Knife Defence

I am hoping within two to three weeks “Watch Out for the Pointy End: Knife Defence Manual to Assist in Training Citizens, Law Enforcement and Security Personnel” will be finally out.

The best way to describe knife is a really bad situation with no absolutes, no good answers only better options.

Anyone who says, “this always happens” or “this never happens” in knife defence is wrong.

If someone wants to knife you and knows what they are doing they usually will come from the back or side and grab you with one hand and use sewing machine-like stabs with the knife. And that is a real problem but there are options. It doesn’t mean that is the only way you will be attacked.

I saw a clip of a guy saying NEVER, NEVER will some one attack you from a distance and from the front and then he followed his comments with a few clips of real knife assaults and TWO of them were from a distance and from the front.

Jim Carrey did a skit on “you attacked me wrong” with an overhand knife attack and everyone laughed and agreed no one attacks with a knife that way. Wrong. Lots and lots of clips of overhand assaults. In fact, one newer assault on the street is an overhand with the elbow kept in tight to the body and over hand sewing machine stabs.

We have to understand there are many ways to attack with a knife. Yes, showing a knife is normally for intimidation for either stuff (resource predator) or you (process predator) and ussually complying with the demand for a wallet means no assault but I just saw a clip of a guy not complying quickly enough and the Aggressor’s encouragement was to stab him and prompt him to hurry. A total of four stabs. Again, no absolutes.

But this doesn’t mean we can’t try to find a way to deal with it.

I designed a seminar and taught it at the 2017 Alberta Peace Officer’s Annual Conference. My book is more of a manual for that seminar but with more background material than can be presented in a seminar. It begins with a lot of background on knife uses, what to be aware or, and (with permission) a way to mentally prepare before hand and for your training using Rory Miller’s approach:

1. Goals dictate strategy.
2. Strategy dictates tactics.
3. Tactics dictate techniques

The book goes into how to use this to set out what you want to do and what to focus your training on.

The book goes into the principles for efficiency I use and shows where they apply in the knife defence technique.

The book progresses with drills from attacks farther away and bigger so you can see more and have more time which means you have time to learn. Then using drills to gather some skills the distance shortens until at the end they and right up close in bad breath range grabbing you and stabbing.

It also deals with situations where you have been taken off guard and they have the knife on you to intimidate you.

It also deals with improvised weapons because one of the tactics is to distance and grab a weapon.

One major factor is there are training drills to learn and operant conditioning drills to build tactical habits.

It has been a labour of love and sweat and sometimes blood. I have been at it for a long time since the day a good friend and I found some training knives in the dojo and quickly learned being a black belt meant nothing against a person a knife. Rory Miller says humans are tool users and the person with the knife has the better tool. You might be able to take the hardest hit in the world but when you add a few inches of steel that all changes.

I find knife defence keeps me humble and in touch with what can and cannot be done and … man it is just great training because it teaches so much about all aspects of self defence. Okay it is fun too.