My rating: 5 of 5 stars
There are days during training when the "martial" is clear; there are other days that it's obvious that it's truly "art"; on occasion it feels as if it is only a sport, with all of the emphasis on scoring points, countering the "attack", and looking for quick openings. That's why it's useful, once in a while, to delve into books that recall what it's all about. In this regard a new volume has just rolled off the press by David Kahn, a certified Israeli Krav Maga Association instructor, and trainer of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies along with all branches of the U.S. military. "Krav Maga: Professional Tactics" is a 352 page instructional manual that is designed for "security-conscious civilians, law enforcement officers, military personnel, and security professionals alike who wish to improve their chances of surviving an armed attack and prevailing without serious injury" (xxi). It is clearly and unashamedly emphasizing the "martial" part of martial arts! The subject matter is accessible, and easy to follow.
The initial chapters cover the principle concepts of Krav Maga, such as simplicity; retzev (continuous combat motion); combine defense and offense; attack the attacker; close the distance and neutralize the threat, and use the “deadside” of the assailant, to name a few. These themes are drummed throughout the bulk of the material, visually and in the written instructions. It is quickly obvious that from cover-to-cover, the instruction arises from an environment of violence; the same kind of environment that all martial arts originally were crafted in.
The largest portion of “Krav Maga: Professional Tactics” consists of step-by-step, picture-by-picture coaching on defensive and offensive movements. Though the pictures are smaller, they are normally very clear so that when reading the instruction it is easy to visualize the “what” and the “how”. Chapters cover punches, throws, counterthrows, chokes, choking defense, escort controls, surviving ground tactics. There are five chapters on weapons; blunt, edged, and firearms. And one section addresses how to survive multiple assailants. With the combined aid of the written and visual guidance, learners could easily pick up a few important maneuvers with consistent practice.
“Krav Maga: Practical Tactics” would make a good addition to any martial arts school. It could also be an ideal means of supplementing any formal self-defense training, or Krav Maga sessions. Obviously, the best way to go is with personal instruction by a genuine trainer and fellow learners. Nevertheless the book is a valuable tool for anyone looking to gain some extra skill-sets in the martial arts and self-protection. I highly recommend the book.
Thanks to YMAA for providing, upon my request, the free copy of “Krav Maga: Professional Tactics” used for this review. The assessments are mine given without restrictions or requirements (as per Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255).
View all my reviews