112 of 114 people found the following review helpful
on June 14, 2005
I did two plus years of krav maga pretty religiously, to green belt level. I got this book, and I would say it is very good. It is the only book out there that details basic krav maga techniques, and for that, I think we should thank the author. I was a bit surprised to hear the Israeli guy say it is not real military krav maga, because I trained several times here in the U.S. with Israeli Seals and paratroopers and I see no real difference between their system and what David teaches (plus, the krav maga I learned is the exact program designed in Israel by Imi for the IDF). Yes, there is a lot of "politics" in martial arts (!), and yes, it is very "par for the course". The author states that he travelled to Israel to learn krav maga, so I also found it odd that someone would say he doesn't know the "Israeli version of krav maga". I found this book to be a really solid intro. to krav maga. It is just, there is nothing like the intensity of a krav maga class. If you have been in a class, the intensity is just so real and important, and you can't get that from a book. I recall doing like 30 seconds of hard knees into a pad someone was holding, with 3 krav guys yelling at me to "stay in the fight". I recall being in a darkened room, with people with pads pushing in on me, with my eyes closed, and someone yells "gun !!", and you have to fight your way out past the people and find the gun guy and defeat him. I recall the adrenaline, the stress, the sweat. You of course can't get all those "military" things in a book, but you can at least see the krav maga program. I think this book is a good introduction to krav maga.
36 of 39 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2007
I have studied various martial arts for years. I was fortunate enough to have had an instructor early on whose primary focus was practical self-defense, in other words, what would actually work in a street fight, mugging, ambush, etc. The techniques in this book are the same I have learned over the years. They are practical, and they work. The thing about this book I was happiest to see was the instructor's admission that: in a fight, you're going to get hit/hurt, possibly more than once, and that you must defend yourself to the best of your ability while striving to end the fight as quickly as you can with the appropriate amount of force (you're not going to immediately gouge the eyes out of some drunk who's a little overly friendly in a bar, but you may need to if he follows you out and tries to rape you). I also like the fact that he has included reality: it may take several blows from you before your attacker succumbs. Don't just hit a man once in the throat; hit him as many times as you safely can. Overall a good read, and if you can remember and apply these techniques in a crisis situation you're ahead of the game, but it still doesn't take the place of taking a class in a martial art and feeling what it's like, under controlled conditions, to actually block someone's strike, grapple with them, punch back, etc. But remember and apply these techniques if necessary, and this book very well could save your life.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 2006
Being the author of several books on the martial arts and fighting, I am always looking for books of exceptional quality to add to my library. If I have a book in my library, it's definitely worth owning. One such book is David Kahn's, "Krav Maga."
After a brief introduction, David gives you a good basic overview of Krav Maga including some of its history. From here he goes right into a section on philosophy, which is very good, and one in which I would have to agree with about 90% of what he has to say.
The next section in the book gives a good overview on the proper mindset needed in order for you to prepare yourself for combat. Something a lot of books fail to do, but not this one. David also gives you a basic understanding of the vital/vulnerable points on the human body.
David's next section is rather brief to my liking, but still a good overview on the basic principles involved in striking correctly for maximum effect. This section covers such strikes as; punches, palm heel strikes, elbow strikes, and eye gouges. There is also a small section on blocks and parrying as it is called in boxing.
The following section covers various lower body strikes and kicks along with kick defenses, which include deflections, blocks and grabs. This next section was particularly interesting in that it discussed close combat fighting and techniques essential to this section. Such as; falling, crawling, clinching, takedowns, defenses against tackles, etc.
The escape section was very enlightening as David covered the basic principles of escape from basic grabs, chokes while standing, chokes while lying down, head locks, hair grabs, and bear hugs.
Like most books that try to cover too much in one volume, I feel that the sections themselves although very well done, tend to be too brief on the proper execution of each individual technique. However, having said that, this is to be expected as the scope of this book is intended as a basic overview of the complete system, not a single volume devoted to one particular technique.
The only fault that I have with this book is the fact that I would have preferred actual photographs for demonstrating the techniques, rather than illustrations. I felt that a lot of what David was trying to explain got lost with the use of illustrations compared to if he would have used actual photographs.
The book continues with a brief section on basic strategies, which I found to be very solid. It then finishes with a basic training section which covers stretching, training programs, a 12 week training routine, and sparring.
Overall, this is a very good basic overview on the art of Krav Maga, and one you definitely want to acquire, especially if you decide to join a Krav Maga class. And that is not a bad idea at all.
43 of 50 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2004
I typically don't get involved in writing reviews of products. But I felt it was my Amazon civic duty to inform all who are interested, that the material covered in this book is clear and thoughtfully presented. Compared to the Imi Sde-Or (Lichtenfeld) book, the author takes an approach more oriented to the civilian. The book will make an excellent addition to the library of a beginner or intermediate Kravist or for anyone interested in the system.
16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2007
This book is AMAZING. I've often been a critic of martial arts books because it's very hard for me to learn from books. The creators of martial arts books don't always make it easy to learn from their books either...and let's face it, some martial arts don't lend themselves well to book form.
David Kahn has OUTDONE himself with Krav Maga: The Contact Combat System of the Israel Defense Forces. The format of this book is very eye catching and uses a lot of bold text, boxed text and special sections to hold the readers attention. While much of the material can be considered "basic self-defense" by some standards, I found myself learning a new perspective on every nearly every page. Even though I've seen these techniques before, I had never seen them packaged and categorized in the way David has done it.
I'm going to make a bold statement here...I can actually learn Krav Maga from this book! That's right! We all know that going to a class is the best way to learn any martial art. But this particular book even surpases DVD's in my opinion in an applicable way to learn effective self-defense.
I try nearly everything that lands on my doorstep for review. I enjoy a lot of it, but nothing, not one thing on this website has impressed me the way this simple book did. I wish I owned 50 copies and could give them out to family and friends.
If you follow what David is saying and practice in the SUPERB way he has it laid out, you will learn self-defense and Krav Maga. I am following David's 12 week program right now and I will finish it. I was VERY sore after the first day which was a suprise! This isn't just a fitness program or something, you are drilling the techniques and building muscle memory.
Summary: I have quite simply never come across a martial arts book THIS inspiring and THIS good...ever...period. It's a MUST READ for anyone concerned about self-defense, fitness or Krav Maga.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on April 27, 2006
I have to start by saying that I love this concept. I am so tired of hearing products pushed in the fitness industry. The latest ab machines, cardio machines, etc. are all pushed as if no decent workout existed prior to their invention. David Kahn gives his readers a path to a phenomenal workout using nothing more than a few feet of space and their own body. Now there is NO excuse. You have enough room to perform these workouts in your own hotel room, and if you don't you can always walk outside.
David Kahn covers numerous martial arts basics in his book. His discussions on striking points, strategy, dead side versus live side, and the like are all excellent introductions for someone studying the martial arts the first time. He even covers such things as falls, joint locks, and basic weapons defenses. If one has to say anything, this book holds too much information to be assimilated all at once. The number of techniques in this book is probably equivalent to that of attaining a first middle-rank belt in a traditional system. For this reason my recomendation is to cover a few basic techniques at a time, and then add five per month until you have mastered the entire repertoire. Even that is an excellerated learning curve compared to most martial arts schools.
The reason this book only receives four stars is that a book format is never the best way to convey the martial arts. One should study under a learned instructor in order to understand such things as form, and the finer points of technique which can save time in learning, increase safety, and decrease the risk of overuse injuries. That said, the idea is phenomenal and if this introduces you to the martial arts through a fitness regimen, all the better. Just don't think you know how to defend yourself by mastering the techniques in ths book. Go to an instructor and get trained! It's a great fitness tool, and for those of us with prior martial arts training it is a great way to hone our previously developed skills. For those of you without martial arts training it is a phenomenal workout and a good introduction to the fighting arts. I hope you continue on that journey.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 22, 2006
I originally got into Krav Maga as a mean to help me reduce weight while doing some type of "useful" workout. I mean by useful some type of workout that I could get something out from it besides the original purpose of losing weight. In this case it was personal defense.
Why Krav Maga and no other type of "martial" art? I was drawn into Krav Maga because to me it is a no nonsense method of "martial" art. It just gets to the point. Defend yourself and neutralize your opponent by any means necessary and by using the human body's instinctive moves. These instinctive moves with "follow ups" are easily explained in David's book and is what, to me, makes Krav Maga a true modern martial art. I'm telling you all, I am not a "sports" person and I have been taking Krav Maga classes almost non-stop from more than one year now.
What started as a means to help reduce weight, it quickly became (after just the first class) a need to have more and more. I can consider myself a Krav Maga Junkie. I just can't get enough!
David's book is so well explained that it is like having your private instructor at home.
Well done David! I can't wait for a second book!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on September 21, 2005
Where do I begin?
I explored Krav Maga because I was approaching 40 when I first read it and wanted some other physical outlet/excercise source to keep me in shape. I was getting too old to be chasing guys half my age around on a basketball court.
David started because he was finishing his college football career and looking for the same.
Upon reading the book I was instantly hooked by the simplicity of the techniques and philosophy behind Krav Maga.
I immediately started taking group/private lessons with Rick Blitstein, David's instructor/mentor if you will.
After 9 months of taking lessons I can tell you that I am glad I did it, I could have started 20 years ago.
I have lost appox 25 lbs with the workouts and have become noticeably quicker and more agile as a result of the drills and training. I plan on training and learning Krav Maga until I cannot anymore. I would like to someday become an instructor at some level.
The illustrations in the book, as well as the accompanying text were extremely accurate when applied to actual techiques.
When David tells you, for example how to block a punch and strike simultaneously, or how to escape from various choke holds, the techniques used are based on our own instinctive movements, which is the way Rick teaches us in our class. There is little if any variation at all.
David's descriptions and attention to detail make this an easy read, even if you've never taken any type of martial art/self defense class before.
Additionally, unlike other self-defense books that claim to make you an expert without ever taking a class with a certified instructor, he encourages instuction to make sure you get the most out of Krav Maga. He explains that his book will only teach you so much, which is refreshing compared to others.
I highly recommend the book to anyone who wants to learn an efficient no nonsense way to defend yourself and your loved ones.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on May 2, 2007
Over the last six months that I have used David Kahns book, it proves itself to be more than the essential guide that it is sold as.The book is well thought out with each chapter building on the previous segments information. The directives are clear and succinctly written. The pictures that acompany the information help to further instill the the techniques into the practical art that Krav Maga is intended to be.
Much to my exitment I found that Mr. Kahn and his brother, Abel, have opend a gym not far from me in New Jersey. Having just finished my first weeks classes with Mr. Kahn and his staff I have nothing but praise for the professionalism of the Kahn brothers and their staff. The high commendations given to them by agencies such as; The United States Coast Guard, United States Marshals, FBI, New Jersey State Police, and numerous municipal police departments, barely scratch the surface of the Kahns passion and zeal for teaching the Krav Maga they have learned in the past decade of working with the grand master of this art in Israel.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on October 20, 2004
My sparring partners recommended this book to me and it's obvious why. It's a relief to finally find an easy to read instruction book. You can tell from the first chapter this guy actually teaches instead of just working out. I've taken Krav for a while, but it's hard to keep up when I travel. This book keeps me current.