Knife Defence Highlight #1
Note: I wrote an entire book on knife defence called “Watch Out For The Pointy End” so these are snippets and highlights only.
#1 While not set in stone pretty much……
As human beings we like things to be consistent and we like absolute statements. It is no different in self defence or knife defence. People like to make absolute statements: People don’t attack from a distance, they don’t come at you over hand, just give them your wallet and they will leave.
However, like other self defence there are no absolutes in knife defence either. For every absolute statement that something will never happen there is a video of someone doing it. I read an article about a study where the writer claimed no law enforcement officers are ever charged from a distance by a person with a knife. Sadly, a quick search will bring up a number of clips showing the writer was entirely wrong.
The best defence against is to run away. I do not disagree and in my book it is the first option for civilians; however, it is not always an option because your escape route might be blocked or you may not choose to escape leaving your two year old to deal with the bad guy.
So, keeping in mind there are no absolutes there are; however, some “more likely” knife assaults.
In a criminal action a knife usually serves two main purposes: intimidation and to do grievous bodily harm including death.
The approach to each purpose is very different.
If they want to intimidate you then they want you to see the knife and they want to see them and pay attention to them telling you what it is they need.
If they want to hurt or kill you then they do not want you to see the knife or them, and they have no need to communicate, they do not want a fight or resistance, in fact they want it to be all over before you know it was happening – an ambush.
If you were to play the roll of the bad guy and intended to do someone great harm how would you approach them and carry it out?
Think about it for a moment before reading on.
If you don’t want them to see the knife it has to be tucked out of sight but still quickly useable.
If you don’t want to be seen, then from behind is best and the side the next best but not from the front.
If you don’t want resistance or a fight, then using your non-weapon hand to grab and control your intended victim makes tactical sense.
If you want it over before they know it is happening, then you want to do it fast and brutal. You want the blade to thrust in and out as quickly as you can do it.
And if you look at that list you have the common approach to an all-out knife assault. It will be from behind or the side. You will be grabbed by the non-weapon arm. The attack will be with small, short, quick sewing machine like stabs.
Not all knife assaults are like this but the most dangerous are.
Those are the attacks my book deals with last. I deal with it last because just as you learn to hit a baseball by having it lobbed in to build the skills you need for a fast ball, you need the skills and the ability to read what is happening in a knife assault to give you a chance to survive it.
Highlight #1 is that there are no absolutes in a knife assault but if you prepare for the worst you have a greater chance dealing with the rest.