View Full Version : Oh Oh, it's a knife...

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5/17/2004 1:32pm,
Knife 101

Ok, bare with me on this.
The knife, blade: anywhere from 3" to 10", anymore and it’s a freaking machete !!!
It cuts, slashes, tabs and, if heavy enough, chops.
It can come at you straight, up, down and all 45 degree directions, in fact, any movemtn you make with your hand/arm is an attack with a knife.
It can be single or double edges, folding or fixed.

And for all the times that running and giving into the knife wielder, are NOT options:
Knife protection 101 ( note I did not say defence, I don’t like the “defensive” mind that the word defence implies).

I don’t care how you do it, get out of the way of the fucking blade !!!!!!
I don’t care how you do it, disarm the fucker.
If you have to, use the fucking knife on him.
If you have your own knife, use it.

Now, that being said.
HOW ??
Suggestion #1:
Train knife fighting or fighting with a knife if you prefer that way of expressing it.
Start with a rubber knife, move to a wooden knife, then a marker, then a DULL steel knife and finally, and you MUST to this, a live blade.
At a certain point, you need to understand how a vision and feel of a live blade will effect you.
You will get cut, you will bleed, BUT, you will understand what it means to deal with a blade.
You MUST wear protection.
UNDERSTAND that, this type of training is for ADVANCED practitioners, and I mean ADVANCED.
Suggestion #2:
Whatever art you choose to apply to this training, do NOT give the attacker ALL the time and ALL the opportunities he needs to stab you.
Do NOT step back unless caught be surprise, if you step back, you are giving him ANOTHER chance to stab you, how many do you think he needs ?
DO neutralise the attacking blade/hand/arm, how you do it, is up to you, BUT if how you are trying to do it does NOT work, time to try something else.
REMEMBER THIS: he can have MORE than one knife, you MUST finish the fight FAST.
Suggestion #3:
If you manage to acquire the knife, use it, but understand the legalities of it.
No weapon can harm you if you are NOT in the “line of fire”, master positional awareness.

Some arts advocate attacking the armed limb, other advocate “killing the body and the limb dies”.
Whatever your chosen art advocates, PERFECT IT, fighting someone with a bladed weapon means, NO MISTAKES.
Please feel free to add anything you feel can be of use.

And yes, we ALL know and agree, its better to run or to avoid.
That is not the point of THIS thread.

WingChun Lawyer
5/17/2004 1:39pm,
I´ll be a good boy and avoid killing this thread, but indulge me: I always thought that if I was faced with a knife wielding thug, my best bet would be to use front kicks to keep the distance and create an opportunity to run away. That´s my plain on dealing with a knife. What do you think I should do, then, considering I am not an advanced practitioner? Do some training with a marker? Just train my front kicks? Create a better plan?

5/17/2004 1:44pm,
You WANNA get stabbed in the leg ??

WingChun Lawyer
5/17/2004 1:48pm,
Originally posted by ronin69
You WANNA get stabbed in the leg ??

OK, I admit that wouldn´t help the second part of the plan (running away). But what about front kicks aimed at the attacker´s legs? Those would certainly be harder to counter with a knife (unless we are talking about a machete here, of course).

5/17/2004 1:50pm,
Rule #1: if you are gonna assume, assume that the other guy KNOWS how to fight, NOT that he is an idiot.

5/17/2004 1:53pm,
eminently sensible Ronin,

the only thing i would add, just to be explicit would be to stress that the attacker should always strive to do things that are realistic, like trying to control you, grab and strike with his free limbs

working things like having the attacker conceal the knife, in his hand (so you cant tell which hand) or to suddenly pull a training knife during normal sparring are probably good too

5/17/2004 1:55pm,
rule #2 ---- any knife encounter is an attempt on your life, the attacker should be completely inacapacitated, you MUST train this

5/17/2004 1:55pm,
Good drills, thanks.

5/17/2004 1:57pm,
Front kicking may not be the best course of action. Might end up with a few cuts that would prohibit running should the chance arise. :)

One other thing to consider in regards to attacking the limb/controlling the knife. If you are worried about trying to control the knife, you could lose sight of the other fist and or feet. Yes, while I realize that big tough guys would rather take a punch than be stabbed, that punch may be enough to cause you to lose the knife which would then be free to stab/cut. I'm not saying it is bad, just take into consideration the other "weapons". This may be one reason why other people advocate controlling the person and his space rather than the weapon. If I control him through balance or my positioning, he can't really cut me without reorienting, which will be slower than my attacks if I am in a good space.

Another thing to consider, there is NO dancing around looking for the opening. You create it. You have to be commited and agressive. Trying to slap his hand or bouncing around to "dodge" will probably end up messy.

5/17/2004 1:58pm,
WCL: Low kicks like trying to sweep or reap the leg may work depending on how fast they are thrown and the skill of the knife man. But anything higher is asking for trouble. If the guy is skilled he could offline and slice at teh leg you are giving him. If his not so skilled he may just slash wildly at the leg as it comes in. Either way that leg is more than likely to get cut. if however, giving him the leg is your set up for something more I'd suggest avoid sacrificing the inner thigh because there are some mager arteries there.

Ronin: I'd add having a plan. Know what you are doing because you don't want to check the knife hand successfully then lose a moment because the fact you got it surprised you (I'm not explaining that well but I've seen it happen.).

If you do end up grasping the knife hand be it by intercepting then limb manipulation, grappling or taking a shot(not advised but sometimes you have no choice *) try to get the thumb lock. Practice it, it will become natural. Clamping the guys own hand around the weapon is often unexpected a nd them holding it is good, grip or tear at the bicep and force their arm to bend. Give their knife back to them by using their arm. Twist their knife hand down towards the inside of the wrist while controling the elbow so the arm goes no where. You should be able to stick their blade in their stomach or side. if you feel it necessary raise the arm with the elbow and shove the blade in their face/throat.

Far from easy though the benefit of this is your prints aren't on the knife.

* expect to get cut. It is more than likely you will. No real way to train for that, but preparing mentally can help. If you do get cut, capitalise on it. Explode and look to get your thumb or fingers in the guys eyes.

Always keep the knife hand in check, devastate the arm at the earliest oppotunity and never lose track of where the weapon is or indeed his live hand.

Skilled vs unskilled. It doesn't really matter. I often think it doesn't matter with or without a weapon, for example you know 4 ways punch(skilled) the other guy knows he has a fist and his focus is hitting you with it. While you select a punch his punching. With a weapon its even worse, so just exploding and not worrying about technique to much helps. Again i doubt I explained that well.

5/17/2004 2:14pm,
fight in the dark ...

most fights occur in the evening under street lamps at best ...

being able to see the knife or not ... makes a HUGE difference ...

5/18/2004 2:39am,
would it be an acceptable strategy to use an article of clothing to tie the knife up?

5/18/2004 3:17am,
Interesting comments so far, a lot of good points.

Just to play devils advocate, why necessarily go the the side with the knife? If you control at the other arm you can keep the knife away from you through simple body mechanics... e.g. if he's holding it in his right hand, if you get the left shoulder to rotate forward the right shoulder has to go back.

Take a look at this clip of a waza called gekken (moon liver). It's a toe kick to the liver, the arm is locked straight and cranked up as the shoulder is brought forward and down (o-gyaku, great reversal). Applied to the off-hand, the idea here is to keep the knife away from you while taking him face down so he can never use the weapon. The opening punch has very little to do with this kata so ignore that, look at it from the point where the two fighters have come to grips and imagine the "attacker" with a knife in his left hand in this case.


I agree Drunkenj, its interesting to hide some weapons on your person during training and pull it out from time to time. I want to get other people doing this more often here, you should develop a sense for when someone is going for a weapon.

5/18/2004 3:46am,
*consideres his checkered past with knife threads* .. oh, what the hell.

I was doing knife drills with a BJJ/JKD/FMA guy a while back in a class. The drill consisted of a sticking hands type pre-arranged combination of blocking a downward stab with your same side arm, using your other arm to brush his arm to your inside and then coming up over it to stab with your knife. This was repeated over and over. I've drilled against knives but it wasn't based on anything as complicated as that, just freestyle sparring and drills. Anyway, here is what I'm asking about: This guy brought the knife down in horror flick fashion as we were told and my natural reaction was to catch his arm with both hands near the wrist and elbow. If I were to finish what I started instead of realizing that I got the drill wrong and resetting -- then this would have been immediately followed with me tugging his arm for resistance as I slid a chop into that side of his neck while stepping in for the cross punch. That would be followed by any number of courses of action. If he threw a hook with his other arm I'd replace the chop with a stop hit to that shoulder. Anyway, upon grabbing the guy's arm his reaction was, "Oh, you never want to do that."

Now, I understand that there is a risk that he could turn his wrist and slice at your arm but he could do that just as easily if you block like we were doing in the drill. For me, the grab was only used to stop the arm in place and slightly parry it on my advance to the head. I wasn't just going to stand there holding it for any length of time. Anyway, I use grabs in knife defenses all the time. I don't see what the big deal is about grabbing the knife arm. This kid went on to explain that you should never grab the guy's arm or wrist on a knife defense. I don't agree with that. By the time this guy turned the knife down into my wrist it would be gone and he'd have been punched two or three times in the face. Other grabs can be used with a tug to set him up for a dissarm, be it a striking dissarm or grappling.

Q.) Is that some kind of FMA rule? Do FMA people teach that you should never grab the guy's knife arm or is it JKD or who? If so, why?

5/18/2004 3:53am,
Originally posted by manchuria
would it be an acceptable strategy to use an article of clothing to tie the knife up?

Improvised weaponary is always an option. As for 'acceptable', anything that works is acceptable. You can practically disable the use of nun-chucku by throwing a jacket/scarf over them. They get tangled in the material.

Swamping the knife with your coat may buy you precious seconds. What did you have in mind?

5/18/2004 4:11am,
Basically taking off whatever is on my top half (usually able to do this in a blink of an eye, im not a formal dresser:P) either bundling it and smothering the blade or holding one end in each hand and wrapping it around the blade and arm, then move to at least take the arm and keep it from stabbing me, hopefully locking it and snapping it.