Book Review: Krav Maga Tactical Survival, by D.R.

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Published by Tuttle Publishing
ISBN: 978-0-8048-4765-0
5 parts, 224 pages with index

Between active shooters, the rise in violent crime, and the outbreak of “undocumented shoppers”, many Americans are taking an interest in learning how to protect themselves and their loved ones. This takes many forms, as some people devote their time and money to storing up resources and equipment, others to training with armed and unarmed combatives, and some to both. Any serious practitioner in unarmed combatives will likely have heard of the discipline of Krav Maga. Since Imi Lichtenfeld started training the Israeli military in “contact combat” in 1944, Krav Maga has become increasingly popular among the international community. With instructors all over the world spreading the word of reality-based self-defense, it’s not hard to imagine why that is the case. One such instructor is Gershon ben Keren, a 5th degree black belt in Krav Maga and the head instructor at Krav Maga Yashir in Boston, MA. In addition to providing training to civilians, law enforcement officers, and military personnel, he has also written a few books on the subject of unarmed combat.

In his latest book, Krav Maga – Tactical Survival, ben Keren goes in-depth on the subject, covering not only specific techniques but also important physical and psychological concepts that would be useful for self-defense and martial art practitioners of all levels. Every technique in the book is explained step-by-step and accompanied by pictures of the technique being preformed at actual speed, making it easy to understand and emulate the techniques in your own training. He also provides in-depth instruction on how to preform individual strikes, such as the hammerfist, palm strike, or elbow for those who are new to training or are unfamiliar with such combatives.

In addition to striking, the book also covers self-defense scenarios, armed assaults, unarmed assaults, and throws/pick-ups. Beyond combatives, one of the most important concepts taught in the book is how and when to de-escalate a situation before it erupts into a violent confrontation. Having to de-escalate or avoid a fight is the most likely situation a person will encounter, and it doesn’t take years of training to learn how to do it.

With his Master’s degree in Psychology, he gives insight into the way people perceive conflict. He writes: “When this happens, their mamilian or limbic system takes over; this part of the brain understands social interaction through displays of dominance/posturing and submission, just like a dog or wolf.”

I highly recommend this book to self-defense and martial arts practitioners, as well as those who have an interest in beginning to train. Keep in mind that no instructional book will be an adequate replacement for training with a good instructor, but Krav Maga – Tactical Survival should provide an excellent auxiliary resource for you during your training.

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