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#100147 - 12/01/04 07:36 PM knife disarm

yes this is for sell defence, at my school alot of people carry knives... i was wondering if i got into a fight and the guy brings out a knife wat can i do besides run away, yes yes i know it would be smart not to get into the fight in the first place and all that crap please just answer my question straight

#100148 - 12/01/04 09:02 PM Re: knife disarm

Pull out a gun.

If you can't do that? Well, it depends.

How far away is he?

How is he holding the knife?

What does he want?

Is he nervous or distracted?

Is there anything between you?

I could go on....

I know you want a quick "just do this" answer and many people will oblige you on this forum and others. In the end, it is your safety that is on the line. How you answer the above questions will dictate your tactics.

The best programs by far I have seen for Knife Defense are Karl Tanswell's STAB ( and Jerry Wetzel's RED ZONE (

#100149 - 12/02/04 02:24 AM Re: knife disarm

Your question seems to imply that a fight has already started and in the midst of it, he pulls out a knife. If he can do that:-

1. the knife probably is not that big; if it is, you will have already noticed it and will do something else.

2. in the midst of a fight (I assume between two school kids and not trained fighters or MAist) there will be a lot of pushing, pulling, wild swings; it is then not so easy to pull out a knife (especially the folded types)and start stabbing and cutting.

Assuming, however, he has practiced knife unsheathing to an art and in the midst of a fight, an unsheathed knife is produced in a flash, then, first, very quickly step back; put some real distance from him; control your ego; BUT do not show fear; you just have to try; not all, but many people pull out knives to show off or just to intimidate; give the impression that you have seen it all. This will disorientate him a bit, and he will hesitate to charge at you; he is after all another school kid. Now with the distance and some temporary safety, assess the situation and apply all the advice by Fletch1 (not the gun part)

If you still want to fight and not run or beg for mercy or hand over your pocket money, then, I will not be the first person to advise fighting a knife-armed opponent empty-handed. I've practiced and seen knife fights -- believe me, the odds are 100-1 against you. All the knife-fighting I know requires a helluva lot training to get the timing right to apply the moves and even then chances of getting cut is very very high. Some people in a life & death situation have no choice but to intentionally suffer a knife wound just to get close enough to put in a strike. Also, if he has a knife hidden somewhere, then he is probably more familiar with knife fighting than you. At least he is PREPARED.

You really have to look for a weapon of some kind, WITHOUT turning your back to him.

If you wear a belt, show a bit of flair when pulling it out, like you have done this many times before (turn the table on him, psychologically speaking) If no belt and you find something useful, circle round him to get at it; all the while look him straight in the eye; the moment you show fear, he is more prone to attack; maybe a dustbin cover is available (do not let your ego get in the way, please!)

Now, if nothing is available, and you want specific techniques to disarm a knife, you really cannot hope to learn it on the net or books; even in a class where it is shown to you, you won't get it right at fighting-speed (not tai chi speed) at the first five tries, even when a dummy knife is used and you are under no pressure.

Sorry, that is the reality of the situation. If you need more proof, spend a saturday night at the ER department of a hospital, not inside, but at the entrance where the ambulance comes in. Seeing the results of kinfe or other weapons fight may convince you that running away is no shame at all.

#100150 - 12/02/04 02:28 AM Re: knife disarm

the only advice to give you will be to be aware of your surroundings, attempt to get objects between you and the attacker, wether this is furniture, a garden, maybe even geting across a street - using oncoming cars as a shield (yes i admit that is risky but a possible option)

with two people facing each other there needs to be a minimum of 10 metres (roughly 21 feet i think) to be able to turn around, and run without getting caught/stabbed by the other person, the defender needs to turn around then run, the attacker only needs to start moving forward

- if anyone doesn't believe what ive written above, try it with a friend or training partner, stand oppisite one another and have one person try to run from the other, see how long it takes to catch them, keep increasing the distance and repeating the drill - see how you go

also battersup2, if your interested in knive defence, try to spar with someone using a marker pen try to defend against them, see afterwards how many lines are on you it is one of th most dangerous things ever to go unarmed with a knife

(disclaimer, by no means am i advocating any breach of local weapon laws there, my mention there was to educate on the difficulty on defending unarmed)

#100151 - 12/02/04 09:17 PM Re: knife disarm

A friend who saw my first postings here suggest that I should also say a few words on knife-fighters. O.K.

Knife-fighters are a tricky lot. May be people who carry concealed knifes in the first place have sneaky characters built in their genes.

Therefore, do not be fooled by a knife coming at you at a suspiciously slow speed. The idea is to give you an "opportunity" to attempt to grap at his knife hand. Here two things can happen:-

1. at the last moment when your grap is about to connect, he speeds up and cut you somewhere;

2. he lets you grap his knife hand and with a well-trained and well-timed twist of the wrist, cut your grapping hand or wrist.

Good knife-fighters always hold the weapon close to his body near the solar plexus with the tip pointing down towards the navel in the reverse grip (opposite of the handshake grip) and not sitck it out with the elbow almost straight -- that is hollywood knife-fighting -- it looks better on the screen.

Why the solar plexus?

From there, first, the knife is already chambered, and also less danger of being grapped;

second, think of the solar plexus as the center of a circle that encompass the area of your belly, both shoulders and the face. It will be the shortest distance if you need to cut from your left side to the right side of your opponent or from your solar plexus to his or from your belly to his and perfect for a upper cut to the chin and if that missed, followed by a over-hand stab to the chest. Always remember, a good kinfe-fighter NEVER do one cut and stops. There is always a follow through with another cut while the knife is in the withdrawal stage (i.e. while it is coming back to 'rest' at the solar plexus) Why, because he knows that one cut does not always stop a fight; in fact as I said in the first post, some people intentionally get a cut to get close to the knife carrying opponent. A knife-fighter is at his most vulnerable when he commits himself to a cut.

Another small but important detail is, it is better when holding the knife in the reverse grip to rest the thumb on the tip of the pommel and not curl it onto the index finger as you would when holding a normal clenched fist. You will find that there is better control of the knife in terms of accuracy and at the same time the tension of your wrist is stronger because of the thumb's pressure on the pommel and therefore more difficult for someone to grap and twist your wrist to do any kind of joint-manipulation.

Good knife-fighters never swing the knife in wide arcs like boxers throwing punches. If he misses, he is finished; he cannot recover fast enough when his opponent rush him.

When withdrawing the knife back to the solar plexus after doing any technique, always make sure the pommel side comes back first with the blade parallel to the ground, so you won't accidently stab or cut yourself. And besides looking real professional and stylish when done (if right-handed) with a small arc from your left upper arm to the solar plexus, the tip of the knife, being parallel to the ground, is always pointing towards your opponent in case he rush you.

Well, the above basics should be helpful to beginners.

For the experts among you, lets hear from you.

Please do not take the above as an encouragement to carry knives to school though I've done that myself; sorry; but that was a very long time ago when most of the readers here were not even born. I was very young and knew no better.

[This message has been edited by ButterflyPalm (edited 12-03-2004).]

#100152 - 12/03/04 07:29 PM Re: knife disarm

A word on 'Running'

Meanstreak has brought up a good point. It is true only if you turn 180 degrees and run in the opposite direction of your attacker. This is the instinctive thing to do. This not only slows you down (you might need 1.5 seconds just to do the turn, and running at full speed after a body-turning action is not easy; at a loss of 2 or more seconds, your attacker can gain at least 7-10 steps on you) it also 'blinds' you to what your attacker might be doing; is he actually chasing you? or maybe even throwing the knife at you.

A better option, if the situation permits, is to run to the left or right, whichever is natural for you. You still keep your attacker in view; it does not require a full 180 degrees turn; your attacker, if he chases you, will have to make a last minute leg adjustments (those who have played any field ball games will know the problem of making an adjustment when running at some speed) and also the element of surprise (most people expect you to turn round before running)

Running to the side as opposed to turning round to run is somehow less embarassing, if this is a problem [IMG][/IMG]

[This message has been edited by ButterflyPalm (edited 12-03-2004).]

#100153 - 12/04/04 12:35 AM Re: knife disarm
Chang Wufei Offline

Registered: 06/09/04
Posts: 358
Loc: Spokane, WA
The others have given you good tactical advice. Now I will explain a particular technique I have found very effective, given the variable.

This is for the threatening knife position, where he is holding it far out, pointing it towards your neck (It happens more often than you'd think.)

Using both hands, at the same time "slap" with your palms, with moderate pressure the back of his hand with one of your hands, and his inner wrist with your other hand. This way, he "throws" the knife to the side. I have used this successfully.

Kind of hard for me to explain in words, but hopefully you understand.

#100154 - 12/04/04 02:05 PM Re: knife disarm

A few weeks back I went on a Dennis Martin, CQB, Edged Weapon Course, which I found very interesting.

Dennis Martin teaches the G.U.N. method. I can't do Dennis's teaching methods justice in a few words, but I'll have a go.

G.U.N. = Grab, Unarm & Nutrilise.

From 'The Fence' position (hands up, passive stance), Grab the attacker's wrist (lower forearm) when he/she lunges, using a Butterfly grip. Butterfly Grip = Using both hands, palms towards your attacker, thumbs overlapping (is if you are making a butterfly shaped shadow on the wall, like when you were a kid).

Shout 'Knife' as soon as you see the knife. The word knife is used as a 'Trigger' word.

The butterfly grip works when the attcker is using a standard or reverse grip.

Once grabbed, you pull your elbows in to you abdomen, known as 'indexing', to keep a frim grip.

Unarm by continual knees to the groin, lower abdomen and/or ribs of your attcker.
On the first 3 knee strikes shout "DROP" - "THE" - "KNIFE", each word for each knee strike, and repeat until dropped. Whilst doing this it is vitally important to keep both hands clasped tightly around your attackers wrist, continue to be 'indexed' and don't let go until the knife has been dropped.

Once the knife is dropped, the attacker is then nutrilised (put out of action for a minimum of 15 mins) to aid an escape.

From what I understood from the course is that the G.U.N. method is one of the best methods, but like all defences against a knife attack, it ain't perfect, nothing is, and expect to get cut.

Statistics show that the average victim will have on average 7 knife wounds, of varying degrees of severity, before you either disarm your attacker or escape.

Hope that helps.

Take care,


[This message has been edited by Gaffer (edited 12-04-2004).]


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