Puncturing the dominant myths of knife defense is essential – climatically, one’s survival depends on it. Fights are brutal and sudden; victims often do not instantly grasp the stabbing until they see blood. Although it’s typical to deduce that extensive training qualifies one for optimal defense, the absolute truth predicates otherwise – exposing you to colossal risks. With each attack as unpredictable and barbarous as the attacker, it’s vital to analyze false perceptions of knife fighting.
I am posting something unique for this month’s blog – my feature in GTI Magazine! It seems the ideal prelude to future blogs I’ll be posting on knife defence. Thanks to GTI, it was a dynamic platform to share my expertise and promote my Tactical Edge course.
I defer this solution through pressure testing in different environments and close-quarter range – proving that running against the knife could be counterproductive, even fatal. Intuitively, turning to run leaves your back exposed, making you susceptible to being stabbed from behind. Furthermore, your attacker will not wait for you to be at a standstill to strike and slash, even opting to hurl his weapon at you.
To run against the knife, you must have clearance – a bare minimum of 10 ft to 15 ft of space. If not, self-defense mechanisms come into play.
Consider being in an elevator, a stairwell, or a parking garage. Acknowledge any compounding factors. Are you alone? With your wife, your child? Are you attired to run? Do you have the stamina for flight, or do you have physical limitations? A logical assessment succeeds in outrunning your aggressor.
Just Use A Gun
The dominant mindset asserts that when faced with an attacker wielding a knife, just shoot. This restrictive thinking may cost you your life. Knives are close-ranged weapons and consistently cause the highest fatalities; anyone with a knife can be deadly.
Blades do not require the skill of a gun; they are silent and easily concealed. Note, a draw with a knife is synonymous with violence. There is intent to harm, even kill. My raw experience has exposed that time and space are critical factors determining the outcome of knife vs. gun.
I test this systematically within my edge instructor training course; what I exercise with law enforcement is not only vigorous but compelling.
Most recently, in Boston, during my DT Police Instructor Course, we performed drills at proximities of 3ft., 9ft., 12 ft., and 20 ft as distance often controls who triumphs in a knife vs. gun scenario. I also placed a trainee in a confined space, unable to move back and then up against a wall. I followed with an attacker charging at full speed.
The outcome: At less than 3 ft, you will not get to your gun before being stabbed. At less than 6 ft, there is a 50/50 chance of being stabbed. By the time you pull out your weapon, the attacker has potentially begun puncturing you. The 21 Rule is on target; clearance space you need to get to your weapon. Anything under that – is a hit or miss. Despite training, go for your gun only if time and space make it viable. Triumph in such a drill demands that you must be able to draw and fire two rounds of your gun in 1.5 seconds as a shooter.
A gun vs. knife is only perilous if you have your opponent within a slim trajectory; accuracy is contingent on it. Adrenaline and panic may obscure opportune sightlines, even those with extensive gun training.
An amateur shooter may never replicate what they have practiced under stress, even shock. Furthermore, drawing a gun, especially from a holster, is slower and could demand two hands.
If you determine that the divide between you and your aggressor is too close, you stop drawing your gun to fire before being stabbed; knife defense is the more effective. Switching to hand, intensely explored in training, becomes your ammunition.
The majority of knife attacks aren’t fights – they are supreme assaults, making knife on knife duels hardly credible. Your inherent counteraction is immediate retaliation or pulling out your knife. It’s vital to conceptualize that within mere seconds, an attacker will stab you numerous times. The attacker’s motive is not to duel, with equal footing, and like weapons – it is to violently harm.
It’s the unpredictability of an attack that makes a victim vulnerable and consequently weak, so understanding the attacker and the plethora of ways he may use his weapon is essential for survival. As adrenaline is pumping, katas and techniques obliterate. Surviving and cutting is your objective.
Being prepared for surprise attacks defines my strategy; teaching a full range of motion and following through with intent. Slow, medium and fast scenarios will trigger a victim to expand their paradigm of techniques, facilitating the brain to focus on the most vital. Strategies and isolated drills without perimeters are monumental. I teach that flexible thinking takes precedence, attention, and awareness are critical.
Just to Ruminate
Cutting through myths about knife defense may be the edge you need. The controversy is real within the plethora of assessments being debated and analyzed amongst experts and amateurs alike. It’s pivotal to consider what comes to mind as possible and what may seem impossible.
Being prepared for anything and everything is your most potent weapon. I instill both cutting edge knowledge and practice, but the logic must come from you. Trusting your instincts and controlling your mindset is critical to your survival. The fight begins when you visually connect with your attacker – not once the knife is visible.
When I train, I assert the gravity of not giving up the will to fight – a stabbing is not always a death sentence. Adrenaline will feed your muscles with the oxygen and stamina to fight.
If the attacker is close, you have ample space to attempt a defense. Actualizing a vigorous mindset and a relentless drive to fight could save your life.
Teaching prevention, detection, and ultimately setting up for the initial strike to be one step ahead of the attacker, will always be in hardcore demand. My Knife Defense, Hero Program, Hero Training Camp, Bob Dummy F.I.I.T, Women’s Shield Program, Bully-Proof, and Larger Attacker Defence are dynamic systems indicative of real-world self-defence to sustain personal protection. Which one will empower you?