Knife Defense and Multiple Attackers


Senior Master
Jan 24, 2004
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Springfield, Missouri
Cruentus and Tellner, great posts.

Don't have much to add but I will reinforce a few points.

-Be aggressive: forward drive is your friend, you don't have time to wait around and react to their actions, take the fight to them.

-Be ruthless: strike with the intent to disable, don't waste time with techniqes that won't put them down. This is where having your own weapons comes in handy ;).

still learning

Senior Master
Nov 8, 2004
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Hello, There is a YouTube video clip on (more cool clips) the third one...may save your life when facing a knife?

RUNNING ....or escaping....if successful? .....a new day will been seen!

Living in the middle of the pacific gets to see sun rises...and sun sets....PRACTICE'S ESCAPEING TO HAWAII!

Aloha by plane!


3rd Black Belt
Jul 5, 2007
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Southern Kalifornia
Hello, Can't find this story I read....

There is a trainer who trains the police, body guards and others professional's in defending against knife attacks...

in there first day...they have these students (many are martial artist too)...defend against the teachers using a knife.....maybe of 30 students..just 3 survive the attacks...

The point teachers were making....even if you are an expert in knife defense, martial will get cut, stab, or kill....
If these professionals...gets hurts in class.....?

I think that that was an article on extending the "21-foot Threat" rule of LEOs. They were so fixated on getting their sidearm out that they got cut/killed before they could deploy it. If the guy was that close, I'd pull my baton/ASP and beat the guy to the punch with the longer implement, make some space and THEN deploy the firearm. LEOs don't really have Nike Ryu as an option.

Maybe they should make combo stab/bulletproof vests. I think they should. Okay, someone get started on that! Right now! We need it!


Black Belt
Nov 11, 2007
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Wichita Falls, Texas
Many arts address this area, although some possibly more than others. I was reading an interesting thread elsewhere, and this subject came up, although the entire thread was not dedicated to this particular subject. There were a few people, mostly of the grappling crowd, that when asked what they do to defend against the above mentioned attack, they stated that they would run, seeing that there really is nothing more to do, and anyone thinking that they'd actually be able to successfully defend against a blade or more than one attacker, was living in fantasy land.

Now, IMHO, this seems like a cop out. Of course, getting away from that situation should be first and foremost on the list, but I like to look at the 'what if' part of training. What if it is impossible to run? What if you have your wife, girlfriend or kids with you? Can you be sure that they'll be able to keep up with your running or are you going to abandon them? What if the attackers catch up to you? These are valid questions, yet they seem dismissed by certain folks.

So here are a few questions to get this thread started. :ultracool

1) Do you feel that it is possible to defend yourself against an edged weapon?

2) Do you feel that it is possible to defend against more than one opponent?

3) Do you train for this? If so how?

Now, IMHO, I think that if someone feels that there is no defense, that they're limiting themselves from reality. Granted, some fights may be 1 on 1, but you really don't know. Its possible to get blindsided by a friend and there you have it...more than one person. I feel that limiting yourself to specifically dealing with just one opponent is limiting your potential of what you really may face. Personally, I'd rather train for a worst case scenario, and have something to fall back on, rather than just say run if confronted with anything outside of the box.

So, to answer my own questions:

1) Yes. The FMAs have given me a much wider assortment of things to choose from. Of course, there are also folks out there such as Karl Tanswell, who seem to have some interesting concepts on the blade, here and here. Are these things the end all be all of kinfe defense? No, but in the event you can't remove yourself from the situation, I'd rather fall back on these things. :)

2) Sure. Of course, like anything, it needs to be trained. Positioning is key IMO. Using someone as a shield temporarily can buy you some time.

3) Yes. Of course, you'll need to quality gear, some props and some imagination. :) You can create a 1 on 1 mugging situation, a group attack...pretty much anything.

Q1 - Yes, I do feel you can defend yourself against a bladed weapon, I also use teach/instruct them that your going to have to train your mind to accept the fact that you going to get cut also (most of us that is) there are some just that good that they won't, few and far between though. I also taught them to wrap anything they get ahold of shirts, rags or whatever to minimize the effect of it as much as possible (not being all detailed here of course).

Q2 - Of course you can defend yourself against more then one opponent, it's not easy and you definately have to train for it. You have to align yourself or them to where the odds are in your favor as much as possible without cornering yourself.

Q3 - We use to use scenario training in our unit for almost all of our training for it was specifically geared towards going home at night alive and in one piece.

Now to the point of the cop out portion. If specifically asked, then yes, I would run like heck also (if my family or an innocent person was not involved of course) other then on duty of course. Now if the question specifically asked if the family was with me, then it's my duty/responsibility to ensure they get away and I take the brunt of whatever is to come. Family first, self second.

Darn good question in my view.


Black Belt
Aug 24, 2007
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Lexington, Kentucky
If you can't get away then try to control the hand/arm that has the knife. Protect your inner arm, thats where all the veins are located. Use your belt as an improvised weapon to try to either whip/strike the hand that has the knife or whip it in his face. Belt buckles hurt and the other end of the belt stings. Try to get away first though if you can.


Yellow Belt
May 17, 2007
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Multiple attackers? No probs. Hit hard, hit first and hit fast.
Now defence against a bladed attack? The real aspect that makes this question interesting is: Can you defend yourself without getting cut? I suggest to you that only perhaps less than 5-10% of you guys who believe this would actually have a chance of being ok. And the rest of you are living in a fantasy world. Which leads me to my main point. Keep it real! Don't trick yourself into believing your better than what you are because this could cause problems. Know your limitations.

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