Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Bare Essentials of Knife Fighting

Avoidance & Escape are always your primary goals and are accomplished by situational awareness,de-escalation(verbal judo)& plain old common sense.Even if a physical confrontation is unavoidable & transpires,they still may present themselves as a option.But,if not.....

1.Point your knife at the attackers knife and follow it as if your shining a flashlight at it. This way when he attacks,your knife is between you and him and will allow you to target his knife hand/arm.Change the level and angle of your knife according to where He has his(high,low or midline).Fluid situation always changing.NOTE:This is primarily a consideration if you are squared off/facing with the attacker which is not real common if his intent is to do you great bodily harm,but this concept gives you the proper grip angle of the blade after deployment even against a sudden,unexpected,direct attack.It still applies even against those types of attacks especially after the initial assault attempt in which there is a immediate & direct counter response on your part,but may be followed by a face off position if you can't escape. Someone waving a knife in your face threateningly is usually wanting something from you rather than to assault/murder you.Ambush/Surprise attacks are the norm if they really want to take you out.Ritualized dueling or sport type sparring stand-offs are not what usually happens in real attacks.Many victims never see the knife until they've been stabbed multiple times.

2."Hypnotize" with the blade(movement,never static)& "Flash" the knife to get a defensive response & cut it(reacting limb).This means to use movement to set up specific attacks.Getting the opponent to flinch or react to a fake may allow you to deliver a slash to that limb.

3.Attack closet target & cut on way in & on the way out.Targets of opportunity.Double Tap."Flow" from one cut to another.Multiple cuts.One cut set ups the next.Example of flow:Slash to inside forearm flexors to disarm/"de-fang then push their weapon hand across their body and take the triceps and move to the outside & flow right into a cut to the lower Quad and then keep moving behind for a final cut to the Achilles tendon to end the fight/escape.All the movements flow into one another with continuous movement,but this is only one aspect as you can't and don't allows want to flow techniques together.Fluidity of follow ups may be determined by success of first cut(if it lands and it's effects).You may have to retract,recover & reset.This is especially true if there is distance between the two of you as you will frequently maneuver for a de-fang which will involve a lot of footwork and quick slashing movements back to a guard/ready position,but sometimes multiple quick slashes or doubling up at same target or perhaps flowing into another angle depending on opponents movement.Ex:two quick slash attempts at inside flexor both miss,but opponent crosses arm exposing outside of forearm which you cut trap.You attempt a Quad cut,but he moves that leg back and exposes the inside of front leg,so you cut the thigh with a backhand cut & so on.You may back completely out at some point or at any point after a failure or engagement to reestablish distance.

4.Get your body off the line of attack and counter to neutralize his offense with footwork & body movements(natural swaying & bending not stiff robotic).Backing up is fine against single movements or limited forward movement to buy reaction time/distance & to facilitate mental & visual processing,but against rushing attacks or the enemy keeps advancing,you want to use lateral movement or perform a tactical L(backpedal then move laterally)at the proper time/timing(opponent can't re-adjust/re-direct attack.If attacked before you have even drawn your knife,create distance and get off the line of attack if you can.An unarmed defensive move may also be needed or may even have to be used first before even get a chance to move(sudden close up violence)or anytime thereafter or even by itself(can't move,no space angles)although better to move if you can and especially in such a manner or way that positions you for an escape or effective angle for engagement and him in a bad one and off balance.

5.Use mechanical or disabling cuts to immobilize or take way attackers offensive capabilities.Primary targets include the forearm flexors(esp. inside),the biceps/triceps(usually arm holding weapon),the Quadriceps,Hamstring/back of the Knee,Achilles Tendon,Back of the Thigh just below fold of buttock(Sciatic Nerve),Inside Thigh(Femoral Artery,Femoral Vein,Femoral Nerve) & if relatively stationary,the Knife hand itself,but static positions are very unlikely.If face,neck or torso present themselves,then by all means take them,but you have to be closer to opponent to cut them,so limbs(extended from body/closer to you)are primary targets and cause mechanical disruption compared to "bleeding out" which takes time.However,a slash across the face(esp. eyes or general area)could be devastating as well as impairing vision.The Throat(trachea,windpipe & Carotids)is a target,but likely a kill shot.

6.Don't forget you have other offensive & defensive weapons......Your other arm,elbows,knees,two legs etc.You may have to use unarmed skills to deploy your weapon in the first place against ambush styles assaults.Example:One hand may parry their attack while moving off line & other hand simultaneously draws blade and makes a counter-response cut to their arm or leg etc.,no set responses just merely reacting appropriately to specific attack.

7.Distance is your friend.Control & dictate the space.Don't stay in his range for long,only transiently if at all.Ideal is to disable him with out ever getting into his range.Keep completely out of range and only close enough for an instant to deliver a cut to attacking limb and back out or flow into mobility cut(leg)and get out(perhaps continue movement to side or behind).Ideal angle of your attack is such that He doesn't have position/placement to counter before you get out(cut while His weapon limb is in motion and can't redirect or it's backside.)

8.Think "Win",just not survive.Subconscious influence."Survive" sets up a "try" mentality leading to greater chance of failure,fear & lesser performance.