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Knife fighting vs being attacked

Discussion in 'Tactics and Training' started by mercop, Feb 16, 2010.

  1. mercop


    Jul 10, 2002
    Just got back from teaching Spontaneous Attack Survival for Edged Weapons at the Southwest Alabama Police Academy. Had officers from AL, FL, and MS. They all varied in shape, size, age, background, and time on the job. The class is how we teach open hand combatives against all attacks because if you train against the knife you will fair much better against open hand and impact weapons as well. You do not get to write the script for your altercation, your attacker and Murphy's Law have that job.

    A few key points we started off with that were backed up by the hundreds of years of investigative experience in the class. Seldom does the victim ever see the knife, many people report thinking they were being punched. Here is the biggest failure of "knife fighting" ideas that are not pressure tested. It is usually a visible weapon would provoke you to draw a weapon. Since you don't see a weapon then you are likely to not have your own weapon out. Second, it takes the average person 3/4 of a second to process a specific visual stimulus. This means that if your training is based on seeing the weapon you will be cut or stabbed long before you could deploy your own deadly force option.

    The key is to first use Constant Tactical Positioning which is the ongoing principle of putting yourself in the best position to limit your attackers physical ability to attack you by exploiting distance, movement, and physical barriers. Translates to them not having a shot on you, and if they want to make one it takes lots of preparatory movement on their part, which allows you more time to defend.

    The second step is to be decisive and get away if you can, if you cannot then you need to press the attack and attack their central nervous system and structural system (collar bones, elbow, and knees) with explosive violence until they cannot hold a tool in their hand or stand up. This means no locks, no pressure points. You fight them to the ground, until they are no longer a threat. It is not a contest, you fight like a cat to get away, not like a dog to win. Because the trophy is your life, not a belt, plaque, or slap on the back from your instructor.

    You have to consider at what point would you have your own knife or gun out. What would provoke that. The myth of the dual that persists in the "knife fighting" community only serves to impede reality based training.

    Respond to preparatory/ furtive movements
    Suppress/redirect the attack
    Move to the outside
    Control the weapon arm above and blow the elbow
    Attack the head, collar bones, knees, and elbows
    Leave the area when it is safe to do

    - George
  2. whoflungdo


    Jul 15, 2008

    I am one of George's students from this class. George is an excellent instructor. His techniques and class persona gives the students the ability to pick up what he is teaching quickly. George starts off with a solid foundation that allows the student to build from each scenario to the next. The techniques are not one time lessons only to be used in one scenario. They can be used in almost all encounters and a many situations. His FOF sessions allow the student to see how his techniques work in real-time, real-world situations.

    The class is worth more than what we paid for it.

  3. k-lo


    Apr 17, 2009
    Las Vegas, NV
    excellent summary. i like the part "It is not a contest, you fight like a cat to get away, not like a dog to win. Because the trophy is your life, not a belt, plaque, or slap on the back from your instructor."
  4. mixflip


    Mar 4, 2009
    I'd love to take a class like that. I think LEO's are probably more at risk of a stealthy knife attack than a gun since knives are small and thin and easy to conceal and are devastating if employed by even a marginaly skilled assailant. Plus knife culture is probably more accepted as normal when seen carrying a knife vs carrying a gun.

    I cant count how many times I see folks carry a knife clipped in a pocket.

    Cops should take assault by knives more serious.
  5. Jeepnik


    Mar 5, 2008
    Once again, George nails it. You don't quit because it isn't an option.
  6. JohnN

    JohnN Millennium Member

    Jan 9, 1999
    Great post George. Way to many folks on gun forums want to make it all about the gun but a lot of what happens depends on what you do before your weapon is ever accessed. One force on force class will change your mind about many preconceived notions. George is an excellent instructor and I would highly recommend him.
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2010
  7. Max1775

    Max1775 Marine Infidel

    Oct 1, 2009
    Helotes, Texas
    Nice post. I'd like to have a lot more training in that area...
  8. mercop


    Jul 10, 2002
    Hey, I want to come to TX:)
  9. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

    Mar 26, 2003
    Good post Mercop.

    I am not a cop. I've been stabbed 3 times, once very seriously, and have used a knife myself on a couple of occasions to bring a deadly threat against me to cessation.

    I know a lot of gun guys (cops, non cops) who say they'd much rather face a gun than a knife. Me? I'll face a knife over a gun anyday...and I've faced both.

  10. btmj


    Feb 4, 2010
    No disrespect, and I mean that, but.... what the hell? you have been stabbed 3 times, you have defended yourself successfully with both a knife and with a firearm. You are still alive, and you are not in prison.... ???

    Where do you live, and what do you do for a living? Your lifestyle or profession is off-the-chart dangerous. I personally know big-city urban cops and soldiers in Iraq who have not faced the situations that you have survived.

    By the way, I have always found your postings to be very informative.
  11. old wanderer

    old wanderer

    Dec 22, 2008
    I always like your thinking. I am leaving Saturday for 3 weeks in Turkey. I will be out and about, and would not be shocked to find myself some evening confronted by 1 or 2 people that think I am a rich old feeble American...and they should take what I have. I have never been a giving person, so expect me to resist.

    This is one reason even in old age, I try and attend a FOF class once or twice each year. Unlike you young people, I start a 30 second timer running, that is all the time I have to win or lose...I love moving inside the OODA loop and using a lifetime of MA experience, or my knife. KM style is most suitable for this kind of self protection. Training is essential to handling things in real simply cannot get this stuff right reading books, watching really need to get into classes...Even then you will find in real life thinks can get all screwed up because of your aware of what your are walking/standing on...and what kind of shoes you are wearing.

    When business is finished walk away if possible. Never expect a presumption of innocence in a foreign country when dealing with nationals.
  12. Gallium

    Gallium CLM

    Mar 26, 2003

    I did not say I defended myself successfully with both a knife and a firearm. I said I've faced both. Well, I am still here.... :) I have also survived at least three full fledged balls to the walls riots.

    I was born and raised in Kingston Jamaica. Not a fun place to be growing up in the 70s. My wife's father (in LE) was shot and killed by the then most notorious gunman on the island. All of her uncles (3) were shot and killed, as was one of mine. Of my graduating high school class, easily 1/3 are either dead, incarcerated, or formerly incarcerated (all boys school).

    Really, it was a different time, in a different place. Looking back now - much of the happenings I could relate here, many would not believe me, except for those who know other Jamaicans/Columbians/Jaitans/ San Salvadorians etc out of those times.

    Believe me when I tell you it's no fun to have someone stick a long gun into the back of your throat and tell you that you're going to blow job his gun. I was one of the lucky ones.

  13. btmj


    Feb 4, 2010
    Now I understand your perspective, and it all makes sense. Thanks for sharing your experince !