Using a knife to grapple/hook

Discussion in 'Weapons' started by Southpaw535, Sep 28, 2014.

  1. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    While enjoying this fellow's videos and generally having my views of historical combat challenged, he mentions the use of an ice pick grip to facilitate grappling with and controlling opponents.

    Around 3:30

    [ame=""]Knives and daggers held point up and point down - martial arts - YouTube[/ame]

    I've had a search on youtube for some examples but it only brings up clips of people teaching how to grapple with knife wielders in a self defence scenario. So I was wondering if anyone here has any sources they could share with examples of this sort of thing?
  2. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

  3. Dean Winchester

    Dean Winchester Valued Member



    [ame=""]Karambit Blade Work With Doug Marcaida - YouTube[/ame]

    I went and got a training karambit for the purpose of "playing" with it using the waza from my kumi uchi.
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2014
  4. Southpaw535

    Southpaw535 Well-Known Member Moderator Supporter

    You're wonderful people
  5. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    The Codex Wallerstein has lots of using a dagger as a grappling aid. Here's a video of it.

    [ame=""]Codex Wallerstein - dagger section - YouTube[/ame]

  6. Kurtka Jerker

    Kurtka Jerker Valued Member

    Historically I don't know but in practice I have a much harder time disarming an ice pick grip in grappling. Outside of grappling, I feel much less threatened by it than the conventional grip and I feel much more limited when using it.
    This may be down to me favoring the right cross and playing the range game more than the actual limitations of the grips.
  7. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Ice pick is more specialised. So less people will be able to use it effectively, but those who can will have an advantage in close range.
  8. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    With regards to the icepick grip, we have to remember the context of its use. The question becomes "why did they use the icepick grip?"

    Firstly, we have to look at how weapons were carried back then. If you were carrying a sword around, it would be on your non-dominant hip, and the dagger on your dominant hip or more towards the rear, hilt facing the dominant hand. This makes an icepick grip the easiest way to draw your dagger in a hurry.

    Secondly, what did people wear? At that time, Europe was in a "mini ice age" and it was cooler than it is now. That meant heavier clothing which is more resistant to cuts. The best way to penetrate heavy clothing is with a descending thrust. This is best done in an icepick grip. This is magnified when the opponent is lightly armoured or is wearing maille. Plate armour is best dealt with on the ground, where the icepick grip is useful. For example, a common technique was to immobilize the opponent much like a BJJ crucifix, but with your non-dominant hand controlling the opponent's hand and deploying the dagger with your other one to the opponent's groin. Note that the body positioning keeps the opponent from seeing what you're doing.

    Thirdly, let's look at the weapon itself. A typical dagger was the rondell. It's primarily a thrusting weapon. While they did have one or two sharpened edges, they don't cut like a kukri. Most rondell cuts seem to be to the inside of the wrists, with the killing blows being thrusts. Icepick grip is good for those powerful thrusts.

    They did use the forward grip as well though, and there were a variety of dagger types. George Silver (I think) mentioned that in a duel, use the forward grip. And let's not forget that the rondell was often used in the "half-sword" grip for parrying.

  9. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I wouldn't say it's more specialized really. Everyone who spends any time training with a knife gravitates toward icepick, largely thanks to pop culture references. Even to the point where countless sources (including actual teachers) have said that you needn't worry about a knife-wielding assailant if he ISN'T using icepick. Which is patently absurd.

    Yeah, there are certainly maneuvers available in icepick beyond the general slashing and "psycho shower scene" movements. But that's true of standard grip as well. There are advantages to regular grip as well, even at close range. For one thing, it's a good deal easier to keep the blade pointing outward between you and the other guy without lifting an elbow awkwardly and exposing your important bits in the process.
  10. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    Controlling opponents with a knife? I think the PTK guys just stab people with the knife and use the handle as a...handle and control them that way. Nothing I can find on youTube etc though. Maybe Blindside can help out there.

    As for knife position...What would Vu do?

    From 04:40

    [ame=""]Paul Vunak Knife Philosophy - YouTube[/ame]
  11. Simon

    Simon Back once again Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Couldn't agree more.

    You disarm the person, not the knife.
  12. Brian R. VanCis

    Brian R. VanCis Valued Member

    Absolutely Simon.
  13. blindside

    blindside Valued Member

    One of the reasons PTK often advocates reverse grip edge in for smaller knives is the ability to rip backward toward yourself at close range, but that requires the "hook" to land first. If that hook does land then it offers up the direct ability to minupulate or in addition to the cut. If you look at the traditional knife tapping, the downward press and pass of the knife, it is facilitated by the reverse grip of the knife. Some of the first "techniques" taught involve hooking of the neck with the knife to set up head and arm takedowns (or simply really vicious ripping cuts.) Hooks to the tricep to help set up hammerlocks, hooks to the back of the knee for takedowns, it is all in there.
  14. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    Thanks Blindside - I've only dabbled in PTK but I remembered hooking and controlling being a bit of a "thing" in the system.
  15. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    some likes from Zaad! A new convert, Z? :)
  16. Simon

    Simon Back once again Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    He wants to be ready come the 2015 Mini-Meet. :D
  17. Bozza Bostik

    Bozza Bostik Antichrist on Button Moon

    Not with a knife I hope! ;)
  18. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    what ive seen of PTK i really like. stuff like using knives to control the folds of joints
    i wondered why they use the ice pick grip, makes more sense now
    i dont know if what its like considering FMAs spanish influence, the draw of a blade might have european influence

    that style of drawing was apparently also implemented by the brits in the india and made drawing very different (traditionally blades were stored at various angles within folds of clothing)
  19. blindside

    blindside Valued Member

    Well, the PTK system is pretty thorough in its examination of bladed weapons, so there is plenty of forward grip training as well. The "knife tapping" drill I mentioned has two sides, one is the counter-offensive pakal (reverse) grip whose job is to hook, press, and pass the knife, the other side is offensive use of the forward grip whose job is to thrust, feint and draw to slash the countering motion. I'd be pretty leery about assigning an origin to any particular aspect.
  20. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    It's more specialised because it is more difficult, for a number of reasons already mentioned in this thread, including the one you just gave above.

    For hooking, it is a mechanical physiological fact that you have a much stronger leaver from the little finger end of your hand than the thumb end. But I presume you must already know that, being a student of a knife art.

    [edit: just re-read this and it could appear sparky. It's not meant to be, it's meant in the spirit of good-natured debate :)

    My point is that, when grappling, you have more options with reverse grip. I completely agree that neither grip is necessarily better than the other, and the knife-wielders who are best are the ones who you never get to see what grip they used.]
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014

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