7 Best Krav Maga Books for Beginners

Krav Maga is an increasingly popular form of self-defense training. Krav Maga is very practical, orientated around taking advantage of your body’s natural motions. Originally developed over the course of several years in the 1940s, Krav Maga has an interesting history that begins in Czechoslovakian anti-Semitic riots, where the technique’s creator Imi Lichtenfeld (Sde-Or) helped defend Jewish neighborhoods from national socialist thugs. It is taught today to Special Forces soldiers and elite police units around the world, and it’s easy to find civilian schools that specialize in Krav Maga.

Krav Maga Training. Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons.

What is Krav Maga really, though? What do the techniques require? While a book is no substitute for actual training, it can be helpful supplement. Even if you’re just curious about martial arts, take a look at these books about Krav Maga.

1) Complete Krav Maga: The Ultimate Guide to Over 250 Self-Defense and Combative Techniques by Darren Levine and John Whitman

Photo Credit: Amazon.com.

This book covers all levels of Krav Maga moves, from beginner to advanced. This is a very large book, with every move’s description supplemented by photos. If you’re looking for a history of Krav Maga, this isn’t it, as it sticks to concise explanations of actually performing Krav Maga moves and techniques. It’s a very helpful addition to a training regimen, since it helps you review what you have learned in classes.

2) Black Belt Krav Maga: Elite Techniques of the World’s Most Powerful Combat System by Darren Levine and Ryan Hoover

The book “Black Belt Krav Maga” offers extensive instruction on Krav Maga moves, with over 500 photos illustrating every step of each technique. It covers not only fighting on your feet, but also ground fighting, weapons defenses, and even third-party protection. The book is very easy to follow. It’s broken down into multiple sections based on a variety of real-world self-defense scenarios, from carjacking to fending off knives with knives.

This book does assume the reader has some knowledge of Krav Maga already, as certain basics are not explained. Don’t let the title intimidate you, as the techniques detailed in the book are not meant just for the most advanced levels of Krav Maga. Krav Maga builds on its basics, and understanding the way simple techniques are used in more advanced ways is important. There are also some strange and not necessarily applicable sections, such as defenses against hand grenades. It certainly is a comprehensive book. Krav Maga was developed as military combat training, and a lot of that mentality can be found in this book.

3)  Krav Maga Tactical Survival: Personal Safety in Action. Proven Solutions for Real Life Situations by Gershon Ben Keren

This book provides examples of various Krav Maga techniques, presenting them in context of real world threatening situations. It details the reasoning behind using a certain technique, as well as explaining how to do it, of course. Pictures are provided to aid in your understanding of the moves. One of the most interesting things about Krav Maga is how it can be used in versatile hostile situations, and this book places special emphasis on that trait. Buy it here.

4) Krav Maga: How to Defend Yourself Against Armed Assault by Imi Sde-Or (Lichtenfeld) and Eyal Yanilov

This is the only manual to Krav Maga written by its founder. It’s a helpful supplement to training, especially in regards to unarmed defense against armed assailants, and also provides an interesting look into Krav Maga’s history. The book contains pictures as well as stories about the successful use of Krav Maga as self-defense. It is primarily a book to help people train, however, and can be used very effectively to do so, with step-by-step instructions that are very helpful to anyone trying to learn Krav Maga or even general self-defense. A word of caution however: the techniques in this book are not the most up-to-date, so be sure to supplement it with more recent books.

4) Krav Maga Defense: How to Defend Yourself Against the 12 Most Common Unarmed Street Attacks by David Khan

Written by the U.S. Chief Instructor of the Israeli Krav Maga Association, this book covers 12 common street attacks you could encounter and how to defend against them. The book provides easy-to-understand written descriptions as well as step-by-step photos. Like many other Krav Maga techniques, the ones featured in this book can be performed by men and women of any fitness level and almost any age. Well-written and useful, this is a great book for anyone looking to help make sure they can protect themselves and others.

6) Krav Maga: Real World Solutions to Real World Violence – Disrupt. Damage. Destroy. Disengage. By Gershon Keren

This book covers both the techniques used in Krav Maga as well as its history and philosophy. All techniques are described in step-by-step details, accompanied by clear pictures. Unlike many other books about Krav Maga, this one does not only focus on training your body but also in training your mind on concepts of self-defense. Dangerous situations are not predictable or static, and understanding what you should be thinking if something bad happens will allow you to adapt when you need to the most. This is an excellent book for anyone studying Krav Maga.

7) Krav Maga Weapon Defenses: The Contact Combat System of the Israel Defense Forces by David Khan

Another excellent book by the U.S. Chief Instructor of the Israeli Krav Maga Association, this book covers a variety of self-defense topics and techniques, including weapon awareness training, control holds over a stunned assailant, edged weapon defenses, impact weapon defenses, handgun defenses, rifle defenses, defending against weapons while on the ground, defending against continuous attacks, non-conventional weapon threats, and first-party hostage situations. As with all of David Khan’s books, it is well-written and easily accessible. It is an excellent reference. If Krav Maga looks like dirty fighting, remember that it is, since it is designed primarily around survival and not arena competition (Krav Maga is not an Olympic sport). This book’s excellent instruction provides ample reminder of that, making it a great buy for anyone looking to find more detail on techniques. You can buy order your copy here online.

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