Sunday, January 23, 2011

Knife Survival Series - Part I

For some time, I've been troubled with the techniques being taught for dealing with edged weapon attacks. I've decided to do a series of posts on this topic, interspersed with other ideas that pop into my head.

From my experience, most techniques being taught are unrealistic, overly complex and without a logical and sensible conclusion.  Even some of the most talented knife fighters are teaching unrealistic responses.  I will concede that expert knife fighters are good at what they do and would likely carve most of us to pieces, but the fact remains that you are unlikely to face such an adversary.  And if you do, run away. Actually, running away should always be the preferred option.

For those times when running away is not possible, a realistic set of skills needs to be taught.  While I'm all for having fun during training, it's important to remember that knives are serious business.  Lethal business. And they're out there, everywhere.

As for taking your training seriously and respecting the blade, I suggest introducing live blades into your training.  Be very, very, careful, of course, but you may be surprised how you no longer just 'go through the motions' in training when you might get cut.  It's a telling exercise that lets you know how confident you really are with your knife defense techniques.

I no longer refer to techniques as being knife defenses.  You don't strive and train to defend against a knife attack, you train to survive a knife attack.  This distinction is very important, and one I'll discuss in greater depth in future posts in this series.

Train safely.


  1. i, too, worry about any false sense of security an individual may have about weapons.... it's nasty stuff and usually the weapon is concealed.
    as always, not being in the situation if at all possible must be the first priority.

  2. I am looking forward to your series of posts on knife survival. We haven't worked with a live blade in the dojo. It is something I need to think about adding to my training.

  3. Live blade? sounds scary! There has to be a lot of trust between partners. Looking forward to the series...