The Knife is a Lousy Weapon for SD

geezer

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I've been training in a Filipino martial art called DTE. The art and instrucor are awesome, but lately we've been doing some reality based blade work. God help the man that ever pulls a knife on the guy who teaches this art--or anybody who tries to disarm him! The trouble is, the more I see, the more I'm concluding that a knife is a piss poor tool for self defense. 1. In a real blade altercation, you will both probably get cut up pretty bad. 2. If you are lucky enough to win, the other guy may well die. 3. Try explaining how you cut somebody up to the cops or a jury. Hell, back when I was working with a baston, I knew I could disable someone without necessarily killing them. And, with my screwed up leg, a walking stick or cane is easy to justify. Any thoughts?
 

arnisador

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Well, a knife-on-knife fight is pretty rare. A knife is excellent self-defense against one or more unarmed opponents. Sure, a baton is better in many cases due to reach and all--but it's hard to carry.

A kerambit is a slashing weapon that tends to leave ugly but less-than-lethal wounds. Knives are most lethal when stabbing, after all.
 

Doc_Jude

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Well, a knife-on-knife fight is pretty rare. A knife is excellent self-defense against one or more unarmed opponents. Sure, a baton is better in many cases due to reach and all--but it's hard to carry.

A kerambit is a slashing weapon that tends to leave ugly but less-than-lethal wounds. Knives are most lethal when stabbing, after all.

Does anyone know how common knife-on-knife altercations are? because I was under the impression that they almost NEVER happen, even when compared to the average SD situation.
 

MA-Caver

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I've been in three "for-real" confrontations involving knives. First one, you're right the guy got cut up but not horrendously so but bad enough to leave me alone long enough to let me get away... no, the cops never found out, I did catch the tip of his blade on the inside of my forearm... the scar is barely visible as a thin white line, happened long ago when I was young (yeah, and stupid). Second one was to fend off two muggers who jumped me on at the bus-stop and one of them pulled a gun, my movements with the blade was enough to give them pause so that (again) I could run. Figured out later the gun was a ruse and likely empty (it was real though) because they could've shot me in the back. Third one was guy (I knew as an acquaintance) walked up to me casually in a semi-crowded room and next thing I know his blade was in my abdomen, my blade caught him across the face via reaction then we were "broke up" by the others in the room. Seems the guy had a non-existent vendetta against me when someone said I did/said something that I didn't. I survived all three because of my blade(s).

A knife can be an excellent weapon for self-defense. Just like a gun, a baton, a kuboton, a 2X4, hammer, set of keys, a busted bottle or anything else ... it depends upon the user.
:asian:
 

jks9199

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Does anyone know how common knife-on-knife altercations are? because I was under the impression that they almost NEVER happen, even when compared to the average SD situation.
The UCR contains some info along the lines; happy hunting.

My gut feeling is that reported knife-on-knife situations in the US, outside of special population groups and/or prisons, is rare.
 

vforcesfc

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I totally agree, I have studied Latosa, Inayan, Floro and some other system I just trained in (Name Held)
I am also a Reality Combatives Instructor and we host a FIGHT NIGHT with Stick and Knife every Friday night for all to come a to participate and my students BEAT the GURO's and SURO's of a majority of the Traditional Stick and Knife Arts and I NEVER saw one of the "MASTERS" use anything fancy or tapping to defend....They had a lot of fancy moves with the stick or knife that still got them tagged....90% of my students have no knife or stick training.....

Good Point! Good Post!
 

Guardian

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Any weapon is better then no weapon in my view (aside from the legal issues), but in all honesty folks, if you have to defend yourself with a knife, I'm thinking the legal issues are a nonconcern at that point in time. At the same time, you dang well better be trained in the appropriate way to handle a knife lest it be turned on you.
 

sgtmac_46

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I've been training in a Filipino martial art called DTE. The art and instrucor are awesome, but lately we've been doing some reality based blade work. God help the man that ever pulls a knife on the guy who teaches this art--or anybody who tries to disarm him! The trouble is, the more I see, the more I'm concluding that a knife is a piss poor tool for self defense. 1. In a real blade altercation, you will both probably get cut up pretty bad. 2. If you are lucky enough to win, the other guy may well die. 3. Try explaining how you cut somebody up to the cops or a jury. Hell, back when I was working with a baston, I knew I could disable someone without necessarily killing them. And, with my screwed up leg, a walking stick or cane is easy to justify. Any thoughts?
In the real world, two guys don't square off and go at it with a knife....if the other guy sees the knife before he's stabbed, you've screwed up.

The contest type blade training is mostly to teach sensitivity....it shouldn't be considered a realistic representation of what such a conflict will be like.

A good scenario to consider is this.....you walk in to a convenience store.....and some guy walks in with a pistol and demands everyone gets in the back room....you open your knife without him seeing, and as he goes to bump you toward the back room, you push his gun hand off line and stab him in the THROAT! And then USE your knife to cut the tendons in his gun hand, the gun you have a death grip on with your OTHER hand, so he lets go of it! A struggle over the gun itself would be an equal advantage, but now he's BLEEDING OUT, and you're cutting away at the tendons of his gun arm!

Does it guarantee your survival? Nope! But getting herded in to the backroom and shot in the head as often happens in these situations is a guarantee of FAILURE! And a gun trumps empty hand in that situation.

Speed, Surprise and Violence of Action!
 

sgtmac_46

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Does anyone know how common knife-on-knife altercations are? because I was under the impression that they almost NEVER happen, even when compared to the average SD situation.
About as common as the classic movie gun fight where two guys step out in the street at pre-agreed ranges, count to three and draw....in other words 'Almost NEVER!'

A knife is a weapon of STEALTH! A close range weapon of speed, surprise and violence of action. It should not be SEEN by your opponent, it should be FELT!
 

sgtmac_46

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The knife is an excellet weapon if understood properly....to focus too much on dueling (which is fine training) is to obscure the knife's true value.
 

chinto

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ok, a knife is better then nothing, but in the USA at least jury's tend to not look kindly on the use of a knife for any reason in an altercation. I think most people some how think only criminals and low life types carry them or know how to use them. I am sure old hickory and many of our early presidents and others from before 1880 or so would be shocked by the attitude, but it is there. I asked a cop friend and he said D.A.'s and a lot of cops figure a knife is the tool of the criminal and the assassin... so are likely to arrest and charge were if the same altercation had happened and the defender used a pistol or rifle or shot gun they would not... I think that if I use my blade for self defense, it will be because with out it I am dead. other wise I will go unarmed or use a rock or stick or pistol or what have you. ( but I do carry a good blade for utility and self defense if it gets that desperate!)
 

Doc_Jude

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I guess that's part of the joys of having no criminal record whatsoever, & have a relatively good public identity. If I have to use a knife and have to deal with the law, my word will have a bit more weight than the other sucker.
 

sgtmac_46

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ok, a knife is better then nothing, but in the USA at least jury's tend to not look kindly on the use of a knife for any reason in an altercation. I think most people some how think only criminals and low life types carry them or know how to use them. I am sure old hickory and many of our early presidents and others from before 1880 or so would be shocked by the attitude, but it is there. I asked a cop friend and he said D.A.'s and a lot of cops figure a knife is the tool of the criminal and the assassin... so are likely to arrest and charge were if the same altercation had happened and the defender used a pistol or rifle or shot gun they would not... I think that if I use my blade for self defense, it will be because with out it I am dead. other wise I will go unarmed or use a rock or stick or pistol or what have you. ( but I do carry a good blade for utility and self defense if it gets that desperate!)
The key is knowing your states laws, and if forced to use a knife in self-defense contact a good lawyer before even talking to the police. Though the Prosecutor may go after you, establishing a firm foundation for your legal use of self-defense will go a long way in convincing a jury (if it unfortunately goes that far) that you were in the RIGHT! A thorough understanding of your states laws on self-defense, and making sure after you talk to your lawyer that your statement to police (if you choose to make one) covers your actions in terms of those elements will keep you in good stead with the law!
 

sgtmac_46

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I guess that's part of the joys of having no criminal record whatsoever, & have a relatively good public identity. If I have to use a knife and have to deal with the law, my word will have a bit more weight than the other sucker.
And if you EVER HAVE TO USE force in self-defense.....get a blood test to show that you have no alcohol or illegal drugs in your system.

If the suspects dies as a result of the altercation, toxicology should be taken on him. If you have NO alcohol or illegal drugs in your system, and your suspect has booze and/or illegal substances in HIS that goes a long ways to backing you up!
 

punisher73

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I think a knife is better than nothing if you need it, but as others have said the "public opinion" of a knife has a lot of negativity to it.

As an LEO if I was in a justifiable lethal force situation I would much prefer to shoot them than be in the same type of situation and kill them with my knife. WHY? For the most part the public knows cops carry guns and have to shoot people. When is the last time you heard of a cop slashing out the bad guys throat that had just taken his firearm? You know how much bad press there would be and how "cruel and unusual" it was?

When asked "why" I carry my knife on duty I always say that it is to cut someone's clothing to provide first aid, or to remove their seatbelt. Even though I know I would use it to protect my life, it's much easier to show the other uses of it.

As vrocesfc said about his fight night, it reminds me of the Dog Brothers training. Their training is very basic and hit 'em hard and often. You don't see the fancy moves that many FMA styles have.

Someone also mentioned the UCR (uniform crime report) last I had checked the FBI stats on knife attacks put it at around 80-85% of reported knife attacks were the overhead ice pick grip type stab. Most of the time you are not going to be facing a trained attacker with the knife who knows how to mask it and flow with it.
 

tshadowchaser

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I think a knife is better than nothing if you need it, but as others have said the "public opinion" of a knife has a lot of negativity to it.
true
however I have gotten out of a few street situations in the past simply because those that wanted to take what i had suddenly realised that i was carrying a rather large knife on my hip. Just seeing the knife made them back off, I never had to draw it.
I would rather have a knife on me in case of a deadly confrontation than not have one
 

Brian R. VanCise

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Personally I would much rather use a firearm for self defense than a knife but a blade would be next in line followed by a blunt instrument. What is even more important is that you know legally what you can and cannot do to protect yourself when an incident happens. So that if you do need to protect yourself from a violent assault then after the dust clears you can articulate why you did what you did in order to protect yourself or your family or loved ones.

The knife can be deadly efficient in self defense but you need to know legally when you can use it and articulate why you used it in the end.
icon6.gif
 

howard

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A knife can be an excellent weapon for self-defense. Just like a gun, a baton, a kuboton, a 2X4, hammer, set of keys, a busted bottle or anything else ... it depends upon the user.
:asian:
I completely agree. You can improvise a weapon out of just about anything. For example, a rolled-up newspaper or magazine can be a fine proxy for a yawara stick, dan bong or whatever you want to call a short stick.

Speaking of carrying knives... this is probably a regional thing, but when I grew up in the South a long time ago, pretty much every male carried at least a pocketknife. I got my first one when I was about six. A very common pastime back then for men was "whittlin'". The point is, if anything broke out, you were almost certain to have some kind of short knife on your person. Lots of guys knew really nasty ways to use them in fights. One common tactic was to unfold a simple pocketknife and put it inside your fist, so that only about 1/4" of the point protruded out of the center of your fist. Then, when you punched somebody in the face, you could also slash them. And the knife was basically invisible.

The more sinister types carried straight razors, like the barbers used to use to shave around your ears and neck. One stroke across the throat with one of those, and that was all she wrote. Many an unfortunate fellow met his end in a barfight that way when I was growing up.

I think things have changed, though... I have two teenaged nephews who are growing up down there, lucky ^&%$#s (in Norfolk, VA), and neither one of them carries a pocketknife. I guess they get in the way of gameboys, cell phones and blackberries.
 

Cryozombie

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Dude... I'm gonna start carrying a claw hammer and some nails. "I was nailing things, officer" is a valid reason for having a hammer... and I could see valid SD uses for the claw, especuially if its a little hooked, as well as the head for smacking the hell outta someone.

Bonus! Thanks for the idea Caver.
 

Doc_Jude

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Dude... I'm gonna start carrying a claw hammer and some nails. "I was nailing things, officer" is a valid reason for having a hammer... and I could see valid SD uses for the claw, especuially if its a little hooked, as well as the head for smacking the hell outta someone.

Bonus! Thanks for the idea Caver.

Hey, a roofer friend of mine always has a roofing hammer and utility knife. I'm a big fan of "weaponizing" tools you use often.
 
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