Top positive review
42 people found this helpful
on 7 December 2004
As a UK military close combat instructor, I cannot recommend this book highly enough! If you are serious about self-defence, and these days you should be, then you could do a lot worse than start here. David Kahn is a well-known (in the US) practitioner of the art of Krav Maga. The International Krav Maga Association has a good website to help you find local instructors for other countries.
The book gives a nice little history of how the art came to be, and the reasoning behind it. This is not an "ancient art", although it draws on theories and practices of many other fighting arts, and converts and updates them for realistic situations. Krav Maga is essentially a "street" combat system, not a demonstration system. It's not a pretty art, it's designed to get you out of a situation the quickest way possible - which by necessity means the most direct and most effective, most often the most violent approach. If you think you can't do this, then you are already a victim - you have to be prepared to take a fight as far as it needs to be taken - until the aggressor is unable to carry on, or you can be away on your toes!
This book will give you an idea of how to defend yourself, but needs to be backed up with formal training (you will not be able to devote full power training to the techniques unless you are in a properly supervised environment). Saying that, the twelve week programme contained in the book is good enough to get you to a basic level of conditioning and awareness. The best two techniques can be learnt and applied in 5 minutes, as Kahn explains - gouge the eyes, attack the groin, run away! There is no shame in running away if it lets you live another day!
In summary, this is a great book - it details the basic moves for the entry-level practitioner of Krav Maga, and the twelve week programme will get you to a level at which you should be able to defend yourself - it also gets you extremely fit! I would also recommend attending local classes - this is a growing system, with more instructors being trained all the time. Buy this book, devote some time to it, and hope that you never have to apply any of the techniques for real!