Zenjael's Self-Defense Methodologies

Zenjael

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I consider myself adept with knives, but in saying that, when it comes to knives, your legs, and running, are your best option.

Where that is unavailable, in any knife situation I've found that the lack of style, creates far too much randomness to reliably secure a tactical disarming, so I prefer to target the knife myself, and area behind it, namely the wrist.

The majority of the blocks you learn, from high block, to into-to-out, and it's respective reverse, do not do much to mitigate the damage of the knife.

I find it useful to consider the only part of the knife deadly the blade, when it comes to defense, and by lethal I mean in the same sense one does in aiming a loaded, un-safetied gun. The nice thing about a knife, is that it's only lethal if you're touched, unlike a gun, where wherever it is aimed is respectively lethal, from my pov.

Keep one arm in, protecting face and upper vitals, and one arm out, to ward your internals from the blade penetration. Expect to get cut, let them take the arm before your vitals. Turn your body to minimalize impact, and never forget about your kidneys. Those are most vulnerable, in that position, and most likely to be aimed for in a midsection cut.

Chances are knife combat will be between you trained, and another with very minimal experience. In all likelihood they are as afraid of their own knife as you should respectfully be. You should always use that against them.

JKD has a very important concept for knifefighting, in that when they strike, you react, and get there first.

Doing that, I believe strongly, you will maximize survivability.
 

frank raud

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Keep one arm in, protecting face and upper vitals, and one arm out, to ward your internals from the blade penetration. Expect to get cut, let them take the arm before your vitals. Turn your body to minimalize impact, and never forget about your kidneys. Those are most vulnerable, in that position, and most likely to be aimed for in a midsection cut.

If you are using your arms to block/deflect/trap, why would you turn and allow an attack to your kidneys? You minimize your ability to defend an attack from whichever you have left open. Ie, if your turn to your right, your left side and kidney are now exposed with a lesser chance of deflecting/trapping a stab or slash coming from that side as your arm is not in an effecient position to defend.
 
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Zenjael

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If you are using your arms to block/deflect/trap, why would you turn and allow an attack to your kidneys?

I wouldn't turn enough to expose myself. The torque of twisting one's arm to redirect the direction of their strike's orientation only takes about 6 inches. No need to expose your sides to a strike with that technique. I stand in a lion stance with left leg forward, and right back (for example, obviously it's interchangeable) and carry my back arm crossed over my midsection to over my knee, with my left hand near my face, prepared to ward off impending blows. I've found this to leave almost no vulnerability, as one also bends their knees about a half foot, to a foot, retaining their center of gravity closer to the ground.

I did not learn that from anyone however, I've just found that in all the styles I've practiced, and bouts I've had, that has seemed to work the best, especially when tied with my primary style of Bagua.
 

Buka

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I consider myself adept with knives, but in saying that, when it comes to knives, your legs, and running, are your best option.

The running part is true. You might want to reconsider the other part.
 
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Zenjael

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There are a number of kick disarms as well. Just takes practice to the point of reflex. In-to-out crescent kick found cross-styles, for example, when executed properly should break the arm in a fashion it forces the person to drop the knife out of pain response, while avoiding the knife. I believe an inverted-kick to the bicep would be another applicable example. I would advise going for more traditional disarms, though I meant legs in relation to running to being what are important.
 

mook jong man

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There are a number of kick disarms as well. Just takes practice to the point of reflex. In-to-out crescent kick found cross-styles, for example, when executed properly should break the arm in a fashion it forces the person to drop the knife out of pain response, while avoiding the knife. I believe an inverted-kick to the bicep would be another applicable example. I would advise going for more traditional disarms, though I meant legs in relation to running to being what are important.

Bit risky trying to kick the knife arm , you might get lucky.

But he might get lucky too and cut your femoral artery and then it will be a quick bleed out and you die.

I think it's best if you are going to kick , to kick the lower limbs otherwise keep your feet on the ground and retain your mobility.
 

Bill Mattocks

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There are a number of kick disarms as well. Just takes practice to the point of reflex. In-to-out crescent kick found cross-styles, for example, when executed properly should break the arm in a fashion it forces the person to drop the knife out of pain response, while avoiding the knife. I believe an inverted-kick to the bicep would be another applicable example. I would advise going for more traditional disarms, though I meant legs in relation to running to being what are important.

Have you broken a lot of arms, or successfully defended yourself against a real-life knife attack?
 
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Zenjael

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Have I defended against an armed assault? Yes, though I used my hands. That doesn't mean techniques still don't exist which utilize the feet. As for breaking things, just knuckles, and that was about 5 years ago. They've healed since, and I've changed from closed hand to open. I find a ball of joints not to be the most practical compared to the palm when one can effectively do the same thing.
 

Bill Mattocks

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Have I defended against an armed assault? Yes, though I used my hands. That doesn't mean techniques still don't exist which utilize the feet. As for breaking things, just knuckles, and that was about 5 years ago. They've healed since, and I've changed from closed hand to open. I find a ball of joints not to be the most practical compared to the palm when one can effectively do the same thing.

But you're pretty sure you can break an attacker's arm with a crescent kick?
 
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Zenjael

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A good deal of TKD and Muai Thai kicks can shatter bones, given you kick the arm in a specific way. Most kicks have enough force to break most bones in the body. A good roundhouse kick from a WTF practitioner, who is skilled, can be devastating. Turn the crescent kick into an impact through the heel to the lower bicep and you should snap the arm pretty easy. Or convert the crescent kick into a swing round-kick, with the ride of foot impacting arm. That would also in all likelihood carry the force.

The question now, is does the person have the skill to pull it off, reaction time to assess the situation, and speed for means. I've found most people do not, practically, know how to defend against a knife using their arms and hands, let alone their legs.

It's a complicated technique, but the crescent kick is meant for more than just clearing arms.

I think it's best if you are going to kick , to kick the lower limbs otherwise keep your feet on the ground and retain your mobility.

I agree completely. I am not saying people should do this, merely pointing out that the techniques do exist, for the brave.
 

MJS

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This isnt the movies, so despite what we all see Chuck Norris do, IMHO, kicking a knife hand is not wise. No, I'm not taking a shot at Chuck. I think the man is a fantastic MAist and he still is active. However, like I said, what we see in the movies.....
 

Bill Mattocks

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This isnt the movies, so despite what we all see Chuck Norris do, IMHO, kicking a knife hand is not wise. No, I'm not taking a shot at Chuck. I think the man is a fantastic MAist and he still is active. However, like I said, what we see in the movies.....

I really think you should reconsider. Zenjael is a master in many different styles and he has defended himself against two muggings.
 
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Zenjael

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Means nothing, a bullet to my head means all the techniques I've learned were for diddly squat. No matter how good, or bad you are, someone can always put you down. And is willing to.

Kicking at a knife is never wise, again, techniques exist which do exactly that.
 

MJS

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Means nothing, a bullet to my head means all the techniques I've learned were for diddly squat. No matter how good, or bad you are, someone can always put you down. And is willing to.

Agreed. I've said the same thing many times...all training does, IMO, is give us an edge. It doesnt turn us into Superman.

Kicking at a knife is never wise, again, techniques exist which do exactly that.

That is true, those techs do exist, usually along with a ton of other **** that people teach, and claim to be some great tech, when in reality, they're doing nothing but hurting their students. I've been training in the FMAs for quite a while now. During all my training time, I've yet to see a knife tech which involved kicking the hand. Hmm....
 

frank raud

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A good deal of TKD and Muai Thai kicks can shatter bones, given you kick the arm in a specific way. Most kicks have enough force to break most bones in the body. A good roundhouse kick from a WTF practitioner, who is skilled, can be devastating. Turn the crescent kick into an impact through the heel to the lower bicep and you should snap the arm pretty easy. Or convert the crescent kick into a swing round-kick, with the ride of foot impacting arm. That would also in all likelihood carry the force.

The question now, is does the person have the skill to pull it off, reaction time to assess the situation, and speed for means. I've found most people do not, practically, know how to defend against a knife using their arms and hands, let alone their legs.

It's a complicated technique, but the crescent kick is meant for more than just clearing arms.

There is a BIG difference between the theory of a kick being able to break bones, and the ability to do the same. Something you seem to recognise when you suggest converting the crescent kick into a different kick to "possibly" achieve the results you desire. Consider which bones are most commonly broken by a kick or a punch. The ribs, relatively lightweight bones that can't move with the force being applied to them(unlike, say an arm being struck by a crescent kick). Or the leg bones, often the shin, usually when planted and taking the full brunt of the force of a kick.

As you are such a hard hitter, how many arms have you broken with crescent kicks? How many people do you know who have managed to do the same? How many professionals, be it full contact karate(in all its forms), kickboxing, muay thai or MMA can you point to who have done it? Or is it like most bones broken by an opponent, a rare occurence, a fluke? Is that what you want someone to trust their lives to? The one in a million chance that their crescent kick can actually break the bad guys arm before he slashes your leg, or you impale yourself on his blade, considering " I've found most people do not, practically, know how to defend against a knife using their arms and hands, let alone their legs." Considering that the thread is titled ...time to reconsider some techniques , perhaps you may want to re-assess yours.
 

frank raud

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I wouldn't turn enough to expose myself. The torque of twisting one's arm to redirect the direction of their strike's orientation only takes about 6 inches. No need to expose your sides to a strike with that technique. I stand in a lion stance with left leg forward, and right back (for example, obviously it's interchangeable) and carry my back arm crossed over my midsection to over my knee, with my left hand near my face, prepared to ward off impending blows. I've found this to leave almost no vulnerability, as one also bends their knees about a half foot, to a foot, retaining their center of gravity closer to the ground.

I did not learn that from anyone however, I've just found that in all the styles I've practiced, and bouts I've had, that has seemed to work the best, especially when tied with my primary style of Bagua.

In your previous post, you stated Turn your body to minimalize impact, and never forget about your kidneys. Those are most vulnerable, in that position, and most likely to be aimed for in a midsection cut. Now you are saying you don't turn enough to expose the kidneys, which is it?
 
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Zenjael

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It would depend on the style and circumstance. I would avoid turning so much as to fully expose the kidney always. I have slanted turn is different than what you are speaking of, which would require you to rotate on your hips a looooot more than Im talking about. Small, simple movements.

You should never forget about your kidneys, ever, especially in multiples. I place it alongside my list of most important vitals to protect.

But what I was saying, is that in this stance, you remove the majority of the vitals vulnerable, leaving you with a few still you have to keep guard over, but not at further risk to them. It would make no sense to change a time honored stance, which works, for defensive reasons, only to leave such a gaping backdoor.

What I'm saying is not that you leave the kidneys vulnerable, but having checked other vitals off the immediate list to worry about, your concern should linger on those which may still be vulnerable.

There are arts however, where you would need to turn completely to execute a throw or sweep. Certain sweeps in bagua force the person to rotate as much as 270 or 360 degrees to generate force to knock others down. Aikido and Judo both require one to completely reorient one's position, through not just one stance, but multiple and positioning to execute the technique with the control essential to not unnecessarily causing pain or injury in the other.

If you'd like, I will post a photo of the stance so you can see what I am speaking about. As I said, it is the most vulnerable for a midlevel strike, but chances are your midsection will be so well defended they'll go for your les or head instead, which while not exposed, are less guarded than the now formidably so midsection.

My apologies for not being clear, before.
 

frank raud

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It would depend on the style and circumstance. I would avoid turning so much as to fully expose the kidney always. I have slanted turn is different than what you are speaking of, which would require you to rotate on your hips a looooot more than Im talking about. Small, simple movements.
Different than what I speak of? I am seeking clarification on what you have said, and you keep coming back with something else

You should never forget about your kidneys, ever, especially in multiples. I place it alongside my list of most important vitals to protect.

Umm, if you are facing someone, ie the majority of times you will be taking a defensive stance, your kidneys should not be a major concern, as the BG has to get to your back side, or at minimum to your flank in order to attack them. That makes them not a top priority concern at the moment I am dropping into a stance. Now you add the variable of multiples, something that was not being discussed before. Then again, the main way to protect your kidneys is to not expose them to your opponent, which brings us back to your original description of your stance.

But what I was saying, is that in this stance, you remove the majority of the vitals vulnerable, leaving you with a few still you have to keep guard over, but not at further risk to them. It would make no sense to change a time honored stance, which works, for defensive reasons, only to leave such a gaping backdoor.

What I'm saying is not that you leave the kidneys vulnerable, but having checked other vitals off the immediate list to worry about, your concern should linger on those which may still be vulnerable.

There are arts however, where you would need to turn completely to execute a throw or sweep. Certain sweeps in bagua force the person to rotate as much as 270 or 360 degrees to generate force to knock others down. Aikido and Judo both require one to completely reorient one's position, through not just one stance, but multiple and positioning to execute the technique with the control essential to not unnecessarily causing pain or injury in the other.

I can't speak for BAGUA, but definitely in judo, you do not turn your back on a knife wielding opponent without first controlling the weapon, making this point kinda moot.

If you'd like, I will post a photo of the stance so you can see what I am speaking about. As I said, it is the most vulnerable for a midlevel strike, but chances are your midsection will be so well defended they'll go for your les or head instead, which while not exposed, are less guarded than the now formidably so midsection.

To be honest, I wouldn't mind a photo as the verbal description is leaving me confused. If possible, could you post a photo with an armed BG to better help me understand? I seem to be conceptually challenged this evening.

My apologies for not being clear, before.

Clarification is what we seek.
 
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