6 false ideas about knife attacks.
What really happens in knife attacks and that nobody tells you.
When we talk about knife defence often in the imagination you have the idea of a duel or a screen fight, but the video documentation (if you go to the profile instagram you will find several videos of assaults of various kinds) and historical cases of knife attacks show that the dynamics go in another direction.
These simple 6 points want to explain what usually happens and this means a total change of your mindset regarding this topic.
Knife Fighting is not a game!
What I want to talk to you about is the false illusion that you can have of someone who wants to seriously hurt you or even kill you where a duel will never happen.
When you see street knife attacks they are actually very complicated dynamics but different because maybe everything was born out of an argument you hit, pushed and one or both pull out blunt objects, but what I want to talk about it’s a “hidden” assault, so not a robbery, a threat, or an assault by someone who has a knife in his pocket.
It’s not clear yet???
I’m telling you you you’ve wronged someone and he wants you to pay for it.
The study of the knife is one of the most debated and controversial aspects of martial arts because in the simplicity of the object it is actually the most complex fight inthe history of humanity, for this reason it is still today the weapon that all criminals and do not keep in their pockets.
For this reason too, it is an ever-open debate in many discussions between martialists and scholars of self-defense, because it is an extreme fight.
6 false ideas about knife attacks
False idea 1
What you think: The attacker with the knife places himself out with you and gives you time to evaluate his style, plan your moves or just prepare you.
What is the reality: An experienced knife expert will never show his blade to you or anyone else before he tries to strike in the vulnerable spots of your body.
He’s trying to kill you and not publicize the fact.
Most martial arts and military styles work with the knife with systems that were developed in a lawless society or where the soldier was the law.
The reality today is that cutting someone is illegal and the knife work that came out of North American prisons reflects reality.
The ambush and the covert shot are where you are, there is no fight or fight but they are treasonous blows.
The person who puts his knife in front of your face wants something from you:
- your fear,
- your money or
- to threaten you to leave him alone.
In this situation you can have a technical response that you study with martial arts or other systems that you have available, but if you like to work on this aspect from “hard” it is better that you build very precise and effective answers, with a work with an instinctive reflex approach ready for this type of ambush.
The ambush work is before it happens, with work on the peripheral perception of what’s going on around you.
If you don’t realize it becomes difficult because it will hardly attack you head-on where if you are well trained you can have an instinctive reaction that can also avoid the first assault but consider the fury of an aggression, you have to do targeted work as it is done in expert fighting.
False idea 2
What you think: After he shows you the knife and his intent the attacker uses the knife as a long-range weapon: that is, he will hold his armed hand forward and lunge his shots or push his whole body towards you, holding the knife in his hand as he moves with an important part of the body towards you.
What is the reality: It is very difficult for a knife-wielding attacker who wants to keep his intentions of killing hidden and secret that he will do a duel with you.
None of the eastern martial arts knife formations teach this approach in killing; it’s easier for them to teach you how to cut, hurt, before you finish (this includes Chinese, Korean, and Japanese styles).
Also in military styles you are taught to cut forward what you find and to cut in the way back, taking all the goals and opportunities you have along their “road”.
The style of the prisons, on the other hand, is shanking with only the tip attack (without edge) that is usually precise and deep or with a barrage of blows.
Silent Killing is never taught but you always have a screening approach.
You’ve become accustomed to seeing in movies or in book stories, where your whole body is in position, in style, with an elegant attack lunge, but this was developed to allow you to see and imagine what was happening on the screen, but this way of always depicting in the same way, so thousands of times in “making this way the knife attacks and to describe the knife fights created a false culture of what it really is.
Unfortunately, I have to say that even magazines in the martial arts industry often have too much cinematic or choreographic techniques regarding knife attacks.
Where you see this approach in an ambush or in a surprise attack, in which the extra distance is seen by the attacker as something that is not good , as a safe zone for the victim that give him more possibilities.
This approach can be used by someone who feels confident that no one sees him or who is too enraged to worry about being seen but when the attacker combines the ambush with a lunge attack, using his strongest weapon to restrain him, so the victim is surprised, caught and put off balance and not being in “combat mode” is very vulnerable.
What does that mean?
Which in your lineup must include defenses from surprise lunge attacks.
You have to give a lot of space to this kind of preparation.
But often due to the fact that there are other types of attacks possible and even more likely then other aspects are trained, but if you want advice especially if you think of an attacker who wants to hide his intention, he applies and studies a lot of training against other types of attacks because it has to be learned and trained with thousands of drills to make the response instinctive but also consider the hidden aggressions from close range where you are pulled , grabbed to be hit.
False idea 3
What you think: The “suspended” hand or the hand that remains frozen in the air.
This is one of the things that makes me angry when I see certain videos and instructors who teach situations about knife attacks.
This is actually two fake aspects because it can use to attack you both the hand with the knife and the free hand.
This means that once they have locked the hand with the knife, the attacker leaves it standing there all for you to apply all kinds of techniques and also does not even use his free hand to hit you or to get rid of you, we are at the cinema.
What is the reality: The blade you block will cut you into the way back out of your reach with the same speed as it came forward to reload and re-hit or twirl and cut your forearm, or it will “tip-rip” your other forearm or other hand or your eye or it can provide a cut or deviation that causes a blow to the throat.
In “Eastern” systems there are three principles of working with the knife:
- Hypnotize with the blade, and kill with your free hand
- “flash” the knife to get a defensive block and then cut it
- Hit the nearest target, cut the road and cut, injure, wait for blood loss and shock, because it blocks it
As for attacks in the style used in prisons, however, it is much more direct with less “flash and slash” without the disadvantages of the attack from lunge from distance.
Knife attacks are hidden and very quick.
This method works a lot on the correct use of the free hand to catch/grab the victim and pull her into a narrow away where the knife can be used “discreetly” and in depth.
False idea 4
What you think: “You have to stand by to fight against a knife-wielding attacker;” or “I have to stay away from a knife-wielding attacker.”
What is the reality: The knife is a short-range weapon and if you choose to fight in that distance you are very likely to lose or for sure get cut.
Unless you want to grab the knife, which is very complicated, you always have to stay away from the weapon and fight from long range with long-range weapons, such as chairs, trash cans and thrown objects, belt, etc.
It doesn’t matter if the attacker is trained or not, he has to approach you to cut you and once he’s near it’s where he can cut you.
Shield your forearm to protect yourself from cuts.
Either stay away or you have to deflect or lock the weapon if it’s near (this is very difficult)
It does not take much power to cut, the knife already has all the power, especially if it is well sharp or is heavy.
Everything a knife attacker does and approach with the knife moving it at an incredibly fast speed with random movements to get to cut you and hit you.
Do you really want to get into that vortex?.
Never do it, if you have to come in wait for the real shot.
False idea 5
What you think: While he’s cutting me, I’m going to kill him or I can get a cut and have time to kill him.
What is the reality: The ONE-SHOT KILL is so hard to pull off on a fresh and determined opponent that you can’t count on this, as the No Holds Barred fight has shown.
Of course there is the knockout blow, but it is not easy if you are injured and while you are within the cutting distance and in a state of shock.
This is a situation where you don’T have to find yourself.
The problem of shock refers to the natural reaction of your body for being invaded by a foreign object;
It has nothing to do with how hard you are… A deep cut in even a “minor” place like your forearm can stop you because it can cause physiological responses beyond your control.
I’ve heard of a teacher who takes his students to relax deep and then randomly hits them hard and then forces them to defend themselves.
This is a bit like the paralysis feeling of a shock.
The shock of cutting on your forearm can give your attacker a chance to sink his dagger into your intestines.
If you sacrifice an arm to avoid a blow to the throat is a smart move, but never take a cut intentionally just to set up your own shot, no matter what others have done in successful fights, every fight is to itself with the knife.
False idea 6
What you think: If you’re good at sparring, you’re ready for the fight.
What is the reality: Sparring is a game that’s safe and no matter how well you’re doing it except for personal satisfaction, but you’re not fighting with a real weapon.
Knife attacks have dynamics that need to be analyzed with precise and careful case studies done with professionals and not as we often see from improvised and very cinematic instructors.
It will teach you the balance, movement, distance and openings, but it will not prepare you to face the death, adrenaline and brutality of a knife.
A criminal who is seriously trying to kill you with a knife doesn’t sparring or trying to fake you to find an opening, his psychology is totally different.
He’s not afraid, because he feels safe with his weapon and most likely he’s already done it and feels strong about his previous successes, and he wants to do it fast so he can escape the attention of the police.
He hurls himself with a furious charge with no apparent regard for his safety in such a way as to overwhelm his victim.
If you start moving the knife and making sparring you are lucky because you have time to run or move to get a weapon from a distance, or just to escape!
Now that you know these 6 aspects about knife attacks there is something that surely you need to change in the way you train the knife?.
I think so!
Knife Fighting is not a game!
These are interesting ideas that you need to integrate into your training beyond the study of short knife fencing where different dynamics are addressed and where you are both armed.
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Street Fight Mentality