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Krav Maga: How to Defend Yourself Against Armed Assault Paperback – June 25, 2001
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"Imi Sde-Or, of blessed memory, developed a strategy for Krav Maga that makes self-defense possible for the individual too, whether or not in uniform, such that even when alone, the battle will not necessarily be lost."—Shimon Peres, formerly Israel's Prime Minister
About the Author
Imi Sde-Or (Imrich Lichtenfeld, 1910-1998) was the creator of the acclaimed school of Krav Maga. Imi and his senior disciple and follower, Iyal Yanilov, spent more than a decade writing this book.
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The risks it addresses are not abstractions to the citizens of most of our large cities. The morgues are littered with great women and men who died brutal deaths at the hands of street thugs. In many of these cases there was a moment in time when escape might have been possible, especially when the attackers are using drugs. For most women who are forced into cars by strangers it is the last ride of their life ( see Gift of Fear).
As a professional friend who is also a Deputy Sheriff part time commented, when seconds count, the police are only minutes away.
There's no substitute for training. But this book helps to reinforce what you have learned and prepare you for the next lessons.
I found 25% of the book to be helpful as a review of what I was learning in class. The book was worthwhile for that alone. However, there is a lot more in the book.
The other 75% represents a range from a preview of what I will be learning to stuff that is and will always be far beyond my competence. However, it is 100% interesting. Hopefully I will never be called upon to disarm a man holding a grenade with the pin pulled. It's a worst case scenario left to those who must deal with such things.
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.
Will the book take you 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 Will it help to review what you learned years earlier YES.
Now the bad: I'm really, really leery of some of what is taught herein. For example, on page 34 a kick to the chin is shown in defense of a straight knife thrust. Sorry folks, but that's an almost certain recipe for disaster. First off, unless you are a superior, lightning fast athlete there is no way you can kick that high without eating steel since the attacker's wrist only has to move a few inches to slice or stab your leg, foot, or ankle while you need to cover several feet to hit his/her chin. Even worse if your timing is off you could be hit in an even more vital area. In 30 years of martial arts I've met and trained hundreds upon hundreds of practitioners. I know perhaps one or two who could pull this off. Perhaps there is some hidden intent that I don't understand or something got lost in translation from Hebrew but I'm just not buying this one...
Overall: Don't get me wrong, there really is a lot of good stuff in here. However, there are techniques you know, techniques you do, techniques you train, and techniques you'd stake your life on. Choose wisely!
Author of Surviving Armed Assaults, The Way of Kata, and Martial Arts Instruction