Knife Defenses

Cthulhu

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For those of you who study arts with heavy knife use: how effective do you find the knife defenses of other systems?

I've seen one example where some style advocated blocking an upward or straight knife strike with a downward crossblock. This was deemed as ineffective, especially against FMA stylists, since they would tend to then trap the hands and slice upwards through the palms (this is from the article I read).

Cthulhu
 
I feel that a system is only as good as it's people. I also feel that If I had a blade and my opponent doesn't that they don't have a good chance of surviving!

:samurai: :ninja: :armed:
 
I've always admired the bladework of the FMA. From what I've seen, it's more organic and flowing than, say, tanto-jutsu.

My instructor advocated 'sticky-blades'. That is to say, you fight with a very sharp knife. Once your blade makes contact with your opponent's flesh, you remain in contact, essentially carving up your opponent as you move. Of course, you've got to watch out for their blade :D

Cthulhu
 
I am not an advocate for empty hand defense against a knife. If you understand how the knife works however, you stand a better chance of surviving. I have to say that those who are saying "of course you will get cut but thats a part of it" have never seen a real attack with a blade and what that "cut" looks like and does. Reality often cut=done. Knife sensitivity and perfection drills help empty hand and trapping in a dramatic way. Sensitivity with a blade has to be so high that its effect on trapping is tremendous.
 
Originally posted by IFAJKD
I am not an advocate for empty hand defense against a knife. If you understand how the knife works however, you stand a better chance of surviving.

Yes, this is a strong advantage of studying the FMA in my opinion. The late Suro Mike Inay had an empty hand against the blade system he taught that I took a one-day seminar on.


I have to say that those who are saying "of course you will get cut but thats a part of it" have never seen a real attack with a blade and what that "cut" looks like and does. Reality often cut=done.

I won't argue either way, but as a point of information see:
http://204.95.207.136/vbulletin/showthread.php?s=&threadid=9038

This contains a link to pictures--not for the faint of heart--at:
http://www.swordforumbugei.com/ubb/Forum16/HTML/000087.html
 
First I stated "often" not always as there are no absolutes. I of course do train empty hand responses to knife as well in FMA but at the same time it is unrealistic and if it works you are blessed. One cut from a good knife can inflict such traumatic damage that it IS "often" done. This knowledge and the knowledge of how a kinfe works is what saves us. Big mistake is to train empty hand defense against a knife without training the knife as well.
GRRRRRRUsome pics. love to see the family reunion.
ha:fart:
 
Below is a peice of a section of a book on solo training in the FMA, the book covers some of the history and so forth of the FMA and weapons training. this bit is from a 6 page section that details the weapons with antique plates of tradtional weapons.

it also highlights the versatitly of the art and how it evloved to what we learn and teach today.. and it covers the reasons why the art is effective with the empty hand against the knife..

Ms. J bows deeply...... Enjoy!!!!! :asian:


Traditional Filipino Weapons of Eskrima-Kali.

Usage and Types.


The Filipino culture evolved around their weapons as part of the warrior class. The diverse culture and location of the archipelago islands also insured that a number of varied weapons, and fighting skills were introduced into the culture beyond their core traditional native weaponry and fighting skills.

Eskrima-Kali involves the use of weapons with the two core weapons used today being the Stick-sword and the knife-palm stick.

繚 Knife: Bolo, Kris, Baraw, Punyal, Sundang, Itak, Balisong, Korambit, Pinute, or the palm Stick.

繚Sword: Golok Sundang Kampilan, Kris, Olisi, or the Stick.

The art of Eskrima-Kali also includes barehanded self-defense and combat application using hands, feet, knees, elbows, head butts, joint locks, and grappling. All techniques are interchangeable, applicable, and adaptable for most combat or self defense situations. Practicing the art form develops flexibility, speed, reflex action, coordination, form, balance, focus, and power.

Starting with weapons first, brings the practitioner a familiarity with confronting weapons. This kind of training reduces the fear and panic when facing actual combat or survival situation. Because of the core weapons training, Bare handed combat becomes less of a threat and easer to first anticipate and then to counter.

The stick is meant to be an extension of the arm following though to the hand and the end of the stick. It is interchangeable with all weapons, knife, bladed weapon, or stick. Eskrima-Kali is an unlimited art when it comes to what is used or considered a weapon. Everything is adaptable because this is how the people and their art evolved. To survive they adapted.

The Filipino people did not lack attacks, beyond war from invaders. They were of the warrior classes, fighting other tribes and clans throughout their history. Each war or confrontation brought the culture more options in weapons and the attached weapons art used with each. The Filipino people adapted quickly to each new encounter and weapon introduced. Incorporating the knowledge and skills learned from each of these new encounters into their expertise.

Learn the mind of thy enemy,

Filipino warriors understood this concept and took it beyond just the mind. Learning each newly introduced weapon brought into their culture from first, having to fight against it, then learning its application to beat it, and then to kill the attacker. Many times using the weapon attacked with to kill their enemy after disarming them of it. Their skills where honed and practiced because they were using them in real combat situations and for their cultures survival. This is one of the reasons the art is so deadly and so street applicable in most cases.

Referance: F.A.T.E. Filipino Martial Arts Solo Training Manual- Copyright 穢2001 F.A.T.E.
 

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Please note the last post i did with the information is still in the writing process and is being re-edited and so forth over the next week. When the sections are done for what there being written for, full refrances and cool links will be attached. And many more smithsonian plates.

Being dyslexic sucks sometimes...:(


Ms. J. bows deeply
 
First of all I want to say to Ms. J, that was some great information.
Everyone has brought out excellent points and I wish more people would post question such as the one that started this thread.
The need for sensitivity with a blade is a must. Once you have closed the range into the trapping range you must constantly be attached, moving, redirecting and delivering punshiment.
Once you make the static attachment the first thing most knife attackers are going to do is pull back. This is another example of were good sensitivity is a must. You must be able to not fight against the pull, but not to the point of running into the blade or being taken off your feet.
Most of the FMA arts I have been exposed to, have passing adhesion drills, this is one aspect a lot of systems that advocate knife fighting/defense, do not have or do not fully understand the importance of.
I have to agree with IFAJKD, I don't like the idea of empty hand against a knife either and would prefer to have a equilizer (40 cal or a tank is perfered, but it is not a perfect world), but if I don't I understand that once I close the range empty handed I am going to have be "sensitive" to the situation, or if I have a blade I am going to have cut long deep and often......... And since I am not someone who goes out and gets into a real knife fight on a weekly basis, I hope and pray that my skills are honed enough in all areas sensitivity, trapping, punishing etc etc, and most importantly my will to survive.............


The need to understand all aspects of knife fighting is a must that includes like Ms. J has pointed out the need to understand the various cultural attributes.
This brings me back to a good point Arnisador brought up a couple of weeks ago, the need to have more info about other cultures and their knife systems. Maybe Ms. J has more info on other knife cultures????????? or anyone else out there.........
Lets keep this flow of opinions and info going, this is good!!!! Plus, it helps inform the newbies/rookies the reality of the blade defense both good and the bad.
Just my 2.2 cents
Bob
 
We learned knife defenses in Okinawa-te, but after training with the FCS guys, I have serious reservations about using any of my previously learned defenses against a trained fighter.

Like others have said, it comes down to the sensitivity. One of the guys I trained with taught very basic knife techniques to someone else a while ago, who apparently had previous sensitivity development. He found that after a few short lessons, he was getting 'tagged' 50% of the time. He may have had more time training with a blade than the other fella, but the other fella alreadly had good sensitivity.

If I have no weapons whatsoever, and the opportunity presents itself, I'd run like hell against a live blade. I feel that if I had a decent stick lying around withing easy access, I may be able to hold the knife wielder off if I could stay out in largo range. I don't yet trust my sensitivity enough to move in close to a blade.

Cthulhu
 
Originally posted by Cthulhu
We learned knife defenses in Okinawa-te, but after training with the FCS guys, I have serious reservations about using any of my previously learned defenses against a trained fighter.

This was my experience as well. Defenses I learned in karate or jujitsu/aikido seemed quite reasonable since I imagined a punch-like, committed attack. After I started studying the FMA I knew how much I didn't know. Now I want no part of defending against a knife with empty hands.
 
To me, using knife attacks I learned in OT against FMA people is basically giving the FMA people exactly what they want. I may as well chop my arm off and give it to them :D

Cthulhu
 
Originally posted by Cthulhu
If I have no weapons whatsoever, and the opportunity presents itself, I'd run like hell against a live blade. I feel that if I had a decent stick lying around withing easy access, I may be able to hold the knife wielder off if I could stay out in largo range. I don't yet trust my sensitivity enough to move in close to a blade.
Cthulhu

I totally agree.........
Also, don't forget if you can't run and you got no stick, you can still spit in there eyes!! :)
And if by chance the martial gods give you an opportunity you can take your shoes off and use them......
In regards to trusting your sensitivity I think being honest to yourself and keep a good sense of reality will be your best defense...........
Bob
 
Exactly, Bob. I've got no misconceptions that my black belt suddenly gave me invulnerability to bladed weapons.

After all this training, I think I just know how to keep my butt out of trouble better :D

Cthulhu
 
Originally posted by Cthulhu
Exactly, Bob. I've got no misconceptions that my black belt suddenly gave me invulnerability to bladed weapons.

After all this training, I think I just know how to keep my butt out of trouble better :D

Cthulhu

AMEN to that....... I feel the same way, that was one of my main goals in training was to learn to keep my butt out of trouble.
To many people believe that since they learn a move or two that they suddenly become an expert, it is sad that people get caught up in the "mystical" world of martial arts. If you don't have a solid reality base, the years of learning techinque is overcome by the intent of your attacker........The first fight every martial artist needs to win is within themselves......
I witness a 3rd degree belt testing in a art that will remain nameless and these people were being tested on how well they can crossblock a knife attack while in their deep forward stance. I just sat there and almost cried. Afterwards my buddy came up to me and ask me what I thought and I honestly told him that he should keep up on his running work out because if he tried to defend himself with that stuff he was going to die.........

A question to you Cthulhu:
what kind of footwork and stance work are you learning while training in your knife system and how much emphasis to they place on the foot work and stance work as compared to spontaneous mobility???? I hope these questions make sense if not I will try and pose them better....
I have seen a variety of knife systems and arts and the foot work varies but their is a connection between them all. I have never see "Sayoc" (I hope that is right) Knife before, and I was just curious.... Your feedback is much appreciated!! Thanks
Bob
 
commin back late. Much has gone on here since I visited last. I have to say that on the issue of sensitivity, When confronted with a blade, sensitivity has to be higher but regardless. when someone has a blade they are Bruce Lee as far as I'm concerned and although I may be blessed or lucky, I wouldn't rely on sensitivity to save me. Staying away yes but one mistake can be it. There are so many good knife systems and to be honest the ones I fear most are those being made up on their own and their experience in prisons, Funny how most martial artists have ethics and honor involved where as those already in prison train edged weapons for one reason...to kill. Another thing to keep in mind is the reality of speciality weapons or improvised weapons. These are the ones that you don't see. Bad juju
 
Heck, a knife is no more dangerous than a gun attack at close range! It is when you distance yourself from the oncoming weapon that you may get fatally injured. If you are close enough, just about any resonable technique which you had learned in the dojo will work! The point is Fear! The more you fear the blade the less likely you are defend to against the attack! I'am not saying that you should not be cautious and careful in you execution; in case the attacker's motion of the blade changes in mid assault. I'am saying that you cannot fear the blade and survive without being injured seriously. In close combat training against bayonet and knife attacks, i learned to embrace the void; or not fear the unknown. If i were to run, the attacker will run after me. If he/she is close enough and a good thrower; i'am fatally injured with a knife in the back of my body! If then i'am clinging to life; i will experience an agonizing death from the further torture of the attacker. I teach knife defenses to my students, first at the beginning level of the natural weapon. Next comes the wooden knife and finally the actual metal knife is used in every possible street situation. Particularly the walk-up, walk-by, lunging, slashing, downward, and upward attacks are emphized from the front, rear,and sides at frontal, and rear blind spots. My personal experience in the streets has taught me the truth about those whom use the knife and gun. It just depends on how they feel anyway on whether you live or die! Their is typically no mercy because you just may be able to identify them. That is also the key i use in training against the knife and gun. I've been in several street violent attack situations with such weapons as well as watching others being beat down with them because they did not defend themselves. Particularly; close quarters combat training and medium range training are very effective against the blade. As, a key point as martial arts stylists i see is the realization of the fact that we know when to be in the right place at the right time; rather than the wrong place at the right time! Sincerely, In Humility; Chiduce!
 
Hi Lads, reading the newest reply today here I started this letter, its more rambling, agreeing with most of what is said and then qualifying anything that I did not totally agree on, and note when I make a general statement its based on the Majority of teachers out their not a personal representation of your teaching methods or programs.

Chiduce Wrote " Heck, a knife is no more dangerous than a gun attack at close range! It is when you distance yourself from the oncoming weapon that you may be fatally injured. If you are close enough, just about any reasonable technique that you had learned in the dojo will work! The point is Fear! The more you fear the blade the less likely you are defend to against the attack! "

With training, i would say the knife is actually less of a danger then the gun,

First the gun, agreed that you really dont have a lot of practical options with defense against the gun unless you are in close quarters range, until you can get close enough to move the gun out of range and have it pointed back in their face in a return control and restraint tech, joint lock, your basically a sitting duck, but thats sort of the deal with a loaded gun and the attacker, if he is not going to bother to get close to you and is only mugging you, i.e. telling you to toss him your wallet or purse, your best defense is to try and either lure him in to closer range, or give him your damn money....

You get them in close enough i.e. to come and take the money from you as you hold your hand just out of reach, with the right training and tech, the gun should become much more deadly for the attacker then you....

Knife, first anyone that turns their back to an attacker with any weapon has a very likely chance of being a dead runner, Backing out yes, creating a distance yes, turning your back on an attacker NO NO NO, so i totally agree there to be sure. and except someone using the knife as a projectile or throwing weapon you cant get cut by a knife unless your in close physical contact with them.

What gets me is that most traditional martial arts teachers take years if they do it at all to teach you the realties of what you will face in a real attack with a weapon based on all the issues, out on the streets as you say its a totally different ball game then what your going to learn in most Dojo's. I find if very disconcerting to know how little most teachers actually push the realty of what a real attack is like from someone that is either deranged, drunk, on drugs, filled with rage or anger, or worse trained and you are their intended victim or prey. Once committed their is not much that is going to change their minds about attacking you, once committed to the fight their not going to back down easily and just decide its not worth it. The mind of these kinds of people put them in a place that once committed to the action their is little to loose and little reason to backdown.

Fear... again the only answer for fear as you say, is desensitization and training, flat out until your comfortable with a weapon your going to take the risk of freezing up in a confrontation when facing a weapon of any kind. The flight and fight response is a very real physiological response.

There is no easy tech to learn or fast guarantee that you will not fall into blind panic or total stone frozen, unless you test your techs and become familiar with the weapons you may face, and no you dont necessarily have to learn knife fighting to be able to learn enough of a comfort level to face a weapon.

In are level one testing, in are Filipino martial arts core " NOTE: are level one takes a year to get though and thats training at least 3 days a week in the system" you have to demonstrate at least free flow returns and solo work with the live blade. If your not comfortable enough to do this in a flowing manor, you dont pass your test.

Here is something standard i tell all my students about-facing weapons,

1) You cant dodge bullets.... this is not matrix
2) If your goanna face the knife be prepared to get cut, its not about not getting a slice here and there its about minimizing the damage, in a real knife fight its very different and most dont get that part for sometime as a new student.
3) Dont expect to learn self defense and awareness in a long term traditional martial art, use the long term training for personal growth and skills to make sure you dont freeze up and for all the other huge positive benefits that come with training long term, but make sure you augment your traditional stuff with realty based self defense and awareness training, or a realty based martial art.

Yes, many have incorporated the realty-based awareness and facing the techs, you learn and teach in the dojo to include what is needed to stay safe on the streets, but the majority do not, and all the reasons they dont are very very wrong.

Chiduce Wrote " If you are close enough, just about any reasonable technique which you had learned in the dojo will work!"

I dont know about that i have seen a lot of Dojos and traditional core arts that dont teach street applicable defenses for a knife, for instance i have 3 students that have been training and fully ranked in a number of arts, these men have over 25 years of long term training in a number of arts, Judo, Hapkido, TKD, and large number of the core Karate based arts.

Each of these men came and started taking gun and knife street defensive tactics on a private level from me after almost taking a knife to the gut.... and they all used the same tech, this same tech is used in all of the above listed arts and taught as a block and knife defense. Not good and i would love to someday get the block that is used outlawed for teaching for a knife defense. However, it is such a core move that it has been totally muscle memorized in these men and most students that take these arts.

just like IFAJKD, i wanted to cry at the thought that these men spent there whole lives learning a tech that almost got them killed.. when they came to me the concept of what i was trying tell them was hard for them to grasp because of the long term training in MA with no core street stuff to back them. i had to litteraly show them physicaly when facing my knife and the block and then comming back and slicing and dicing them when they used it, trap, slice up though the block and go deep into the gut.
scary stuffs to be sure........:( but its the only way i was able to start breaking 25 years sometimes more of a block that was practiced over and over......

Yeah its cool i have students with so much experience coming to the old, slow chick for education in realty based knife defensive tactics, but what sucks is they all could have died..........:(

Last rambling:

What is a weapon, this is a core concept that has been taught as part of are weapons 101 format for over 10 years, everything is a weapon in the hands of someone that is either realty based trained as a criminal or someone trained in weapons professionally

Ms. J Bows deeply

BTW I will be releasing a book in the next few months that covers realty based level one on the streets self-Defense and Awareness education this book also includes the outline for are level one Weapons 101 defensive tactics course, level one TAO SDA, and our level one Lifestyles Realty based Senerio training program
 
Ms. J, are you talking about the infamous crosshand block against a blade? If so, I know exactly what you mean. To me, it seems an FMA person would love for somebody to block a blade like that.

Now, if you slightly modify it from a simple crossblock to a gunting...

Cthulhu
 
Originally posted by Cthulhu
Ms. J, are you talking about the infamous crosshand block against a blade? If so, I know exactly what you mean. To me, it seems an FMA person would love for somebody to block a blade like that.

Now, if you slightly modify it from a simple crossblock to a gunting...

Cthulhu

Yes well, that it is.... though i am trying to be good and not get myself into too much trouble on line stating what tech or what systems its in totally...

Mainly because i have been beaten up hard verbally when i have stated things as this in the wrong circles, to the point of being physically challenged and then having to hurt someone in defense.... and regardless of what some may belive, i dont really like to hurt people.....

this is a hard thing for others to understand but, when your a girl, or smaller statured, or have any physical limatations.... the techs you use for defense tend to be done at leathal force, because anything else is not always going to stop the big dude against a woman or anyone else that falls into the limated catagoire...

Its quite different being a woman that does what i do in a world of men and the sometimes way ott martial ego...

So i tend to just teach them by example on the floor as i slice and dice around there block.... this tends to be a hard lesson on someone filled with there 25 years of martial ego... especially when its coming from some old fat and slow chick.........:)

Ms. J.....
 
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