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Over the years I have successfully avoided more confrontations then I have ever been in. This is the first and most important tip I can give anyone. No one ever wins a fight, some walk away and some may avoid arrest but no one ever really wins. These are just a few things I have learned about knives and knife fighting and why you may be learning things that will get you seriously hurt or killed. I have over two decades using Muy Thai, Escrima, Kali, and some other non form fighting approaches with a multitude of weapons. More importantly, I have dozens of scars from training and not training that support what I am about to tell you.
Above all else the single most important thing to remember when using a knife is this, you cannot take it away or disarm anyone who has one and NOT get cut or critically injured. During my practice sessions, we tried the popular TKD, karate (all styles), and many more styles disarming techniques. NONE of them actually work when both people are engaging with the intent to actually harm the other person. Certainly when your instructor sets everything up “this is how it should be done” than your disarm may work, however, the reality is the opposite.
When utilizing knives in combat situations expect two absolutes, first expect to get cut and second expect to get extremely bloody. Using a knife as a ward to keep someone away will absolutely get you hurt if not dead. As with all deadly force encounters I suggest remembering a simple few steps. Burn these steps into your brain, and please, if your instructors tell you differently, they want you dead or have zero real experience in any way.
Avoid the confrontation by avoiding situations and places that have a higher rate of confrontation!
Deception is an amazing ally, tell the attacker anything that may give you a few seconds. I have used the simple “those cops over there” while nodding in an opposite direction to break their concentration and give me the edge – some people suggest saying you are a relation of theirs or similar.
If it is theft, GIVE YOUR STUFF UP, if it is your life FIGHT HARD AND FAST.
Number 4 is the same rule that applies to gunfights, if they are 21 feet or closer YOU CANNOT ACT FAST ENOUGH to stop from getting hurt in some way. Go ahead, try it, I have watched hundreds of people extremely fit through disabled like myself cover 21 feet in an average of 1.5 seconds and that, simply is not fast enough for ANYONE to pull a firearm or knife when an incoming threat gives no warning and closes. Rather, learn to GET OFF THE X, seriously, it is truly this simple, get off the X (think mathematical and graphs, the X is the horizontal line, apply this to your daily activity and try moving sideways ONE step while someone closes)
If you engage, YOU MUST BE COMMITTED ABSOLUTELY, you cannot feint and expect to live or not suffer wounds.
Learn basic anatomy, learn how to fix bleeding wounds and by default learn where to best attack an opponent!
Avoid the misguided approach that is attacking a person’s eyes etc., the head is a very fast moving target, instead, try OPEN HANDED head smacks! I love practicing these drills with my BOB dummy at home and have used them on active threats. An open hand carries more force than a closed fist when applied with every ounce of your strength and body mechanics/weight. Remember, THE ATTACKER HAS NO COMPUNCTION WITH HARMING YOU, WHY WOULD YOU HESITATE TO INCAPACITATE THEM!
Cutting works if you are using a karambit or khukri, otherwise STAB THEM HARD AND FAST and DO NOT STOP UNTIL THEY ARE NO LONGER ABLE TO ATTACK YOU!
A sharp knife is your ally, a dull one is your enemy! Seriously, I cannot stress enough the importance of a seriously sharp blade. All of my blades can and have performed as shaving implements. And when I say all of them, I mean literally all of them!
Lastly, ALWAYS carry a GOOD solid well-built knife that you have easy fast access too! I repeat for emphasis, an unarmed person is a target nothing more. I am ALWAYS armed, and it is not always in the way most people think, however, I do train religiously with EVERYTHING I use that doubles as a weapon.
All I can say folks is this, Be smart be safe and remember everything above can be watered down to a SINGLE very easy to remember line.
Avoid trouble, be ready for it, always be aware, always be prepared, always keep your tools clean, sharp and ready and if you are forced to defend yourself with deadly force, NEVER HESITATE.
Free the mind and the body will follow