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Home > Reviews > Krav Maga Tactical Survival

Krav Maga Tactical Survival

Author Gershon Ben Keren

ISBN No 978-0-8048-4765-0

Review date 24/06/2019

No of pages 224

Publisher Tuttle Publishing

Publisher URL

Year of publication 20/01/2017


Krav Maga Tactical Survival - Personal safety in action Tuttle Publishing ISBN 978-0-8048-4765-0

Our Review


£ $12.57

What do you do when there's a gun to the back of your head, when pushed against a wall, or door, or car? That is one of the many scenarios gone through in a self-defence book.

Some trainers in the field of physical intervention and lone worker safety may say that 'getting physical' is or should be the last resort. If someone teaches you how to physically react to such violence, you may not only over time forget that training, no matter how good it is; it might actually have a bad effect in giving you confidence to handle such a situation, that your decayed skills doesn't merit. Then you can get hurt or dead.

To return to that example, a dozen colour photographs and write-up alongside talk you through what if you go to your house door and someone is waiting with a gun. First, watch for suspicious signs, such as cigarette ends that weren't there when you left in the morning - situational awareness, that could prevent you getting into the scenario in the first place. Also think twice about texting or switching off your awareness just because you are almost at your threshold.

The photos take you through how to get the gun pointing away from you and stunning or disrupting the attacker. The final piece of advice is arguably as important as any - don't feel that you have to then go into your house. Instead, get as far away from the danger as possible.

Thus this book - Krav Maga Tactical Survival - Personal safety in action - ought not to be stereotyped or dismissed as a book for men with muscles, the stereotyped close protection officer or doorman. It is, as the title suggests, not about beating your predator or the gunman facing you, but surviving. Not the same things; if you have not been able to avoid the attack, you do what you can and have to, to get free of it. It's more,then, than 'upper body combatives' and hammer-fists and biting and butts with the head. Or as the introduction sets out, Krav Maga is practical; the book 'teaches you how to use Krav Maga in real-life situations. There is a huge difference between knowing how to 'mechanically' perform a technique and being able to actually get that technique to work during a real-life confrontation. As the book goes on to explain, besides the choke moves and 'spoiling the draw' of someone with a knife or firearm, you should understand how violent situations occur, and develop.

If a mugger points a knife or gun at you and demands your wallet, 99 per cent of the time, handing over your wallet is the 'most effective solution'. If you have too much money in your wallet so that you hesitate or refuse to hand it over altogether, rather than then fighting, wouldn't it be a better idea, as the author sets out, to have two wallets; one, the 'decoy', bigger than your real one, but with unessential plastic cards and a sum of money that will satisfy the mugger and allow you to get away, and your real wallet that you keep to yourself, with the rest of your money and the plastic you really don't want to part with unless you really, really have to? (Or as the book puts it, 'don't get caught up in considering variables that aren't relevant to your survival'.)

This advice is not new; you may carry it out when you are abroad, or on holiday; but given the uncertainties of the world - you could face an active shooter in any city, or a sexual assailant in any bar? - you may want to re-assess your personal risks.

To briefly go through what the book covers, it's in four parts; striking and blocking, armed scenarios, unarmed assaults, and 'throws and takedowns'.

Knowing Krav Maga is not enough, the author (based in Boston in the US) says disarmingly in his conclusion. What if you train in it, or are physically active and feel that you can 'look after yourself', but you find yourself assaulted in a confined space such as an elevator, or the attacker is drunk and your punches aren't registering as they would with a sober person? Even if you have done training, or are physically fitter than the mugger who is in a state of withdrawal from drugs, because they are the ones ready to act without conscience, that gives them an advantage. Physical prowess, then, is not everything; most fights stop, the author notes, before the loser is physically beat. Usually one or the other stops when emotionally beaten. To avoid that, identify threats early, use your surroundings to advantage.

This is probably for the close protection or security person who wants to thoroughly go into the subject, rather than someone flicking through it. In that case, the book is to be commended for the many colour photos that show at each stage of an escape from a 'rear bear hug', for example; or to improvise a weapon when in a restaurant; a knife, out of a ceramic plate. And who would have thought that a newspaper or magazine that you're reading while seated - because it's wrong as the book says to assume you'll be assaulted when you're standing - could be turned into an improvised weapon (a mask, by driving the paper that you hold in both hands into the assailant's face, to disorientate them).

To sum up then, tone and content of this book are to be recommended, for neither glorifying nor shying away from fights in the real world, whether in some bar or on a pavement.

Note that Tuttle Publishing are also publishers of many other related books on Krav Maga and martial arts.