The basics of knife "defense"

Discussion in 'Self Defence' started by aml01_ph, Feb 19, 2006.

  1. aml01_ph

    aml01_ph Urrgggh...

    Although there are a lot of ways that you can defend against a knife, every technique is based on the same principle. These are:

    1. Be in control. This involves assessing whether it is worth the risk of confronting a knife or not and if yes, maintaining enough control of the knife to not let it stick in you. On your part it will take strength, tehnique, and obviously smarts.

    2. Accept losses.. It is the unfortuante thruth that in knife fights it is very likely that you will get hurt in some way. However, should you know your stuff, you can at least control where and how you are hurt.

    When already engaged in a knife encounter, remember that you lose much of any control when you run.
  2. rubberband

    rubberband Valued Member

    interesting points... my philosophy goes as follows...

    1. run! at the first notion of a knife being involved... you don't lose control by running... you negate the weapons advantage and have a greater chance of survival... if you are already engaged then you shouldn't run... which is what I think you were getting at

    2. if you can't run get a longer weapon and keep opponent away until you can run or safely gain control... chair, breifcase, umbrella, belt, purse, broom, etc...

    3. use foot work and angle to give you leverage and beat weapon hand downward and inward as you move around opponent to escape and run or gain control with a lock or disarm

    and the golden rule: if you have to engage think only of gaining control... never think about getting cut...

    take care, steve
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2006
  3. aml01_ph

    aml01_ph Urrgggh...

    Yes. My problem with running when already engaged is that the other guy maybe good enough to throw tha knife at you.

    Gain control and accept the likelihood of injury. This is a good point though. Thinking too much about getting cut may get the knife in the wrong place for you.

    Thanks for the comments.
  4. Matt_Bernius

    Matt_Bernius a student and a teacher

    Here we go again. I will once again suggest two types of knife confrontations:

    1. The knife is shown before physical conflict. If this is the case you should comply, within reason, in an attempt to prevent a physical altercation. There are of course limits. But in this scenario, the knife is most likely being used as an intimidation tool first and foremost.

    2. You don't know the knife is in play until it enters the physical conflict. The sad fact of this one is that you probably find out when you find yourself bleeding or stabbed. The fact of the matter is that a knife is an assassin's weapon and if a person really wants you hurt, they ain't going to show you the knife (or let you know you are being attacked) until it's too late for you to do something.

    Now if things should go to a confrontation, and you are aware of the weapon in play then this needs to be your strategy:

    1. Get off the line of the weapon's attack (and preferably outside of weapon range).

    2. Control the weapon to prevent it from reentering combat.

    3. Punish the core of the body as rapidly and definatively as possible.

    4. Disarm if necessary.

    Between each step, if the escape line exists, you take it and run for your life. Period. The longer you stay in and fight, the less chance you have of making it out in one peice.

    As far as worrying about someone throwing the knife into you. My feeling is don't worry about that. The cruel fact is, if this person is good enough to hit a running target with a knife under duress, then they have most likely already fatally stabbed you in the back before you knew what was going on.

    The average joe, who will let you make room to get away, can't hit the broadside of a barn with a gun, let alone tactically throw a knife and hit you.

    - Matt
  5. freak

    freak Valued Member

    1. turn your hands so that the back of your hands are facing the knife holder so that if you get cut it wont be near the wrists...tuck your elbows in so they protect your midsection

    2. when the attacker jabs, side step and get control of his arm

    3. slide down to his wrist and use the other hand to push down on his arm, push his wrist back to disarm him of the knife

    4. when on the ground, put one knee on the back of his shoulder and have his arm up on your other knee.

    5. keep him like that till help arrives and you can get someone to call the police

    if your faced in a situation like this just relax and try not to think to much, just act....remember, you only have one chance to get it done
  6. aml01_ph

    aml01_ph Urrgggh...

    Ok. Your post basically agrees with mine on the issue of control

    An escape line will exist when you have better control of the situation. The more control you have the more options you got.

    True which is why I stress the issue of control.

    The problem is, in my experience the average joe doesn't make room for you to run especially when he has the advantage of a weapon. As to him not accurate with a thrown knife, I don't want to risk on his (or her) dumb luck.

  7. The Kestrel

    The Kestrel Valued Member

    the best is not engaging Knife vs Knife.
    I once made an experiment:
    a friend and me had some wooden sticks that had a knife-like shape. We had some black paint and we covered the "edge" with the fresh paint. when we engaged.
    in 10 secs of brawl we were full of black stripes.
  8. WatchfulAbyss

    WatchfulAbyss Active Member

    I have done the same but we bought lipstic, the outcome was bad for both.....
  9. Freeform

    Freeform Fully operational War-Pig Supporter

    Guys, why is this in the Articles forum?

    Do you want me to move it somewhere else, because I don't see any articles? :confused:
  10. Nomadwanders

    Nomadwanders Valued Member

    Not to mention, if they throw the knife at you, they've probably just disarmed themselves, and possibly provided you with a weapon in turn.

    Most knives are not weighted properly for throwing and will have a decided tendency to hit with the non-pointy part first.

    If you're going to throw a weapon, you'd better be very very sure of your ability to hit your target and cause damage, which puts the attacker in Matt's super-ninja-you're-dead-before-you-knew-he-was-in-the-room category.
  11. DCombatives

    DCombatives Valued Member

    Matt's post is on point. With any weapon, you have redirect the line of attack, counter attack, control the weapon, and then finish the fight. Regardless of what terminology you want use, or which order you control or counter, those four things are a prerequisite for any successful knife defense. My basic rule of thumb is counter attack early and often. No one stabs a person once, they've already decided to stick you multiple times. The only way to stop that is to "short circuit" their thought process, generally by smacking the ever living crap out them. That's why I favor countering before trying to control, although a small degree of control is required to redirect at the outset. In my particular experience, the right straight to the nose put the guy on his back and I had to scramble to keep control of the weapon while he fell.
  12. Slindsay

    Slindsay All violence is necessary

    The basics of knife defence can be remembered by HMW

  13. Matt_Bernius

    Matt_Bernius a student and a teacher

    Great points. Sometimes where I write this out do it in a few more steps:

    1. Get off the line of the weapon's attack (and preferably outside of weapon range).

    2. Check the weapon to know where it is.

    3. Disrupt the attack (strike fast)

    4. Control the weapon to prevent it from reentering combat.

    5. Punish the core of the body as rapidly and definatively as possible (Strike fast - strike hard - show no mercy.

    6. Disarm if necessary.


    Needless to say, I have an inherent distrust of any response that disarms a weapon or heavily manipulates a body before striking

    - Matt
  14. DCombatives

    DCombatives Valued Member

    Something I always tell my students is that the "steps" really can't be done in a linear, checklist fashion. They overlap, kinda like lego building blocks. One thing initiates while another is being accomplished, and the third initiates before the second is finished, etc.
  15. Matt_Bernius

    Matt_Bernius a student and a teacher

    A great and very insightful build. I totally agree and need to append my way of writing about this.

    - Matt
  16. aml01_ph

    aml01_ph Urrgggh...

    I wrote it as an article. The reason why it was this short was because I wanted to present a strategy and mentality that would encompass the whole, myriad range of techniques used to survive knife attacks.

    (scratch head)

    But in restrospect, it is kind of ... very short huh?

    Or any other part where it hurts. :)

    Got another one for you:


  17. SCP_Kensei


    One scenario that has been ommitted thus far:

    1: The Knife is shown before confrontation (as described by Matt Bernius). Comlpiance/running would normallybe your first eoption except when:
    You have a vulnerable person with you who lacks the ability to leg it (partner...esp pregnant)
    You are at home with your family, what is he doing to them whilst you comply with his demands at control (lying tied up onthe floor, or having run out the front door).
    You are in a position where escape following compliance is unlikely....If you can run as soon as he has your wallet then chances are hes going to attack you after he has said wallet/cellphone. In this situation use of subterfuge and the pre-emptive strike may be the only thing saving you/your loved ones from serious injury/death

    (sorry if my writing is a little disjointed i'm really Ill at the moment.)

    In this age of "Happy Slapping" in the UK, running/compliance is increasingly becoming the last option, not the first.
    Last edited: Feb 26, 2006
  18. gnuguy

    gnuguy New Member

    One of the best things I've been taught for situations when the knife is presented and you have no opportunity to run is to make sure you don't give ground if the attacker has some control and "stalks" you. This does two things, it allows you to concentrate on the attack and not worry about what your feet are doing. It may also throw off your attacker since they are probably used to people trying to get away from the knife.

    As far as the defense goes, if you know them arm locks and wrist locks are what I've learned is best. Never try and throw someone with a knife!

    Anyway, I've never used this in practice but's it's what I've been taught and what works best for me on the mats.
  19. DCombatives

    DCombatives Valued Member

    I was recently introduced to a great way to train knife defenses. Use a stun gun. Not a Taser with the shooting probes, but a contact stun gun. Training with a rubber knife just isn't the same. The stun gun hurts so you know when you failed, but it doesn't cause any real harm while the pucker factor goes thru the roof just like it would for a real blade. Good stuff.
  20. Gajah Silat

    Gajah Silat Ayo berantam!

    Stun gun shaped like a knife! Now there's an idea :)

    Personally I don't like those rubber training knives. You cannot push or pull with the blade.

    I prefer good hardwood or aluminium-you get a bruise to remind you how many times you got 'cut' & the ones on your torso tell you how many times you got killed ;) .

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