Episode 37: The Physics of Krav Maga with author and physics Professor John Eric Goff


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Krav Maga ("contact combat" in Hebrew) is a hard-hitting and efficient form of self-defense that was popularized by Israeli soldiers. Stressing practical, real-world fighting and a philosophy of self-defense, its popularity has grown worldwide over the past few decades. In The Physics of Krav Maga, John Eric Goff, a physicist, best-selling author, and martial arts practitioner, explains the science behind dozens of Krav Maga moves, from headlocks to hammer fists. Focusing on Warrior Krav Maga, a fighting style that combines the key elements of Krav Maga with kickboxing, wrestling, karate, and other fighting specialties, this equation-free, conceptual introduction is aimed at martial arts practitioners interested in refining their fighting technique and all fans of the fascinating moment when sports meet science. With step-by-step descriptions and detailed photos of each critical motion, Goff takes a scientific look at everything from punch speed to power output and reaction time. Armed with this book, readers will understand the physics behind each move.

They will also learn how to

  • enhance their level of physical fitness
  • disrupt an opponent's balance―while keeping theirs
  • make use of leverage to defeat a larger, stronger attacker
  • become faster and more powerful
  • inflict pain up close • use weapons―and "weapons of opportunity"
  • and much more!

Anyone interested in martial arts, in how physics applies to sports and combat, and in how a physicist wins a fight will love The Physics of Krav Maga. John Eric Goff is a professor of physics and the chair of the physics department at the University of Lynchburg. The author of Gold Medal Physics: The Science of Sports, he holds a black belt in Karate and a purple belt in Krav Maga.


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