Thursday, February 25, 2010

Reply: "Knife Fighting"

David said...
Not planning to need any of this, mind you, but my question is: if defending against a knife attack, I would think that a club, stick, or some sort of shield would be better than a knife. Pepper spray looks better than a knife, too, to my armchair warrior eyes.

The point would be to prevent getting cut up while finding a way past or over the attacker to escape. Putting any part of the body inside the reach of the opponent's knife would strike me as a guarantee of getting cut badly, so a defensive tool that created a buffer zone would seem most ideal.

I always thought a hardened umbrella (carbon fiber, fiberglass or even steel shafted), possibly topped with a broadhead from a hunting arrow might be ideal (no one makes one that I know of...maybe I'll go into the business...).
February 25, 2010 12:13 PM

I’d take a knife over impact weapons and OC spray. I doubt OC spray will help much against a knife attacker at very close range.
Knife vs knife isn’t much better, you’ll get cut for sure unless you can dominate your attacker, and an enraged person with a knife isn’t someone you can easily disarm.

Best thing to do is try things out. Not with a real knife but just use a stick, you can even chalk it to see the strikes.
A cane or club leaves you little are to defend yourself.
I’d sooner grab a chair if one is around, a larger object to put between me and the knife attacker. Shoving forward, hitting with the legs, to buy time so as to either get help, find an escape route or stay in the fight without getting cut.
The phrase “more dangerous than a chimp with a knife” isn’t accidental. A knife fight can get bloody and messy pretty fast, better to avoid it or to be the only one with a knife! If armed with a firearm creating the distance as you fire would be the best strategy.

There’s a testimony in the book “Esgrima Criolla” of a soldier keeping a gaucho (and his deadly facon) at bay until he collapsed with a chair, after shooting him with his 45 ACP pistol.
There’s another testimony where the shooter couldn’t achieve this and was killed by the gaucho with his blade, even after getting shot several times with a 45 as well. Seems that gauchos got pretty cocky and violent after drinking too much in the “pulperias”.



jj in sc said...

I'm no expert, and have had only a bit of training, but I would say train with both sticks/clubs, and knives.

Knives you can nearly always carry around with you, an umbrella might get left behind for being cumbersome at times, and nothing is stopping you from using both.

Besides all that though, sticks and knives are both objects that you find all over the everyday world. Even in the bathroom you can often rip off a towel rod or something. Learning to use such a common object just makes good sense.

Of course, in a knife attack especially, your best bet BY FAR is to run. Without a gun, the odds are very high you'll get cut, based on everything I've heard/read.

Anonymous said...

I think the best advice would be to have
Decent shoes - no flip flops/uggs/high heels.
And to train in cardio, you'd easily outrun most gangs and hoodlums.
And practice awareness and personal safety habits.

Our motto would be - 'If in doubt, run your ass off'.

Especially if you can't risk carrying a gun.

Don Williams said...

Alas, as you get older you discover that you are "too Light to fight --and too Heavy to run".

So you have to fall back on treachery and low animal cunning.

Uncle George said...

"Too light to fight-too heavy to run" is a definite reality for some of us in my age bracket. Reflexes are a lot slower also.

Unless you are a Gaucho in a facon duel, getting away from the fight is the best option. Many of us carry pistols, but those are best used to keep the knifer away - preferably with rounds inside him.

The knife is the most deadly weapon available for close in fights. There just isn't an unarmed defense against it. Knife on knife is sure to end badly - even for the "winner".

Pentecost's "Put 'Em Down, Take 'Em out" is the best work I have seen on the subject. He deals with prison techniques. In prison you often cannot escape and must defend against the knife attack, whether or not you are armed.

Carrying a knife and tear gas in addition to a pistol, is a common practice. It gives you some options if one of your weapons is ineffective or unavailable. Examples : outside in a high wind the tear gas is not likely to work for you; inside a thin walled apartment building a firearm may be too dangerous, for fear of hitting those in adjacent or opposite rooms.

Anonymous said...

In nations that don't allow you to carry any sort of weapon. Old folks are pretty much screwed and if they are expected to survive any encounter must break the law and at least carry capsicum spray and a knife.

The police and government don't give a squat about old people. Your on your own so save that money or you'll end up a poor old person - hell on earth.

Uncle George said...

Anonymous mentioned places where weapons are outlawed. Great Britain appears to be an example of this, as is Canada to a lesser extent. One weapon that cannot be outlawed is the cane. Many people have to use a cane and it is impossible to ban them. Canes can be taken anywhere, including aircraft.

Learning a few basic moves with the cane will give a person a means to defend against many attacks. I doubt the cane would be all that effective against an experienced knife man, and certainly not against a firearm, but they can give an advantage against most attacks. Oftentimes muggers are not all that well trained in knife fighting and might be discouraged by a cane used against a knee or arm, etc.

Canes are not as good as a firearm, but are better than nothing. They also have the advantage of being legal to carry everywhere.

An umbrella can be used as a cane and also as a self defense weapon. As with the cane, it is legal and better than nothing. An umbrella is less noticeable when carried on a rainy day or in an area that gets a lot of rain.

David said...

From the movie "Zombieland," rule #1: Cardio.

I imagine I'm pretty fast when being chased.

I'm 215 lbs, 6'3", bench press 160 lb free weight in routine workout and can still bench press my weight (I think) despite middle-age. Despite this, I consider my chances in H2H at "lousy." The reason? I learned playing (U.S.) football that some people are just meaner, with more pain tolerance, that me. We're not all cut out to be Superman.

This is why I don't look to knives or clubs to help me much. Situational awareness and avoidance is #1, followed by willingness to discourage aggression by early threat or use of pepper spray (if it's not windy) followed by reflex to a lead delivery system as an absolute last resort.

As Dirty Harry said, "A man's got to know his limitations." I know mine, your mileage may vary.