Knife Defence is tough so getting it right is important
This is for those who have my knife defence book “Watch Out For The Pointy End.” I say that because I want to talk about a couple of the details in making things work; therefore, you need the book to know what I am referring to.
The book has 21 principles listed that you employ to make a fairly simple technique work. But like all things when facing a knife, nothing is all that simple.
I won’t go into detail here because it is all in book but our goal is to survive. There are four strategies to survive. Two require gaining distance from the Aggressor: Escape and Propel and deploy (grab) a weapon. Two require closing on the Aggressor: Disable and Control.
Unless you can escape or deploy a weapon before the assault, which is not always possible because the best way to make a knife assault successful is to take you by surprise, you will have to have at minimum a brief engagement with the Aggressor.
Under the two sets of tactics to survive a knife assault, Distancing Tactics and Closing tactics the first tactic is the same: “Avoid while intercepting the attack.”
Let’s face it if in that first horrific instance of the assault you do not get stabbed then you have a moment to make things better because the Aggressor’s approach of an ambush has failed. So getting that first tactic right is vital.
The first half of the tactic is “avoid” and that is done through rotation. This is the first thing I want to talk about to make sure those working with the book succeed. A common flaw is to not rotate enough. We want to end facing empty space.
How do I know if I haven’t rotated enough? Two questions will answer that:
1. Are your feet pointed at the Aggressor? If so then you are not rotated enough, and the tendency is to then move in the direction of your feet which will be into the Aggressor’s structure and base making the next move a fight.
2. Are you looking at the Aggressor? This one may sound weird, but we tend to move to what we are looking at. My friend Rick Bottomley worked in Africa for a while and once when travelling on a road he saw one single tree, no other trees anywhere, AND a Land Rover that had crashed into it. How do you run into the one tree in the entire landscape? You’re looking at it thinking by looking at it you will avoid it and the opposite is true. If you are looking right at the Aggressor, then you are not only likely also facing them but your next move will be into their structure rather than empty space, again making the next move a fight.
This is the first thing we must get right – avoid the attack. We do so by conditioning in that rotation off the line of the attack. Make sure you have rotated so that your feet are NOT pointed at the Aggressor but into empty space. Don’t look back at the Aggressor, look where you want to go next.
Rotating far enough then makes the next tactic work without a fight.