We have been using the Folder into the Fight Drill to pressure test defensive knife skills now for about four years. In that time, we have had hundreds of people go through the drills several times each. Participants have come in all shapes, sizes, age, training level, fitness level, and background. What we have found to be the short comings led to the creation of Inverted Edge Tactics. First, I will explain the drill. Good guy and bad guy both wear headgear, eye protection, and a mouth piece. The bad guy wears 14 OZ boxing gloves and the good guy is armed with a Spyderco Endura training knife. It is the students choice where he carries and how he deploys the folder, and what grip he uses. The good guy tells the bad guy how intense he wants the drill on a scale of 1-10. The rest of the class gathers around to create a circle, that accomplishes two things. It creates a small realistic area to fight in, and they try to keep the people in the circle from smashing to the ground. Station I- Panic Pushing another student at combat speed to simulate a preemptive strike in a defensive situation. Station II- The good guy grabs a hold of the end of two sticks being held by another student. For 45 seconds they go back and forth with the sticks to increase their heart rate. At 35 seconds, the bad guy steps in and begins to attack the good guy. At the end of the 45 seconds, fight is called. The good guy must defend himself and gain distance in an attempt to access, deploy, and use the folder. Once they get some cuts in, the knife is dropped, or a stalemate ensues, the drill is stopped. The drill takes around one minute, but much is learned. Lessons learned * When they grab the sticks, people have a tendency to circle to their reaction side. This often results in them crossing their feet and falling. * When the bad guy begins to strike them, people often respond by dropping the sticks and turning their back on the guy with the two sticks. * Even very light shots to the side of the head can cause massive central nervous disruption and in some cases render the person unable to continue. * Once they drop the sticks, people often turn their back to the bad guy because of fixating on accessing the knife. * Many knives are dropped during access. * Many deployments fail. * Many students attempt a cut only to realize their knife is not fully open resulting in crushed fingers and more dropped knives. * About 95% of the cuts to the bad guy are across the top of the legs, belly, outside of arms, and the back during clinches, or when they end up on the ground. The last time we did this drill was at the Southwest Alabama Police Academy. 21 officers did the drill twice. The first time was before being trained in IET. The results of the first go around- * Several officers turned their back to the bad guy. * Approximately 7 dropped knives. * Approximately 5 more were used to attempt a cut without being fully opened. * A poll of everyone in the room reported that one stab was observed and it was to the back during a clinch. * The rest of the cuts were to the top of the legs, outer arms, across the back during the clinch, and on the ground. The class was then trained in IET and the drill was conducted again with the following results- * Students as a rule have the bad guy increase the intensity. * The majority of officers used a Panic Push of some sort to gain distance. * One knife was dropped. * One failure to open. * The majority of first cuts were to the femoral artery area of the crotch, and the second cuts were usually to the brachial artery inside the upper arm. * The cut to the groin is often accompanied by a look of Oh my God on the face of the attacker. Be warned that even though this drill only takes about a minute to complete, but the combination of cardio, disorientation from the spinning, and head shots can take its toll even on those in reasonable shape. Everyone in the room has to act as a safety and along with the participants can call a stop to the drill at anytime for any reason. The most common is headgear knocked off. Without having a trainer for the knife you carry and pressure testing your reaction under stress with a drill like this, you will never be able to have any confidence in your training.