Knife Defense: Best strategies in your opinion?

Discussion in 'General Self Defense' started by Towel Snapper, Sep 18, 2014.

  1. AIKIKENJITSU

    AIKIKENJITSU Yellow Belt

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    I have taught my form of American Kenpo for years. Knives are dangerous. I not only teach Kenpo knife defense techniques, but I have my students practice all kinds of blocking, grapping, etc. the attacking knife in all types of attacks. I even take from other types of blocking a knife moves from other arts, if it looks effective.
    But if the student is scared of the attacker and his knife moves seemed too deadly and effective for my student, I tell them to fall to the ground and defend themselves from there with kicks and body motion that we practice. This is if there’s no place to run to and no weapons to use.
    Sifu
     
  2. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Add me to the list of people who think this raises a certain flag... :bs:

    It doesn't take any longer to use a firearm at close range than it does to use a knife. As for more effective... I've treated one or two member of the knife & gun club over the years, and the idea that a knife is somehow more dangerous than a gun at any range is, frankly, ludicrous.
     
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  3. new.era.player

    new.era.player White Belt

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    My opinion? The strategies where you don't get cut or stabbed.
     
  4. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Sr. Grandmaster

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    Trying to let your opponent to drop his knife should be the highest priority. One way is to attack his elbow joint.

     
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  5. Paul_D

    Paul_D Master Black Belt

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    Which are what?
     
  6. Paul_D

    Paul_D Master Black Belt

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  7. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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  8. Paul_D

    Paul_D Master Black Belt

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    I am pretty sure there was a similar experiment to the (gun/knife video) with running away. If I remember rightly you needed something like 10 feet of space to be able to run away, reason begin that people will turn and run in the opposite direction (to the way they are facing) where as the attacker is already facing that way and so can easily catch you.

    Can't or the life of me find the link now though. :-( Maybe I dreamt it.
     
  9. jezr74

    jezr74 Master of Arts

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    I've heard this as well. Think was in a few podcasts.
     
  10. new.era.player

    new.era.player White Belt

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    As I understand it, there are too many variables and possibilities for there to be a single solution or single list or syllabus of techniques to properly disarming an aggressor armed with a knife; if there were, I'd think we'd all be doing it.
    As I understand it, there are so many different techniques that can work, and so many different ones that probably won't. I think that the worst thing you can do in any real self-defense situation is underestimate an aggressor with a knife (or even nothing at all) and put too much confidence in your level of training or in your technique.

    In other words, the question in itself in my opinion is very vague and I don't believe that anyone can give you anymore of a narrower answer on what the best type of defense strategies are -- other than what I said before:
    I will refer to Murphy's Laws:
    In any real physical altercation, there are so many different variables and possibilities. There is no plan that will work every time.
    Let's take it back to medieval times... Even if you had a sword, shield and a full suit of armor -- you could still get killed by something so small as a rock thrown from a slingshot, so you could most certainly get killed by a man wearing cloths but wielding a dagger, especially if he's keen on keeping it concealed until he uses it and you don't see it coming.
    If I'm coming at you with a knife and my intent is to actually hurt and/or kill you, I will do everything that I possibly can to make sure you don't have the opportunity to defend yourself and I will do my best to make sure you don't know what's coming until it's too late.

    So let's say you actually see it coming and have enough time to react... Again, in my opinion there are too many variables and possibilities to say which technique or defense strategy would be the best. All I can really say is again...
    Even if you maintained an out-of-reach distance (such as the 21 foot rule) and had a drawn firearm in your possession, aimed at the ready and on your target, and loaded with good ammunition; even then, there are enough variables and possibilities where you can still get killed by something so simple as a little man with a dagger. Firearms jam, and that's just 1 variable or possibility.

    Sorry I can't be much more help than that; I'm only a white belt.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
  11. Dirty Dog

    Dirty Dog MT Senior Moderator Staff Member

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    Irrelevant. This has nothing to do with the actual topic being discussed. All it shows is that an attacker (who gets to move first) can close ground quickly. To which I (and most people) respond with a resounding chorus of "Thank you Captain Obvious".
    You attack me. I draw a weapon to respond. The amount of time I have to draw that weapon is the same, regardless of whether I'm drawing a knife or a gun.
    Therefore, the idea that there is some Magical Mystical Mythical group of Chinese cops who use knives because they're "faster and more effective" than a gun, remains completely ludicrous.

    The time required to deploy a knife vs a gun is the same. Any difference will be such a small fraction of a second as to be totally irrelevant.
    The suggestion that a knife is somehow more effective than a gun at close range is idiotic. The gun is the more dangerous. At any range. Unless you'd like to quibble by saying things like "oh yeah? whut if you get shot in the arm with a 22 and stabbed in the belly with a sword" or some other equally silly comparison.
    Put an average size knife into a body in a particular place, at a particular angle. Now put a commonly carried round into the body at the same place, at the same angle. The bullet will pretty much always be a far worse injury.
     
  12. Paul_D

    Paul_D Master Black Belt

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    Thanks, the extra information helps. Cheers.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2014
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  13. Paul_D

    Paul_D Master Black Belt

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    If you are just going to resort to personal attacks and childish name calling then I see no point in attempting to have a sensible discussion. There are plenty of other MA forums I can go to for that. I came here to get away from that.
     
  14. Chris Parker

    Chris Parker Grandmaster

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    Hmm… to be frank, there's a lot of issues I can see in the way you describe things here… most of all with the idea of dropping to the ground deliberately… lots of issues…

    And again… "letting" them drop their knife is absolutely not the highest priority… and that "attack to the elbow joint" only works against absolutely no attack at all. In other words, no. On all counts.

    Hi there,

    First off, welcome aboard.

    That said, let's look at what you've got here… there's some good thought processes, and a fair bit of common sense applied… however, the problem is that a knife assault isn't a "common sense" situation… so it's actually not as applicable as many may think.

    At this point, you're thinking of techniques… mechanical actions applied to various attacks or stimulus… which is perfectly normal, especially at the beginning of your martial journey. Thing is, though, the techniques aren't the answer… they're really just expressions of the actual principles, tactics, and lessons… so yeah, there are many, many different physical methods that can be applied… but the principles need to be understood, and the techniques, no matter what they are, need to adhere to those principles. And, in that, you'll find that most who are doing anything of any real value or credibility, are really doing the same thing after all. And, of course, once the principles are understood, it's very easy to see when things don't fit them.

    Sure… what you need to do is to get an understanding of the context… which you touch upon a bit later… and, when you do that, then you can start to answer what type of answers that can be given.

    Ha, cute. I like that one…

    Hmm… I get where you're coming from, but the specifics aren't quite as you present here…particularly in regards to historical ideas.

    Yep. Most knife assaults are ambushes. Very true.

    Not really… there are a fairly short list of principles and tactical methods… which have many, many technical applications.

    Sure.

    Not a problem. I like the way you think.

    While I definitely agree that the story of the Chinese police eschewing firearms as stated (including the reasoning) is rather far-fetched, I'm not sure I can agree with a degree of your arguments, DD. For one thing, bluntly, the idea that a knife can represent a greater (or more immediate) threat than a firearm is not "ludicrous"… but it does depend greatly on a range of factors, such as whether any of the weapons are already deployed (the knife, the gun, both, or neither…), the distance both persons are from each other, the tactical methodology of both sides, and more.

    When it comes to "the amount of time I have to draw is the same", well, okay… but the amount of time it will take you to draw and apply the weapon is different… the mechanical actions of drawing and deploying are rather different (with the edge given to the blade, if you'll forgive the pun… ha!), and so on. Additionally, talking about the video showing that if an attacker moves first, they can close the distance quickly, being "obvious", well, you'd think so… but the mere presence of the Tueller Drill shows that it wasn't that obvious to all… and, more importantly, aren't you basically saying that the video is actually showing how an actual assault can be successful quite easily? In which case, yeah, it's demonstrating exactly what Paul wanted it to…

    No, it's really not (either the same, or the difference being "totally irrelevant"… when it comes to these things, a fraction of a second can be the most important difference there can be).

    It's really not idiotic. It's reality.

    It's really not. Like all weapons, it has it's optimal distance… and, if you're in the optimal distance for a knife, but not a gun, guess who has the advantage?

    Well, to follow your hypothetical, I'd suggest that the difficulty with accuracy of a small ballistic projectile versus a wide-arc slash shows that the knife/blade would be more likely to actually injure the opponent… so it's really not a "silly comparison"… it's honestly a fairly realistic appraisal (minus the sword aspect, of course) of one more reason that, in close proximity, the edge goes to the blade. To be blunt, your idea of having a blade or ballistic projectile hit the same spot, at the same angle, is much more the "silly comparison"… as it denies the very properties of the weapons themselves.

    To be honest, Paul, I don't think DD was calling you names, nor using a personal attack… he was more expressing that he felt that most here would already be aware of such tactical advantages given to the attacker… of course, I'm not sure how agreeing that your appraisal is correct, and then arguing against it really works…
     
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  15. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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    IMO, non-LE folks tend to misunderstand what Sgt. Tueller was truly getting at:

    TDA Training: Of Knives, Guns and 21 feet (guest post by tgace)

    People have run off into the weeds with what Tueller was trying to say IMO. He wasn't trying to say "knifes are more dangerous than guns"...

    I believe that the handgun is the best personal defensive weapon available. It gives the most people the most options at the most ranges and gives the best opportunity to defend oneself without getting injured (note..best "opportunity"...not "assured"). A person who KNOWS WHAT THEY ARE DOING at close range with a handgun is just as deadly as a person with a knife. Many of the people who seem to disagree with that appear to come from countries where access to firearms is severely restricted and thence have little practical "hands on experience" to base their opinions on. And probably have some sort of "since I cant have one Ill tell myself a knife is better anyway" mentality.

    Of course that's not to say that knives are somehow "less deadly" than a firearm. That would be silly

    PS-Slashing attacks with a knife are a bad argument regarding lethality IMO because lethality on any mammal is truly an issue of penetration. Stabs from a blade or a bullet penetrating organs or nervous systems are what kill most effectively. As a FMA practitioner (of sorts these days), I've seen all sorts of claims about "biomechanical cutting" and "disembowling" techniques with knife sized blades. Sorry, but I don't buy them. Slashes will definitely "**** you up", and may eventually even kill you, but they are lower percentage techniques vs. stabs.

    Say what you will about Marc MacYoung, but what he says here has a LOT of truth regarding knives:

    http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/knifelies.html
     
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  16. Instructor

    Instructor Master Black Belt

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    A knifes advantage over a gun I think is that it never runs out of ammo and even a child can hit something with it.
     
  17. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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    A knife needs physical strength and ability to wield. Ever try to actually stab or cut a large slab of meat? Knives are not light sabers....you have to close with, engage and destroy your enemy with a piece of metal in your hand. While its not a Herculean athletic event, there is a significant physical component to killing someone with a knife.

    My 10 yo can pull a trigger and hit a target quite easily. Certainly there is a training component to effective gun use, but simple familiarization and wise deployment of a pistol would be better sense for a weaker/aged/infirm individual vs trying to kill someone with a blade.
     
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  18. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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    Of course I always carry a knife..one small enough for utility yet large enough to be used as a defense option.
     
  19. drop bear

    drop bear Sr. Grandmaster

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    So are we discussing gun verses knife here or the inherent advantage somone has by ambushing somone else?

    And that counter ambush is a skill that is parallel to a weapon skill.
     
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  20. Tgace

    Tgace Grandmaster

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    Not only is ambush inherently advantageous, simple "initiative" puts one ahead in the OODA loop. Cops face that all the time....if the BG knows he is going to attack and the cop thinks its a normal traffic stop, the BG has already skipped ahead in the process.123
     
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