Is there a point to learning how to knife fight?

Discussion in 'Knife Arts' started by Gruenewald, Jul 16, 2010.

  1. Xael

    Xael Yellow Belt

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    Silat and the FMA's are loaded with them. With those systems you can't go wrong. You learn how to use the weapons, disarm, disable and even translate it all to empty hand forms.

    Considering how knife / shiv attacks are on the rise, I think it would be very beneficial to learn this. How serious are you about self defense? Knife / blade violence is on the rise and will always be the poor mans weapon as guns are not as easy to come by for the vagrant type. I am a firm believer in covering my ***, so I have trained to defend against blades, sticks and guns and how to use them.
     
  2. Gruenewald

    Gruenewald Orange Belt

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    Do FMAs concentrate heavily on armed combat, or does it depend on the individual class? I certainly wouldn't mind taking up Silat (for example), but I'd prefer to focus primarily on armed defense at this point.
     
  3. Carol

    Carol Crazy like a...

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    There really isn't a difference between the two.
     
  4. bribrius

    bribrius Green Belt

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    use whatever you like.

    i used a ice scraper for a car windshield today as a sword teaching my nine year old daughter. Basically use whatever is nearby at the time. Straw from a soft drink. Have used kitchen knives but if something is closer than the kitchen and serves the purpose........................well it doesn't even have to be a knife....I have knives but they are shoved away and usually for us it is family fun so we use whatever is around.

    Not sure if i would be so quick to dismiss the friend. See what he knows first.

    Far as validity of it... My cousin was stabbed three times in a bar. He survived but going to the hospital to visit him ls all the validity i need.
     
  5. Xael

    Xael Yellow Belt

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    There is a difference depending on instructor and system. You are just going to have to do some research and ask some instructors what they can do for you and tell them your goals etc. You would be suprised on some people's flexability with these situations.
     
  6. sgtmac_46

    sgtmac_46 Senior Master

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    Is learning how to defend yourself against a knife important? Do people carry knives?

    Okay, if it is.......how do you learn how to DEFEND against something you don't know how to use? The best way to learn to defend against a punch, is first learn how to THROW a punch.

    The problem I have is when empty hand TMA's throw in some 'knife defense' techniques, and it's clear they don't have the slightest understanding of the actual dynamics involved with stabbing someone with a blade.

    THAT is one big reason learning how to use a knife is important. You can't defend against something you don't understand.
     
  7. unladylikedefnse

    unladylikedefnse Yellow Belt

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    I totally think that it is essential to learn how to fight with a knife. You never know what you might get into, when, or how...but knowing how to defend yourself with a knife is to your advantage than not knowing at all. I have been training Jeet Kune Do under Sifu Harinder Singh Sabharwal for over 4 years and think it is a great tool to know. :)
     
  8. Mr Mojo Lane

    Mr Mojo Lane White Belt

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    One of the reasons I was thinking about getting back into Sayoc Kali was because it put such an emphasis on the knife. Knife attacks still happen alot, and when it comes to self defense, you want to be waaay better than the other guy not just a little bit.
     
  9. zilverkakashi

    zilverkakashi Yellow Belt

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    knife as weapons are common in asia
     
  10. Zenjael

    Zenjael Purple Belt

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    How to knife 'fight' no. Either avoid the fight or bring a gun.

    Knowing what to do if a knife is pulled on you, is another thing. That is effective.

    knives are frankly in my opinion the most dangerous weapon on earth. Anyone can pick one up and adequately use one.

    They can be applied with any martial art, and are among the easiest weapons to conceal. And to learn to use.

    The ah, one 'knife fight' I got into went along the lines of this. Two confronted me, first punched me, next thing I know there's a very visible gleam coming at me. I backed up, had a small piece of elbow knicked off, and then was able to hit the back of his hand as he was overextended and knee the base of the bottom of the wrist. I got to the knife first, confrontation was over. I was 13, they were around same age.

    In my experience, knowing how to disarm a knife was life-saving. But to be honest, the technique I ended up using to disarm it was not the one I had been rotely taught.

    Knife attacks are a bit like all attacks- they come when your normally least expect them. Problem is with knives, you might be against someone whos not only attacking you, but waiting for you to combatively react, then pull their concealed weapon.

    I train with a knife and my real goal for being able to punch 6 times in a second is not just for the punch, but so I could lacerate the other that many times. But is that realistic? At all? No. And I'd be a sociopath if I ever employed it, even in self-defense.

    I have been in simulated knife fights with fellow martial artists, marines, rangers, and Silat and escrimadors. With people who had never tactically held a knife before. No matter how good you get with knives, if someone wants to cut you and knows what they are doing, you will probably be cut very badly, or fatally.

    A real knife attack isnt normally just a clumsy swing or stab or icepick. Its usually stab, then stabstabstabstabstabstab anywhere they can. And that is extremely hard to defend against, let along disarm.

    Rule of thumb I was taught; If they hold the knife by the tang facing forward, that is most preferable. This means they are likely as scared of the knife as you are, which is an advantage, for anytime you place yourself in a way that the weapon may point at them, they may get confused, panic, or fumble. Your chances of giving cut are about 50%. (I'm pretty sure my teacher pulled the statistic out of his ***, but I think it was more about making a point than the numbers)

    If the knife is reversed, with blade facing down, this means it is someone comfortable with the knife, and chances are trained. Your chances of being cut raise to 70%-100%.

    If the blade is held in the what I call 'insano-grip' where the blade is held down, but the blade is facing toward the attacker, this means they are extremely trained, and have no fear of the knife. Additionally, there will be no way to actually block directly. I would not advise engaging anyone holding a knife, but if they are holding it this way, run.

    And ah, dont forget just cause a knife has a blade, doesn't mean you HAVE to use it. There is a pommel at the bottom for a reason, and if you ever do get in a confrontation like that, I'd give using the blunt part and knocking them out, than anything else.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2013
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  11. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Oh dear lord.... again, I'm calling garbage on this delusional tripe.
     
  12. oaktree

    oaktree Master of Arts

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    I have been learning fma arts lately especially the atienza system.
    The atienza system practices with a holster and takes in the consideration
    Of the knife being drawn. Kali is a huge eye opener for dealing with knives both using
    A knife and empty handed versus a knife. We learn how to use the back of our hands and wrist
    In dealing with empty hand versus knife which is very different compare to some tma that try to grab the knife hand
    Or parry it with the veins exposed on the wrist.
    Anyway just my experience.
     
  13. Aiki Lee

    Aiki Lee Master of Arts

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    Alex, that's wrong. Like 95% of it.
     
  14. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Well, that kinda depends on what your training goals are. I think you're making a lot of assumptions about training goals and environments. As was reminded to us here a few months ago, not everyone lives somewhere in which they can legally carry, or even OWN, a gun. There are, in the same vein, many places in which a knife is the preferred weapon and everyone carries one (or more).

    Depending upon your location, environment, and training goals, maybe.

    I think you're exaggerating, but I do agree that knives are easy to use, easy to carry, easy to hide, and are particularly effective against an unarmed opponent.

    Again, you're making assumptions which may or may not be true. In certain environments, yes, what you are asserting here can be true. Not so in many others, including in many places in the Developed world. Many recorded knife attacks are by ambush. ...which sucks mightily for the victi... er.. "defender" because, in these cases, often they don't know anything about the attack until they've been injured.

    It's unrealistic because the idea of being able to perform 6 punches with one hand in one second is unrealistic.

    Too many variables. "Knows what they are doing" is a good caveat, but even untrained schlubs aren't necessarily stupid and don't always do dumb things.

    I've done quite a bit of research into this area. There are simply too many variables to make this sort of sweeping statement. The only "usual" thing about knife attacks is that they include the use of a knife. Everything else is variable. The attack might be an icepick stab. It might be a straight thrust. It might be a horizontal slash. It might be ANYTHING and what it ends up being is dependent upon the knife, the user, the environment, the location, you, who else is with you or the attacker, and a host of other variables.

    This "rule of thumb" is idiotic and wrong. Discard it immediately. You can tell NOTHING about a person's training or mindset by whether or not they hold the knife in a forward grip, an icepick grip, or an icepick grip cocked back with the point in line to you. Nothing.

    I agree that many people forget that they can use the pommel. However, it has special technical and tactical requirements that are different from the blade. Close in range is one of those. It's a lot harder to effectively use the pommel than the blade.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  15. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    I wouldn't go quite that far. Some of what he wrote is accurate in some instances.

    And the statement of his "rule of thumb," though idiotic and stupid, is not only time I've seen "martial arts experts" assert the same thing. I saw it (yet again) just recently, in fact, in an article in a popular Martial Ats magazine.

    Some of what he wrote, though somewhat exaggerated, can be more or less true. Knives do make good close-in and contact weapons and can sometimes be preferable. You've heard of the Tueler Drill, right?

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  16. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    I wouldn't go that far. Maybe 30% flat out wrong, 60% sometimes wrong/sometimes right/too many variables to say, and 10% more or less spot on.

    Peace favor your sword,
    Kirk
     
  17. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Hi Kirk,

    For reference, I was mainly referring to the following parts:


    To my mind, this fits the blatantly false claims he's made time and again, the resume bolstering, and huge disconnects with reality.
     
  18. DennisBreene

    DennisBreene 3rd Black Belt

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    As I read this, in conjunction with other discussions, videos and readings, my impression is that most of us have been poorly taught when it comes to knife defense. The techniques I've been trained in seem to require too much finesse, against unlikely techniques, with unrealistic expectations as to their effectiveness and the outcome. I have come to believe that the only reality based concept in my own training has been "expect to get cut". The preceding discussion has only reinforced that. I suspect that there is a lot of perpetuation of "mythological" knife defense techniques by artists who have never faced a knife and don't know how to use one themselves. It seems to be the dirty little secret when it comes to self defense and martial arts. I am grateful that some experienced practitioners are opening up the discussion with reality based concepts. For those of us who are interested in improving our defensive skills, it at least helps us formulate some realistic concepts about just how far off the mark the average knife defense training is. Now if we just spent as much time in the dojang working with knowledgeable people (sprinters, high jumpers and broken field runners who can train us in escape maneuvers; I'm only being slightly hyperbolic) and more realistic scenarios, as we do learning how to do jump spinning back kicks, we might introduce some relevant training into knife defense. Or at least acknowledge that it is an area that is not adequately covered in the curriculum and stop leaving people with a false sense of capability.
     
  19. lklawson

    lklawson Senior Master

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    Fair enough. :)

    Peace favour your sword (mobile)
     
  20. Zenjael

    Zenjael Purple Belt

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    Sorry if it seems exaggerated; if a knife has been pulled, than hasn't the fight been, and our survival?

    If someone pulls a knife on me I am making assumptions. They either want to kill me or not. I don't put an in-between as an option. Not concerning my safety.

    Knives, to me, are the deadliest weapon. Because I've found I can combine their use with virtually any movement I can do in martial arts, which tells me I should always be wary. If I can do a reverse axe-kick cleanly, followed by a reverse hook with the blade pressed against my forearm, and flip the blade to face you and begin 360 slashing in a silat based motion- there's a real problem for anyone unarmed. And that butterfly motion is easy to maintain and overwhelm anyone with.

    Hell, out of stupidity I've done jump side-kicks, double front kicks with knives and katana. For the hell of it, it's doable, and I believe that any jackass holding a knife, is dangerous and potentially lethal.

    I have never once been lacerated by my own knife, save for one very minor, and embaressing accident at a summer camp in my yonder youth, with a plastic serated butter knife.

    If you treat your knife like a gun, and keep the dangerous parts of it aimed apart from you, you will never receive injury.

    And ah, to whoever said its not possible to do 6 punches in a second, holy crap are you in for a surprise when you meet the community who actually can. Don't ever assume the impossible in martial arts. Some people have cards up their sleeves you wouldn't believe.
     

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