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 Defending against a knife WITH a knife?

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PostSubject: Defending against a knife WITH a knife?   Fri Oct 16, 2009 10:48 pm


Much has been said about the difficulties of defending against (berserk) knife attackers. In the scenarios I've read, it is only considered that the attacker has a knife. But what happens if the defender also has a knife?

I've heard that in London all weapons are forbidden, so that option may not interest many of you. In Switzerland where I live, however, the law defines (since 31.12.2008) that non-automatic flick-knifes of any size as well as knifes with blades larger than 30 cm are _no_ weapons . So you can indeed legally carry a samurai sword on the streets.

My question to the forum is: How far would legally carrying a (possible very big) knife help a person against a (berserk) knife attacker? Being an amateur, of course I think of the Crocodile Dundee scene (see below).

If you consider my question ridiculous: Hey I'm no martial arts guy. I'm just interested in increasing my self defense potential to protect me and my family with whatever legal means I have.

Thanks for any feedback in advance

KInd regards

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PostSubject: Re: Defending against a knife WITH a knife?   Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:30 am

Two rules when dealing with a knife.

1) Steel cuts flesh
2) You canít change rule one.

Letís look at this from this angle. From all of the knife attacks that I have seen (I have looked at a bunch) if you have a stick in your hands you can keep the attacker at bay. They donít want to get hit in the head with a stick, anymore that you want to get cut. I have seen that play out over and over again. I have seen knife on knife and guess what? Neither one wants to get cut either. There is a phrase in knife on knife. One bleeds and one gushes, the one that gushes looses. I have only had a blade pulled on me one time. It was a box cutter and when he pulled it, he was really no threat at all because of his position vs. mine. So I really canít count that as a knife attack.

So with that been said, yes having a knife can deter a knifed wielding attacker, as will a stick, chair, 357 mag etc. Running is a really good option and first on my list when it comes to self preservation.

Here is yet another angle. First I do carry a knife (tool, itís always a tool first) and have done so for many years. It is a Spyderco Native, no serrations and it only has a 3.5 inch blade. Bigger doesnít mean better, every organ in the body can be reached with a 1 7/8ís inch blade. I have trained in tactical knife for quite a few years and focused on mainly biomechanical cutting. Which is basically learning the effects on the body when cutting specific muscle groups vs. gross slashing with a knife, you generally take what ever is closest. Contrary to popular belief I do not carry it just waiting to slice and dice someone. In fact I can only recall two times where the use of it even came to mind and in both cases it was not necessary. Anyway, just because you may have a knife it doesnít automatically make you safer. Learning to wield a blade properly can take some time and there are quite a few different schools of thought on the matter.

Hope this helps
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PostSubject: Re: Defending against a knife WITH a knife?   Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:05 am

Good advice, Roadkill - the "Nike defense" is always option #1.
pakbal2 - read the "Price of Admission" thread.
I think a knife, just like a stick or a chair etc, as Roadkill points out, are indeed great indicators to a potential attacker that you are too much trouble to worth screwing with. However, it is worth remembering, like it says at the end of the piece, you have to be up to dealing with what happens next if your bluff is called - and that ain't no joke with a blade involved.
Also, having the space and time to posture, is also an improbable luxury. Remember if they don't plain ambush you, there is probably more than the one guy standing in front of you that you will have to deal with .....
IMHO, a bit of awareness training and general common sense will help you avoid most trouble, and other than that, you need to train what you intend to use - alot.

"It will be difficult at first, but then everything is difficult at first". Miyamoto Musashi
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PostSubject: Re: Defending against a knife WITH a knife?   Sat Oct 17, 2009 12:30 pm

Thanks for your advice roadkill and maija. I consider a telescopic (non sweaping) stick a civilized tool. But unfortunately that IS classified as a weapon and can't be legally carried over here. I consider starting with krav maga, maybe they have some suggestions too. Cheers.
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PostSubject: Re: Defending against a knife WITH a knife?   Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:09 pm

Great Advice above Smile

heh, just my observation and opinion!!! (Trust no one, believe nothing... think for yourself)
Generalizing Suspect , in North America I've found that if you are seeing the knife, the attacker is either using it for posturing/intimidation or they
aren't really skilled with it...BIG FAT F*CKING NOTE... that makes it no less of a threat!.
Getting cut, seemingly out of nowhere sucks and you don't notice until after all is said and done.

Brings up the problem of carrying a knife for self defence... when do you draw it? when you first see another weapon? or on the
first sign of someone's aggression?

Don't treat the Krav knife defence as gospel, but as a starting point as to how to deal... test,check,test,check...
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PostSubject: Re: Defending against a knife WITH a knife?   Sat Oct 17, 2009 1:43 pm

I train Krav & I agree with the others, the knife defenses are better than nothing but there are better ones out there. Red Zone knife defence being one & with some reservations Dog Bros. D.L.O. (though at least they attack the head at the same time as they control the arm.) & of course, Ritchies.

I carry a penknife & have done since I was 10, I just bought my son his first swiss army knife for his birthday. It will never unless it is the direst of emergencys be used as a weapon. It is used pretty much daily as a tool , screwdriver, scissors etc.

It is interresting to note that following a little ramble round the web a while ago, I discovered that using the knife, even as a kubotan, it would still be classed as assault with a deadly weapon.

In Switzerland is it illegal to carry a knife under the length you specify?

I suspect that you will never deploy it in the manner you envision, In krav, we always try to train with the plus 1 principle, is my attacker alone, does he have a weapon, if there are 2 , is there a third? If a weapon, does he have another one? The same principle should be applied for you. Knife versus knife. you are equal, your plus 1 would be to get a longer range weapon, & a friend etc.

I agree with the other comments that if you are gonna be stabbed your not likely to see it coming. Friend I train with was stabbed post K.O. when he got into an arguement with someone. They knocked him out & then stabbed him.

You are very unlikely to get into a duel

I do carry a good strong folder when abroad usually. Probably not very grown up, but I saw an actual knife fight in the street in Aswan once. (Yes, I really did kids. Was in alley behind the hotel I was in & right under my balcony.) & so I do because others obviously do, would much, much, much prefer a longer weapon, expandable baton or running head start Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
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PostSubject: Re: Defending against a knife WITH a knife?   Sat Oct 17, 2009 4:45 pm

Blakops: In Switzerland one handed flick-knifes with automatic mechanism, butterfly knifes and throwing knifes with a total length > 12 cm and a blade > 5 cm, as well as daggers with a symmetrical blade < 30 cm are weapons. All other knives and sizes are no weapons. I don't quite see the logic behind it. See also (German only).
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PostSubject: Re: Defending against a knife WITH a knife?   Sat Oct 17, 2009 5:01 pm

Concealability, perhaps?
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