Surviving a knife attack
It is a topic that we hear more and more about because the news tells us about attacks carried out with the use of knives.
It is not from today but the knife has always been the most used weapon, the instrument that has gone through the history of humanity and that remains in its simplicity one of the deadliest weapons ever created.
As you can see, I wrote about surviving because it’s one of the most complex survival conditions when it comes to personal defense knife aggression.
Now a fundamental premise on the attack of a hidden knife that does not leave many chances of not receiving the first blow because it is made precisely treason following a previous discussion or other reasons and The attacker comes up to you behind you when you don’t expect it or pretending to apologize.
In this type of knife attack or knife attack the ambush takes place behind the back or with an excuse to approach the victim, it is a dangerous situation.
This type of attack is usually carried out as a result of an argument or usually in criminal circles or prisons for business or other discussions.
The detention of blades, knives and white weapons in general according to the law
The most important thing and that must be clear to all those who are reading this article is this: holding a knife of any shape or length, outside your home, is by law considered a crime.
We are literally mentioning Art. 699 of the Criminal Code: “anyone who, without the license of the authorities, when the license is required, carries a weapon out of their home or in the belongings of it, is punished with arrest of up to eighteen months”.
It should also be pointed out that according to the law the concept of ‘weapon’ is not limited to firearms or knives, but extends to any object likely to offend and for which there is no justification for its detention: for example, a wooden stick or a long, blunt iron object could also fall within this definition.
Knife attacks in society, however, are increasing for several reasons:
- The low cost and easy availability of knives of all kinds shape and color at very low prices on Asian stores where there are also many knives of famous fake brands.
- as well as for the proliferation of YouTube videos and “courses” in which the use of such a weapon is recklessly taught to all “payers”, without a preventive and scrupulous analysis of the student (just think that only a few lessons are enough in which the principles of the use of the knife are taught to make a person very dangerous)
- the easy concealability of cutting weapons that can be carried practically anywhere without being seen.
On the theme YouTube and videos of “master” / masters / knife instructors and the ethics of showing this type of teaching without a “filter” I will make a specific post.
Now imagining that you have to deal with a stab wound is one of the most complex situations of human combat and it’s a very high-risk situation, regardless of the capabilities of the attacker,I want to highlight this because the knife is a tool used by everyone, the type of weapon and the length of the weapon.
Even a small knife can kill!
Knife attacks can be carried out mainly by two models of attackers:
- the occasional
- the expert and
- the criminal.
The occasional is that attacker who accidentally found a knife or similar tool (such as a broken bottle) and uses it in order to turn a confrontation in his favor, or if he consciously carries it on, without knowing its use as a “rule of art”.
The expert, on the other hand, is one who carries the weapon with knowledge of the facts, who knows how to use it and knows its advantages and very few limits.
Both types are extremely dangerous and, paradoxically, for diametrically opposed reasons.
The occasional often does not realize the danger of his weapon and although he does not use it in full knowledge of the facts, he risks causing very serious damage in a “preterintentional” way.
The expert, on the other hand, is a subject who knows perfectly his weapon, as well as the potential and effects; he often adapts the knife to his physical needs, when he does not even have one built to measure, he trains in fighting, concealing the weapon and extracting it quickly and also knows, based on the result he wants to achieve, where, how and when to cut.
Unlike the occasional user, the expert is able to calibrate his offensive for the purpose of:
- just to threaten/scare;
- “only” hurt slightly (warning);
- hurt more seriously and permanently;
The result of aggression by an expert in the use of the knife will rarely be “preterintentional”.
The most disturbing feature, however, is that the expert trains to look for useful strategies in the use of the weapon.
In practice, it will create a suitable situation to strike, implementing behaviors and anything else necessary, to ensure that all the variables of the confrontation are in its favor.
The basic principle for which the white weapon is to be considered very dangerous is that, in addition to firearms and some throwing weapons, it does not require physical force on the part of the user to create mortal wounds.
Even an opponent, exhausted by physical forces (for example fallen to the ground), can carry a fatal blow with a knife, perhaps exhaling the last breath.
The above concept must necessarily always be taken into account in the security actions of the police or in personal defense: you must never leave a suspect unattended, if not carefully searched, even if it is in poor physical condition and also you must always know what you should look for and above all where.
Let’s give you an example.
During a checkpoint, a car forces the lockdown.
During the next chase, the car has an accident.
The occupant appears to be in a precarious condition and the sanitary ware loads him and transports him to the medical car.
If, during transport, he, for various reasons, comes back, no one can know what can happen to those close to him, if he has a similar knife or tool on him.
Beware that a firearm is much more difficult to conceal than a small blade.
It is essential for the security operator to know very well the aspects described above in order to identify the model of attacker based on the tool that is “fortunately” found on the attacker, for example following a personal search.
It must be clear from now on that when we are dealing with a suspect hiding on him a modified and/or adapted knife or, worse still, a tool made by himself in order to use it as a cutting weapon, we are never dealing with a careless, but certainly with an expert who could adopt a precise strategy and, in any case, with a user who certainly does not carry the weapon randomly and in good faith.
The strategy often includes:
- from the creation of an unconventional “knife”, suitable for the use that is intended to be made of it and its physical characteristics;
- from specific training to the use of such a weapon;
- from the preparation of a justification, in case a police operator, finding it on him, asks for explanations;
- from the search for a correct concealment on one’s own person
- from a unitary operational design. Such a subject must be observed with particular attention, leaving nothing to chance.
In the event that during a personal search, modified knives or above tools are found, it is necessary to continue the search with particular care, because what has been found may not be the only weapon that the suspect carries on himself.
An incorrect assessment of this aspect could lead to a situation of serious danger.
In the car, in fact, there may be a person who, although handcuffed, still carries a knife that he will use, in his favor, at the most opportune moment.
It should be borne in mind that it is quite normal for the other colleagues of the police operator or Carabinieri who carried out the personal search to assume that the personthey are transporting is “clean”.
The person in bad faith, armed or unarmed, compared to the security operator, always has the great advantage of the initiative.
In fact, rarely, during a check, does the operator know or know who he is dealing with, while the delinquent knows very well what the one in front of him and wearing a uniform represents for him.
In order to try to bridge the disadvantage, one must always pay the utmost attention to suspicion, observing it and drawing invaluable information on how it behaves, in order to predict a possible reaction.
Everything must be evaluated:
- the clothes worn (whether or not they are in line with the season or temperature),
- the way to move your hands,
- the direction of the gaze,
However, despite all this attention, it is not always possible to avoid aggression.
For the sake of survival, we must bear in mind two principles.
- The first is to consider “knife” everything that can cut and /or pierce, of whatever shape it is and with whatever material it is made.
- The second is that when you defend yourself against a knife attack, without using firearms, you always suffer cuts.
For the purpose of this writing, it is hypothesized that the knife is used to threaten or strike.
The threat can occur remotely or in contact.
In the first case, although there are no precise behavioral models, we can say that the weapon is certainly extracted, ostentatious, often carrying slashes in the air that form a kind of X or symbol of inverted infinity, or repeated horizontal cuts and in some cases, much more rarely, hints of small flagship lunges.
In the case of a threat in contact, the attacker holds the attacker close to him, in different ways, the assault and the weapon is very close to the victim, if not even in contact (knife to the throat, belly or back, etc.).
The characteristic that identifies all threats is the verbal request of what you want to achieve or the motivation of the aggression.
The threat, compared to the actual attack, always leaves room for negotiation and, if it is effective, it can avoid a tragic conclusion.
If the aggressor’s request consists in the delivery of material goods,one must always give in: nothing is worth the risk of being cut.
If, on the other hand, we are threatened with retaliation against us, it is absolutely essential that we use the negotiations.
The main aim of the negotiations must be to take time, which must be used to reason and, if the negotiations do not lead to an end to the threat, to react.
A knife threat, compared to one with firearms, unfortunately resolves quickly, for a number of reasons, including: close contact with the victim that also generates stress on the attacker and partial security that gives the knife with respect to the firearm.
If it is to be reacted, the reaction must be carried out in a lightning manner, using techniques suitable for each specific type of threat.
The motor patterns of the reactions must be studied and repeated in order to create a very fluid and fast action, such as to take the aggressor by surprise.
As far as possible, training should also include simulations that help overcome the psychological blockage that the drama of the situation generates.
In the specific case of the public security operator, two cases must be distinguished, namely whether he is an agent armed with a firearm or unarmed such as some local police.
If the operator is armed, the remote threat is very rare and, if so, it is often not about him, but about a hostage on the spot.
The threat in contact, on the other hand, can arise and often materializes with the main purpose of taking over the weapon of ordinance.
As for the undead aggression, the scenarios that arise to the agent are manifold.
If the attacker is a “careless”, his attack could (in these cases the conditional is always a must) be predictable enough, with wide movements to emphasize the force of the stab (this way of using the knife is in jargon called “pull sticks with the knife”), the attack could be improvised and preceded by preparatory movements that would give the agent time to prepare and , if possible, to also make use of the weapon of ordinance.
If, on the other hand, the aggressor is an expert, the situation is noticeably different.
His attack will be sudden, without preparatory movements, following a strategy.
The attacker will approach the officer, distract or calm him down, and pulling out the weapon would immediately hit the target.
From an analysis of these simple examples, one can see how fundamental they are to survive in this situation:
- the minimum safe distance of the individual operating unit from the suspect;
- the constant maintenance of the minimum safe distance;
- the correct positioning, with mutual coverage, of the various operating units;
- knowledge of some typical behaviors that I can help predict aggression;
- constant control of the suspect’s behavior, with particular attention to the movements of the hands, trying to always have them on sight;
- a correct awareness of risk;
- adequate physical fitness, which may allow the rapid movements of defence that knife attacks require to be properly managed to be implemented;
- a knowledge of defense techniques and their constant training.
The often asked question is whether it is possible to defend against knife attacks?
Are there any techniques and strategies to survive?
Knife-armed attackers and robbers are among the most dangerous, and escape is often the best choice as well as avoiding being a hero in case of robbery by handing over your bag, smartphone or gold chain.
Explaining how you can defend yourself against attacks carried with a knife or any white weapon is a kind of paradox in the field of personal defense if you do not start from the study of short knife fencing because it would be like explaining to go underwater before you learn to swim, you definitely go underwater but you can’t go up anymore.
Knife attacks are quite rare in conflicts and disputes that are unleashed for trivial reasons, even though cases are increasing due to the increase in the transport of firearms despite the fact that the legislatures of each country prohibit their transport;
The use of a knife as an equalizer by a possible attacker for the purpose of robbery or threat is very common in the case of assaults for the purpose of robbery.
The advantages of those who use a knife over those who rely only on their hands is that each shot generates damage such as cutting wounds or puncsure.
Knife attack can have really serious consequences for your safety and you don’t need to explain too much why it’s easy for anyone to understand, it’s an atavistic instinct to the weapon.
After all, cutting weapons have been taking place since ancient times with the use of sharp tools, and so on, and that blades have always played a decisive role in conflicts, in all the most varied forms, from swords, spears, hatchages, arrows, etc.
Although today there are firearms that are much more lethal and destructive than knives, the use of blades has remained a constant in all arts and culture of war and combat and in crimes in society.
The knife in modern society has remained and is often the solution to numerous private conflicts, as well as being a fearsome help to anyone who wants to attack, steal and rob the unfortunate on duty;
The consequences of using the knife to commit crimes or brawls can also lead to deadly clashes.
The defense against knife aggression? It does not exist as it is explained and often taught!
There is knife fencing!
Often in the cinema we see the actor on duty easily disarming his attackers armed with a knife or gun, all this is very far from reality because those who want to shoot you do it up close but far enough away not to be touched and in the case of the knife trying to disarm with a bare hand is equivalent to being cut, stabbed with the consequences that you can imagine.
The offensive capacity of a knife is very high!
The knife, as I told you earlier, even in the hands of a total fool can turn out to be a lethal weapon because we all use it and understand how it works.
Often those who have a habit of walking around with a knife in their pocket and therefore are committing a crime are a person who certainly knows how to handle a minimum if they have already used it to threaten or injure someone.
Unfortunately, a knife expert is practically impossible to deal with.
Escape when possible is always the best choice
Clearly there are forms of defence to neutralize knife attacks but they concern the study of short knife fencing and the use of common tools or other means of defending, the concept of the naked hand is to be rewritten as well as the concept of disarming.
Naked hand and disarming with the knife are few to understand its meaning in a real context and it is distant talk to discuss whether they work or do not work but these are principles that do not concern in themselves the naked hand or some lever to disarm.
Especially in the field of traditional martial arts and defence systems, these often imaginative techniques are not counted but in the reality of a non-cooperative context and violence such as that of aggression they are absolutely unenforceable.
Defending your life from a stab wound attack
If they ever threaten you with a knife for the purpose of robbery from your wallet or whatever they ask you, and stop.
Then go make the complaint but with your own legs and without injuries if not that of pride that you do not have to care about in situations like this.
You absolutely must not risk seriously injuring yourself, getting scarred or dying for material good.
The only situation in which you have to attempt a “defense” is when you are certain that the purpose of the attacker is to kill you, sexual assault, so when there is no purpose of robbery or intimidating threat.
But defense is meant when you can also create an escape doesn’t always mean hitting to knock out the attacker.
Also on the escape there would be to say why it is not always possible to do it, it depends on your physical condition and the environment in which you are.
So only if you understand that the attacker wants to hurt or kill you then you have to use any means to hope to survive.
The defense in the street against a bare-hand attacker is very different than the defense against cutting weapons.
They are totally different formations despite having some common aspects but the concept of parade or dodge with cutting weapons is totally different because it is a weapon that pierces, is a weapon that can cut both on the way and in return and does not need especially if the weapon is well sharpened with force.
In our work team we do a very thorough training of knife and knife fencing (Fencing Knife) also with a view to personal defense with cutting weapon but it is information that by ethics we do not disclose only in person.
On this issue there would be to open an in-depth debate in the martial community but often the logic of personal gain goes beyond ethics without counting the quantity of charlatans who show things far from reality while criticizing cinema but showing things that at least in cinema make people entertain.
Street Fight Mentality