Saturday, February 5, 2011

Knife Survival Series - Part III

In my last post in this series, I listed some realities, or truths, about edged weapons attacks and how to survive them.  The first truth I listed was:

You are going to get cut

That's a pretty bold statement.  In actuality, it is possible that you won't get cut. It's highly unlikely that you won't get cut, but it is possible.

So why do I boldly say it's a truth?  There are some important reasons.

1.  Mental preparedness.  You must be prepared to be cut.  You must enter into your training with a clear understanding that you will likely see blood, probably your own, and maybe lots of it.  Seeing your own blood or seeing an injury can be very unsettling.  It can cause some people to panic or freeze up. If you are not prepared to deal with the mental and emotional impact of this stimuli, you may not be able effectively fight through it.

2.  You need to tailor your training to the most likely set of circumstances.  The vast majority of people who are attacked with a knife get cut.  Therefore, training should take this into account.  Simply put, you may as well train for the most likely scenario.  Accepting the probability is far better than assuming you'll avoid any injury.

3.  Physical considerations.  Blood makes things slippery.  You may have a hard time controlling your attackers limbs or the knife.  Conversely, your attacker may have trouble holding on to the knife.  The handles of many combat/fighting knives are constructed in such a way as to prevent the hand from sliding off when wet.  Also, as gruesome as it is, you may be able to use your blood offensively.  Say your arm gets cut and is bleeding, you might be able to wipe it into the eyes of your attacker, temporarily blinding them. Not a nice thought, but this is survival we're talking about.

4.  Knives are so easily concealed that it's quite possible you've already been cut by the time you realize a weapon is involved.  We all train to be aware of our surroundings, but things happen in the real world. It may be dark, you may be in a crowd or there could be multiple attackers.

These are a few of the reasons you should accept this as a reality/truth.  This is not defeatist thinking by any stretch, it is a method of approaching your training in the most realistic way possible.

Train safely.


  1. i agree that ignoring the nastier and unsettling aspects of reality could put one in a highly dangerous situation....

  2. It all sounds pretty gruesome! My jujitsu sensei said that a 'professional' knifeman would try and cut you across the forehead (to maim not kill) so that your blood would trickle into your eyes and make it difficult to defend yourself. Presumably most knife attackers are not 'professionals'?

  3. A quick question: What's the most common way in which a knife attacker will try and stab you?

  4. Jeremy, thanks for stopping by. Sometimes it's nice to ignore some of the harsher realities, but at what cost?

    Sue, I'm going to discuss some of your comments and your question in my next post. As always, thanks for the input. Sometimes I think you're in my head...