Evidenced based SD knife evaluation

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Ignoring that trainwreck of a title...
Yesterday I was looking up various things about knife defense, and stumbled on this article Self-defence against knife attacks: a full review | Self Defence - Krav Maga | London | Urban Fit & Fearless. It goes through 150+ knife incidents, and determines what is common regarding the attackers, then focuses on ways to handle the attacks it determines are more likely to occur. Personally, I feel like I learned a ecent bit from the article, so i figured I would share it for everyone on here.
 

drop bear

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Yeah that sort of gels with my ideas on the subject.
 
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Monkey Turned Wolf

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Yeah that sort of gels with my ideas on the subject.
Any particular parts? To me basically all of it made sense, but I was surprised that most people lead with their empty hand since that's not something I've ever trained against/has occurred to me to train against.
 

KangTsai

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Basically syncs with what I thought too.
I wince every time I see a knife defence video from some hackjob krav maga instructor. The same wince in my spine I get from watching this --
(He doesn't actually break his back)
 

drop bear

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Any particular parts? To me basically all of it made sense, but I was surprised that most people lead with their empty hand since that's not something I've ever trained against/has occurred to me to train against.

People lead with their hand when they fight without a knife as well. people dont really train a decent grab combined with a super high volume of shots because it is almost undefendable.

It would make knife defence class pretty depressing.
 

Tony Dismukes

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people dont really train a decent grab combined with a super high volume of shots because it is almost undefendable.

It would make knife defence class pretty depressing.
Not so much "undefendable" as "not defendable with a high degree of reliability or probability of success." People like to think that if they just get good enough at their technique then they will be safe, but if that scenario actually gets started, then being highly trained in the best techniques merely raises their chances from "abysmal" to "poor." There's a reason why the Dog Brother's instructional series on the matter is entitled Die Less Often.
 

hoshin1600

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The only issue I see is that all the data is based on video. The video footage I have seen with little exception is mostly armed robbery. I don't see any footage of rape attempts or kidnapping attempts (nor would I expect to) The usage of the weapon will be dependent on the intent of the assailant. I will agree that a weapon forward attack is not overly common but I would be aware of making assumptions about knife attacks based on a single motive.
 
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Tony Dismukes

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The only issue I see is that all the data is based on video. The video footage I have seen with little exception is mostly armed robbery. I don't see any footage of rape attempts or kidnapping attempts (nor would I expect to) The usage of the weapon will be dependent on the intent of the assailant. I will agree that a weapon forward attack is not overly common but I would be aware of making assumptions about knife attacks based on a single motive.
I'd actually divide "motives" into two main categories. The first would be using the knife as a threat to gain compliance. The second would be attempts to actually murder the victim.

Rapes, kidnappings and the majority of robberies would fall into the first category. In these cases, there usually is no actual "attack" with the knife unless something goes wrong.

For actual murder attempts with the knife, my research supports what is said in the linked article. The majority of attacks occur at close range, with the knife hidden before use, often with the lead hand used to control the victim while the rear hand launches repeated quick stabs. There are exceptions of course, but this seems to be one of the most common scenarios. If you don't train that scenario, then you aren't training for the most likely danger. In my experience, most schools teach defenses against a single committed lunge from long range with a clearly displayed knife. This doesn't do much besides build a false sense of confidence.

There is third category which isn't seen too much in most developed countries today. This is a dueling scenario - consensual violence with both parties being armed and ready. It's still seen in some parts of the world. Much of the FMA curriculum comes from this context. It's just important to realize that a lot of things don't carry over so well from dueling methods to defense against ambushes.
 
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hoshin1600

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I'd actually divide "motives" into two main categories. The first would be using the knife as a threat to gain compliance. The second would be attempts to actually murder the victim.
i agree with your thinking. from what i have seen there are a few typical weapon positions used. the first is a low held weapon down by the assailants thigh. holding the weapon down low and close to the body like this makes it very difficult to deflect or grasp. i feel this assailant is "flashing" the weapon as a tactic to show he means business and gain the compliance but psychologically is not agitated (as of yet). there are times when the assailant might use a forward weapon held high and pushed into the victims face or neck. i would say psychologically this happens in an agitated highly excitable state. there is also "escort" positions where the weapon will be held to the victims side rib cage or from behind. this is why i brought up the rape situation. i feel when the assailants intent is to move the victim to a different location there is more of a forward position in the weapon. however these are not actual attacks. i would agree most actual attacks with a knife end up with a gripping hand and the knife hand. as a side note i would state that i think as the weapon gets longer these assumptions are turned around. with a machete i would think it would be more common to be held and to attack with the weapon in the lead hand. i will take a guess that the typical martial art attack "stepping forward with a thrusting action" has its origin in the dojo because of its similarity to a step forward, karate punch from the chambered position. (which it self is never seen outside a dojo)
 

Brian R. VanCise

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You can find examples of utilizing the front hand and then attacking with the knife in the rear hand as well as attacks from the front hand. If you only train one way well you are limiting yourself! Just like if you only train for when the knife is already at your throat and the person wants to rob you. What if he is behind you with the knife at your throat? You should if you are serious about real world knife defense train for all eventualities. That is how we train in IRT. You train for the ambush, lunge, rear hand attack, opponent on you with a knife at your throat from the front and the back, etc, etc.

In respect to the rear handed attack you better have an answer for that. If your opponent is adrenalized and comes with a committed lunge you better be able to deal with that. If the opponent comes with an ice pick grip which former FBI studies have indicated is a "high probability" then you better have an answer for that, etc., etc.

Awareness, avoidance are going to be your first lines of defense. Running and getting out of there had better be part of your planning as well. Drawing a tool or going and getting one better be part of that defense plan as well. Always it is better to have your tool in your hand before you actually need it!

Bottom line if you train only one way then their are holes in your skill sets and you need to step out of the box and reevaluate your training!
 

Gerry Seymour

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Ignoring that trainwreck of a title...
Yesterday I was looking up various things about knife defense, and stumbled on this article Self-defence against knife attacks: a full review | Self Defence - Krav Maga | London | Urban Fit & Fearless. It goes through 150+ knife incidents, and determines what is common regarding the attackers, then focuses on ways to handle the attacks it determines are more likely to occur. Personally, I feel like I learned a ecent bit from the article, so i figured I would share it for everyone on here.
That's the first really analytical approach I've seen on it. It confirms some of the discussions I've been having, and is why I teach reacting to the first attack as completely as possible, and assuming another (perhaps a punch, perhaps a knife) is coming behind it. It justifies some of the refocusing I want to do.
 

Gerry Seymour

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People lead with their hand when they fight without a knife as well. people dont really train a decent grab combined with a super high volume of shots because it is almost undefendable.

It would make knife defence class pretty depressing.
That statement assumes folks only train what they will always succeed at. I make a point to my students that some attacks are low-probability defenses. We train because we want that percentage we can get.

I wouldn't do it with beginners because it'd probably scare them off, but then they don't have the foundation to work on this type of attack, anyway.
 

arnisador

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Interesting. I'm always glad to see people trying to apply evidence and data to S.D. The author makes a good point: "Would a major car-maker hire you as a car-safety expert if you just added "Have been twice in a car crash" to your CV/resume?"
 

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I'd break down Mr. Dismukes analysis into 3 Categories, the third one being "heat of the moment" attacks. Working in LE (in our area) most of the knife attacks are domestic type situations or another situation where people get into a heated disagreement and someone picks up a knife to attack. When you analyze that data, you find that almost of the attacks are the big overhand "psycho" stabbing attacks, or stepthrough lunge.

For an experiment, give a bunch of untrained people a knife and ask them to stab you. Most will use their right hand and if it is not forward already, they will take a step with their right foot and stab with their right hand. Why? Neurologically, it is the most common used motion with their dominate hand. Watch people do single motions with their dominate hand that they need to get closer for. Majority of the time, it is stepping with the same side as the hand they are using.

That being said, if ALL we train for are knife attacks against unskilled people (which is the majority of knife defense I see) then you will be in a world of hurt if you don't train for the ambush style attack or "hockey attack" of holding the shirt with one hand and punching/stabbing with the other hand (because again, it is a common tactic among people who fight alot).

But, one of the things I have always told students who ask, the biggest myth of all is you can tell if someone is trained in knife fighting by how they hold the knife. Front vs. Rear hand, Hammer/Saber grip vs. Ice Pick grip etc. etc. ALL of them have valid tactics on how to deploy the knife effectively and you must find a response to each.
 
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