How much of an advantage is a knife?

sgtmac_46

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Good comments from everyone. I suppose it depends upon what it means by close quarters, in other words how close, and if the gun is drawn and if the gun man has every intention to pull the trigger the moment you resist. I do believe it is obvious that a drawn gun outside the reach of someone is obviously more dangerous than a knife, than again that might not be considered close quarter. If the gunman has a gun to your back with every intention to pull the trigger the moment you make your move, obviously the gun would be more dangerous. But if he is in the process of drawing a gun within arms length, than I can agree that the knife might indeed be more dangerous, and I see your point. I would prefer to go against a guy with a knife rather than a gun in most situations, and it should be kept in mind that it is likely guns were not the primary weapon Fairbairn dealt with as a police officer, knives were far more common in Shanghai back than. But good comments all, and without a doubt a knife does give someone a tremendous advantage, I just believe that some guy who doesn't know what he's doing with a knife automatically becomes a 12th degree black belt is hyperbole, with all due respect to John Perkins.
What does 'know what he's doing with a knife' really mean to you? Does it mean he's some high level, ranked and frocked grand mufti of some system? How about just a big, angry man with no formal training, and murderous intent, who's stabbed people before, and who's single driving desire is to run you through?

Do you think some formal 12th degree black belt in knife-fu-do somehow trumps that? I think we do ourselves a disservice to believe that 'formal training' equals superior skill. The knife is a simple instrument, and it doesn't require complicated training to utilize effectively. Push the knife in, pull out, repeat as needed as rapidly and powerfully as possible. Here's a good example of how that really looks....

Oh, and this is a good wakeup call....<warning: not for the squeemish' Notice the REAL knife attack at the 1:45 mark......what style of martial arts do you think he was using?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k5LQ5ddZ_b0&feature=related

Now, there are some who've commented on knife defense 'Oh yeah, i'd just use my kung-fu parry and then crush his trachea with my knife edge hand strike'.....ahuh.....

You should watch how REAL knife attacks occur, and train accordingly. Why do we show prison knife attacks? Because someone who has been in HERE is who you're going to run in to on the street if you ever find yourself confronted by a knife! It's as fine a 'dojo' for knife attacks as you'll ever see!



And keep in mind that the largest mass-murder in US history was committed with box-cutters......the human mind is the weapon, and it's ability to apply tools in violently destructive ways is only limited by his imagination, creativity and desire to destroy! Never underestimate the 'other'.
 
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jks9199

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The advantage goes to knife, even when the skill is far superior to the unarmed guy. Knife is an AWESOME advantage and equalizer, and changes ALL fight equations.
Which, I think, is the point of the quote about a knife making anyone a 12th degree black belt.

Kind of like the one about how Sam Colt made all men equal...
 

sgtmac_46

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Which, I think, is the point of the quote about a knife making anyone a 12th degree black belt.

Kind of like the one about how Sam Colt made all men equal...
That's why man picked up a rock and a stick when he fell out of the tree, rather than work on his 'monkey style'.

It's all about gaining a mechanical advantage. ;)
 
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Joab

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I see your point, the knife is a tremendous advantage. Again, I would prefer to go against someone with a knife than a gun. Others disagree. Neither would be preferable.

The truth is I know of guys who were very skilled take out a guy who wasn't very good with a knife with a quick kick, I haven't heard such things about someone with a gun. All you have to do is pull a trigger, with a knife you have to thrust the knife towards the body, with a gun you can be out of reach. Anyone who believes a loaded, cocked gun pointed at you and to far away to reach with an arm or leg is less dangerous than a knife is living an illusion, your simply wrong, period. I hope that isn't what anyone was arguing, I hope I misunderstood some of the arguements.
 

sgtmac_46

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I see your point, the knife is a tremendous advantage. Again, I would prefer to go against someone with a knife than a gun. Others disagree. Neither would be preferable.

The truth is I know of guys who were very skilled take out a guy who wasn't very good with a knife with a quick kick, I haven't heard such things about someone with a gun. All you have to do is pull a trigger, with a knife you have to thrust the knife towards the body, with a gun you can be out of reach. Anyone who believes a loaded, cocked gun pointed at you and to far away to reach with an arm or leg is less dangerous than a knife is living an illusion, your simply wrong, period. I hope that isn't what anyone was arguing, I hope I misunderstood some of the arguements.
Anyone who says 'either/or' really misunderstands the point. It's not as if some bad guy is going to give you a choice 'You want me to use the gun or the knife'. They are both different, and at close range the knife is more dangerous. A gun fires in one direction, and is only dangers straight from the muzzle on......the rest of the gun makes a good handle to grab and control, not so a knife.

Again, the question of which is more dangerous depends on how you encounter them.....and none of those differences are variables you can control.
 

Rich Parsons

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Go check this video out. It's by Paul Vunak I got it off of youtube.

I think it really kind of puts knife fighting into a good context right off the bat. Now I have to say this. I don't care if a man can clear 20ft. in 1.5 secs, against a good quick draw he's dead. I mean hell, I can draw my .45 and fire in .5 a second. So that still, leaves roughly .89 depending on the length of the mans arms and the knife, to still aim and fire. And there are guys out there that can do it in .2 of a second. That's really fast! So knife vs. gun, again depends on training levels of the two individuals.

So if I had to choose one. I would choose a knife, the two times I've been involved with a knife, I was very lucky and walked away in one piece. Plus I can run if it's necassary. A gun, I might still be able to run, but he might be a very good shot, so.....I might not get very far. Hehe!
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While I have been able to clear that distance, I was also with my limited training and planning, was able to clear a plastic test pistol before the distance was covered. We shortened it from 20 feet to 15 and then to 10 and then to 5 feet.

At 20 feet I was able to step back (* create space *) and doing it off line.

At 15 feet, I was able to step back and kneel down and I was able to get a "Shot" off but I was counter attacked.

At 10 feet, I was able to step back and fall back and clear the weapon and "fire". As I was prone I was out of the immediate attack of his weapon, but I would have been at an extreme negative situation if there were friends, or if he fell on me with his weapon.

At 5 Feet, I almost always reacted to the weapon at hand in the opponents control and only after I had reacted did I try to gain distance and or control and to deal with surviving, first then worrying about taking him out.
 
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sidecarr

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we use a traing knife with red ink on the blade end seems no matter how good you are you will get cut
 

Andy Moynihan

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we use a traing knife with red ink on the blade end seems no matter how good you are you will get cut


You gotta look at empty handed knife defenses the same way you would look at lottery tickets.

Winning nothing while trying something that at least has a chance you might win something beats winning nothing while trying nothing at all.
 

Archangel M

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All of the gun v knife arguments always seen to take the "you with a holstered weapon, him with a knife in hand" - "him attacking you defending" approach. The Tueller and all the rest, while good illustrations of a valid point take a dynamic combination of factors and reduce it to a "set piece" demonstration ... IMO what it comes down to is initiative. Who decides to attack, who is aware of the threat and who has a weapon in hand first is more important than which weapon is "superior". If you have an enemy who is within 21' with ANY WEAPON and decides to make the first move, while you wait to respond...you are in big trouble.

Its basic OODA in my opinion. If the guy in the Tueller drill knows that the knifer is coming for him (which he does) he should "cheat" and run..place an obstacle between themselves and start issuing commands and/or start shooting. I know..I know the drill is meant to illustrate the importance of a "reactionary gap" and lateral movement, but I hope Ive made my opinion clear.
 

kyosa

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Sgt. Dennis Tueller, a Salt Lake City Police officer and defensive tactics trainer, developed what is called the "21 ft. rule," throguh a pretty extensive study which basically shows that a person can travel about that far in 1.5 seconds, and that if an officer has his sidearm holstered and is attacked by a person with a knife within that range, he can't deploy his weapon fast enough to respond reliably.

That basically means that within that range, the guy with the gun in his holster gets stabbed (the moist likely attack by an untrained knife wielder), maybe repeatedly.

Never mind what someone trained with a knife can do....



Stabbed someone with a pen once, and wound up with a face and mouth full of their blood and getting to watch them die. Wayyyy better than getting killed, but not a pleasant experinece, either.

That said, people often can go on fighting for a while with a knife wound, depending on where it is, and survivors of knife attacks often report thinking they were simply punched, not stabbed....

This has been changed now to 30' by many DT instructors, so 30' is the new 21'
 

kyosa

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In fact, in several stabbings/knife assaults that I've investigated, the victims didn't know they'd been cut at first. Most thought they'd been punched until they discovered they were bleeding.

You are so correct-we had a guy stabbed 5 times in the chest with a 3" knife who said the guys punches were "simply devestating." He didn't realize he had been stabbed until the police arrived. Guy stuck his arms up to try to protect himself and the last strike was from the side and collapsed his lung.
 

kyosa

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And statistics show that single handgun gun shot wounds are often more survivable than serious single stab wounds.

According to my spontanious knife defense instructor knife wound survivability is at about 35% and gun shot wounds survivability are at 60%. I am taking these figures off the top of my head so they may be off by a couple percentage points. According to the instructor these were FBI statistics on victims surviving one or more attacks by these types of weapons nationally.
 

Archangel M

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According to my spontanious knife defense instructor knife wound survivability is at about 35% and gun shot wounds survivability are at 60%. I am taking these figures off the top of my head so they may be off by a couple percentage points. According to the instructor these were FBI statistics on victims surviving one or more attacks by these types of weapons nationally.

Ahh I question these type of statistics. "Knife wounds" to what part of the body? Bullet strikes to what target? How many stabs vs how many shots? Not that the basic assumption isnt true, but the numbers always strike me as arbitrary.
 

thardey

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These types of questions always remind me of the "what the coolest sword/ship/airplane/knife/nuclear warhead" type of threads.

Both knives and pistols are deadly weapons. Both have appropriate and inappropriate uses.

Has anyone tried the Tueller drill in reverse? How about we give a guy a drawn handgun, have him stand 21' away, while the defender waits with an assisted-open pocketknife in his pocket?

How much you wanna bet the guy with the knife gets shot before he can draw and deploy his blade? Let alone have the chance to defend himself?

My point is that if you're weapon is not deployed, and you're enemy's is -- you're in serious trouble. Whatever the configuration. Under equal circumstances, a sword is superior to a knife -- unless the sword is still in the sheath, amd the knife is not.

Guns have to be pointed, knives do not.
Guns have to be reloaded, knives do not.
Knives are limited in range to the length of your arm, guns are not.
Guns produce the same amount of kinetic energy, at the same ranges, regardless of the size and training of the person pulling the trigger.
Knives are easier to hide while deployed than guns.
Knives are quiet, guns go Bang!
Knives help me open bags of horse feed and haybales -- guns are awkward for this. (same goes for buttering my toast.)

I respect both, and carry both.

The only advantage to empty hands as weapons (and it is a considerable advantage) is that we always have our hands "deployed" and ready to use.
 

Archangel M

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Ditto.

I would even change "deployed" to "having the intention to use". If I "know" Im going to attack you and you dont, I am going to have the initiative. The Tueller drill already has the "one guy will attack" as a given. While you have to be alert, aware and prepared at all times, you cant live life at 30' from every stranger.
 

jks9199

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Ahh I question these type of statistics. "Knife wounds" to what part of the body? Bullet strikes to what target? How many stabs vs how many shots? Not that the basic assumption isnt true, but the numbers always strike me as arbitrary.
Don't forget the circumstances. Bullet wounds tend to get more immediate treatment, for lots of reasons.
 

kyosa

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I hadn't heard that! Do you know of an article/vid clip making that argument for extending it? I'd be curious to read it.

I did some SORT training with the Minnesota Dept of Corrections. During the spontanious knife defense training last year the instructor made the comment "30' is the new 21' rule." I have since heard that statement a couple times now from other officers. I will check with PPCT's program and see what their official take is on this.

One other comment to make regarding the knife as a weapon-I have said for years that a guy with a little knife training is equal to most black belts. I have tried this with several black belts from other systems-let me give someone with no martial arts experience or warrior training 4 hours of training that has about the same physical ability as the black belt. the fight will be about even. after 4 hours of training put on some protective equipment and a magic marker for the knife. Everyone of the black belts have been "marked" some of them extensively and probably would have died from the wounds received. It's a wake up call for many.

Speaking of the Doc training we had to escape from a housing unit with a knife wielding inmate trying to stick us with a shank the whole way. The inmate is between you and the only door out of the housing unit. Right off the bat I slipped and lost my footing-didnt fall but was off balance as the inmate was attacking and barely evaded the first strike. The inmate was the instructor and had pretty good skills with a knife. As he came in for more strikes I evaded 2-3 and was able to strike him twice and move toward the door. He stayed on me and kept trying to stab me with rapid fire strikes as I moved toward the door facing him. Just as I got to the door to escape he stuck me in the thigh with what would have been a femoral artery stab. This attack would have been fatal or potentially fatal depending on whether I could get some quick clot (not available at the time) or a tourniquet. In order to do either one of those I would have had to take the inmate out. Doesn't matter how much training you have-guy comes at you with a knife you're probably going to get cut-you really have to take the guy out quick as possible. If you dont take the knife serious I think you will change your view quickly after first contact
 

GBlues

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What about space??? Let's say that you do react and haven't been cut by the invisible knife when it is first deployed and now you know that it's a tool being utilized by your opponent. If you have room to move, and are faster on your feet, you can stay away from the knife. Even just random slashes most people still have a pattern that they follow. So if you can stay alive long enough to figure out the pattern?? I mean I'm just throwing this out there, but I think that would take away the 12th degree blackbelt syndrome. Of course if you have space to move, you probably have space to run so, maybe it doesn't matter. LOL!:asian:
 
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