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Alan Armstrong
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Joined: 28 Feb 2016
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PostPosted: Thu Sep 29, 2016 4:32 pm    Post subject: knife defence seminars in the dojo Reply with quote

Wonderful martial artists (on YouTube videos) that really know how to give a self-defense seminar with takedowns, throws and joint locks...

With self defense demonstrations that encourage every one to participate. All seem happy enough to go along with the seminars and at the end a certificate like a cherry on top of a cake at the end of a perfect day; or is it.

For one major oversight from my observations is the knife defence scenarios.
Terrible!

How proficient instructors are with hand to hand combat and so lacking with knife defence techniques.

I am shocked at watching how knife defense is taught, especially the way it is taught to the public. Security personnel are also being lead astray with knife defence skills.

It takes alot of knowledge to teach knife defence skills. Most of the virtual knife defence techniques seen on YouTube are very unrealistic. It is just building a false sense of security.

Take these virtual knife defense tutorials and replace the plastic/rubber knife with a simple red marker pen, while being attacked using real speed instead of the usual unrealistic slow motion mode.

Wear white T-shirts and witness for yourself defending against multiple red marker pen attacks.

Knife attacks are usually a horrific event, perhaps something beyond what normal people would care to think about.

If you are serious about martial arts then be extra aware about knife defence techniques and scenarios. Knife defence seminars should be a deadly serious event and not a family pick nick in the park day out.

There are good knife defense techniques and ways to greatly improve your skills in this area. Be totally sceptical with everyone on this topic, because this is one subject that you might not get a second chance on knowing how to do it right.

People that have knife handling skills don't usually go to seminars to learn how to use them. The reason is that handling knives will already be a part of their daily routine as they are needed as a tool in many professions such as chefs or meat and fish mongers; just to name a few.

Those that use knives for making a living throughout the year compared to those that attend a knife defence seminar from time to time; there is a gap far too extreme for many to comprehend.
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Tempest
Green Belt
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 422
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 7:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Take these virtual knife defense tutorials and replace the plastic/rubber knife with a simple red marker pen, while being attacked using real speed instead of the usual unrealistic slow motion mode.

Wear white T-shirts and witness for yourself defending against multiple red marker pen attacks.


Up until this point, and after, I agree with your entire post. I must however call out this point because far too many so called 'TACTICAL" instructors will use this drill to discredit legitimate techniques that they simply can't do correctly.

Knives, for the most part, are made of sharpened steel. Now, sharpened steel is dangerous, but it does not cut you just from a touch. You can test this yourself with your kitchen knives. Try washing your knives by hand in the sink. Unless you're a pure idjit, you should be able to wash the whole knife, including the sharp edge, without gloves and without cutting yourself.

It takes 3 things to make a knife cut.
1. Edge contact - The edge must be in contact with the surface you wish to cut.
2. Pressure - you cannot cut anything serious, like human skin or clothing, without some pressure.
3. Movement - A blade has to move relative to its target in order to cut.

Remove any one of these elements and you will have no more than a scratch. Remove any 2 and the blade will not cut at all.

Most knife defense techniques are designed to remove 1-2 of these elements, not necessarily all 3, so the drill you describe with a marker will give a false idea of what works just as much as the slow speed demos do.

In my, admittedly limited, experience the best way to learn knife defense is by working with steel training knives and safety equipment to do both sparring with knives and realistic knife defense scenarios.

That being said, before you start studying knife defense, it is valuable to handle and work with sharp knives and understand what they can and cannot do.
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Alan Armstrong
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 1:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am not dispelling all knive self defense techniques or seminars. Just from my perspective and experience there is alot of realistic scenarios that could be explored.

As the household kitchen knife has been pointed out as not being very sharp. Professional chef knives are very Sharpe.

As a friend of mine was stabbed in the stomach with an ordinary kitchen knife, it did not need to be Sharpe due to the upward penetration of the knife tip was used. Luckily he was not killed from the attack.

Military two sided knives are also very sharpe and knife attacks take on a wider dimension of use than the ordinary one sided blade.

There is a variety of hand held pointed or edged weapons that could be explored; that don't necessarily need to be a knife, a broken bottle has been used in many fights and never have I ever seen one used in a self defence seminar.

The red marker pen (replacing a knife idea) is just to illustrate that being stabbed is alot harder to stop than (without obvious evidence) solely what the virtual rubber knife practice offers.

Many police officers wear bullet proof jackets to stop some unexpected types of knife attacks. This is a very realistic approach to self protection against bullets and hand held edged weapons.

As part of the civilian community bullet proof jackets is not acceptable attire. As the empty hand of karate is our way. We had better know the right way as opposed to a supposedly random approach.

The right way to knife self-defense is open for debate. Knife defence needs to transcend all martial art styles; then the truth will out class them all.


Last edited by Alan Armstrong on Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:32 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Tempest
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Joined: 31 Aug 2006
Posts: 422
Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Depends on the knife. Even VERY sharp knives need the 3 elements that I mentioned regarding a cut. I didn't say kitchen knives were not sharp, I said that unless someone is a pure idjit, they can still handle sharp knives roughly by the blade, without getting cut even with their hands. Add clothing, moving targets, and other combative factors and it all of a sudden is not so easy.
Most knife attacks are dangerous not because 'OMG KNIVES" but because knives are typically used from stealth and ambush. Often the target does not know that a knife is in play before they are stabbed. Knives are VERY dangerous, but mostly because they can be well concealed, are fast, and still deadly.

If you KNOW your opponent is bringing a knife, and you KNOW a knife is in play, then there are a LOT of things you can do that may work quite well, but if your first indication of a knife is the guy punching you and you smelling your own blood, then your options are limited and they all suck.

I would agree with you that a lot of knife defense as taught is unrealistic and silly, but then again so is a lot of punch defense, and lot of take down defense. If a person doesn't have a lot of experience with something, they shouldn't try to teach as if they do. Martial arts is not a holistic field where every black belt has experience with every type of fighting. Customers of Martial Arts schools and gyms and other places where these things are taught should be made aware of this and be very wary of anyone claiming to teach it all under one heading.

BTW, this is a fun discussion.
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Alan Armstrong
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 2:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Self defense classes that involve knives should IMHO need to be practiced in there proper contexts.

Military differs from security personnel as civilian will differ from police. If all of these are lumped together then they will all suffer from training (knife defence) out of context.
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Tempest
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Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Context is very important, that being said for military and police there knife defense needs, at least in the US, are limited as a knife at close range, usually within the oft cited "21 foot rule" that Tueller developed, is considered deadly force, therefore the proper response is to create space and deploy your firearm. Complex knife defense is largely a civilian game.
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Lupin1
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Joined: 15 Dec 2009
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Styles: Isshinryu

PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 5:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There's also the fact that when people learn knife defense, the "attacker" usually brandishes the knife from 10 feet away first. In most knife situations, it's concealed until the last second and you don't have time to do many of the techniques that are taught.

If someone brandishes the knife from 10 feet away, my self-defense is my CC.
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Alan Armstrong
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PostPosted: Fri Sep 30, 2016 11:29 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let's face it. Being unarmed and threaten by a person with a knife in an enclosed area such as a bus or train (with no immediate escape route) is going to provoke a response.

That response should be using self defense the alternative is to freeze up and do nothing?

Self defence standing up in a dojo may not be the right place to practice it. The wash room or bathroom with an enclosed setting could be more appropriate

Self defence in the street with a way to struggle /escape and run might be the best action to take. It is a popular opinion or option.

What if your pregnant wife and small child is present, then what, running is not an option and being attacked is not an option either. You will be the first line of defence.

What would your response be to a situation such as this?
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Tempest
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Location: Tulsa, OK
Styles: Judo, HEMA

PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 7:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I MUST fight a knife, and I cannot run, my first response will be to get something between me and the knife. ANYTHING is better than my hand and arm. Most small knives, of the type carried around for assault and other similar tasks, surprisingly will not cut through heavy fabric. A wadded up shirt of the type I typically wear is an excellent buckler in this situation. A heavy coat, which I have on my person quite often as they are used in HEMA, will stop mist knives at least once or twice. Then I would close distance and grapple. Stop the knife arm from moving, control the attacker, techniques such as what the Japanese call Ude Garami and the Brazilians call the Kimura are very effective for this. I am a reasonably experienced grappler and have practiced these techniques against a live resisting opponent so I am reasonable confident in them, that being said, once you go hands on, fights are CHAOS, so my main priority will be to keep the knife off of me.

Now, all that I just said sounds good, except for the part where I get stabbed because I screwed up somewhere. There are no guarantees in any fight and the variables involved in fighting a better armed opponent are just too many to count.

Since you asked, that is my plan.
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Alan Armstrong
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

KO or be killed?

My first response would be to KO the assailant ASAP with my right fist and elbow; perpetually. Until that person is unconscious.

While my other hand is trying to control the other person's knife holding wrist or arm, including striking blows also pinning that arm.

Also trying to redirect the knife point towards their own body or away from mine.

To KO another person size doesn't matter. We are all able big or small to be knocked out or knock out another person.

I'm not going to grapple and or tumble in a knife fight. A knock out is instantaneous as opposed to grappling, I'm not looking for a tap out submission.

An attacker with a knife, there intent is to cut or stab but not to KO their victim. To KO a person with a knife is not the reaction they are looking for or expect. It does require your utmost attention to pull it off with a single blow. So expect to use at least ten follow up blows. Then ask the whos and whys later.

There are ways to set up a knockout, or just like a gun slinger without a gun, being quick (hitting) on the jaw! Train like a gun slinger with speed and accuracy.

As the attacker has perhaps obvious advantages such as a knife, height and weight. Your instant trained response is your unobvious advantage, be quick it's your move!
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