Grappling attacker: Using a knife and gun for self defense

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by Ceicei, Feb 6, 2004.

  1. Ceicei

    Ceicei Grandmaster

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    I wasn't sure whether my questions belong in the grappling forum, or in the knife forum, or the gun forum since aspects of my questions belong to all three. Rather than posting three times, I figured it probably fits better with the General Self Defense forum.

    Basically, it makes me wonder at what point do we decide we must use lethal means of defense against an attacker that may be unarmed?

    I am thinking from the point of view of a female, that attackers generally are bigger and may intend to inflict harm, possibly even death. Unfortunately, we cannot read the minds of the attackers and may not always know their intent. We may not even know if they may have a weapon elsewhere concealed. Some attackers have a back-up plan in having a knife hidden in case their intended primary attack plan fails.

    Part of the article below comes from a gun mailing list that I subscribe. Usually it covers different gun issues, but this is one that brought up the idea of having a knife in addition to a gun for self defense.

    Any thoughts?

    - Ceicei

    ****

    "It has been pointed out that grapplers (wrestlers) make an art out of closing distance, clinching and wrestling. It's a smart game plan, because eliminating distance greatly diminishes an opponent's ability to effectively retrieve and employ guns. Punches and kicks are also diminished in potency when bodies are in contact.

    The nemeses for grapplers is a blade. Even when bodies are in contact, an opponent can efficiently retrieve and use a blade on a grappler, even a good one. Conversely, pistols are less likely to be retrieved and used effectively in the clinch.

    The point is this: most mugging suspects are basically wrestlers. They grab arms, heads, hair, and torsos and then wrestle their victims to the ground. Not surprisingly, they customarily select victims over whom they have a significant size and strength advantage and whom they are able to approach closely without being noticed.

    Against such an attack a potential victim may be able to use a blade more effectively than a pistol, at least initially. An attacker is less likely to notice a blade in the victim's hand than he would a gun. Even after the attacker has been made (painfully) aware of the fact that his victim has a blade, disarming him or her is nearly impossible. Levering a pistol out of someone's hand is much easier. A gun is only dangerous in one direction!

    When parties separate, a pistol comes into its own, and a blade diminishes in usefullness. We need to think of a blade as something we can use quickly to get the attacker off of us and out of physical contact. When we have thus separated from him and gained distance, we can then use our pistol to prevent him from closing the distance once more.

    The best use for a blade is when you have one (concealed), and your attacker doesn't know it until it is employed. When it is employed, he will probably be more than happy to separate, after which you can default to your pistol."
     
  2. Cruentus

    Cruentus Grandmaster

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    The discussion was about knives and the legalities and practicality of them for self defense.

    Basically Cecei, ask yourself, does he have the means to permenently disable or kill you? If he is a larger more powerful male then you (a smaller female), then you can assume that with his bare hands he could kill or disable you. Ask yourself, does he have the opportunity to do this? If he is in front of you and can hurt you, and there is nothing that can stop him but you, then the answer is also yes. Does he intend to kill or disable you? If he is continually trying to attack or approach to attack you after multiple requests for him to stop, then you have to assume the worst, so you have to assume yes.

    So in your case, even though he is not armed, lethal force is justified.

    It all depends, but basically you have to treat pulling a knife like a gun. There has to be a lethal force senario for you just to pull a gun or blade for it to be legal, because the courts assume that if you pull it, your intent is to use it.

    For women especially, I feel that knives are the best self defense tools; because almost anytime they are assulted by a larger stronger male, lethal force could be justified.

    PAUL
     
  3. MJS

    MJS Administrator Staff Member

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    Great post! Yeah, it does bring up alot of good points. As for knowing when enough is enough. Well, I guess the answer to that could be, (and this is just my thought. I'm not speaking for anyone elses methods of training), would be to keep going until the attacker is unable to continue. Use as much force as whats being used against you. Then again, you might need to take it up a notch if the assault continues.

    As for a knife...well that is something that can be concealed with ease. Grappling as I have said in the past, is not the end all be all to SD, rather its just another range of the fight. Does it work well with mult attackers? Nope. But then again, just cuz someone is doing a stand up art, does not make dealing with mult attackers any easier.

    Of course, if you happen to see the attacker reaching for something, I would think that would be a sign that he was going for a weapon, and you should alter your response accordingly.

    Mike
     
  4. Ceicei

    Ceicei Grandmaster

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    Paul,

    Thank you for your reply. I liked your criteria in when to use lethal defense:

    You've given me a lot to consider. Of course, this involves a lot of legal issues that will happen in the aftermath, but if it's down to a matter of life and death...I definitely want to live and will do what I need to ensure I can.

    - Ceicei
     
  5. Cruentus

    Cruentus Grandmaster

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    No problem, I help when I can.

    In regards to legalities, if you can justify a "yes" answer to those 3 questions, then your find.

    The bottom line is no one has the right to violate your space; and any judge or jury or prosecutor or cop will be able to see that. Its no picnic to have to have police reports filed, and go through the court system; but I'd rather do that then having medical reports filed or worse, autopsy reports. In the end, if you defend yourself adequetly and justifiably, the legal part will work itself out.
     
  6. mandirigma

    mandirigma Guest

     
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    mandirigma Guest

     
  8. Ceicei

    Ceicei Grandmaster

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    I'll have to agree with you there. That is one of the reasons I decided some years ago to get a concealed carry permit and training with my firearm. I wouldn't want to bet my life on my physical skills alone either, especially as a female.

    Introducing a knife into the equation is something I hadn't given serious thought to until now. Defense against a knife is one thing, but learning to fight with one is another. Someone said the best defense in knowing how a knife-wielder thinks and acts is by training with a knife.

    Granted, there are many out there who think that adding a weapon, particularly a lethal one (such as a firearm) to my martial arts training, is too much over the top. My opinion is to keep all my options available and expand on my self defense abilities. That way, I will have some choices on how to handle a situation that forces me to defend myself and/or my family.

    - Ceicei
     
  9. 7starmantis

    7starmantis Grandmaster

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    One thing that has to be addressed however, when speaking of weapons during altercations is their ability to be used against the producer. I can't tell you how many times someone has produced a weapon and had it used against themselves. One of our students is a federal officer and we got him to pull some FBI stats and they were astonishing on the amount of people (women especially) who produced a weapon for self defense and had it taken away and then used on them.

    This is something you cannot ignore when dealing with weapons for survival. Some situations do not allow for the attempt of using a weapon, those you must stand on your physical "sub-par" skill. So train hard, but train both.

    Just my 2 cents....

    7sm
     
  10. Ceicei

    Ceicei Grandmaster

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    Point taken.

    I think that's exactly why some advocate learning both--the ability not only to defend against a weapon, but also fight with a weapon, whatever it may be and wherever legally possible.

    It is worth noting that generally speaking, hands, feet, and survival instinct cannot be taken from us.

    - Ceicei
     
  11. mandirigma

    mandirigma Guest


    Good point!

    Owning a gun no more makes you a competent gunman than owning a violin makes you a violinist.

    You must be trained. If you're not willing to learn and practice disarms, retentions, and all manner of tactical and adminstrative shooting, you're a liability to yourself.

    If you have a gun and don't train it, you'd be better off owning a rabbit's foot!

    Take care.

    :asian:
     
  12. hardheadjarhead

    hardheadjarhead Senior Master

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    Very true. This is a big focus of LEO training...weapons retention. A lot of cops are killed by their own guns.

    Paul hit it perfect, Ceicei, with his criteria for when to go lethal. Many scenarios involving a woman meet these criteria...and she's able to use lethal force right away.

    There is almost always a disparity of force favoring the attacker when it is male on female...so he has the means of hurting you badly, even though unarmed. If he is there, and threatening immediate harm, he certainly has the opportunity (but one can not make a pre-emptive attack if he threatens future harm, say, a promised assault sometime tomorrow). "Expression" of threat can be non-verbal, the display of a knife, the cocking of a fist.

    Legalities are important to consider prior to an assault...but one has to be careful not to constrain oneself unreasonably for fear of prosecution or litigation. If, for instance, you are attacked in your home, Ceicei...and your husband isn't there...the police will have to rule out that the attacker wasn't a boyfriend and you murdered him in a jealous rage. You might end up arrested until a prelim investigation is completed (probably not, I would think, but its possible). That said, the reverse would be worse, and you might be the body cooling on the floor, rather than your attacker.

    None of us would want that, of course, because we all really like you.

    Now...if you were Xena, Warrior Princess (or built thus) and an unusually large and highly trained woman...and the attacker is five foot six and weighs 150 to your 190...that might change the perceptions of the police. I don't think that happens too often. Chad and the LEO's might want to chime in on this one.


    Regards,


    Steve123
     

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