Barehand defense against the knife is one of the most popular questions when it comes to self-defense.
Unfortunately, knife attacks when they are not a threat for robbery are often sneaky and hidden to sum it up in a few words, without honor.
Barehand defense against the knife is definitely one of the most complex things about armed combat and where nothing can be left to chance but there are at least 7 practical tips that you definitely need to keep in mind.
The 7 practical tips on bare-handed defense against the knife:
1 – Avoid the fight
When this is possible avoid the fight by running away, leaving the items you have, your wallet, purse, your pride and your ego.
Whether it is a person armed with a improvised knife or an expert remain both dangerous and deadly, never underestimate a person armed with a knife.
The only thing that matters is surviving!
Even if you are lucky and reacting neutralizes the aggressor the risk you run is very high and even if you have the upper hand does not mean not to bring wounds and scars that you will have on you for life.
Also consider that you may also end up in serious judicial trouble even if you’re right because in that context the dynamics are unpredictable!
An example of the attacker’s weapon falls on her during the struggle, you pick it up and the attacker instead of running jumps on you and you injure or kill him, you’re in trouble.
Of course, what matters is saving your life, but if you can do it even by running away, you run as much as you can and get you safe.
2 – Try to get a weapon
If you have a knife you have to pull it out immediately, or a blunt object, a stick, a bottle, a makeshift shield with a bag, a chair, other, common objects but you absolutely have to have something to contrast with your attacker’s weapon.
Knife extractions are an important aspect of armed self-defense because the time it takes to extract your weapon can make all the difference.
As for procuring an improvised weapon is a way of thinking it has to become automatic but to do it you have to reason and try this with the things you have on you.
Starting to observe when you are in the places or on the street what you could use.
Learn how to use what you usually have on you!
It is a mindset that needs to be developed and a good modern personal defence is also made up of observational skills to the environment and context.
You have to learn to take advantage of what’s around you to defend yourself.
3 – Keep the distance and put as many obstacles between you and your attacker as you can
Keep the distance, it must never get close, you have to move continuously and you have to try to put objects or other objects between you and him to allow you to find the moment to escape.
The practice of short knife fencing provides you with a good ability and understanding of the distance from an armed hand.
Consider that the distance with cutting weapons is not the same by bare hand.
These are approaches to train and mainly three:
- Duel-style attack: The person attacks you trying to hit you toe and cut but without “approaching” but taking advantage of the length of the weapon.
- Crazy Assault: He runs at you like a knife-wielding rampage, careless to protect himself and often pulling multiple attacks of the same shot at high speed.
- Hidden attack: Approaches with an excuse trying to distract you, or in the back and stabs you.
Now there are many articles on the blog that talk about this and I do not want to go to analyze in detail these aspects but they are suggestions.
4 – Even if you don’t see him armed and you’re threatened always watch his hands
Never lose sight of an attacker’s hands, if you lose sight of his hand it means he’s taking a weapon or hiding something and you can’t let him do this.
Attack immediately and run, you can’t give him the opportunity for him to pull his knife out of his pocket, lock his hand.
5 – You will be cut
You have to be psychologically ready that you’re going to be cut.
As skilful as you are and however much the cinema and improvised instructors/masters have for years told a misconception of the real fight if you have a bare hand against knife you will be cut.
The shock of a cut is very strong but you have to be psychologically ready to suffer injuries without blocking yourself and stop reacting in a rational and composed way.
It’s not something simple but you have to be predisposed to cut.
Sure the more you exercise and the more lucky you are as Bob Breen says but if you practice short knife fencing or specific exercises of bare hand against armed hand you know that it is not easy to finish a round without being “touched”.
Ps. Unfortunately I often see these kinds of exercises with the wrong assumptions but my method only shows it to my students and in private lessons.
6 – Sacrifice a part of you
If necessary you have to be willing to sacrifice a part of yourself and if you have seen some duel of southern Italy one of the first things they do is wrap the jacket around the arm to use it as a shield and protect yourself.
Consider that the whole parts of the arms are full of veins and arteries, the part to sacrifice is the outer part of the forearm but does not mean getting cut too much because it is always an extreme but necessary solution.
It is an extreme case but you have to consider!
7 – Be careful that the attacker is alone
We are talking about personal defense and if you read the many news episodes often it is not just a person armed with a knife but it is easy to hear or read news episodes where the attacker was armed with a knife with accomplices, so you have to be careful that there are no accomplices ready to hit you from behind or block you.
Today, multiple assaults are very frequent!
When you realize that you can’t avoid confrontation and that you can’t escape, you have to act immediately with the utmost aggression and violence.
Get yourself an improvised weapon, protect yourself with a “shield”, do not be afraid to hurt your attacker, you do not have to give her any opportunity because he is very dangerous, he is armed.
Move around all the time and if you see an opportunity to escape after the first foul fights, the aim is to bring home the skin.
In the armed clash 0 to 0 is fine, one to zero is fine, one to one is not good and even worse 0 to 1.
You’re fighting for your life and that’s the only thing that exists!
Society has educated us to respect our neighbour and to make us stand up for the police, but at that moment it’s just you and you have to do whatever it takes to survive.
One of the great difficulties is the psychological switch that must start immediately and that must lead you to do and to be something you never wanted to do or be.
The killer instict that’s not always easy to pull off!
As soon as you come into contact with the armed part of your attacker he continues to strike without giving up his grip but do not stay there as soon as you feel that you are losing your grip and attentive to his free hand and other parts of his body.
Manipulations and joint levers are options that can arise but you should never look for, but surely a good ability to manipulate and handle the armed hand in case you can grab it can give you the opportunity to apply a powerful joint lever or a disarming.
There are 30 joint levers from hand to neck and they go training daily (just 5 minutes a day) on both arms.
This is necessary if you want to develop the ability and ability to adapt the levers to the movements and forces of a non-cooperative opponent.
Doing this in an armed combat is something very complex but also if it is a very rare opportunity but you need to know because if you happen to know what to do.
If someone tells you you don’t need it often it’s just because they don’t know what to teach you!
In reality the problem is not the technique but the methods that develop the ability to use certain techniques.
Ps. Hit your attacker as if you were armed, if you think about defending yourself without attacking you’re doomed.
Do the simplest thing and do not try to apply techniques that you have studied just because you know them but you have to get into the flow and feel what is the best thing to do but to do this you have to do a lot of exercise.
You have to run away if you can but if you can’t fight like you’re armed too, you can’t just think about defending but you have to strike.
Consider that at that time your lucidity and your ability to perform certain movements will be very limited not to say in some cases cancelled out due to fear and heavy stress.
The choice of technique to use must become something you perceive but to do this it really takes a lot, but a lot of exercise.
The naked hand against the knife must never really be “naked”!
Coaches every day! Knife is not a game!
Street Fight Mentality