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For discussion, other than actual techniques employing movement, deflection, joint manipulation and containment of the weapon, what do you teach your students about unarmed defense against a knife?



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Avoid the confrontation, talk your way out, give him what he wants (money, wallet, etc), back away. If that's not possible, seek an equalizer, anything that can be used as a weapon. Employ a distraction, throw something at the attacker (keys, purse, jacket, coins, anything) and use that opportunity to attack. Count on getting cut. Don't let the cut or the sight of your own blood stop you or shock you. Continue defending/counter-attacking until the enemy is defeated and disarmed.


How about you?

A few other things worth mentioning: Be prepared. If you're in a dangerous neighborhood, be hyper vigilant. Appear confident but not aggressive. Carry a weapon of some sort, even if only as a last resort. If you can do so legally, wear body armor if the situation warrants it.

There was a 13 year old kid in Denmark who got stabbed to death by another kid yesterday in a quarrel over a girl. The knife didn't appear until after the fight started, although the kids had been squabbling on FB previously and agreed to punch it out. I'd say rule one is, don't show up to a "fair fight." Rule two is, if a fight happens, end it immediately by any means necessary.

Very sad that we have kids killing kids. 

It sounds like rule #2 was applied in that situation. 


There have been several very bad endings here in the good ole USA from Internet bullying on social networks.  I suppose people feel safe hinding behind a keyboard and spewing their hatred to or about other people.  The sad part about it is that often the ones swewing their online hatred have absolutly no idea of who the other person REALLY is, or what they are capable of doing.


Concerning martial arts forums, I have looked over other martial arts forums where people are really, really nasty each other.  To be honest, I am surprised that some of these people haven't had the livin dog shit beat out of them.  Well, hopefully that day will never come, but I would not be surprised if it happens.


Wael, Thorbjorn, I think you both said it best.  There isn't much more one could add to your replies.


Very much the same thing.  De-escalation is something I get in to from day one.  Ultimately if you're forced into an unarmed defense vs knife or any weapon for that matter, awareness of and use your surroundings, and absolute commitment to survival are a must.  It's when facing a situation where the odds are against you that your warrior spirit truly needs to present itself and you do anything you can to turn the odds in your favor.

first thing I tell them is that if you can run like hell!  If you are not able to like Wael says prepare to be cut, but not only that prepare for lots of blood!  People don't understand just how much bleeding will occur when cut and until you see it live its hard to relate. 

Running is great. My only concern about that is that if the other guy is faster, you now have someone coming from behind with a knife. So I'd say only run if you're confident that you are faster, or that the other person will not give chase, or if there is a safe place nearby that you can run to. If there is any chance of the other person catching up, then stop and deal with it.

Good point Wael, I forgot to put that in my comment.  Really need to stop trying to write these at work, I don't always have time to think about my answers or comments....

Being in Florida we can always tell them to pull that concealed weapon and shoot em....  Florida law now says that if you are in fear of your life you can use deadly force, you do not need to try and back out of the situation. 

Training and experience and knowing how to get cut!


Years back there was a guy I trained with. He was a red belt and had just learnt the first of his knife defense techniques. one day he was mugged at kifepoint. He grabbed the assailant's knife hand at the wrist and fought. He won, but had gotten very cut up on his forearms. His lack of training and experience with the techniques kept him from dominating his opponent, but I also believe that his training and knowledge, however limited gave him the ability to survive. he had at least an idea of what to do.


I have also believed that knowing how to get cut is very important. If you get cut the wrong way it can render your arms and hand useless and permanently dammaged.




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