Knife Defence Highlight #10

Sensei Canna offers insight into the real world of self defense!

Moderator: Van Canna

Knife Defence Highlight #10

Postby Rick Wilson » Fri Mar 09, 2018 9:30 pm

Knife Defence Highlight #10

Note: I wrote an entire book on knife defence called “Watch Out For The Pointy End” so these are snippets and highlights only.

#10 Taking control

There are different approaches to knife defence and I don’t believe it is a one size fits all topic. We are each individual, and because of that what might work best for one person may not for others.

One topic that has different approaches is controlling the weapon arm. Some go for it and some advise against it.

My approach is to get contact with the weapon arm and hopefully some control; however, I believe if your only goal is to hang onto the weapon arm to prevent the Aggressor from stabbing you then it is a time limited approach. Eventually that control will fail.

Once again what I am presenting is simply my approach I don’t claim to have all answers to all things just my reasons for what I do, so feel free to disagree and go a different direction.

To stick that pointy sharp thing into your body the Aggressor has to get close, which is why most knifings come at very close range (and for other tactical reasons.)

When things get up close and in bad breath range you need all the input on what is happening you can get and that is one of the reasons I want contact with the Aggressor. If possible, I want that contact to be the weapon arm but if circumstances prevent that then the opposite arm will have to do (buy my book to see where and why.)

That tactile contact is needed to sense and adjust what you are doing as needed. Getting contact is attaching sensors onto that limb to read what the Aggressor is going to try and do next as you do what you need to do.

BUT, if you are waiting to adjust to what the Aggressor is going to try next you will eventually fall behind and fail. Therefore, one of the main purposes of that contact is to affect the Aggressor by attacking their structure, balance and safety.

What the purpose of your manipulation of the Aggressor will be, will depend on your Goal. My book goes into detail about goals using (with permission) Rory Miller’s Goal – Strategy – Tactics – Technique approach.

I see four main goals when someone is trying to knife you: Escape, Distance and draw (or improvise) a weapon, Disable or Control. I feel control should only be attempted when it is a requirement of your profession or perhaps the person you are having to deal with. Control is the most difficult.

Based on these four goals the purpose of getting attached to and controlling that limb is to manipulate the Aggressor and that will lead to either propelling them away from you to escape or get time to get a weapon, or to disrupt balance enabling you to strike or break the Aggressor or slam them into the ground disabling them or allowing you to lock and take down the Aggressor into a controllable position. I will repeat here that disabling a person trying to kill you is a safer option than trying to control them.

My approach is to make things simple. You need to respond to a knifing by surviving. People who want to knife you want to do It with surprise and speed. If you can survive the first moment, then you have taken the element of surprise away from them. Avoiding that first strike is vital, but not enough because a second, third fourth etc. strike will follow and being connected to the weapon arm allows you to sense when and how they are happening and it gives you the opportunity to affect the Aggressor.

You want that contact to know what is happening, to use it to prevent further stabs or slices but even more so, you want it to attack the Aggressor directly and immediately by using the contact to disrupt, launch, lock or break them.

To sum up if your purpose to get hold of the weapon arm is solely to prevent further stabs then you are working from a defensive mindset and that control will not last; however, if your purpose is to use it as a tool to attack the Aggressor, then you are on the same page as I am.

Once again everyone must find the approach that works for them. I find avoiding and intercepting the initial assault in the same manner despite the type of attack allows for a higher chance of surviving a really bad situation. Let’s face it you are being attacked with a dangerous tool by a species whose success in the food chain was greatly enhanced by being tool users.

Find what works for you, condition it and test it as thoroughly as one can in a training situation. This is what I found works for me.
Rick Wilson -
User avatar
Rick Wilson
Posts: 575
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 12:43 am
Location: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

Re: Knife Defence Highlight #10

Postby Van Canna » Sat Mar 10, 2018 1:10 am

This is really one great post, thanks Rick. It, somehow, seems that Karate people/MA not show much concern about finding themselves against a knife...really what are the chances my defense will be against someone with a blade?

And, even so, there is a tendency to feel they will be successful against someone with a blade because of their kata, without specialized training in it. Same as in against street grapplers...

So if it comes they will take their chances [because of the confidence BS] and end up in a casket.
User avatar
Van Canna
Posts: 56690
Joined: Thu Mar 11, 1999 6:01 am

Return to Van Canna's Self Defense Realities

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests