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#92132 - 01/11/03 10:08 AM Knife Fighting
judderman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 1400
Loc: UK
There have been posts on this and other forums about the use of weapons, especially knives.

The usual concensus is that training in knife fighting helps to learn knife defense.

The other is that many MAs and defense systems have diabolically dangerous ideas about how to defend against knives.

So HOW do you defend against a knife?

What are the most usual attacks employed by someone with a knife?

Any ideas or opinions??

Budo.

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#92133 - 01/11/03 12:38 PM Re: Knife Fighting
MrVigerous Offline
Former Administrator

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 2498
Loc: UK
IMHO and as i've suggested on every occasion that this topic has been covered. You will be cut unless you are very very lucky, therefore take those cuts on the backs of the hands and the forearms if at all possible. Keep the fingers and thumbs together and tight so as to avoid having less than 10 at the end of procedings. Wait for a weaker attack if one is forthcomming and then pound the attacker into a million pieces, with a skip load of noise, violence and aggression. On the topic of knife attacks that one might face, this rather depends on the level of skill of your opponent. The truly good knifeman will cut you to bits so its hardly worth discussing his attacking options. The complete idiot will just use it as a barrier between you to boost his confidence. Assuming a level of skill on the part of the attacker, you might expect feint lunges to trigger gaps in your defence, back and forehand cuts both parallel and diagonal. Increasing the level fo skill, one might face hand changes from lead to rear hand, shielding the blade with the back of the arm by changing the grip and mutiple grips for increased angles of attack. Any more than this and you're in very serious trouble anyway. Thankfully most people attacking you with a knife will do so in fairly repetetive swinging cuts whilst advancing or with exagerated downwards stabbing motions giving you the opportunity to give him the good news when you get the chance....if you get the chance.
Regds
mr V

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#92134 - 01/19/03 11:09 AM Re: Knife Fighting
judderman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 1400
Loc: UK
I must say that I'm a little disappointed no one else has any ideas.

We can take it as red that you will get cut. We can also safely assume that against a "professional" attacker, the first you will know about the knife is when it is in contact with you.

So to the idiot will show the knife to increase their confidence and to reduce yours. It is also thought more likely that if the knife is brandished, the person is less likely to use it and is using it as descibed above.

So lets look at the straight stab. From those I have encountered after the event this ranges from one or two single, quite deep thrusts, to numerous shallow thrusts. The reason, I believe, is that it takes quite a lot of strength to withdraw a normal blade from flesh.

Options?

Would you block/parry and move until an opening presents itself, then, as Mr V says, then pound the attacker into a million pieces, with a skip load of noise, violence and aggression?

Would you block/parry to set up an arm or wrist lock or throw, before destroying your attacker?

When you block/parry would you use strikes to the arm to disable the attacking hand? If so where and when?

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#92135 - 02/19/03 06:31 PM Re: Knife Fighting
Jamoni Offline
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Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1514
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
Having been confronted with weapons, and having done so to others, I think the natural reaction to anyone brandishing a weapon is to look at it. Then, to look at their face. To judge their state of mind. If your gut tells you, "this guy is afraid to do this", cool. If your gut tells you "this guy is a hard mother fucker who will cut me like butter", you may want to take that into account. Even if he is "foolishly" brandishing his blade. Maybe he's just giving you a chance to reconsider things. Bottom line, if you pull it, you don't HAVE to use it, but you'd better be very willing to do so.
As far as defenses, RUN. Any other way, you get cut. The most you can do is minimize damage by taking it on the arms. If you are caught in close quarters, hand control is essential. Why bother punching him if his knife hand is still live? To distract him? His knife in your gut/arm/neck will be a far more effective distraction. Hand control won't keep him from cutting you, but will decrease the momentum he can get behind his strikes, thus turning "Ghastly mortal wound" into "Bad cut" Did I mention RUN?

[This message has been edited by Jamoni (edited 02-19-2003).]

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#92136 - 02/21/03 10:35 AM Re: Knife Fighting
martial_life Offline
Member

Registered: 12/10/02
Posts: 72
Loc: Elkton, SD, US
It actually doesn't take too much strength to withdraw a blade from your flesh, just more mental strength(because of pain, shock, fear of further hurting oneself) then most can brandish. I know this because i was stabbed with a thin bladed knife last year(think switchblade). There are some knives, however, that woudl be very hard to withdraw becaus eof their shape, size, serrations, et cetera. However, most people don't carry a knife of that caliber. Even combat knives are designed to be withdrawn from the body, other wise they would be inefficient after the first stab from the viewpoint of the person welding it.

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#92137 - 02/21/03 05:52 PM Re: Knife Fighting
Jamoni Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1514
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
The problem with a lot of MA disarms is that they are designed to be used against swords, not knives. A knife is incredibly more agile than a sword, and it is effective in infighting where a sword is difficult to use. Also, a 3 inch blade does not offer the same leverage that a 3 foot blade would. Thus, in using a disarm on the sword, you are likely to get cut on the arm and the sword is likely to go flying away. Using the same disarm on a knife, you get cut on the arm, and the opponent still has the knife!

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#92138 - 03/17/03 06:34 PM Re: Knife Fighting
judderman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 1400
Loc: UK
Has anyone got any simplistic drills to help out with knives?

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#92139 - 03/19/03 12:49 AM Re: Knife Fighting
mark Offline
sword of magnamity

Registered: 03/04/03
Posts: 1284
Loc: uk
damn it!

get some rubber knifes, wear a white "t" shirt.

1 man has the knife and tries to chop the other up, go for big slashing movements, really try to "slice and dice" him.

look at the t shirt...might have few black lines on it, 3 lines over 6 inches would mean you would have been dead, through blood loss!!!

Oh! and any limb that is put in the way.ie:
a kick or punch, give that a black line as well....

regards

Mark

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#92140 - 03/19/03 03:13 AM Re: Knife Fighting
JKogas Offline
Prolific

Registered: 01/25/03
Posts: 10818
Loc: North Carolina
A couple of plastic training knives (some of which can be found at www.trainingblades.com) and some "sharpie" magic markers fastended onto them with tape do really well! You don't always have to use the markers if you don't want to -- just respect the blade and don't lie when you're hit in practice. The weight of those training blades leaves a tell-tale impression when they hit you (not that it hurts, but you CAN feel it so you know when you get slashed).

After you get the knives, get a hold of some hold hockey gloves (boxing gloves will suffice) and eye goggles. (This drill comes from the Filipino martial arts where people are living blade masters).

The first target is the HAND. It's closest and, if hit with the blade "can" result in a disarm. This is the best disarm that one should really concern himself with. Playing with more technical disarms can result in one getting cut badly.

Just move around (keeping your hand in constant motion) and try to slash your partners hand. If you get hit, you should respect that hit as much as you would the real thing. With the super sharp blades on the market these days, it doesn't take a lot of pressure to cause a lot of damage.

After the hand hit, move in close and slash at the body or face as your next move - using a reverse swing of the angle that you used to hit the hand. Also, you can try trapping the hand that got hit with your free hand as you move inside. Slash him up once you've scored a hit and moved in.

When the drill begins, stay just outide of range and up on the balls of your feet, moving around. This will develop greater footwork and perceptual speed (speed of seeing movement). Guys, after you've worked this drill for a while, "empty hands" seem to be in SLOW MOTION!

I know it sounds really simple. It is, and SHOULD be. People have a tendency to get overly complex with knife training. Simple works better.

Try that drill and when your timing gets better, you'll see your skill improve tremendously in dealing with blades, giving you some "functional" ability at knife fighting.

That's just one of many ways of training from the Filipino martial arts, but that's the only one we do anymore with knives. This is knife sparring and is just way more realistic than are the many DRILLS found in the FMA.

-John

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#92141 - 03/19/03 05:15 AM Re: Knife Fighting
Budoka Offline
Member

Registered: 05/26/02
Posts: 120
Loc: Frankston Victoria Australia
I have faced edged weapons on a couple of occasions. I have been really lucky to not been slashed or stabbed but have seen people lose an eye and even die. Pretty scary stuff.
What i would do now faced with a knife is
1. try to run
2. if running fails, thr to comply, if they want your wallet give it to them, if they want your phone give it to them, if they want your girlfriend....You can always get a new girlfriend!
3. if complience fails Control, Break, Take.
Control the hand holding the weapon- Wait for commitment of their attack and then advance, if the weapon is close to them they will have more control over it.
Break that joint or something that they will feel. I like wrist but Kote geshe is not an easy technique to perform when you are scared and are literally facing death (unless practiced through serious repartition). Eyes, ears, throat and groin are all good.
Take their weapon and either keep it to defend against his friends or cut them a new arse!

I do understand though that if someone is on speed or a drug similar, they will be very hard to stop and will seem to have a higher pain threshold, that is when to use maximum force. Be prepared to kill or be killed!
Jail is sometimes a better thing to face than someone stabbing and killing your family!

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#92142 - 03/23/03 07:04 PM Re: Knife Fighting
Scholar Offline
Member

Registered: 03/05/03
Posts: 472
Loc: Brockton
Special Forces/ Ranger-UDT/Seal
Hand-to Hand Combat ?Special Weapons/Special Tactics Series
"Knife Self-Defense For Combat" by Michael D. Echanis
Ohara Publications 1977
The one I like the best is the redirect into groin defense of overhead type attack. It is Hwrangdo, His Grand Master Joo Bang Lee

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#92143 - 03/28/03 10:29 PM Re: Knife Fighting
Jamoni Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1514
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
A knife is a relatively short range weapon. Find a shield or longer weapon. Chairs or barstools serve well. Point the legs at him, lion tamer style. Two by fours are good, or any length of lumber. Thrust with it, to keep him at a distance. Swinging allows him to get inside. If none of these options are available, and you can't run, you could pull your own blade, I suppose...
As far as what to expect, who knows? I practice flicking my knife open and flowing into a series of two horizontal slashes, a check with the live hand, and a low line stab. So if it's me, now you know what to expect! (sometimes... hehehe.) I tend to focus my training on defanging cuts, as I assume the only reason I would be using a knife would be against an armed assailant, but I doubt the average mugger would train that way.

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#92144 - 03/30/03 08:14 AM Re: Knife Fighting
Oldwolf Offline
Member

Registered: 08/27/01
Posts: 71
Loc: Scotland
One of the problems with our training is that despite our best intentions we tend to train against knife attacks of two categories;

The 'trained knife fighter' blade held low, cutting edge up held in reverse hand, lead hand out questing, for instance, or blade in lead hand slicing in narrow arcs.

or

The '1940' cowboy and Indian movie attackwhere the assailant attacks from 20 yards away with an over head strike.

I am an advocate of training with jumbo magic marker pens, which give you some idea of how easy it is to get cut.
However the main problem is that in the majority of knife attacks the victim doesn't see the blade until they are bleeding like the proverbial stuck pig, the Americans call it the prison yard rush.
I was doing a door on a notorius night spot when me and my mate stopped some guys who had caused a little bother previous, one at the back lobbed a bottle he was carrying and it kicked of, in the fracas and in full sight of me in slow motion my mate got punched in the chest, dropped his opponent with a shot to the face and moved on to the next, a quarer inch chisel rolled out of the guys hand and my mate had been stabbed in the chest, small almost un-noticible entry wound which quickly saturated his jacket, the ensuing operation had stitches from his sternum under his arm and round his shoulder blade. He still there and still does the door.
I have been in a scirmish or two, and have several silvery threads on my forearms and two between my fingers from blades, couple of short blade stab wounds and some stanley slash marks but nothing serious, but in all those occasions I only saw the blade once before I was bleeding.

Its only my opinion but I think that you must treat every attack as being armed, your defense must be such that damage would be minimal as others have pointed out using front of forearms, back of hands etc, but most importantly finish them off rapidly, don't mess about, finish them and be on your way.

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#92145 - 03/30/03 08:04 PM Re: Knife Fighting
judderman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 1400
Loc: UK
Some damn good points.

It is unfortunate, but the majority of the time you see the blade after you see your own blood.

I know there are no hard and fast rules in this one, but does any one know of things to look out for that may hint toward a consealed weapon?

The premise of this is that "a shower rarely stabs, but a stabber rarely shows"

Any ideas?

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#92146 - 03/31/03 07:38 AM Re: Knife Fighting
MrVigerous Offline
Former Administrator

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 2498
Loc: UK
Well one can never be sure, but if you are observant enough and lets be honest actualy looking for the threat rather than enjoying a drink and a chat, then look out for unusual hand clenching which may signify an object is being palmed up against the arm or dropped out of a sleave. More obvious examples include an approaching individual reaching into their pocket whilst eyeballing you (hard to guess if they are going to cut and run or are just looking for their keys). IMO you cant defend against the random nutter cutting and running, but if an individual or group is clearly taking an interest in you, with regular eye contact, then you get an approach and pocket reach...well draw your own conclusions. I suppose more blatant examples would include reaching down for the boot whilst maintaining
eye contact, or an obvious brush past between two opponents - possibly a wepaon being passed. To go on a bit further, possible unusal hand movements rather than just to the visible pockets. For example back and round to the small of the back, or down into the front of trousers, could all signify a threat. At the end of the day though, and sorry to state the obvious, but these could all be some bloke in a hurry, straightening his shirt or scratching his nuts. Thats the point of the non shower though, you don't get to see the weapon 99% of the time. These are just some indicators that might move you into the 1% if you see it and it really is a prelude to an attack.

Regds
Mr V

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#92147 - 03/31/03 06:52 PM Re: Knife Fighting
Jamoni Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1514
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
Brings up an interesting point: method of carry. How do most attackers carry a blade? Any LEO's out there know? On the belt? front or back? in the pocket? Boot? I personally carry my spyderco clipped to my right front pants pocket, or in my wasteband at the pocket of the hip. The possible carry methods are pretty extensive.

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#92148 - 03/31/03 07:47 PM Re: Knife Fighting
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
On the inside of a sleeve if long sleeves. If not on the waist next to my right hand.

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#92149 - 04/05/03 07:48 PM Re: Knife Fighting
Eric Offline
Newbie

Registered: 04/04/03
Posts: 6
Loc: Westerville, Ohio USA
[QUOTE]Originally posted by Chen Zen:
On the inside of a sleeve if long sleeves. If not on the waist next to my right hand. [/QUOTE]

Or in an empty front pants pocket, that you have practiced withdrawing from.

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#92150 - 04/05/03 11:53 PM Re: Knife Fighting
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
I find that unless it is the little fifth pocket that often the knife gets snagged on the pocket. Or it is hard to find in between keys and change and whatever.

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#92151 - 04/06/03 12:02 PM Re: Knife Fighting
Jamoni Offline
Veteran

Registered: 01/17/03
Posts: 1514
Loc: St. Louis, MO, USA
Chen Zen, get a blade that has a belt clip. Clip it to your pocket, knife inside, clip outside, and discipline yourself to use THAT pocket for nothing but the knife. then practice drawing it about a zillion times. Best done by opening boxes, etc. I'm fast and smooth enough that I can draw, open a box, unlock and fold the blade, and slip it back in it's place before most people notice. Good training.

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#92152 - 04/06/03 02:37 PM Re: Knife Fighting
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
I use knives with the little thumb swith on them and if I put the knife inside with the clip out the thumb trigger snags alot so I keep the clip in and the blade out. Just me. I agree that it is definately worth practicing though.

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