Live Blade in Self Defense?

Discussion in 'Self Defence' started by monkeywrench, Feb 13, 2011.

  1. monkeywrench

    monkeywrench Valued Member

    This video starting at around 2:18 shows a rape prevention self defense scenario. The knife in the video is real. I have confirmed this with the male instructor in the video.

    [ame=""]YouTube - Self-defense tips and demonstration[/ame]

    Here is the source of the vid:

    I am posting this to get feedback from the MA community on the use of live blades in self defense training and of course the use of a live blade in this particular demo. I will say the instructor informed me that he only used a live blade because he "had forgotten to bring [his] training knife with [him]". But he also indicated he has done live knife work before with the other person in the video.

    I have notified this instructor that I am putting up this thread and will send him a link to this thread as soon as I post it.
  2. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    Might as well get stabbed in training in case you never have to use your skills for real. That way everyone gets a go :)
  3. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    TBH I see little point in using a live blade a small stun gun would be much more useful. I also think there are live blades and live blades. Doing anything like that with a really sharp blade then you're going to spill blood sooner rather than later
  4. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    I can see no valid reason for using a live blade in training. There is no justification for the risk to the student if they err.

    If there is 'no danger' to the student because of their skill level or the quality of their drills then I would argue that the attack is unrealistic and uncommitted and thus the training drill is pointless.

    I've seen rubber knives snap at the hilt when my students have made mistakes and taken hits in full contact training. As a result I won't use anything stronger than a rubber blade.

    The video in question shows a static drill, but for me there is a safety principle involved. If you forget your training blade, just pretend there's a knife with an empty hand.
  5. SifuJason

    SifuJason Valued Member

    Hi there. This is the instructor here. My thought on a demo like this is identical to that of other live weapon performances with trained people. What do I mean?

    Take for example circus acts where someone is shooting an apple of someone's head with an arrow. Or the Shaolin monks who use live weapons in their demos, etc, etc.

    Everyone in the drill knew exactly what to do, it was rehearsed many times before, and the situation was assessed to make sure it was safe (ie no puddles of water on the floor, etc).

    Remember, this is a demo, not a training exercise.
  6. SifuJason

    SifuJason Valued Member

    Also, to clarify, while we had planned to use a training knife, the other person and I had done live knife practice with this specific drill beforehand. Everyone was well trained, and well equipped for the demo. Just like those Shaolin monks with their demos, the circus, etc.
  7. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

  8. SifuJason

    SifuJason Valued Member

    Nice link; I notice again how no one mentions/responds to my analogy to the numerous other live weapon demos people do. Again, the Shaolin monks stack people on top of sharpened swords, on top of nails, and then swing a sharpened sword to cut something lying on top of them, held in place by a small board (or what not). If one of them missed, the other people would die.
  9. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    I would argue that for a demo it lacked energy.

    You let the defender move your arm rather easily don't you think. And I agree with JWT that the attack was not commited.
    I accept that you did not bring your training blade, so why not grab the defender round the next and have her escape, there would have been little difference, in that she still has to remove the attacking weapon.
  10. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    The demonstrations by the monks are shown to indicate whatcan be achieved through years of training and meditation. That is not how they would defend themselves in a fight.

    Two totally different examples in my opinion.
  11. SifuJason

    SifuJason Valued Member

    As you notice, the attack was not committed. This was a demonstration to break down the technique, not an example of training. We do the same set of drills (with training knives) as part of a seminar we teach at UNC-CH. In those cases, we do commit more and have people practice against someone committing to an attack; however, in this case it was for film, and so we kept it slow and controlled. That is why we were comfortable using a real knife. Using a real blade with resistance in a drill like this is dangerous and stupid, and would never be done.
  12. monkeywrench

    monkeywrench Valued Member

    Your school, or any other, should not be run like a circus or a Shaolin Temple. Safety first.

    I've been to your school. There are many young children there. I wouldn't dream of training in such a way that would give them the message that it's ok, as long as you have training, to put an actual blade near someone's throat.

    I have seen Master level instructors drop weapons. I have seen all sorts of things happen by accident. You train without lives blades to minimize the injury if anything were to happen.

    Your training and experience are there for you to fall back on. They are not there for you to say "oh, I'm highly trained...nothing will happen."
  13. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter


    I'm not impressed by those demonstrations either. I've read of too many training fatalities due to 'silly errors' to bring any live weapon to a demonstration or to actual practice. It does not take much to turn a well practised demonstration into an unnecessary accident.

    I accept that 'other people' do it, in highly orchestrated demonstrations. That isn't a good case for you doing it, however good you or your students are.

    I'm suggesting that in future you should set yourself apart as someone who is not prepared to take that safety risk. The great thing about doing this is that you get to ensure your students safety in two different ways:
    1. You don't risk accidentally cutting them.
    2. You get to attack all out in a way you could not risk with a real blade and take their skills and pressure handling abilities to another level.
  14. Martial novice

    Martial novice Valued Member

    Sorry, I have to agree with the others that there is no need to use a live blade.
    The difference between this and the other examples you give is that the others REQUIRE a live weapon. Arrow needs to be sharp to pierce apple and Shaolin may use live weapons to impress. Who cares if they swing a rubber sword at a watermelon on a guy's chest?

    For the demo, though, you are showing how to move. Works just as well with a dummy knife, an 'any object' in your hand, or even an empty hand to show where she should move your arm.

    My 2c

  15. SifuJason

    SifuJason Valued Member

    A couple of things.

    1) I don't teach little children. Any children you saw were part of the TKD program at the building I teach out of. I don't have children in my classes, unless they are 10+ years old, and their parent takes the class with them, and only then if they are screened.

    2) Safety is first; however, you can be safe, and learn how to train a live knife demo. Remember, this is a compliant demonstration, for a film! This not how we train in class. In class, we use training knives and resistance.
  16. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Jay Dobrin trains exclusively with live blades.

    I still saw his training partner get cut at a seminar. It is one risk you do not need.

    [ame=""]YouTube - BIFF: Jay Dobrin & Phil Chenery. Knife to Knife Sparring[/ame]

    Now I accept that your drill was not as intense at this, but none the less accidents happen.
  17. holyheadjch

    holyheadjch Valued Member

    If you use a live blade in training, you deserve to get cut. Simples.

    I'm sure everyone here has taken bruises when a simple, compliant and unarmed training drill has gone awry. Add a blade into those accidents and all of a sudden you've graduated from bruises to potentially fatal injuries.

    If anyone here honestly thinks it is possible to safely use live blades in training drills under any circumstances, then you have no place teaching a martial arts class of any type because you are clearly a moron.

    There are several things that could have gone wrong in that demo that could have left either of the participants with serious injuries. And as for the 'everyone knew what they were doing' justification - no one ever expects to make a mistake in a demo, yet they happen all the time.
  18. Constant Flux

    Constant Flux Valued Member

    The bottom line is its an unnecessary risk. By that same reasoning why not use a live gun during a disarming demo? Why not use a live bomb when training EOD specialists how to disarm explosives? There are endless scenarios I could name.

    When I was in the military it was drilled into us that all weapons are to be handled with the utmost caution and respect and that you never point a live weapon of any kind to another person unless you plan on using it. Thats the same thing I teach my kids.
  19. Killa_Gorillas

    Killa_Gorillas Banned Banned

    @sifu jason

    slight de-rail but I would just like to note that the self defence you teach for a rape situation will get the student both raped and then murdered - your instruction is irresponsible beyond just the use of a live blade. You should hang your head in shame for teaching people that garbage.
  20. Moi

    Moi Warriors live forever x

    I think if you've got something to say you should just come out and say it. Stop this beating around the bush :)

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