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#94865 - 08/12/03 03:17 PM More stuff on knives

At the weekend, during a training session with live knives, I received a not serious, but bad enough, cut to the hand.

Several people, on asking what happened and hearing the reply have expressed feelings of disbelief and horror that we were doing such a thing.

The way I see it is this:
Firstly, training with rubber/wooden knives is a great introduction to knife work. Training with marker pens also helps us to see where we would be cut.
However, despite much training at this, the first time my instructor put a real knife near me I literally froze in terror. Luckily, he was very focused and very experienced and stopped the attack short, so no harm done. After using live knives several times, I became less afraid (not unafraid) and did not freeze or back off. (I realise it could be different if it happened for real).

Secondly, when the accident happened, we had practised single attacks and then moved on to multiple slashes (so if you got the first block wrong, they continued attacking). I survived several times before I was cut, it was not fatal or even serious, and we analysed what went wrong and I tried again, this time more successfully, so it was a great learning experience.

I must also add that both myself and my partner are first aid trained, we carry a sensible first aid kit and a mobile phone.

What do you all think? Stupid or practical?

And does anyone else do this?

#94866 - 08/12/03 03:49 PM Re: More stuff on knives
Ed Glasheen Offline

Registered: 06/21/03
Posts: 1379
Loc: Newburgh,NY,USA
Sharon, when I tell you this I am not being a ass, ok, but I do think it is very stupid and amaturistic, forgive my spelling, to train with live blades. Firstly your training sessions are never the same as real life combat. So much is different that I need an hour to explain. Accidents happen, people have different ability of control. Your lucky you only got slightly cut. We in the military do not train with lve blades. Yes our knives are cover with their sheaths or we use training aids, ie rubber knives. So if we do not, what make some civilian trainer the zen god in knive training. Trust me when I tell you, we get top training. And yes we train with civilian from time to time. But again the difference is that we realize that training is different from combat. Training your body's nueromuscular responses to attacks is all you need to do. This can be done slowly. In a real confrontation your mind and body will be as fast as they need to be, the muscle memory will be there. So the garbage that we have to train fast with real blades to better prepare ourselves to fight is pure BS. I would leave that school. Ed

[This message has been edited by Ed Glasheen (edited 08-12-2003).]

[This message has been edited by Ed Glasheen (edited 08-12-2003).]

#94867 - 08/12/03 04:53 PM Re: More stuff on knives
judderman Offline

Registered: 08/06/01
Posts: 1400
Loc: UK
Good points raised by both.

When I trained as a Butcher, they encourage you to use Gauntlets. Soon you don't use them as you are confident enough. You learn very quickly not to make further mistakes.

I think the trainiing in live blades IN HIGHLY CONTROLLED CONDITIONS is a good idea, on the basis of Sharon's response to a real knife.

Obviously training in the same drills as you would with a dummy knife would be exremely dangerous, as Ed has pointed out.

On the whole, a good idea, IMO.


#94868 - 08/12/03 05:59 PM Re: More stuff on knives
MrVigerous Offline
Former Administrator

Registered: 04/17/01
Posts: 2498
Loc: UK
Its very much a toss up in my mind between a valuable experience and an unnecessary risk. A valuable experience because it highlights the ease at which one can be cut and the paucity of defence and can I suppose, sharpen the mind to the moment (on account of the blade being live) and add adrenalin into the training mix. An unnecessary risk because as Ed suggests it is impossible to safely recreate the reality of a frenzied knife attack with a live blade. If the attack is not realistic are you really getting the full value out of the training and is any success in training against a live blade used at less than its full potential a false confidence booster? In a way it can be argued that training against a dull or training blade is MORE beneficial because with safety constraints relaxed, the attack can be more realistic. With more realistic attacks, any success in defending oneself is a more realistic measure of your abilities. Just my two pence worth.

Mr V

[This message has been edited by MrVigerous (edited 08-12-2003).]

#94869 - 08/12/03 06:15 PM Re: More stuff on knives
the504mikey Offline

Registered: 06/19/03
Posts: 790
Loc: Louisiana, United States

I am going to have to say that training with a live blade is probably a bad idea, but not for the reason you might expect.

If you are training with a rubber knife or marking blade, your opponent has no reason to hold back-- he is free to try his hardest to cut or stab you. If he has a live blade, I think no matter how hard he tries he is always going to "pull" his attack so that you will not be badly hurt if your defense fails.

I think whatever good you derive from getting comfortable with the presence of a live blade is going to be overshadowed by the harm that is done by training in the absence of a violent, committed attack.

Your practice partner will not capitalize on an opportunity to shank you in the neck or kidney, but the street attacker will.

I think if you feel it is helping, then you are probably right-- but I would still toss someone a rubber knife every now and then and ask him or her to kill me with it.

I think the thing that freezes most people who are attacked on the street is the overwhelming violent intent of the atacker. It is something most of us never experience in the dojo.

Aside from that, I have trouble believing that we can escape many knife encounters without being cut (possibly seriously), and using a real blade would make it impossible to train for those. A wooden knife can be a little more realistic, but they can also do damage if you catch a stab from them...

I would never call you foolish for doing what you think you need to do to improve your training, but I would try to view it more as becoming comfortable with knives than as realistic defense training.

#94870 - 08/12/03 11:10 PM Re: More stuff on knives
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
In my opinion it would be good to do so to train against freezing up but as Mikey said its never going to be fully realistic in a dojo because there is always a degree of holding back. As for military being the best training, not hardly, especially that watered down jujutsu they try to teach. Sad but true. Also with a bladed weapon i would much rather learn from a dojo than a drill instructor or Seargent due to experience and understanding of Martial Arts ethics.

#94871 - 08/12/03 11:28 PM Re: More stuff on knives
Ed Glasheen Offline

Registered: 06/21/03
Posts: 1379
Loc: Newburgh,NY,USA
Another point is that when faced with a real blade attack, you have two options. Die or live. Not everyone picks to live. Your mindset, your most important asset is much different when surviving than in training when you know that you are going home.
I agree with chen, there is a lot of bad Jujutsu out there. But DIs do not teach knive fighting. Basic training is not the end all of your training. The guys who are true experts do not run dojos. They are hard to come by.
The way you keep from freezing is by having the right mindset. Attack what ever moves first and keep on attacking. Offense.
The hardest part of my training and the training I give is teaching that mindset. But once you have it ingrained you will not freeze under threat. Ed

#94872 - 08/13/03 02:35 AM Re: More stuff on knives

Thanks to everyone for their replies.

I would just like to clarify a few things so that you all know I am not completely crazy:

The live blade was at my instigation, I was not forced to take part. My training partner was my husband who I trust 100 per cent.

I agree with those who said that conditions with a live blade must be controlled and with those who said you can not simulate real violence when using a live blade.

Most knife training is with rubber or wooden knives so that we can simulate frenzied aggresion. The live bade work is not done full power.
The cut to my hand is healing quicker than some strikes I have received training against attacks from a stick or a wooden knife. This is the first time I have been cut in training and because my partner was not using full power it is not at all serious.

Thanks again for your input, anyone else have an opinion on this?

[This message has been edited by wadowoman (edited 08-13-2003).]

#94873 - 08/14/03 11:24 PM Re: More stuff on knives
Chen Zen Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 02/09/03
Posts: 7043
Loc: Ms
Its interesting how many aspects of training cannot be practiced at full power and agression but still work when needed. The key is being able to sort what can work from what most likely will not. Intricate patterns and multifaceted moves are often lost on the practitioner in the stress of confrontation and therefore do not work. Experience is a mysterious and cruel teacher. Personally I would say continue your training but be wary of moves that take more than a second to perform.

#94874 - 08/15/03 01:49 AM Re: More stuff on knives
Ed Glasheen Offline

Registered: 06/21/03
Posts: 1379
Loc: Newburgh,NY,USA
Chen Chen are we in agreement? Do we train the same ? Maybe your not so bad. Ed

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