Friday, November 18, 2016

Self defense against a knife

Weapons are a great equalizer against any trained martial artist. They have the potential to seriously injure or kill in one attack if you are not careful then you could seriously end up hospitalized or dead.

While there are self defense guides teaching you a complex step by step guide on how to defend against someone armed with a knife, the reality of the situation may not allow you to perform those techniques. A frenzied attacker would ideally charge at you with a series of stabs and cuts as opposed to just one fatal stab. You won't have time to react quickly enough against a very mobile attacker. Therefore, it is best to resort to simplicity. There are some fundamental principles that will ensure a successful disarm against someone attacking you with a knife within a short amount of time. The basic principles are as follows:

* Control

* Close the gap

* Takedown

* Disarm

1) Know the signs - Be aware of the people around you. Don't get too close to a complete stranger. In many cases, knifemen ambush you with a flurry of attacks. Have a plan in motion. Are you in a reasonable distance to escape via running? Are you in a confined area? Are there cars? People? Police nearby? Cameras? How will you respond against a knife attack? Be aware of your surroundings and a potential attacker. This video shows you different types of knife attacks.

2) Determine the attacker's intent - Is your attacker trying to kill you or rob you? If your attacker gives you a chance to save your life then take it by all means. If however your attacker is bent on killing or kidnapping you then it's time to respond.

3) Accept the likelihood of pain - If unarmed, your likely to get stabbed or cut. Regardless, many have survived knife attacks through willpower. The more mentally prepared you are for pain, the more chances you have of surviving. Don't give up even if you have been struck once. Keep fighting until you can no longer fight.

4) Use a weapon - What weapons are at your disposal? Sticks? Pipes? A sword? Chairs? A gun? Use them as an equalizer to a knifeman. Remember anything can be used as a weapon - sweaters, shirts, glass, sand, a wall, a door, a tree, etc. By using weapons, you increase your chances of survival than if you were unarmed.

5) Know which techniques are practical - There are many martial arts and self defense instructors that teach impractical disarming techniques in complex steps. As i mentioned before, your not going to have time to perform them. It doesn't take much for a knifeman to move back and move his knife with his wrist then stab you from another angle. Keep things simple and follow the basic principles mentioned above to guide you to proper disarming techniques. I've found an excellent video by Martial Arts Tutorials and Fight tips explaining how easy it is for a knife attack to occur. It also explains how to deal with a knifeman using the fundamental principles of situational awareness, closing the gap, timing, speed, controlling and isolating the weapon, and so forth.


6) Move around the direction of attack - When a knifeman strikes at you, he/she will likely move in to strike. When that happens, move to the side or behind the attacker where he/she is at a vulnerable position. The more distance you create by moving back, the more likely you are to get struck.

7) Control the offending limb - Once you've gotten in a position to disarm the knifeman, control the knifeman's arm by grabbing the wrist and elbow quickly. Controlling the elbow and wrist with both hands is vital to disarming an attacker. If you only grab hold of either the knifemans's wrist or elbow, it's very easy for the knifeman to pull away or rotate their arm to strike you and attack you with the other free hand.

8) Takedown the knifeman - Kicking the knees or behind them or sweeping his or her legs off balance as you drive your bodyweight with your knees on your attacker's back will ideally make disarming easier. It's more efficient to deal with one limb for a disarm than to deal with a knifeman's kicks, headbutts, and other hand if he/she were standing up. The faster you can disarm a knifeman, the better.

8) Immobilize a knifeman - Some self defense videos suggest attacking a knifeman and struggling for the weapon. While you may be forced to strike back in some cases, it will not work in others as the knifeman may be drugged to resist pain. You should focus on immobilizing an attacker by breaking or momentarily stunning the arm holding the knife, making a knife disarm easier. Doesn't matter how tolerant to pain a knifeman is, he/she cannot attack you effectively with a broken or stunned limb.

9) Retrieve the knife - Once the knife is in your hand, toss it into an area where your attacker will not be able to reach such as an ocean, a rooftop, etc. Land a few blows if your attacker is still bent on attacking you then run away to safety.

Key points to keep in mind:

* Focus - Your focus should not be on the knife. Your focus should be on the person controlling it. Control and attack the knifeman in order to eliminate the threat.

* Timing - Perfect timing is critical in disarming a knifeman. You must respond quickly. By timing your hands to grab hold of your attacker's offending arm and controlling, you are better able to disarm him or her.

* Control the distance - Always control the distance between you and an attacker. Never allow him or her to get too close or too far away. If you have difficulty controlling the offending arm then keep your distance with kicks to the groin or knees and strikes to the head. Don't kick above the waist as it leaves your legs exposed to the knife. Even keeping a few centimeters away from a knife can mean the difference between life and death.

* Use your environment - Don't get so caught up in disarming your attacker that you forget about your surroundings. Use the environment to your advantage. Pushing the knifeman off a bridge or an ocean could be your opportunity to survive an attack. Just pushing a knifeman into a brick wall could cause him/her to suffer a concussion or momentarily knock him/her off balance, allowing you the perfect opportunity to close the gap for a disarm. Using a barrier between you and a knifeman may also help. There's many ways you could use the environment to potentially disarm or even escape from a knifeman.

* Vision - A knifeman's vision is important. Blinded or distracted by other objects will serve to your advantage. Gouge and strike at your attacker's eyes. Do whatever you can to get him/her's focus away from the weapon.

* Various knife attacks - There are different kinds of knife attacks from behind, front, side, in different forms such as stabbing or slashing at high speeds. The knifeman may openly or stealthily attack you. Be prepared to adapt to each one.

* Angle of attacks - Being cautious of the angles and trajectories of a knife attack allows you to evade or move to a safer position where you can either control or attack your opponent.

* Distractions - Whether your attacker is an armed robber or a murderer, distractions are key in creating an opportunity in attack. Communicating with your attacker is also a means of creating a brief distraction before you commit to an attack or disarm.

Spend some time practicing disarming techniques and principles with a partner in various scenarios with a rubber knife. If you enjoyed this post, subscribe to my blog for updates, more advice, and exclusive content in the near future. I'm proud and excited to offer a FREE sample chapter of my E-book "Jeet Kune Do: How to build your own fighting system for self defense!" It's essentially a step-by-step guide on how to make your own self defense system suited to fit your own needs using Jeet Kune Do. If you would love to receive your FREE chapter of my e-book, click on the link below and share a post via. social media then it's yours for FREE! Be sure to also fill out the survey on the right and provide feedback on my blog. Leave questions, comments, and suggestions below.

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