Defending against a knife attack

Discussion in 'Weapons' started by EdiSco, May 12, 2016.

  1. EdiSco

    EdiSco Likes his anonymity

    I don't have any experience/knowledge of knife fighting/weapons martial arts but all the reputable sources I have searched warn again and again to never fight a person with a knife (even a kitchen knife). That is, even if you've drilled defenses against it with a sparring partner :eek:

    I have a couple of questions:

    1. is it really almost impossible to fight a person with a knife? I know I wouldn't do it even after I've trained boxing for a couple of years. Even if I somehow miraculously beat the crap out of the guy, there is the almost certainty of me getting stabbed/cut and the scar from the incident would remain on my body forever....possibly on the face!! :eek:

    2. does it help if you are bigger, faster and stronger than the other guy and do a striking style such as boxing/muay thai rather than grappling?

    As of now, my experience is just 5ish months of boxing so my instinct would
    be to use that but I assume kicking would be a far better option but still dangerous?

    So the best option is to run lol?
  2. Shiga

    Shiga New Member

    Go on YouTube and check out some videos with Doug Marcaida. Some really informative info on knife fighting.
  3. EdiSco

    EdiSco Likes his anonymity

    Damn! Thanks for the suggestion!
  4. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    Impossible, no. The odds just aren't in your favour. I've had to deal with knives a handful of times and been very, very lucky each time. Your chances unarmed are really not good. Even with a years of training you're going to increase your chance of survival a percentage point or two.

    Knives don't know size, just gracefully separating materials. Size gives you a bit more range and lets you hit a bit harder but flesh is flesh. Every attribute in your favour helps a bit but a 5'8" guy against someone with a knife vs a 6'0" guy against someone with a knife, still a very small difference. They both still bleed.

    It depends. It can be good to create distance but you still risk the femoral artery being cut. There's a reason all the kicks in the HEMA manuals are to the legs or gut and usually from a bind. Kicking someone while they have an edged weapon free is risky. Sometimes it's the best option at hand though.

    There are several best options before you get to staring down someone who wants to carve you like a pot roast, like not getting into that situation in the first place, giving them what they're likely trying to rob you for, etc. Turning your back on someone with a weapon can be a bad idea. The goal is escape but escaping safely.

    If you're looking for some stuff on knife defence check out some of Paul Vunak's stuff and the knife videos by the Dog Bros. What really helps the most is prevention, or barring that range and a better weapon.
  5. Pretty In Pink

    Pretty In Pink Moved on MAP 2017 Gold Award

    Run like fun man. What's the point in fighting someone with a knife?
  6. Travess

    Travess The Welsh MAPper Supporter

    Since youtube videos have already been suggested, for you to take a look at, you may also wanna cast your gaze at...


    Last edited: May 12, 2016
  7. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Best form of self defence? Don't get in fights.

    Prevention, avoidance, de-escalation, giving them your wallet, almost anything rather than actually fighting someone with a knife.

    If you do, you are most likely going to get cut, maybe life changing injuries, maybe worse.

    Look on youtube for examples of knife fights. Then never go there if you can possibly help it.

  8. Travess

    Travess The Welsh MAPper Supporter


    Or, on a slightly more entertaining look at the same principle, this time from the knife wielders perspective... always be aware of your surroundings! :D

  9. Langenschwert

    Langenschwert Molon Labe

    A knife turns you into a superhero, since your jab can kill. That's deadlier than Batman. Say it again: deadlier than Batman. A knife user can flay the muscle from your bone or lay your flesh open like a book in a heartbeat. Why on earth would you fight that if you didn't have to?

    Give the knife guy what he wants. Run. Fighting a knife wielder is a last resort. You're going to get cut, you're going to the hospital, and may very well die there or in a pool of your own blood and entrails on the street. Not good odds. Especially if he's trained with knives.

    Give me an aggressive, athletic person and in under a day I can get him to a point where he will reliably destroy the average black belt with little effort.
  10. Ben Gash CLF

    Ben Gash CLF Valued Member

    If you see the knife before the fight is on then they just want your money. The question then is whether it's worth risking dying or for that matter killing them for the sake of £20 and your phone.
    If someone attacks you with a knife you likely won't see it until they've engaged you anyway.
  11. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    Not always that simple unfortunately.

  12. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    Timing. There are times where range is a factor and you may actually get chased down. Now distraction then running, far better.
  13. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    With any risk evaluation when the consequences can be lethal, the effort is more conservative. It becomes more about what not to do than what to do.

    Don't be an easy target.
    Don't provoke them.
    Don't trade blows with a knife.
    Don't give them any target you do not want cut...
  14. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    People often say this in a disparaging way. I think of it differently. If you increase your odds of survival from 1% to 2%, you've doubled your chance of survival, which is not to be downplayed, IMHO.

    Of course, depending on your environment, lifestyle and profession, your chances of ever needing any training against a knife may be so small that it isn't worth worrying about anyway, in which case the training becomes its own point and you do it because you enjoy the training. Same can be said for unarmed fighting though.
  15. Mitch

    Mitch Lord Mitch of MAP Admin

    And who is with you, and can they run.

  16. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Personally, I think that pure striking is the worst approach. If you can't control the weapon, it is going to remain a deadly threat to you throughout. All you're really doing is feeding your opponent targets every time you try to punch or kick them, and unlike in an unarmed encounter, you can die from injuries to your limbs if you're unlucky enough to have a blade sever an artery, or you can end up with an paralysed limb if a tendon or muscle is cut.

    Judicious application of grappling and striking is your best chance, again in my humble opinion.
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  17. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    Saying you doubled it is just misrepresenting a stat. If I've doubled my chance of getting bitten by a shark but it's a 0.000001% chance in the first place then that's not very meaningful.

    Against a determined attacker with a knife and you with nothing if you double your very little chance of survival you still have very little. It's not pleasant that you get such a little boost for all the time put in but that's the reality of dealing with knives. Overcoming an edged weapon with nothing at hand is extremely difficult. It's not disparaging, it's just brutally realistic.

    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  18. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    So I'm hanging out at my gym and it's me and a bunch of 20 year olds. We're all cocky as all get out. We train boxing together, wrestling, BJJ and kickboxing. We beat the everloving snot out of each other on a daily basis and have seen each other at our worst and our best. I had broken up with my girlfriend (now my fiancee) and had literally nothing else. Anyway, we train like animals. We look good, we're technical, we fantasize about defending our ladies and being James Bond/Indiana Jones/Shaft/whatever.

    So one day my sensei books this guy and he's 50 and he's potbellied and we cancelled our MMA class for this which really puts an impediment to our beating the snot out of each other schedule and so Angel, Angel six pack Angel, Angel arm bar from out of nowhere Angel, looks at this guy with this smirk on his face and the guy stops and kinda smirks back.

    "You think you could take me?" he says.

    "I don't know," Angel replies.

    "You think you could take me in a boxing match?"

    "Yeah. Yeah I could do that."

    "You think you could take me without getting hit with a jab? You think you could take me without getting touched? Ladies," he said, gesturing to all of us "You cannot get touched with my knife. You will be very upset."

    Nobody smirked. Everybody was quiet.
  19. tazzman1

    tazzman1 New Member

    defence agaisnst knife attack

    the best defence against a knife attack is run the other one, if you're not there you cant get hurt
  20. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    How is saying something that is actually true and correct misrepresenting anything?

    I do not see a 1% increase in the odds of survival as statistically insignificant. I'll happily take that advantage, thanks. If we take the 1% to 2% figure, that means that if I train 50 people, and all of them get attacked with a knife at some point in their lives, we go from a 50% chance of one of them surviving to being pretty certain that 1 good person will continue walking the earth who otherwise wouldn't. I tend to take a generational view of this stuff, so a 1% advantage is a big deal in that context.

    If you feel the gains from training are insignificant, why do you bother training it? Aren't you wasting your time?
    Last edited: May 13, 2016

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