Is there an absolute answer in Knife Defence?

Answer – no.

I wrote a book on knife defence but if you expected me to say there is an absolute answer to knife defence – just read my book, you’d be wrong.

I see a number of clips criticising other approaches, most often to promote the poster’s own approach. I’m not into that, particularly when I see things like “this is why Aikido fails” and then they show some guy in a Hakama trying to reach out and grab a waving wrist. Nowhere have I ever seen an Aikidoka try and reach out to grab a non-threatening wrist. I have often said if you perform a technique wrong then don’t be surprised it failed.

I’ve seen a clip where a talent practitioner said never, NEVER in a knife assault will it be from the front and from a distance, and that was followed by clips of real knife assaults in which three were from the front and two of those were from a distance.

Knife defence is a really tough topic. You’re facing a person with a tool that can inflict a lot of damage and you are trying to deal with them without a tool.

Knife defence is complicated. People are different and different approaches will resonate with different individuals.

One Peace Officer I was talking to had successfully defended himself three times in a knife assault by grabbing hold of the weapon arm’s bicep and slamming the Aggressor to the ground. I couldn’t critic that officer’s approach because it worked for him and that is fine for him but never extend what works for you to someone else. He was also a big strong guy. Another female Peace Officer I was teaching commented the grab the bicep approach didn’t work for her because her hands weren’t big enough to even grab the average man’s bicep. So, again, because we are all different it makes sense different techniques will better suit different people.

However, there are underlying principles that can be applied to all approaches. Those are the true value we can look for in any approach that should carry over to all approaches and improve them regardless of the techniques used.

That is something I think my book “Watch Out For The Pointy End” can contribute to the body of knife defence material. The book goes into detail on some of the principles I use in self defence that I feel can apply to any system, style or technique. I truly believe that they can enhance anyone’s performance.

There is a technique to use in knife defence in my book for two reasons: first, you need a technique to hang principles on or to illustrate the principles, and two if you do not already have an approach to deal with knife defence then this gives one.

My book is not intended to say this technique is better than everyone else’s; it is just an attempt to help out with a truly difficult and dangerous topic in self defence.