How much of an advantage is a knife?

Gerry Seymour

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Statistically, everyone is, even people who are well trained.
I don't know about everyone, but it's always best to plan as if you (generic "you") are, and they (again, the generic) aren't. If you're lucky, you're at least a little wrong on both sides of that.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Love everything you mentioned. Just wanted to add that Empty hand is also about mindset and commitment.

Here's a question...how does one train, or teach, mindset and commitment?
That's something I've never figured out. I can help people dig a little deeper, and give them some opportunities to find it in themselves. But I don't know how to instill or teach those qualities.
 

sinthetik_mistik

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and, yes, it's probably been a waste of time

depends on how you define waste of time. granted I've been robbed at gunpoint, I have reason to doubt it will ever happen again. I train Krav Maga which is to protect yourself from getting attacked/mugged whatever, but I'm a pretty big guy and I live in one of the safest suburbs in Atlanta. the only problem i see is if i go to a bar and some drunk dude starts talking trash, at which point I'll probably just walk away. (and i don't drink anyway so yeah) i don't know where I'm going with this but yeah, i'm not a violent natured person and want to avoid any form of altercation at any cost, but i train Krav Maga. why? because i enjoy it, it keeps me grounded, it's good exercise, and i'm passionate about martial arts!
 

sinthetik_mistik

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depends on how you define waste of time. granted I've been robbed at gunpoint, I have reason to doubt it will ever happen again. I train Krav Maga which is to protect yourself from getting attacked/mugged whatever, but I'm a pretty big guy and I live in one of the safest suburbs in Atlanta. the only problem i see is if i go to a bar and some drunk dude starts talking trash, at which point I'll probably just walk away. (and i don't drink anyway so yeah) i don't know where I'm going with this but yeah, i'm not a violent natured person and want to avoid any form of altercation at any cost, but i train Krav Maga. why? because i enjoy it, it keeps me grounded, it's good exercise, and i'm passionate about martial arts!

and yes there is the self defense aspect, but what i'm saying is a lot of it is hypothetical anyway.
 

hoshin1600

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Here's a question...how does one train, or teach, mindset and commitment?
i dont think it is taught, as such. it is absorbed in an osmosis like fashion. it starts with the instructor and how the class is set up and run, to have the correct atmosphere. having good seniors to emulate. i think you have to see it to know what it is. the student has to know and feel the difference between "the real deal" and a half hearted facsimile. but then the student has to have the ability to conjure that feeling up within themselves and maybe not everyone can do that.
in all honesty, in my experience a good portion of martial artists do not have it. perhaps it is tapping into the malevolence that resides deep inside us that people have difficulty admitting they have.
 

wab25

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Here's a question...how does one train, or teach, mindset and commitment?
I am not sure of the best way, but I can share how I have trained and how I try to teach my students. (as always I would love input on ways to do this better... many of you guys are much better at this than I am)

First thing is that I do not teach brand new students knife or gun disarms. I will only introduce weapon disarms once they can do all the empty hand versions of what we use, so we don't need to go over the techniques... we can focus on the mindset and commitment.

We don't train for competition in my school... or in most of our organization. We train for the sake of learning the art, and a bit of self defense. I let students know that from day one. From their first throws, I teach them not to help uke up, after you threw him. Uke needs to practice getting up, on balance and aware. Tori needs to practice maintaining a safe distance while uke gets up. If there is an opening I encourage them to reach out and grab the other one.

We finish our throws standing... when I catch students leaning over uke, I will walk up and slap their head. Then have them do the throw again, and finish standing... this way when I go to slap their head, the see it and react. Remember, that uke will also reach out and grab them, if there is an opening. The idea of all of this is that as Tori, you execute your technique, you control the situation, even escaping safely, while being aware of your surroundings.

As they get control, tapping out changes a little. Instead of immediately letting go, you immediately stop applying more, but keep what you have. Use your submission to control the other guy, as you escape. (obviously with chokes, you let it off, but you don't release the position... if he comes again, you choke him again)

Through this training, there are small things that go wrong, that the students have to adjust to. Usually on the escaping part, after the technique. (it occasionally turns into a bit of randori...) The idea is that they are practicing gaining control, through their technique, then maintaining the control and awareness until they decide the technique is over, when they are at a safe distance.

So now when you bring in weapon work, they have practiced the empty hand versions of not only the technique, but also for maintaining control. When you bring in the weapon work, it becomes a special thing for them. I use that time to impress on them the danger and reality of the weapon. Then we talk about the importance of mindset and commitment. With training weapons... when there is an opening, you cut/shoot the other guy. If he stops to reset, he get cut/shot until he does something. Then we talk about how and why he died, before he continues practice. Every once in a while, we will use live blades. We go slow, everything is predetermined... but it gets you to focus.

I hope that all makes sense. I think this commitment and mindset training are things you can introduce only with the weapon work. It needs to be done throughout all your training. The weapon work should add to it. How you set up the weapon training matters: are you going to play with rubber knives or are you going to train with knives? You need to always be practicing the control and how to adjust when something goes wrong.

Again, I would appreciate your guys input here.
 

Gerry Seymour

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i dont think it is taught, as such. it is absorbed in an osmosis like fashion. it starts with the instructor and how the class is set up and run, to have the correct atmosphere. having good seniors to emulate. i think you have to see it to know what it is. the student has to know and feel the difference between "the real deal" and a half hearted facsimile. but then the student has to have the ability to conjure that feeling up within themselves and maybe not everyone can do that.
in all honesty, in my experience a good portion of martial artists do not have it. perhaps it is tapping into the malevolence that resides deep inside us that people have difficulty admitting they have.
Agreed. I think there is a lot of learning by association, more than teaching.
 

Gerry Seymour

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I am not sure of the best way, but I can share how I have trained and how I try to teach my students. (as always I would love input on ways to do this better... many of you guys are much better at this than I am)

First thing is that I do not teach brand new students knife or gun disarms. I will only introduce weapon disarms once they can do all the empty hand versions of what we use, so we don't need to go over the techniques... we can focus on the mindset and commitment.

We don't train for competition in my school... or in most of our organization. We train for the sake of learning the art, and a bit of self defense. I let students know that from day one. From their first throws, I teach them not to help uke up, after you threw him. Uke needs to practice getting up, on balance and aware. Tori needs to practice maintaining a safe distance while uke gets up. If there is an opening I encourage them to reach out and grab the other one.

We finish our throws standing... when I catch students leaning over uke, I will walk up and slap their head. Then have them do the throw again, and finish standing... this way when I go to slap their head, the see it and react. Remember, that uke will also reach out and grab them, if there is an opening. The idea of all of this is that as Tori, you execute your technique, you control the situation, even escaping safely, while being aware of your surroundings.

As they get control, tapping out changes a little. Instead of immediately letting go, you immediately stop applying more, but keep what you have. Use your submission to control the other guy, as you escape. (obviously with chokes, you let it off, but you don't release the position... if he comes again, you choke him again)

Through this training, there are small things that go wrong, that the students have to adjust to. Usually on the escaping part, after the technique. (it occasionally turns into a bit of randori...) The idea is that they are practicing gaining control, through their technique, then maintaining the control and awareness until they decide the technique is over, when they are at a safe distance.

So now when you bring in weapon work, they have practiced the empty hand versions of not only the technique, but also for maintaining control. When you bring in the weapon work, it becomes a special thing for them. I use that time to impress on them the danger and reality of the weapon. Then we talk about the importance of mindset and commitment. With training weapons... when there is an opening, you cut/shoot the other guy. If he stops to reset, he get cut/shot until he does something. Then we talk about how and why he died, before he continues practice. Every once in a while, we will use live blades. We go slow, everything is predetermined... but it gets you to focus.

I hope that all makes sense. I think this commitment and mindset training are things you can introduce only with the weapon work. It needs to be done throughout all your training. The weapon work should add to it. How you set up the weapon training matters: are you going to play with rubber knives or are you going to train with knives? You need to always be practicing the control and how to adjust when something goes wrong.

Again, I would appreciate your guys input here.
I do bits of all of that, except the live blades. I like how all those pieces fit together in your approach. You are building useful habits from the start.
 

hoshin1600

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@wab25
by the terminology you use i can assume your art is a form of Aikido or Judo. i think those arts have a more difficult time instilling a combative mindset due to the underlying philosophy and the manner in which they are practiced. Aiki arts and Judo are very reserved in the demeanor. there are no wild and sporadic actions, no emotional bursts and i think often that fourth wall has to be broken.
Fourth wall - Wikipedia

Warning rated R language in this clip:

 

Gaucho

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I know a fellow who, in late teenage days, calmly took a knife away from a would-be punk and then slapped the guy around.
The trick is that the fellow - rather smallish - has unusually good physical speed and coordination, as he demonstrated in sports. Much later, his son became a competitive MMA fighter. I suppose the lesson is that if you are so well coordinated that you are working on a different time-frame regarding reflexes, you might get away with it.


I should add that in the incident above, the defence was a 5-millisecond snap kick to the crotch, which caused Mack the Knife to double over.
 

wab25

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@wab25
by the terminology you use i can assume your art is a form of Aikido or Judo. i think those arts have a more difficult time instilling a combative mindset due to the underlying philosophy and the manner in which they are practiced. Aiki arts and Judo are very reserved in the demeanor. there are no wild and sporadic actions, no emotional bursts and i think often that fourth wall has to be broken.
Fourth wall - Wikipedia
I have not had time to watch the video yet... But as soon as I have 30 minutes, I will.

The art I practice is Danzan Ryu Jujitsu... I think we have an easier time instilling combative mindset than Aikido. I am not sure about Judo, though as I have not been on the mat with traditional Judo classes enough to make that call.

Perhaps this is answered in the video, which I will watch later... but can you elaborate on what you mean by the terms: wild and sporadic actions and emotional bursts? By my definition, we do have some of that built into the lists... but it depends on what the specific definitions are that we are using.
 

Gaucho

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. I am not sure about Judo, though as I have not been on the mat with traditional Judo classes enough to make that call.

I have a friend who has a black belt in Okinawan Kempo of some sort and (unfortunately) has been in a zillion fights, many as a bouncer. Later on he took up judo, and said to me : "There's no bull**** in judo." He was impressed.
 

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Many grappling moves don't defend against the second hand as a strike/stab. In fact, many I've seen actually ignore that hand and deal entirely with the first one, assuming it is the primary attack and that enough disruption will happen before the second can cause damage (which often assumes it to be a grab or punch). And a lot of knife defense I've seen assumes the knife is the first hand in (not having to deal with the other, at all).

It is a knife. Why would you be straight grappling? Furiously punching someone's head off will clear that front hand.

Otherwise underhook to hip bump takedown stops that front arm from being effective and leaves a hand to spoil the back arm.

It would also be one of those alternatives to all those judo throws that military systems have such a fascination for.
 

Gerry Seymour

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It is a knife. Why would you be straight grappling? Furiously punching someone's head off will clear that front hand.

Otherwise underhook to hip bump takedown stops that front arm from being effective and leaves a hand to spoil the back arm.

It would also be one of those alternatives to all those judo throws that military systems have such a fascination for.
I dont see an issue with straight grappling. If I know a knife is in play and I get ahold of the arm controlling it, Im not letting go to strike.

But I need to be aware of the threat the other arm still poses, even empty.
 

oftheherd1

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Any time I was visiting another dojo, if I was asked what I would like to work on from their art, I would request either self defense, sparring or weapons defense. And that's been a lot of dojos over the years. [and a lot of **** whoopings I got]

The speed and agility parts were never a problem for me. I'm just not good against knives, never have been. Unless I have a knife. And I practice a lot with a knife.

And you bring up a terrific point - the realization in students that it's scary. One thing I've seen throughout the years, in some places - is an almost blaise approach to knife training.

And the dreaded X block of a knife. You know, where you cross the wrists and block an incoming straight strike and then disarm with a wrist lock.......like I used to teach when I was a youngster. Thank God nobody actually had to use that and got themselves killed.

Cross block against a knife intrigues me. I will have to look that up. Now a cross block against a front snap kick is very good; it blocks the kick and hurts the opponent, a lot.
 

oftheherd1

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Many grappling moves don't defend against the second hand as a strike/stab. In fact, many I've seen actually ignore that hand and deal entirely with the first one, assuming it is the primary attack and that enough disruption will happen before the second can cause damage (which often assumes it to be a grab or punch). And a lot of knife defense I've seen assumes the knife is the first hand in (not having to deal with the other, at all).

Most defenses in the Hapkido I learned took that into account, either by speed, by moving to the side away from the other hand, or by moving the body in such a way that the other hand couldn't be brought to bear. I thought Aikido did a lot of that too.
 

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Seems to some folks it's not that dangerous if you grab the blade. :rolleyes:
Well it is an effective strategy. Just grab the blade. Look them in the eyes too to let them know your the alpha and they will instinctively back down. o_O
 

Gerry Seymour

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Cross block against a knife intrigues me. I will have to look that up. Now a cross block against a front snap kick is very good; it blocks the kick and hurts the opponent, a lot.
I can see a cross block against a knife as an "oh crap" move. It won't give you control, but it can stop the first attack and maybe help you get contact you can keep.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Most defenses in the Hapkido I learned took that into account, either by speed, by moving to the side away from the other hand, or by moving the body in such a way that the other hand couldn't be brought to bear. I thought Aikido did a lot of that too.
It depends who's teaching it. I harp on it a lot. I see some instructors doing similarly, and some others seem to assume they'll always break structure fast enough on first contact AND will always know if there's a weapon involved. Breaking structure can take the power out of a strike, but the same amount of disruption may not be enough to protect from a knife in that second hand.
 

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Knife in your right hand, you straight stab low. Opponent X blocks.

Your left hand checks the X. Right on top of where the wrists cross. Takes about a tenth of a second. Knife retracts, goes over and stabs continuously.
 
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