Can Knife Fighting Be Learnt Alone and At Home?

Discussion in 'Knife Arts' started by TaekwonPRO, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. TaekwonPRO

    TaekwonPRO White Belt

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    No one else at my martial art classes is interested in knife fighting. I may have to learn it on my own. Is this possible?
     
  2. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    No.

    Supplement your training with an instructor from another style if you must, but the bladed arts are not a DIY matter.
     
  3. frank raud

    frank raud Master Black Belt

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    Well, you can learn to attack with a knife training by yourself, but that is a far way from learning how to knife fight.
     
  4. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    No. You need a teacher. My suggestion would be to find a FMA school in your area. IMO, its always better to learn from a teacher.
     
  5. TaekwonPRO

    TaekwonPRO White Belt

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    Are FMA the only (good) method of training knife fighting? Is medieval style dagger fighting also applicable?
     
  6. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    I'm bias because I train in the FMAs..lol. Other arts, such as Silat also do some blade. Then again, depending on your location, you're more likely to find a FMA school, rather than one that does Silat. The reason I mention the FMAs, is they're weapon based arts, which IMO, are the best to look at, if you're interested in weapons.

    As for medieval stayle dagger fighting...sorry, not familiar with that.
     
  7. Buka

    Buka Sr. Grandmaster

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  8. Cyriacus

    Cyriacus Senior Master

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    Can Knife Fighting be learnt at Home? No.
    Can You Self-Teach being able to use a Knife better than if You didnt? Yes.

    In Practicing Knife Stabbing/Cutting, You will inevitably end up with a better Grip, and more comfort with it.
    Youll never be as good as if You learnt it, but if its just a light interest in knowing You can do it to some degree, I dont see the harm.
     
  9. WC_lun

    WC_lun Senior Master

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    Nope.
     
  10. Bill Mattocks

    Bill Mattocks Sr. Grandmaster

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    Only if your future assailants are as invisible as your training partners.
     
  11. Rich Parsons

    Rich Parsons A Student of Martial Arts

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    Where are you located?

    European blade work is fine. If you learn it from an instrctor.
    Note: I have trained my fair of SCA people looking to improve their blade work.
     
  12. billc

    billc Grandmaster

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    Well...killing with a knife doesn't seem to be all that hard, just look at your big city police blotters. Defending against a knife attacker and using a knife against a determined attacker requires a good instructor, or a strong desire to live a life behind bars.
     
  13. sfs982000

    sfs982000 Master Black Belt

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    You can certainly learn to handle the actual knife better alone at home, but if you're looking to actually improving your knife fighting ability then you need to have a decent instructor &/or training partner to work with.
     
  14. K831

    K831 Black Belt

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    Using a knife against an unarmed attacker, but specifically knife on knife and defense against a knife requires more precise and stricter timing, control of distance, angles, pressure and understanding of energy/checking/immobilization etc than empty hand combat, IMHO.

    As such, misunderstanding, learning bad habits etc.... is that much more problematic and dangerous.

    You need an instructor, and more than ever, a "seasoned" one to learn edged weapons.

    Post up your general location, and let us direct you to some good options in your area. I hope you pursue it, again, IMHO, no training is complete without weapons training.
     
  15. wushuguy

    wushuguy Purple Belt

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    There was a person whom I think had great wisdom when he said that "knife fighting is a lie" because in the end there is no fight, when a person uses a knife on you, he means to kill you, not fight with you.

    That said, you can train some drills on your own like others have said, can train perhaps look good doing it, but it won't be practical unless you try it on various people, and if your aim is doing that, then better to find a training group in your area that trains in a practical way. "Knife Sparring" is ok, but that is not very realistic.

    "Knife training" usually will teach you to use a knife, but in actual situation maybe you even don't have the chance to pull out your knife. if you want to do something realistic, practice "knife fighting" where the other guy has the knife and jumps you different ways, when you're not looking, etc. But then again, that's not alone and at home. Sorry.
     
  16. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    OK, I've avoided commenting on this thread for a few days...

    Can "Knife Fighting" be learned alone?

    No, it cannot. Fighting takes two people (at least).

    Can "Knife Fighting" be learned at home?

    I'm assuming here that you mean, "without an instructor." You can learn how to fight, with anything, without the aid of an instructor. I say this with 100% authority because, frankly, it's been done before. Fighting started somewhere and with someone who had no actual instruction. So, yes, it can be done. The problem is, it is the least efficient way of learning out of thousands of different ways. It involves a lot of trial and a lot of error. When your fighting unarmed, error can, and has, lead to serious, sometimes fatal, injury. Adding weapons in only increases the odds of injury. Often, starting from scratch can take (literally) generations of practitioners to refine and fully realize "fighting" with any given medium. Modern MMA, for instance, is the product of at least 15 "generations" of refinement. If you restrict it to only those generations since UFC1, then it is the product of no less than 3 "generation" of refinement (based on instructor-student-instructor cycling). The first generation of "Knife Fighters" survived by accident, learned by experience of actually killing other people, and learned by watching their friends and students get killed. You don't wanna start there.

    I suppose part of the question is also, "can I learn, without live instruction, by book and video?" The answer is still a qualified "yes." You can learn but it'll be a boatload slower. You WILL make mistakes. Without a live instructor to see and correct those mistakes, they will creep into your personal repertoire, each mistake and error dominoing off of the previous, expanding in a Butterfly Effect to where your skills are naught but a house of cards ready to collapse when the first skilled opponent exploits one of your foundational errors (stance, distance, footwork, timing, grip, whatever). Again, these errors can be mitigated by "going and doing" but who wants to kill people and risk getting killed just to make sure you don't have any foundational errors screwing your technique up?


    Dead Weapons
    In a way, this is pretty academic. "Knife Fighting" is a "DEAD WEAPON" area of study in the modern industrialized world. No one in industrialized western civ. fights knife-vs-knife any more. Yes there are exceptions to the rule. The exceptions prove the rule. So, unless you're planning on spending a lot of time in 3rd World areas that are so poor that even the local "rich" don't have guns for criminals to steal and misuse, the whole idea of knive-vs-knife is restricted to academics, hobbyists, and wannabes.

    That is not to say that the knife has no value as a Self Defense tool. But, in those cases, a knife as a SD tool is almost always going to be asymmetrically paired. A knife-using SD person will most likely be deploying his (her?) knife against someone who doesn't have a knife. They might have a gun, a stick, or superior numbers. Knife-vs-knife is rare! So, unless you're an academic or hobbyist interested in seeing how it was historically done in a given culture or in preserving a skill which may not be too useful in modern society (Flint Knapping anyone?), then "Knife Fighting" is probably not what you're really interested in (I'm assuming you're not a wannabe).

    In that case, you need to learn how to carry, deploy, and use a knife in non-knife fighting roles and the legal restrictions, responsibilities, and repercussions of doing so. Videos and books can still help (arguably are even more valuable in this role) but you still need a partner to train with and live instruction still keeps errors from slipping in.

    As for FMA and WMA (Western Martial Arts)/Medieval Dagger...

    They, and most any other martial art that teaches knife-vs-knife is "Dead Weapon." Some are more "dead" than others. Every "knife style" is developed within its own context and optimized for that context. There are hundreds of variables which affect how a blade and the fighting style for using that blade are developed. The short list includes:
    • What materials are available to make the blades from (stone, copper, bronze, iron, steel???)
    • What is the likelihood of the opponent wearing armor, either deliberate or improvised, and what form will that armor take (heavy cloth, reinforced cloth, leather, bronze/iron/steel???)
    • Are there any legal restrictions the what size and configuration of the blade?
    • Are there any social restrictions on the size and configuration of the blade?
    • Are there any legal (or social) restrictions on who may use a knife or who you may use a knife against
    • Are there any legal (or social) restrictions on what techniques may be used (are certain killing or maiming blows disallowed? is there greater social status gained from scarring instead of killing?)
    I'm sure you can think of a dozen more, but you get the idea.

    When you compare Medieval Dagger to most FMA, they look almost nothing alike. Is this because one is "cooler" or "more effective" than the other? Obviously not. Both are extremely effective and highly optimized for the context in which they evolved. There are a lot of advocates for FMA who look at Medieval Dagger and (at the most charitable) think, "I'd kill him in a heartbeat." Well, sure, if you're all setting around in the Philippines and dressed for the climate. Take a native Philippine and drop him into the middle of "The Little Ice Age" and see how well he does (if he doesn't freeze to death first).

    The simple fact is that both FMA and Deggen are optimized for a physical and social climate which is different from that of most of the Industrialized West and modifications have to be made to each in order to adapt it to Western social/physical climate. Now, to be perfectly honest with you, I think that most FMA's require far less adaptation than Deggen and many FMA's taught here in the West have already been adapted so, just speaking personally, a FMA school near you would probably be a better bet than a WMA school if you're looking for Self Defense with a knife.

    I think this reply is turning into a Thesis so that'll be enough for now.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
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  17. Blindside

    Blindside Senior Master

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    Great post Kirk!
     
  18. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Thanks. :)

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  19. eagles

    eagles White Belt

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    One area of knife work you may want to look at is the Italian systems . After teaching FMA in the past as well as doing silat for decades I found the Italian arts some years ago . You wont find all of the endless two man drills and they mostly get right to combat moves . In the past they DID have knife fights , duels that had two components . One , a matter of honor a person may have felt slighted and called out the other guy to a duel .Perhaps neck leather wraps were worn etc and seconds attended and the winner was the man who drew first blood . so you have that aspect and second the life and death situations . In Europe today you can find many masters in Italy and even knife fighting tournaments where skill and the art can still be seen in action . First blood matches are still held . You wont see anyone trying the fancy disarms when the first blood match is held . One of the most aggressive styles , a recognized and registered style in Italy is the system of San Michele. The old family art of the Quattrocchi family and the current Master and my teacher is Vito Quattrocchi. This style has won many tournaments of knife fighting in Europe against all styles and has a long and short range version . You can look it up on line , DVD's are available and YES you can learn the moves on your own , as long as you eventually get a training partner and have a source to go to for corrections it is possible . I would list the website where you can read all about itand get the DVD's if that is allowed ? If not just do the search , look at youtube and search for the Video series and books which are sold at another website . .I also studied another Italian knife art that was very good but I prefer this one . They also have a great long stick portion to the system as well as empty hands and improvised weapons . Hope you find it interesting
    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk[/QUOTE]123
     

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