How much of an advantage is a knife?

oftheherd1

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The only reason someone would pull out a knife or a gun in a fist fight is fear. The fear and adrenaline combined can make any lackey miss from a 1 metre range. A knife is accurate, you can slash with it and so forth. When it comes to knife fighting there are 2 types of it:
The one in the moves is where the person is an idiot and holds the knife in front of them out fear and not knowing how to use. They are basically giving away their wrist for you to crush.
The second style is the one where you should just run. I doubt any martial arts can save you from this. If they brandish a knife, take a step back and hold the knife close to their body, pointing at you, while the other hand is outstretched ready to jab at you, then they are an experience knife fighter. They will use the hand closest to you to distract. They could literally just wave it at you and the next thing you know is they are pumping the other hand holding the knife into your rib cage.

I think the real advantage to a knife is that it extends the reach and potentially damages in ways a punch alone would not. Fear, skill and adrenaline may give the attacker some advantages which is why retreat/avoidance are the best choice it you aren't adept at controlling the attackers knife arm.
 

oftheherd1

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The attached video of the two young guys working the knife defense, is exactly the kind of thing that strikes me as unrealistic, making unreasonable assumptions about how a knife encounter would play out. I really cringe when I see that kind of thing.

The linked YouTube video showing the weaknesses of the X block, I get what he is saying and I dont disagree, but at the same time there needs to be something to use to deflect the knife attack and I think an X block COULD be a tool that COULD work, potentially. Its just that everything is sketchy and dangerous in this situation. Perhaps the danger is in the overcommittment to the defense, unrealistically expecting to quickly gain some kind of control of the knife or dominance of the situation after using the X block. What might be more realistic is simply using it against the attackers wrist or forearm to bounce away the attacks, even repeated attacks, without the over commitment that would leave you open or vulnerable. It isnt ultimately a solution, but it buys time perhaps to get away, preventing stabs or cuts to the torso or head, limiting injuries to the forearms. Its a sacrifice plan, and needs to lead to escape or its gonna be curtains.

I agree on both points. The first may work, but I'm not sure I would want it as a first choice. A cross block must easily lead to a grapple that keeps the defender safe. It is too easy for the attacker to simply pull his arm back and slice while doing so. I think a proper, striking cross block does have more chance to cause an attacker to drop the knife.
 

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I agree on both points. The first may work, but I'm not sure I would want it as a first choice. A cross block must easily lead to a grapple that keeps the defender safe. It is too easy for the attacker to simply pull his arm back and slice while doing so. I think a proper, striking cross block does have more chance to cause an attacker to drop the knife.
I'm not wild about the nature of the transition from X-block to grappling. I'd much rather deliver it as a hard block - a better chance IMO of disrupting their structure and power that way, to get an opportunity to control.
 

SeekGuidance

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I don't see why you would leave the knife hand out. It's stupid. Free wrist for anyone to grab, and all the martial arts techniques you have learnt can be applied. But a good knife fighter, remember when I say a good and experienced knife fighter, would understand that slashing the knife in front of you wildly is stupid. You keep it back and distract with your front hand. Why do you think boxing keeps the rear hand back. Added power, and you can distract the opponent with your front hand first; poke them, feint, get a reaction out of them to see what you're up against. How exactly would you engage with knife at the front without risking a broken wrist or worse?
 

pdg

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@SeekGuidance - it seems like you've watched a lot of kife defence videos, where the guy with the knife stands still and allows his wrist to be grabbed. Are you seriously suggesting that if anybody is holding a knife out in front you'd be able to grab their wrist?

Boxing keeps the "rear" hand back (it has to be back to be the rear hand, but I'll let that slide) because it fits with the stance. You can't have a solid base with your feet in a normal square standing position.

Power generation doesn't come into a whole lot - if I switch to southpaw so my dominant hand is forward, I don't lose much power at all if the rest of my body mechanics are engaged properly. A jab is far from just a distraction or a test punch.

Using power generation as a reason for keeping a knife further back is a silly excuse - do you have any idea just how little force is required to stick a knife into flesh?

As a test (yeah right, it was a stupid accident) I stabbed myself in the thigh - there was a "run up" of about 2 inches and the handle is what stopped it going deeper...


I'd like to know just how many good and experienced knife fighters you know, and how many times you've been threatened with a forward held blade and grabbed their wrist.

Oh, and that's with a real knife btw.
 

SeekGuidance

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@SeekGuidance - it seems like you've watched a lot of kife defence videos, where the guy with the knife stands still and allows his wrist to be grabbed. Are you seriously suggesting that if anybody is holding a knife out in front you'd be able to grab their wrist?

Boxing keeps the "rear" hand back (it has to be back to be the rear hand, but I'll let that slide) because it fits with the stance. You can't have a solid base with your feet in a normal square standing position.

Power generation doesn't come into a whole lot - if I switch to southpaw so my dominant hand is forward, I don't lose much power at all if the rest of my body mechanics are engaged properly. A jab is far from just a distraction or a test punch.

Using power generation as a reason for keeping a knife further back is a silly excuse - do you have any idea just how little force is required to stick a knife into flesh?

As a test (yeah right, it was a stupid accident) I stabbed myself in the thigh - there was a "run up" of about 2 inches and the handle is what stopped it going deeper...


I'd like to know just how many good and experienced knife fighters you know, and how many times you've been threatened with a forward held blade and grabbed their wrist.

Oh, and that's with a real knife btw.
Every martial art which I have seen has techniques where the knife is being held at the front hand. Jujitsu, Systema, Krav Maga, and more. Even Ninjitsu and grandmaster styles. Yet I completely agree that you wouldn't be able to grab the wrist. But it's still a risk, because yet again, how would you strike with hand at the front? No, go on please tell me. Would you slash? Would you lunge? Because that's what leaves you open, off balance and also M A X I M I S E S the risk of being grabbed. Would you rather face an opponent who uses his front hand to gouge your eyes, disorients you, and proceeds to stab you when you're off guard? Or someone who leaves their hand with the knife in front, has little to no use for his rear hand, and makes wide and elongated strikes?

And no, I don not claim, the martial arts I have listed are ineffective. Now please, answer the question.
 

oftheherd1

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I'm not wild about the nature of the transition from X-block to grappling. I'd much rather deliver it as a hard block - a better chance IMO of disrupting their structure and power that way, to get an opportunity to control.

I tend to agree except that I think a properly applied cross block is a hard block.
 

CB Jones

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Would you rather face an opponent who uses his front hand to gouge your eyes, disorients you, and proceeds to stab you when you're off guard? Or someone who leaves their hand with the knife in front, has little to no use for his rear hand, and makes wide and elongated strikes?

Both would be a shitty day. Either way with someone with some skill is gonna cut you up.
 

oftheherd1

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Every martial art which I have seen has techniques where the knife is being held at the front hand. Jujitsu, Systema, Krav Maga, and more. Even Ninjitsu and grandmaster styles. Yet I completely agree that you wouldn't be able to grab the wrist. But it's still a risk, because yet again, how would you strike with hand at the front? No, go on please tell me. Would you slash? Would you lunge? Because that's what leaves you open, off balance and also M A X I M I S E S the risk of being grabbed. Would you rather face an opponent who uses his front hand to gouge your eyes, disorients you, and proceeds to stab you when you're off guard? Or someone who leaves their hand with the knife in front, has little to no use for his rear hand, and makes wide and elongated strikes?

And no, I don not claim, the martial arts I have listed are ineffective. Now please, answer the question.

Well I admit I am not an expert on all styles of martial arts. But what is a 'grandmaster style?' And you might want to expand your search a bit. In the Hapkido I learned, we learned defenses against forward thrusts both straight and low to up, straight down from overhead, and slashing from one side or the other, or both. As to the opponent who tries to gouge my eyes, most likely if I can grab and manipulate the hand that is forward and doesn't have a knife, he won't be able to get to me with his rear knife hand.

Now truth in talking, like many martial artists, I do not go through life using all my unarmed learning against multiple poor unsuspecting bad guys. But when I train, I try to learn the best I can to survive any possible attack. And if you or anyone else has a good technique, please share it rather than just cutting (no pun intended) down other's training without offering better suggestions.
 

Flying Crane

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I don't see why you would leave the knife hand out. It's stupid. Free wrist for anyone to grab, and all the martial arts techniques you have learnt can be applied. But a good knife fighter, remember when I say a good and experienced knife fighter, would understand that slashing the knife in front of you wildly is stupid. You keep it back and distract with your front hand. Why do you think boxing keeps the rear hand back. Added power, and you can distract the opponent with your front hand first; poke them, feint, get a reaction out of them to see what you're up against. How exactly would you engage with knife at the front without risking a broken wrist or worse?
What is a good and experienced knife fighter?

Someone who has trained a lot would not be unusual.

However I think it would be very unusual, at least in most parts of the world, to find someone who has a lot of experience with actually fighting with a knife. Because that would imply that he has probably killed a lot of people, or at least cut up a lot of people badly, and if he does not hide this fact and yet is out of prison, well that would be unusual.
 

Buka

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I don't see why you would leave the knife hand out. It's stupid. Free wrist for anyone to grab, and all the martial arts techniques you have learnt can be applied. But a good knife fighter, remember when I say a good and experienced knife fighter, would understand that slashing the knife in front of you wildly is stupid. You keep it back and distract with your front hand. Why do you think boxing keeps the rear hand back. Added power, and you can distract the opponent with your front hand first; poke them, feint, get a reaction out of them to see what you're up against. How exactly would you engage with knife at the front without risking a broken wrist or worse?

Welcome to MartialTalk, Seekguidance. Hope you it enjoy it, bro.

Knife fighting is an art, the same as whatever style you train is an art. It's just less forgiving. When you train knife fighting, you learn to use a blade in your front hand, your back hand, and both right and left hands.

I know it may sound odd to you, but the knife held in the front hand can be done so all day and all night - and you will not be able to grab that front wrist, not even once. Not even a little bit. At least not until you train in knife fighting for a good while.

And to the mentioning of the X block in knife fighting, you kind of dream of an X block going for your knife hand, regardless of who is doing it. It's kind of knife fighting 101. It's like Christmas.
 

drop bear

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I don't see why you would leave the knife hand out. It's stupid. Free wrist for anyone to grab, and all the martial arts techniques you have learnt can be applied. But a good knife fighter, remember when I say a good and experienced knife fighter, would understand that slashing the knife in front of you wildly is stupid. You keep it back and distract with your front hand. Why do you think boxing keeps the rear hand back. Added power, and you can distract the opponent with your front hand first; poke them, feint, get a reaction out of them to see what you're up against. How exactly would you engage with knife at the front without risking a broken wrist or worse?

Boxers jab with the front hand though.

And you can't really catch strikes out of mid air. That is most of the issue with knife defence.

And if he grabs your front hand. Punch them in the head with the other hand.

There is a whole bunch of technical and mechanical bits you are missing.

images


So if you look at the guy on the left. His hand is still tight to his body where he is strong. If you reached out and grabbed his hand he would have the mechanical advantage.

If for some reason the guy on the right was just standing there static. You could have a better chance of grabbing his arm.

But the dynamic isnt rear hand vs front. It is extended and static vs in thight and moving.

Now the advantage to puting the knife in the front hand is that all the action happens from as far away from you as possible. And you don't really need to generate heaps of power to make a knife work.
 
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IvanTheBrick

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From what I know from reading books about knife fighting, is that a knife is not easily countered. It's not like the fighter is just going to wait for you and ignore his free hand while you attempt to apply a wrist crush. And it's rare enough that you actually manage to grab the hand anyway. If someone pulls out a knife, it's much better to just give them your wallet or run rather than try something funny. One of the books is written by an expert knife fighter who claims he has killed people with the techniques he teaches in the book, in prison. His book says that an experienced knife fighter holds the knife close to his body and attempts to distract you with his front hand. A wide stance is taken for stability and eye gouges and so forth are applied before pumping the knife into your ribcage. Could be wrong, but either way it's better to run or comply. Imagine how stupid it'd be if you died over your iPhone lmao
 

CB Jones

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Also, the problem with grabbing the wrist is them cutting your grabbing hand. Its easier to swipe and retract then catch the wrist.
 

Gerry Seymour

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I don't see why you would leave the knife hand out. It's stupid. Free wrist for anyone to grab, and all the martial arts techniques you have learnt can be applied. But a good knife fighter, remember when I say a good and experienced knife fighter, would understand that slashing the knife in front of you wildly is stupid. You keep it back and distract with your front hand. Why do you think boxing keeps the rear hand back. Added power, and you can distract the opponent with your front hand first; poke them, feint, get a reaction out of them to see what you're up against. How exactly would you engage with knife at the front without risking a broken wrist or worse?
The best defense against that grabbing hand is often "defanging the snake" - using the knife to defend rather than attack, by attacking a limb. Mind you, the mindset behind keeping the knife out front seems to come from the assumption that the other person also has a knife. Given that assumption, it makes more sense to me.
 

Gerry Seymour

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I tend to agree except that I think a properly applied cross block is a hard block.
I think maybe we're saying the same thing. It's possible to use a X-block soft, but I don't see much use for it, so I tend to think it's not "properly applied" if it's soft.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Every martial art which I have seen has techniques where the knife is being held at the front hand. Jujitsu, Systema, Krav Maga, and more. Even Ninjitsu and grandmaster styles. Yet I completely agree that you wouldn't be able to grab the wrist. But it's still a risk, because yet again, how would you strike with hand at the front? No, go on please tell me. Would you slash? Would you lunge? Because that's what leaves you open, off balance and also M A X I M I S E S the risk of being grabbed. Would you rather face an opponent who uses his front hand to gouge your eyes, disorients you, and proceeds to stab you when you're off guard? Or someone who leaves their hand with the knife in front, has little to no use for his rear hand, and makes wide and elongated strikes?

And no, I don not claim, the martial arts I have listed are ineffective. Now please, answer the question.
My logic is that if I have my knife in my front hand, I can control the distance better. I'm able to strike the other persons wrist (my primary target), from farther away. And it won't take me as long to defend with the knife if you come at me.

I also have two very good uses of my rear hand. The first is that I'm an unarmed martial artist first, so I am still quite capable of grabbing, striking, doing all that other fun stuff. The second is that (hopefully) the other person would be focused on my knife, trying to jam/grab/whatever that hand, leaving my rear hand free to attack with.

It's a non-issue to me that they could grab my wrist. When training, I was taught to always keep the knife hand moving. It is much easier for me to get my knife to make contact with your wrist then it would be for your hand to grab and control my wrist.

Regarding "Would you rather face an opponent who uses his front hand to gouge your eyes, disorients you, and proceeds to stab you when you're off guard? Or someone who leaves their hand with the knife in front, has little to no use for his rear hand, and makes wide and elongated strikes?" This seems like a pretty leading question. Why can't someone who has their knife in their rear hand make wide and elongated strikes? Why can't someone with the knife in front use that to stab/slice at the eyes? It should be (and is) just as easy to aim a knife to the eye as it is to aim a finger to the eyes.
 

drop bear

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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.

Found a video of what I was on about at 2:36 in. And it is a knee knock not a hip bump.


But you under hook the distracting front hand you can secure the rear hand and then take them down pretty much on top of their own knife.

And you have an escape if it gets stuffed. Which is why I mentioned it as the alternitive to a judo throw.
 
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