Knife Defence Highlight #4

Note: I wrote an entire book on knife defence called “Watch Out For The Pointy End” so these are snippets and highlights only.

#4 Do the work

For this post I am going to be using specific examples from my book; however, I believe the general message of this post is applicable to all knife defence approaches and self defence for that matter.

Whether you are doing the system in my book, or Martial Blades Concepts (MBC) taught here in Edmonton by two friends of mine Paul Hunter and Rhonda Lynn or another friend, Randy King’s, KPC knife defence system I think all would agree that you have to do the work.

What I mean by “do the work” is that going to a seminar or a few classes to learn how to protect yourself from a knife is the start and an excellent start. But it is just the first step.

If you do not belong to a self defence club or a martial arts school where you have friends built in to practice with later then I highly recommend that you get a few willing friends to do the seminar with you so that you can form a training group to practice afterwards.

And that is the key – practice after the learning.

You can be shown knife defence in a ½ day or day long seminar or a two-day seminar – the two day is my preference because I can go into details on how to practice to condition the responses the best.

In that time you will see the information needed if the instructor is a competent one and the three I listed are all very competent. But all you will have is an intellectual glimpse of the material and exposure to the practice you need to do. You will not of had time to really instill inside you what you may need to have when chaos hits. Perhaps some of it may happen but when you’re dealing with a knife assault you need more – my opinion.

Therefore, after the seminar get together with friends (best if they were there too and had the training) and work the drills you were shown.

In my book I focused on three stages. The first was learning the material where you could stop and check to see if you were in the right place and doing the right things. This is just reviewing the material and working on understanding what you are doing and why you are doing it.

In my book I also have skill set drills (I am sure the other approaches have them too). In these drills I separate from the overall response a very specific skill you are going to need in a micro moment. I have a “Tactical Sensitivity” Drill the purpose of which is teaching you to read the attack. Far too often people move into the path of the blade simply because they do not know how to avoid it. This drill helps people learn where that blade is going to cut them and how they might move to mitigate that from happening. I have another drill called “The Hand Drill” where you take that information farther to begin to manipulate the attack. These drills focus on specific skills.

Also in my book I also have Operant Conditioning Drills. This is where all the learning and skill set drills bring you. This is the most important step – the last one. Here you want to use these drills to build the response set out in my book into tactical habits. If you build these correctly you can take your chances of surviving the knife attack, particularly the initial attack, to a new level. Without this practice, without doing this work then you may or may not do what you were hoping to.

Do the learning. Do the skill set drills. Do the operant conditioning drills. Do the work. It doesn’t matter what system or approach you use – do the work and your chances of survival will go way up.

In the new year I will hopefully be doing a seminar for Shawn Baker’s CTSS people and be getting together with them once a month afterwards to work with anyone whose been to the seminar to – do the work.

Do the work no matter who you train with or what system you use – do the work.