Knife defense

DuneViking

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Greetings all,

OK since there were so many knife statements in the thread about " WTF being good for self defense ", here is a proper forum to address them. My opinion, if I get in a fight with a blade weilder, I will probably get cut, period. Minimizing that and using whatever I can, like my head to think, pull off my coat, or belt or whatever is available if possible. Run if I possibly can!!! Our basic knife defense starts with 4 basic knife attacks and how to defend against them. They are : a thrust, a slash, over head and double slash, ie slash & backslash. Please remember folks, these are what we attempt to do, they do not always work, and we almost always get cut a little ( the black rubber knives leave marks) .

Thrust- Run if I possibly can!!! get out of the way, 2 hand block to the opponent's inside, grab onto the wrist and continue in the direction of the block, placing pressure immediately on the opponent's elbow and grabbing the hand to control the wrist joint, then either reversing the direction twisting the forearm at the elbow and wrist sideways, perpendicular to the axis of joint movement or continuing the turn/elbow pressure and adding wrist lock submission to the arm.

Slash- Run if I possibly can!!! get out of the way, then close and block/pin the slashing arm and strike and control the weapon. Watch for attacker to place knife in other hand here-tricky devils.

Overhead- Run if I possibly can!!! get out of the way, usually stepping slightly to side, high X block and wrist grab then using attackers momentum and controling the strike, continue the arc of the overhead placing the blade point deep into the top of his thigh.

Double slash- Run if I possibly can!!! see slash above, close after the second (or 3rd) . Hope that answers the Q from the Kenpo artist- its a start . . .:viking3:
 

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Overhead : would high block, wrap the arm jerk up on the forearm to put pressure on the elbow and snap it like a stick. Oh yea forgot to mention Run first is the only option that really makes sense.
 
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Jim Tindell

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You know what's the best thing to do when someone encounters you with a knife?

...whatever he wants!
 

Zepp

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Jim Tindell said:
You know what's the best thing to do when someone encounters you with a knife?

...whatever he wants!

:lol: Well, that might depend on exactly what he wants...

If you're being attacked with a knife, don't try to take off your coat or jacket, if you're wearing one. It's the only armor you've got, and it'll do more good on your torso than anywhere else. (Except maybe after the encounter when you may need it for first aid, but that's a different topic.) Also, you aren't going to have time to remove it if someone is trying to kill you with a blade, nor can you really afford to risk immobilizing your arms, even for a second.
 

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Asumming you can't talk your way out or leave in safety (running away), my favorite is stepping at the arm that is delivering a downward blow with an x-block and instead of meeting it with hard block re-directing it and burying the knife into the thigh.
 

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DuneViking said:
Greetings all,

OK since there were so many knife statements in the thread about " WTF being good for self defense ", here is a proper forum to address them. My opinion, if I get in a fight with a blade weilder, I will probably get cut, period. Minimizing that and using whatever I can, like my head to think, pull off my coat, or belt or whatever is available if possible. Run if I possibly can!!! Our basic knife defense starts with 4 basic knife attacks and how to defend against them. They are : a thrust, a slash, over head and double slash, ie slash & backslash. Please remember folks, these are what we attempt to do, they do not always work, and we almost always get cut a little ( the black rubber knives leave marks) .

Thrust- Run if I possibly can!!! get out of the way, 2 hand block to the opponent's inside, grab onto the wrist and continue in the direction of the block, placing pressure immediately on the opponent's elbow and grabbing the hand to control the wrist joint, then either reversing the direction twisting the forearm at the elbow and wrist sideways, perpendicular to the axis of joint movement or continuing the turn/elbow pressure and adding wrist lock submission to the arm.

Slash- Run if I possibly can!!! get out of the way, then close and block/pin the slashing arm and strike and control the weapon. Watch for attacker to place knife in other hand here-tricky devils.

Overhead- Run if I possibly can!!! get out of the way, usually stepping slightly to side, high X block and wrist grab then using attackers momentum and controling the strike, continue the arc of the overhead placing the blade point deep into the top of his thigh.

Double slash- Run if I possibly can!!! see slash above, close after the second (or 3rd) . Hope that answers the Q from the Kenpo artist- its a start . . .:viking3:

Excellent thread!! Thank you for starting it! :asian:

As for answering my questions...yes, you did provide me with some very good examples. I notice that in all of your explainations, you start off by saying "Run if I possibly can!" and to this, I agree with you 100%!!

Thanks again.

Mike
 
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DuneViking

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MJS said:
Excellent thread!! Thank you for starting it! :asian:

As for answering my questions...yes, you did provide me with some very good examples. I notice that in all of your explainations, you start off by saying "Run if I possibly can!" and to this, I agree with you 100%!!

Thanks again.

Mike
c’aam sa omni da Mike :asian:

Glad you like, hope its ok in this Forum! There might be, and probably is more stuff in the weapons area.


 

bignick

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Reminds of when my buddy told me about his old karate instructor from when he was a kid that told them to take their shoes off and put them on their hands to block the knife....

Don't worry...that guy's in jail right now.


Back to the subject, if I were blocking a knife I'm not sure I'd use an x-block because that ties up both my hands and the attacker still has one free, also when doing a high block against a knife attack, don't do it the "traditional" way. Normally, most styles do a high block and they end up turning their arm so the palm side of the hand is facing out or slightly up. This exposes the majority of your muscles on your arm and all the attacker has to do is slide the knife across and you've lost most use of that hand. Instead, block with your palm facing down, this way if he slashes after you do the block you are still able to use that hand to grab with.
 

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bignick said:
Back to the subject, if I were blocking a knife I'm not sure I'd use an x-block because that ties up both my hands and the attacker still has one free, also when doing a high block against a knife attack, don't do it the "traditional" way. Normally, most styles do a high block and they end up turning their arm so the palm side of the hand is facing out or slightly up. This exposes the majority of your muscles on your arm and all the attacker has to do is slide the knife across and you've lost most use of that hand. Instead, block with your palm facing down, this way if he slashes after you do the block you are still able to use that hand to grab with.

Yes, you bring up some good points here Nick. I agree with the X block that you're referring to here. I've seen this done both in the high and low fashion against a knife, and I have to say that it does leave the option for the attacker to use his free hand to push off of yours and get a cut. As for a high block...still not good IMO, because there is nothing to control or redirect the weapon arm.

In the Arnis that I study, we use a concept of the X block. One hand is used to redirect the arm, and immediately following, the other hand comes over to control the arm. Upon a quick first look, it would appear that we are doing an X block in the manner that we're talking about above, but upon further inspection, it can be noticed that it is not being done that way.

Is this the best way to defend a knife? As its already been mentioned, getting out of harms way is the first and foremost thing that should be done. Picking up something that can be used as an equalizer or a distraction..ie something thrown at the attacker to aid in your escape, and then finally an empty hand disarm.

Mike
 

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In the Arnis that I study, we use a concept of the X block. One hand is used to redirect the arm, and immediately following, the other hand comes over to control the arm. Upon a quick first look, it would appear that we are doing an X block in the manner that we're talking about above, but upon further inspection, it can be noticed that it is not being done that way.


We do something similar; one arm comes up in a high block and the other arm comes up just a bit later...looks a lot like an X-block but the real puspose and goal is use the first arm to then trap the wrist and the second arm to slide into the elbow and then push the arm around behind the attackers back. We really do it for any overhand strike, whether an attempted hammer-punch or knife attack.
 

FearlessFreep

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One thing I think to br remembered in a knife attack is there a big difference, I think, between a guy who pulls a knife on you when the two of you are standing there facing each other, and a guy already clinching with you who materializes a knife unexpectedly. (This second scenario is one reason I'm not *really* keen on using clinching/grappling MAs as the primary focus for self-defense; I'd rather use my legs is possible and arms if neccessary to keep the opponent at a distance if at all possible. Grappling is what he does if you get in, but I'd rather focus first on not letting him in)

Anyway, I think 'knife defense' probably really depends on when/how/where the knife comes out in the encounter

One other, I think TW mentioned the crescent kick as a way to disarm a knife. One thing I thought about in some of the replies is simply that, at least in TKD (since this is in the TKD forum) we train to kick fast and kick hard and to try to do so without 'telegraphing' what we are about to do; and we train against people who are trying to strike us fast wihout telegraphing, also. While the movies are different, I think some basic principles hold. I can't see why such a kick would not be effective, if that's what you train to do. I would guess that a lot of self-defense is like that; some stuff would be effective if it fitsw the philosphy and focus of how you train, but would be dangerous if it doesn't
 

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FearlessFreep said:
One thing I think to br remembered in a knife attack is there a big difference, I think, between a guy who pulls a knife on you when the two of you are standing there facing each other, and a guy already clinching with you who materializes a knife unexpectedly. (This second scenario is one reason I'm not *really* keen on using clinching/grappling MAs as the primary focus for self-defense; I'd rather use my legs is possible and arms if neccessary to keep the opponent at a distance if at all possible. Grappling is what he does if you get in, but I'd rather focus first on not letting him in)

Anyway, I think 'knife defense' probably really depends on when/how/where the knife comes out in the encounter

Good point! We can't forget that not every situation is going to have the bad guy showing us the knife. Many stabbings that happen in prisons are done and over very quick. Inmates passing in a crowded hallway, next thing you know, someone is on the ground. Another reason to always be aware of your surroundings.

One other, I think TW mentioned the crescent kick as a way to disarm a knife. One thing I thought about in some of the replies is simply that, at least in TKD (since this is in the TKD forum) we train to kick fast and kick hard and to try to do so without 'telegraphing' what we are about to do; and we train against people who are trying to strike us fast wihout telegraphing, also. While the movies are different, I think some basic principles hold. I can't see why such a kick would not be effective, if that's what you train to do. I would guess that a lot of self-defense is like that; some stuff would be effective if it fitsw the philosphy and focus of how you train, but would be dangerous if it doesn't

One thing to keep in mind about kicks, is that there is always going to be that momentary shift in weight, from one leg to the other, depending on which leg you're kicking with. Personally, I wouldn't want to extend any of my limbs towards the knife if I don't have to.

But, as I said before, there are many different ways to defend the knife, so if someone is able to make that kick work, then I guess thats what they do.

One other question I have about the kick to the knife. Is this usually done with the person standing in a static fashion, just showing the knife, or is he actually making a committed attack towards you?

Mike
 

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One other question I have about the kick to the knife. Is this usually done with the person standing in a static fashion, just showing the knife, or is he actually making a committed attack towards you?

I'm not really sure. Our instructor mentioned using a crescent kick to disarm a knife but it was more in a conversation about crescent kicks then self-defense so we didn't go through a lot of scenarios.

The more I think about it, the more I come up with different 'schools of thought'. If the attacker is brandishing a weapon but has not struck, you can take two thoughts: 1) You are already at risk. Attack pre-emptively to disarm or put down the attacker. You can have the initiative if you strike hard and fast and *you* make the decision on how it's going to play out. 2) Don't take unneccesary risk. Wait for them to strike, if they do, and counter the strike with an appropriate trap or block and disarm and put down.

I don't really know what is the 'preferred' method in SD circles, but I would hazard a guess that it really depends on what you train to do. Whatever you do has to be fast, decisive, and powerful so it had better be second nature and confident.


Also, on knife strikes itself, DuneViking mentioned a few types of attacks but I was thinking that it comes down to two kinds. One kind, the thrust or lunge and the overhead, are basically the same arm motion as a punch, just with a longer, pointy hand, so I think basic blocks, traps and counters designed against a hand strike will also work against a knife. The other kind, the slash, is a bit different
 

Kuk Sa Nim

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Gulp....Wow, this is exactly why I started doing seminars and videos on knife fighting and knife defense...

If I may, gentlemen, knife threats are of life and death importance. Please do much more actual, physical research into this subject. Many, many martial art systems give knife defense way too little respect. I've met way too many black belts and masters that are really on the wrong page with this information.

Just think how your training would stand up against a seriously determined appointment. Someone who is bent on doing you harm. God forbid he have some skill in knife fighting! The consequences of misjudging or under training are far too grave. Like the ol' saying goes, the more you sweat in the dojang, the less you bleed in the street. Never more true once a knife is part of the equation.

As instructors, we have a responsibility to our students to provide them with sound self defense. Empty hand knife defense is one of the worst case scenarios, and requires serious study. Many "knife defense" techniques that are being taught are not only ineffective against a somewhat competent or determined opponent, but they are also dangerous and a liability. If you give any of your students a marker pen and have them come at you with serious intent, and you’ll see how unreliable and difficult some of these “kicks, x-blocks and disarms” will be (or should I say won’t be). Count all the marks on your body and remember that those represent slashes and stabs, which means your flesh and guts would be hanging out, and you would be bleeding all over the place. Not a pretty picture.

Not to promote my tapes, but I seriously suggest viewing our knife tapes (http://www.farangmusul.com/catalog.htm). We currently have 4 volumes with more on the way. Or truthfully, check out any of the multitude of very good knife tapes that are out there, and start training in a safe and conscious manner. With all due respect, find a serious knife instructor, someone with thorough knowledge (not based on flimsy theory) please.

In order to defeat a serious knife wielding opponent, one must first understand what makes this person tick. How the attacks are set up and followed up. I guarantee you, they are NOT the same as are generally practiced out there. In essence, you must become a “knife fighter”, for whatever time necessary, in order to truly defeat a knife opponent.

Just remember that serious self defense is too dynamic and unpredictable, and knife encounters are even less forgiving. It will not do with just having a black eye, or one's ego crushed. It is a matter of life and death. The minute we begin to view it any less than that is the moment when we are putting ourselves and our students in true peril.

With brotherhood,
Grand Master De Alba
 

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Just for perspective, how much time would you use to teach - in depth knife defense?

How much practice is necessary to maintain the skill?
 

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Kuk Sa Nim said:
Gulp....Wow, this is exactly why I started doing seminars and videos on knife fighting and knife defense...

If I may, gentlemen, knife threats are of life and death importance. Please do much more actual, physical research into this subject. Many, many martial art systems give knife defense way too little respect. I've met way too many black belts and masters that are really on the wrong page with this information.

Just think how your training would stand up against a seriously determined appointment. Someone who is bent on doing you harm. God forbid he have some skill in knife fighting! The consequences of misjudging or under training are far too grave. Like the ol' saying goes, the more you sweat in the dojang, the less you bleed in the street. Never more true once a knife is part of the equation.

As instructors, we have a responsibility to our students to provide them with sound self defense. Empty hand knife defense is one of the worst case scenarios, and requires serious study. Many "knife defense" techniques that are being taught are not only ineffective against a somewhat competent or determined opponent, but they are also dangerous and a liability. If you give any of your students a marker pen and have them come at you with serious intent, and you’ll see how unreliable and difficult some of these “kicks, x-blocks and disarms” will be (or should I say won’t be). Count all the marks on your body and remember that those represent slashes and stabs, which means your flesh and guts would be hanging out, and you would be bleeding all over the place. Not a pretty picture.

Not to promote my tapes, but I seriously suggest viewing our knife tapes (http://www.farangmusul.com/catalog.htm). We currently have 4 volumes with more on the way. Or truthfully, check out any of the multitude of very good knife tapes that are out there, and start training in a safe and conscious manner. With all due respect, find a serious knife instructor, someone with thorough knowledge (not based on flimsy theory) please.

In order to defeat a serious knife wielding opponent, one must first understand what makes this person tick. How the attacks are set up and followed up. I guarantee you, they are NOT the same as are generally practiced out there. In essence, you must become a “knife fighter”, for whatever time necessary, in order to truly defeat a knife opponent.

Just remember that serious self defense is too dynamic and unpredictable, and knife encounters are even less forgiving. It will not do with just having a black eye, or one's ego crushed. It is a matter of life and death. The minute we begin to view it any less than that is the moment when we are putting ourselves and our students in true peril.

With brotherhood,
Grand Master De Alba

Thank you for giving some feedback on the discussion! :asian: I certainly agree that it definately takes some time to be effective when dealing with a knife. Then again, that can also apply to all areas of SD. Just for clarification on my end when I was talking about the X block. My version was in no way similar to the standard X blocking method.

Speaking for me only here, the best knife defenses that I've seen so far have been in the FMA's. I look at it like this...what better place to learn about bladed weapons, than from a country that has an extensive history in dealing with them.

Mike
 

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Good insight.

Two principles I try to remember for fighting/SD/sparring/etc...

1) Don't do anything unless the cost of not doing anything is much higher
2) When you do something, it will probably hurt; make sure it hurts them more

On that first principle, I think it really applies to knives. Fighting someone with a knife is dangerous; don't do it unless you're already going to get cut anyway and nw you are fighting to keep that from happening
 

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Very good points gentlemen.

There are good and not so good techniques in all martial arts. It begins and ends on your attitude, and the purpose in your training. This is what I was trying to convey in that Knife fighting and Knife defense is much too often taken lightly, given lip service and not studied thoroughly enough.

The classic x-block is very static in nature and is easily defeated, as are standard kick defenses. The blocks and parries need to be fluid, and focus on redirecting the blade away from vital targets and hopefully into sound, powerful counter techniques. (I beleive this is the type of x-block that was starting to be discussed) Well timed kicks can be effective, but not on the trained knifer. Personally, I've got some pretty good kicks, and could pull some off with my students and others, maybe...once...but not again. By the same token, NO ONE has ever kicked a knife from my hand (in class or otherwise). And I don't see that changing anytime soon. Once the element of surprise is gone, one needs better tactics, or you will end up with cut and stabbed feet and legs. And you don't want to have cut and injured feet, because if it does not end the encounter, your mobility and footwork are then severely compromised… Recipe for disaster..

We MUST respect our opponent. And to defeat a knife person, you must understand the knifeman. Why he would even use it, how he sets up and deploys it. What are the safe and viable options. Sure running away is great. But what if he is faster, or you don’t really have much space to run? What if you are with smaller children or others who may not be able to run too? When you are given no other option, you better hope that you trained for the day. This is not the time to wish you could rewind the clock and start serious knife training….Sorry if I sound a bit melodramatic.

There are many more elements to this training above and beyond basic techniques (as are commonly taught). Just like any other aspect of martial arts, there are many layers to the training. Fundamentals must be laid down, and then more areas are added. This is a process that must have of first and foremost priority the intangible mental aspects. IE: Warriorship. Attitude and purpose are KEY. Without this, you are simply swinging a weapon around, and anyone can do that. This holds true with all areas of martial arts.

I know that there are many reasons for people to become involved in, and for staying in, martial arts. Health, fun, sports, etc. But the number one, (and most important in my book) is SELF DEFENSE. As long as we keep this in focus during our training, we will never have to come back to it "later". It is always there. Attitude and Purpose.

As for how much time does it take to become proficient and to maintain knife skills, I must ask, how good do you want to be? Do you want your knowledge on such a life saving skill to be so-so, or the best that you possibly can be? The only reason I'm making such a point of this, is because of the plain fact that there are people out there, right now, who are carrying knives with the will to use them. Not all incidents make the news, but with a small amount of research, you should find a lot of them. Some may be right in your backyard. Hopefully not, but the fact remains that it is out there, and God willing we will not have to face this dreaded situation. The million dollar question is, "What If"? Do you really want to play the odds that you’ll come out OK, or better yet, "Let your Luck be when Preparation meets with Opportunity".

Truthfully, sound skills do not take very long to acquire. Even if you have no previous knowledge, with a good instructor/program, the learning curve is very small. The same goes for maintenance. But you can not neglect your training, no less than you would any other aspect of your martial arts.

Remember, you get out of it, exactly what you put into it. There are many systems out there with good weapons skills. For blade work, you are right that Indonesian and Pilipino arts excel. But, I submit that there is a wealth of awesome weapon skills in the Korean martial arts. It's just harder to find them. I can give you more insight into Modern Farang Mu Sul - Dan Gum Sul, if you would like.

OK, I hope this helps. Good thread gentlemen.
With brotherhood,
Grand Master De Alba
 

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Kuk Sa Nim said:
<snip>

There are many more elements to this training above and beyond basic techniques (as are commonly taught). Just like any other aspect of martial arts, there are many layers to the training. Fundamentals must be laid down, and then more areas are added. This is a process that must have of first and foremost priority the intangible mental aspects. IE: Warriorship. Attitude and purpose are KEY. Without this, you are simply swinging a weapon around, and anyone can do that. This holds true with all areas of martial arts.

<snip>

For blade work, you are right that Indonesian and Pilipino arts excel. But, I submit that there is a wealth of awesome weapon skills in the Korean martial arts. It's just harder to find them. I can give you more insight into Modern Farang Mu Sul - Dan Gum Sul, if you would like.
Farang, Sir.

I think these are two separate topics that would seed great threads all their own. Could we discuss them further?

There is one thread I generated that really didn't take off for the edged weapon discussion across the board of all KMAs here. I wonder if it would take off more with your input? I'd like to see a comparison of the approaches to empty-handed edged weapon defense across the KMAs as well as read your approach specifically to this.
 
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Excellent discussion folks!

Originally Posted by Kuk Sa Nim
Gulp....Wow, this is exactly why I started doing seminars and videos on knife fighting and knife defense...

If I may, gentlemen, knife threats are of life and death importance. Please do much more actual, physical research into this subject. Many, many martial art systems give knife defense way too little respect. I've met way too many black belts and masters that are really on the wrong page with this information.
This CANNOT BE STRESSED ENOUGH!!, if one reads my origonal starting post, one may see why I say run and how I emphasis it. Trained knife attackers have been known to close over 20 feet on a police officer and strike, BEFORE that TRAINED officer can draw his sidearm and shoot. This was demonstrated at a local police training and relayed to us by our instructor.

Regarding the X block- great input on wrist position, we train in basics to do a 45/45 degree (arm at 45, wrist at 45), blocking with the bone and exposing neither side just in case the blade is drawn. The X-block is executed fast and the attacking arm is grabbed at impact while pivoting on the forward foot away from the strike and redirecting both the strike and oneself so that you end up beside the person. Remember, that other hand, what if it grabs the knife? Worse, what if he has 2? These ideas also were raised at demos, one of the demonstrators had no less tha 17 ' blades ' hidden on his person.

Personally, I would not rely on a cresent kick to disarm, maybe to block, maybe, and follow up with severe strike or run. The speed, precision and power to execute that successfully I envy. Myself, I would rather try to avoid and/or block and go for a knee or a target better suited to immediately disable/stun the threat. Great job all!!! Keep it going!!
 

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