, men and women alike, can successfully use it, regardless of their physical strength. This is the first and only authorized, comprehensive manual on the Krav Maga discipline, written by its founder, Imi Sde-Or, and his senior disciple and follower, Eyal Yanilove. This volume especially focuses on the various facets of dealing with an assailant armed with a sharp-edged weapon, a blunt object, or a firearm.
Spotlight customer reviews:
Customer Rating: Summary: Well Written Comment: This book bases defenses on our natural instincts and reflexes. Even so, practice is necessary to gain meaningful results. The key is that the book aims to present techniques that are easy to learn and hard to forget. Customer Rating: Summary: Interesting, even to beginners Comment: I found 20% of the book to be helpful as a review of what I was learning in class. The book was worthwhile for that alone.
The other 80% represents a range from a preview of what I will be learning to stuff that is and will always be well beyond my competence. However, it is 100% interesting.
The photos are clear and helpful. The consistent dress of the attacker and defender make it easier to understand. This makes it a great review and practice tool.
My sense is that many of the reviewers are looking for the same perfection they strive for in martial arts in a book. Unless written by the master under whom they study there will always be conflicts and inconsistencies. Perhaps some of these reviewers only find perfection in the bathroom mirror. But this alone does not make the book flawed.
Will the book take you out of your off the couch and prepare you for deadly combat in 10 days - no. Will it help you absorb and improve what you are learning and have learned in class? YES. Will it help you to understand and appreciate what is possible? YES
Highly recommended. Customer Rating: Summary: Thorough explaination of Krav Maga Comment: This book gives a very detailed explaination of the Krav Maga martial Arts. However the reader MUST understand that reading this book will NOT make you a Krav Maga expert... you need to participate in sanctioned Krav Maga instruction. Customer Rating: Summary: Practical Self-Defense Comment: These martial arts techniques will truly work in real-life self-defense situations. You'll actually be able to learn Krav Maga from this well-organized book. Customer Rating: Summary: Excellent presentation but probably not applicable to *you* Comment: Before you Krav Maga fans downvote this review just because it is critical, I would be grateful if you'd hear me out. I think that no matter how heavily invested you are in this system, you'll probably agree with me, and if not, please leave a comment, and I'll be glad to reconsider.
I'd be glad to give this book five stars if it had a different title. But the title states that this book will show *you* how to defend *yourself* against armed assault. The fact is that the vast majority of persons whose eyes fall upon this book-- and perhaps this review-- should not try to do what it depicts. For the vast majority of us, these techniques are suicidal, period. The only reason the book is presented as a manual of defending *yourself* against armed assault is that the market absolutely dictates it. A book on how experts and professionals might defend themselves would not sell enough copies to cover costs, and so you would probably never hear of it, and you certainly wouldn't see it on the Sports shelf of your local mega book chain, which is where I found it.
As the book states, Krav Maga was devised by a champion boxer and wrestler living in a violent place and time. It is taught to Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) and other top-notch professionals. Knowing this, you need to ask yourself a question: "am I a champion (or even competitive) wrestler or boxer or a top-notch professional soldier or policeman?" If the answer is "yes," then by all means, try the techniques shown here. If "no," then you might want to reconsider.
The book provides many excellent examples of what I mean. For instance, look at the frontispiece illustration for the section on knife defenses. It shows the Krav Maga practitioner countering a knife attack with a punch to the jaw. Now, if Grandmaster Imi Sde-Or punches a guy square in the jaw, the guy is probably going down. But if you or I punch a guy square in the jaw-- that is, if we lesser-trained couch potatoes and desk jockeys are lucky enough to land such a punch on a determined attacker-- it might just hurt him enough to make him mad. A boxer's punch is a devastating weapon, but very, very few of us are boxers.
Furthermore, the jaw is a much bigger, heavier bone than most people think, and many people who succeed in punching it wind up with broken bones in their hands. This is a huge problem even among police, whose level of training and readiness is generally far above the average person's.
Don't get me wrong. If you are a good amateur boxer, chances are that you can hit a moving attacker with enough force to shatter the bones in his face. But if not, and you try what this book depicts, then you are putting yourself in the position of trading licks with a guy who is stabbing, not punching. In short, unless your punch is a lethal weapon, you are choosing to engage in a fight at an extreme disadvantage, where your life depends on the outcome. It is Bambi versus Godzilla, and you are Bambi. Does that sound like a good decision?
As I look at the pictures, I want to ask the defender some questions. "If you didn't notice that the attacker had a knife until he got close, then how is it that you are not already stabbed and dying? And if you did see the knife attack coming from a distance, then why on Earth did you not maintain that distance?" Put yourself in the defender's shoes and try to answer this interrogation. All the answers I can think of sound pretty lame.
Also bear in mind that no matter how much this is touted as self-defense for civilians, it is a basic fact that police and soldiers have completely different priorities than most of us when it comes to confronting armed and homicidal persons. No amount of verbiage and logic and argument will ever change this fact. It follows that what is best for the IDF is not necessarily best for Joe Commuter. No "system" can simultaneously address the needs of both. As far as I'm concerned, that is a thing that speaks for itself.
So if I were to evaluate this book solely on its ability to teach self-defense to the average person, as its title implies, then I would give it one star, and that only because there are no zeros. Teaching people like me to grapple with knife-wielding maniacs can only get us killed, and for what? Nothing.
On the other hand, as many others have pointed out, the book serves very well as a manual for someone who is devoting himself to Krav Maga classes-- and indeed is not at all practical otherwise. It's also a valuable source for those of us who like to look at various fighting systems as spectators and students. For these purposes, the book is perfect, and so I can't very well give it a big fat zero. The best I can do is average the two ratings and say that it's a fine book, but you should only try putting it into practice if you meet certain very special qualifications.
Again, if I've said anything inaccurate or upsetting here, I'd be glad to hear about it and reconsider.