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Old 04-22-2010, 02:40 AM   #1
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Default Unarmed against a knife

I've had an exchange the last couple of days with a fellow martial artist discussing unarmed against a weapon.(knife,gun.etc) We disagree strongly on what can really happen during this sort of exchange. Hopefully, we will be getting together soon to put his theories into practice. He's much younger than me and a blackbelt in jujitsu, but also trains in judo some.

After more than 20years of training in the martial arts I am absolutely certain that against an attacker with a knife you WILL get cut, sometimes badly. I am also sure no man can move faster than 1200fps, conservatively speaking. I have FBI ans SWAT training partners who agree with me.

My training unarmed against weapons will most likely help me to survive such an encounter, but that's my goal, survival. I don't fool myself into thinking I can disarm a knifeman and overcome him without being seriously injured.

I also beliveve MOST knife disarmements are completely unrealistic. Don't fool yourself. A good way to discover what would happen is to use white t-shirts and use a red marker as a knife. See what happens.

I'll let you know what happens.

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Old 04-22-2010, 02:45 AM   #2
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In this scenario the attacker knew exactly what was supposed to happen. There were controlled movements and no slashing stabbing like in a REAL situation.

Training like this still has great value because it teaches you the principles, techniques, and theorhetically what can happen.
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Old 04-22-2010, 03:42 AM   #3
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I see one major problem with his defense, he did not let the attacker/knife come to him. If you aggressively move toward your attacker, you cannot anticipate your attacker's move with the knife, forward thrusts, upward or downward slashes. Let the attacker make his move toward you, so you can counter his move and block/control his knife hand and arm.

There are also other strikes and blows that can be made against your attacker depending on how you take control of him and what open areas are in striking range while you are entangled. Head butt, knee to groin, foot to inside of knee, elbow to neck, face, solar plexus, bite to facial area, and finally control his knife hand and use it to slash or stab his own thighs. All are distractions to disarm and gain control over the knife and him.

And yes, most often than not, you will get cut.

Jack

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Old 04-22-2010, 03:55 AM   #4
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YES, you will get cut and yes you can survive and win in a knife fight even if you don’t have a gun on you. I was cut twice with a Mexican “zacatripa” knife, it’s a kind of slim hawksbill knife with not as sharply curved a blade that is used to castrate animals. I was able to drop my attacker and get away. He cut through a down vest, flannel shirt and long underwear in two slashing cuts. I was not even aware he had a knife until the tip hung up on my breast bone. I hit him up side the head with a full bottle of beer and dropped him like a sack of potatoes. Funny thing is I didn’t cut my hand at all. It took something like 89 stitches to close me up. My scars still itch and this happened 30 years ago. I know now that I can survive a knife fight but I’ll tell you this…. If a guy pulls a knife on me I’m not going to hesitate and I will shoot that SOB with every round I have.. I don’t want to get cut again.

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Old 04-22-2010, 04:30 AM   #5
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Quote:
If a guy pulls a knife on me I’m not going to hesitate and I will shoot that SOB with every round I have..
Amen to that.

I was slashed on my right bicep and still have a 4inch scar there. I ran off and won.
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Old 04-22-2010, 05:04 AM   #6
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I agree with a lot of what Goju posted. IMHO, most disarming techniques are unrealistic and just wont work at full speed.

When I first started training with knives my instructor taught me a lot of nice drills and beautiful locks and holds, after I learned them he said "Now we'll do a couple of rounds at real speed, and you'll see that none of them work." and he was right.

Another thing he thaught me right away was that there's a really high probability of getting cut even if you've got a drawn knife too, even I being a beginer managed to score a few hits on him in our practice fights (granted, I'd cut his arm and he'd get me in the throat).

Unnarmed combat against a knife weilding opponent is, like Goju stated, strictly a survival affair. Training is crucial, but it has to be properly done, fast and with the armed guy really trying to inflict serious damage. At my gym we usually do an excercise with two unnarmed guys trying to pin down or knock out a knife armed opponent, the guy with the knife wins 95% of the time.

Improvised weapons can mean the difference between life and death (like the bottle in Dzscubie's story). We interview ex-convicts often to learn from their knife fighting experience, I remember a guy (a former muay thai national champion student of my teacher who got involved with soccer hooligans) who was attacked by several men armed with shivs and managed to survive by using two cooking pot lids as shields. He ended up in the hospital, and took months to recover since he did receive several cuts and stabs. I think that's a very successful outcome considering he was sleeping when the attack begun, and there were three guys attacking him.

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Old 04-22-2010, 01:21 PM   #7
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I concur with all the above stated, especially if your attacker is hellbent and experienced using a blade. But one is only unarmed if he chooses to be so.

Look around your surroundings in any given threatening situation. You may have several different improvised weapons at your disposal. The number one weapon at your disposal is your mind. Use it, anything may be used as a weapon, no matter what it may be, whether it is used to extend yourself and block the attacker or it is used lethally against them, it is better to use something, than nothing at all.

The attacker has a knife, and there are no rules in any fight, especially a knife fight, so anything that is not permanently attached to the ground, can be a defensive weapon.

At all times, if one wants to survive, one must improvise.


Jack

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Old 04-22-2010, 01:36 PM   #8
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Of course if you're Jack, you can disarm the would be knife attacker with a steely glare...

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Old 04-22-2010, 03:38 PM   #9
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Our "Sponaneous Knife Defense" class is based on the principle that you WILL get cut. You just try to minimize the number and severity of the cuts.

Armed knife defense currently relies on the 30 foot rule. Inside of 30 feet you will likely get cut even if you manage to draw and shoot. Personally, I advocate pelvic girdle shots in such situations. A well placed shot to the heart can take 30 seconds or more to incapacitate your adversary. A determined attacker may have the will to do you harm, but will have a great deal of difficulty in doing so if the pelvis is broken. It does not matte how stoned one is, it is not possible to stand on a broken pelvis.

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Old 04-22-2010, 03:51 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IGETEVEN View Post

Look around your surroundings in any given threatening situation. You may have several different improvised weapons at your disposal. The number one weapon at your disposal is your mind. Use it, anything may be used as a weapon, no matter what it may be, whether it is used to extend yourself and block the attacker or it is used lethally against them, it is better to use something, than nothing at all.

The attacker has a knife, and there are no rules in any fight, especially a knife fight, so anything that is not permanently attached to the ground, can be a defensive weapon.

At all times, if one wants to survive, one must improvise.


Jack
I agree 100%! If the guy has a knife you need to stay away from that blade. Unless you are in the middle of a desert you can look for chair, tables, lamps, pool cue, walking stick, a heavy leather belt with a big buckle, or just about anything that can be used to keep him at bay and deal some blows to him. If all the guy has is a knife in his hands he is in big trouble if I have a chair in mine.

If you are forced to go hand to hand Krav Maga has some great techniques that work against knives very well. There is a good chance you will get cut so your goal is not to just throw the BG around but to END the threat swiftly so you can then attend to your injuries.
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