Enemies of Liberty are ruthless. To own your Liberty, you'd better come harder than your enemies..

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Knife Fighting

Many folks in our community have little more than an academic relationship with the reality of death fights. That is not an indictment, simply a fact. Most people have jobs and hobbies that do not involve CQB, getting wet with a blade or putting mushrooming wounds in people from firearms. Punching holes in paper or dinging steel with your favorite bottomfeeder has zero in common with what happens when the target shoots back. The relationship you have with your new fighting blade will change if you ever have to use it to open more than a can of peaches.

Here is a simple truth I have shared before: In a real fight everyone gets hit. Even the winner will get dinged up. In a knife fight, even the winner will get cut. In a knife fight, even the winner has a good chance of dying.

Should you pull your knife just because he has a knife? Not necessarily. But for the purpose of this post, we'll assume you choose to keep both of your hands empty. In my world a knife is an offensive weapon, with very minimal defensive utility. I usually prefer to have both hands empty when handling a knife attack. But, that's me.

In a knife fight:

- Run away if possible
- Hit 'em with the nose of your Chevy at a high rate of speed, if possible
- Shoot him, if possible
- Have one of your sneaky Tribe members shoot him in the back

If our four preferred resolution methods aren't going to happen, then suck it up and prepare to kill.

To kill - not to defend. Not to get the knife. Not to avoid getting cut.

You have one simple focus: Kill him.

I do not care how f'n good you are, how big, or fast you are. I do not care how small he or she may be. You are going to get cut in a real knife fight.

Here's where most "Knife fighting instructors" screw you up: They will teach you that there are different techniques for fighting against a knife. That is, essentially, bunk. It will help him sell knife fighting DVD's, but it'll get you dead in the real world.

Yes, you need to be peripherally cognizant at all times where the knife is - left hand, right hand, high, low, et cetera. But the man plunging a knife at your chest is handled exactly as would be the man thrusting an empty fist at your chest. You treat him as if he is unarmed. Your technique (if you have been well-trained) is the same:

- Control the wrist or elbow (or deflect at the wrist or elbow)
- Get off the line of attack
- Counter strike with everything you've got into the softest, most vulnerable spot you can find on him

If you miss your opening, remain calm. He'll either come at you again or quit his attack.

The same holds true whether the weapon is a brick, an ax, a bat, a machete, or a pair of kittens he's using as nunchaku. The only variable is range - keep yourself out of range of the weapon and force him to close the gap to strike. You focus on the man, not the weapon. You defeat the man, not the weapon. You kill the man, and give his weapon to someone in your Tribe.

A medic is an essential part of your Tribe. You'll need the medic or the grave digger when this is over.

That's simply reality.

It is what it is.

Here's a link to a woman who is undergoing her first blade training.



  1. Very informative post and funny.

    It has been an eye opening bit of training for me. Much more personal than what I am used to with my gun.

    1. Simply by reading you post I knew you were dealing with a decent trainer, which is invaluable. And your comments through the post revealed that you are cognizant of the important takeaways.

      Good for you for having what it takes to do the work and learn the skills.


  2. Spent many years in the knife and gun club ER's of So Central and E LA.
    Guns kill, knives kill more painfully and much bloodier. The homies who
    didn't pack heat often kept a bat handy... in their experience it gave them an edge over a knife. Another favorite was a bicycle chain. In da hood they weren't prejudiced, any weapon was a good one if it gave you an edge and could be carried easily, dumped quickly and replaced cheaply.

  3. In college I used to Fence, Foil and Saber. Our instructor was a US Silver Medal Team winner - one of three guys - and he made sure we understood the nature of the game. It was not just about some mental image, of swashbuckling romantic three-musketeer Ren Faire crap - it was killing using deadly long-handled knives, and back in the day (1600-1700's) when it was a popular form of insult-and-retribution driven "recreation," a lot of hot-blooded (and stupid) young men died. Which is why it was eventually outlawed.

    To understand the vital concept of "right-of-way" in Fencing, he stood en-garde with an actual 16th Century Rapier from his collection pointing at your chest and to EACH of us said, "I will give $1,000 to ANYONE who attempts a lunge or strike without first moving or touching my blade." The stack of bills sat on chair beside him. Looking down the razor edge was convincing enough, you couldn't lunge (or do any damn thing) without first parrying...


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