Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Knife Survival Series - Part II
In my first post, I said:
"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."
Reality/Truth #1: You are going to get cut.
Accept this reality. Prepare yourself mentally for this. It's upsetting and unsettling to see your own blood. Blood is slippery. Incorporate this knowledge into your training. The only way to avoid being cut is to run away, which leads to...
Reality/Truth #2: The best strategy is to run away.
This is always the best survival strategy. It's time to put away illusions of masterfully avoiding multiple strikes, slashes and stabs while deftly removing your attackers' blade and causing no injury. Save it for the movies. A knife is just as deadly as a gun, minus the range. Not many people would argue that running away from a gun wielding attacker is a bad strategy. A knife is no different.
Reality/Truth #3: You may not see the knife. You may not know you've been cut or stabbed.
Many people don't realize they've been cut until well after the fact. It is quite common for a stabbing victim, or survivor, to think they've been punched or slapped instead of cut or stabbed. For this reason, it is important to identify the types of behaviors a knife wielding attacker displays before, during, (and sometimes after) an attack. Most knife attackers have idiosyncrasies that, once identified or understood, can assist in developing an effective survival strategy. This will be examined more in-depth in the future. Too many knife fighting courses and seminars operate on the assumption that you know your attacker has a knife prior to the attack being initiated.
If you cannot run away (truth #2), the best course of action to survive a knife attack is:
Get control of the knife, cause serious injury to your attacker, and then run away.
There are important physical skills to be learned, but even more important is preparing yourself mentally. You must enter into the process of learning how to survive a knife attack with a proper mindset.
Future posts in this series will discuss each of the realities/truths in far more detail. Some other topics that will be explored are:
- The psychology of combat and the attacker vs. prey mentality
- Shifting the balance of power, mental unbalancing
- Visualization techniques
- Training strategies
- Physical skills
- Fight vs. flight, adrenaline, gross and fine motor skills considerations
- Fighting while injured
- Types of knives
- Weapon based systems
- Common knowledge and misconceptions about knife attacks.
This is by no means a complete list of topics to be discussed.
Some of my opinions and strategies will conflict with widely accepted theories on knife fighting or knife techniques. On my journey, I have discovered that I disagree with some of material that is widely and commercially available, and I disagree with some of the experts in the field. Some of the information is fantastic, and some may get you killed.
I welcome discussion and questions on the topic of knife survival. I'd also be happy to consider suggestions on topics to be explored and discussed.