Friday, April 14, 2017

5 Ninja Stars for Krav Maga Tactical Survival by Gershon Ben Keren

In the interest of full disclosure, I was given this book for review purposes

Title: Krav Maga Tactical Survival-Personal Safety in Action
Author: Gershon Ben Keren
Publisher: Tuttle
Format: Softcover
Pages: 224
Cover Price: $17.95 ($12.16)

Take Away: A book of amazing pictures masterfully illustrates how to use martial arts tactics in realistic personal safety situations.

    I've reviewed Mr. Ben Keren's previous book (here) and found it a really frank and honest review of self defense situations.  I liked it so much that I interviewed the author on Episode XXIV of the Martial Thoughts Podcast.  When I heard his second book had come out, I was excited.


    This book continues in the vein of the first one.  It goes through very realistic situations and tactics while using full color pictures to show the tactics and techniques being employed.  The book itself is broken into five separate parts.  The first being striking.  It illustrates simple to use strikes, and more importantly how and when to use the appropriate strike.  The second section may actually be the most important.  It deals with trying de-escalation and how to read the warning signs that the other guy is going to attack regardless of what's being said.  The third section deals with what was left out of the first book: armed assaults.  It details some techniques that could be employed in armed situations, including how to foil/stop a weapon a weapon from being drawn in the first place.  The fourth describes what to do when being grabbed in various ways, and the last section deals specifically with throws and how and when to apply them.


    The book is really well written in plain language to make it easy to understand.  You get the feeling of the gravity of the situation and techniques without it feel like its trying to scare you.  The author calmly explains what happens to you and the attacker biologically, psychologically, and emotionally when fights occur.  It also gives you an option or two to deal with the confrontation.  So in the end you feel kind of empowered by the knowledge.  
    However, The biggest thing about this book that stands out to me is the pictures.  First, they are in color.  Second, they are set in real places/situations and they are taken in the middle of an executed technique, not "staged" in place as some others tend to be.  


    I don't think I have any cons.  If there is one specific detail I had to pick on, it would be that this is more of a volume two.  You can read this book and experience it in its glory as is.  However, it would be better suited to have read the first book first.  The first book deals more with the history of Krav Maga, and how to deal with unarmed attacks.  


Overall this book accomplishes exactly what it aims to do.  Using Krav Maga strategy to effect simple self defense tactics in realistic ways.  The book is presented to be useful for anyone.  If you are looking for self-defense and are not a martial artist, this gives you a REALLY good starting point to work from.  If you are already a martial artist, you probably practice some, if not most, of these techniques in your art.  This book might just be there to give you context.  That's why I'm going to give this book 5 out of 5 Ninja Stars.  There is honestly nothing wrong with this book.  Especially if you consider it as volume 2 in conjunction with the first book.  If you teach or take martial arts and want to talk about self-defense as part of your curriculum, both books should be in your library.

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