How much of an advantage is a knife?

TieXiongJi

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Damn system keeps resetting while I am posting. Sorry for the 3x posts in a row.
 

Gaucho

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Michael Echanis [ Michael Echanis - Wikipedia ] wrote: "A soldier of average strength and determination, armed with a knife, has a decided and mortal advantage over a very fit and highly trained martial artist." I'm going by memory from one of this knife-fighting books, and that's not verbatim, but it's very close. My guess is that Echanis did experimental training with soldiers armed with rubber knives, but it's only a guess.
 
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sinthetik_mistik

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defending yourself against someone with a knife is possible. you have to move and react rapidly. I'm not trying to preach my martial art Krav Maga but it does teach you to defend yourself against someone with a knife. but it depends on the situation... if someone approaches you from the front with his knife in his hand it is much easier to defend yourself against than someone who sneaks up on you from behind
 

sinthetik_mistik

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defending yourself against someone with a knife is possible. you have to move and react rapidly. I'm not trying to preach my martial art Krav Maga but it does teach you to defend yourself against someone with a knife. but it depends on the situation... if someone approaches you from the front with his knife in his hand it is much easier to defend yourself against than someone who sneaks up on you from behind

I guess that last part is pretty obvious lol
 

Flying Crane

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defending yourself against someone with a knife is possible. you have to move and react rapidly. I'm not trying to preach my martial art Krav Maga but it does teach you to defend yourself against someone with a knife. but it depends on the situation... if someone approaches you from the front with his knife in his hand it is much easier to defend yourself against than someone who sneaks up on you from behind
I would say that many systems include some defensive material against a knife. I suspect much of that material, regardless of martial system, is not very good.

It can be worthwhile to practice knife defenses if the material and the instruction is high quality. That is a good exercise to go through. However, be realistic and dont overinflate your assessment of your skills. A knife is very dangerous in the hands of someone who knows how to use it. It is slightly less dangerous in the hands of someone who does not know how to use it, but is determined. It is a very dangerous situation. Dont lie to yourself.
 

drop bear

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I would say that many systems include some defensive material against a knife. I suspect much of that material, regardless of martial system, is not very good.

It can be worthwhile to practice knife defenses if the material and the instruction is high quality. That is a good exercise to go through. However, be realistic and dont overinflate your assessment of your skills. A knife is very dangerous in the hands of someone who knows how to use it. It is slightly less dangerous in the hands of someone who does not know how to use it, but is determined. It is a very dangerous situation. Dont lie to yourself.

Yeah. The definition of works gets used pretty loosely when it comes to unarmed vs knife.
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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Yeah. The definition of works gets used pretty loosely when it comes to unarmed vs knife.
Back when I was a teenager, I was teaching my friend some knife stuff that I learned, and he taught me some stuff he had learned. When we were teaching each other, we were very impressed with ourselves, and convinced that we were so great we never had to worry about knives. Later on that day, we he stabbed at me with a rubber knife, I tried to react (did not know it was coming), and he stabbed me like 10 more times before I managed to get away-I would have probably died. I did the same thing to him-same result. Throughout the rest of high school we would take pencils, pens, markers, whatever and randomly try to attack each other. Sometimes we'd manage to avoid it, and I'm pretty sure we got better at it as time went on. But most of the time...we would have died.

Now, when people talk about the knife defenses their style or school teaches, and how great they are, I just internally chuckle.
 

Flying Crane

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Back when I was a teenager, I was teaching my friend some knife stuff that I learned, and he taught me some stuff he had learned. When we were teaching each other, we were very impressed with ourselves, and convinced that we were so great we never had to worry about knives. Later on that day, we he stabbed at me with a rubber knife, I tried to react (did not know it was coming), and he stabbed me like 10 more times before I managed to get away-I would have probably died. I did the same thing to him-same result. Throughout the rest of high school we would take pencils, pens, markers, whatever and randomly try to attack each other. Sometimes we'd manage to avoid it, and I'm pretty sure we got better at it as time went on. But most of the time...we would have died.

Now, when people talk about the knife defenses their style or school teaches, and how great they are, I just internally chuckle.
Yeah, if some guy is making a big show of waving the knife around, then you know he has it and can perhaps prepare for an engagement, kind of.

But if he knows what he is doing, then my sense is he will stab you four times before you even know something is amiss, five more times while you try to think of your options, and six more times while you fall over and bleed out. And during this time you have actually done nothing.
 

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.
 

Steve

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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.
Ah. So the secret to knife defense is to be so well coordinated that you work on a different timeframe. That's my problem. ;)
 

Flying Crane

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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.
Or the real lesson is that if you intend to use a knife, you stick the guy before he is even aware of you. You dont show it before and you dont broadcast your intentions.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Yeah. The definition of works gets used pretty loosely when it comes to unarmed vs knife.
Agreed. There are tactics, techniques, and strategies that can help, but many folks who are trained in them believe in them too much. With training, you can improve your chances, but if your training has you thinking (as I once did) that you can easily defeat someone who has a knife, and likely without injury, your training is lying to you.

Marker exercises and other methods can help show the risk.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Back when I was a teenager, I was teaching my friend some knife stuff that I learned, and he taught me some stuff he had learned. When we were teaching each other, we were very impressed with ourselves, and convinced that we were so great we never had to worry about knives. Later on that day, we he stabbed at me with a rubber knife, I tried to react (did not know it was coming), and he stabbed me like 10 more times before I managed to get away-I would have probably died. I did the same thing to him-same result. Throughout the rest of high school we would take pencils, pens, markers, whatever and randomly try to attack each other. Sometimes we'd manage to avoid it, and I'm pretty sure we got better at it as time went on. But most of the time...we would have died.

Now, when people talk about the knife defenses their style or school teaches, and how great they are, I just internally chuckle.
Sneak attacks of any kind defy most training.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Yeah, if some guy is making a big show of waving the knife around, then you know he has it and can perhaps prepare for an engagement, kind of.

But if he knows what he is doing, then my sense is he will stab you four times before you even know something is amiss, five more times while you try to think of your options, and six more times while you fall over and bleed out. And during this time you have actually done nothing.
I don't think it's necessarily that bad on a routine basis. I've talked with folks who got stabbed and didn't know it until after it was all over (the ones I talked to actually came out on top). Two of them only knew it because someone spotted the blood. One realized it because he felt pains that weren't similar to getting punched, and the other actually saw the blooded knife after the other guy was restrained. None were life-threatening injuries, though at least one came pretty close.

Now, before anyone takes that to mean knives aren't that dangerous, even if you don't see them, remember these are the folks who survived. If someone got kidney-stabbed and didn't know it, there's less likelihood I get to talk to them sometime later.
 

Gerry Seymour

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Or the real lesson is that if you intend to use a knife, you stick the guy before he is even aware of you. You dont show it before and you dont broadcast your intentions.
Or at least don't try it on someone who's really well coordinated.
 

Flying Crane

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I found this video to be informative:

Yup, its pretty bleak and he is honest about that.

When someone is coming at you and he is right up in your face going stabstabstabstanstabstab there are things that MIGHT work, but nothing can be relied upon to work with consistency, and then you are dead.

That does not mean you shouldnt try to train them. But be honest with yourself. It is bleak.
 

Buka

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I have no idea how to disarm a knife if I don't have one myself. It's a serious weakness of mine. Worked on it, sure, but have no confidence in it. It's one of the reasons I usually carry a knife.

As for the video, sounds like a chump to me with all the swearing. Seems unprofessional to me.

As for advantages....sure comes in handy cutting cheese.
 

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