Knives intimidate. The thought of having half-a-foot’s length of cold steel driven into you just plain sucks. The first step to being even remotely capable of defending yourself is understanding the difference between the two types of knife assaults:
Type 1) Static, close-in, and threatening
Type 2) Dynamic, closing, and stabbing
Type 1 knife attacks are basically what muggers do. While not as Hollywood sexy as the idea of disarming someone who’s actively trying to stab you, it’s what your training should primarily focus on. It’s what you’re realistically most likely going to encounter on the street.
This of course assumes you’re:
1) Not in prison/on a “kill list” for targeted assassination
2) Never ever going to come across a serial killer who randomly stabs people
3) Your wife or significant other is mentally stable
Static knife attacks are also what often precede Type 2 dynamic assaults. Criminals use static attacks to size YOU up and to psyche THEMSELVES up.
Now focus your attention on the upper right hand section of the following video. You will see a man casually WALKING up into a stranger’s personal space, presenting a knife with his RIGHT HAND, than grabbing her and putting the knife against her throat.
And then, for whatever reason, he decided to PUSH the woman back on her heels with his LEFT HAND as he drew the knife back to stab her repeatedly and DYNAMICALLY, while HOLDING on to her with the LEAD, left hand. Unlike a lot of what is taught, your attacker HAS and will USE TWO HANDS.
What you have to understand is this criminal son of a b#tch who picks up a weapon is prepared both physically and psychologically to USE it. Not JUST as a Type 1 threat, but to actually follow it up with a Type 2 attack to maim or kill you.
Who knows why? This man might have been reacting to the woman grabbing his knife arm or he might have just not liked the look of her. After all, this assault took place in atheist communist China. A place where you not only have bitter class warfare, you even just saw those other pieces of sh#t simply walking and driving past the scene as the skel stomped her lights out.
In America, it isn’t much of a stretch to imagine a white man, or even worse, a white cop, getting assaulted by a non-white as other local scumbag non-whites in the community do nothing or even cheer on the attempted homicide.
This is something you must consider if you believe you should simply hand over your wallet if a weapon is pointed at you. Of course we can all agree your life is not worth some cash and it’s not a terrible gamble the criminal will simply take the wallet and leave. However, YOU have CHOSEN to open yourself up to play HIS game of CATCH UP because you are doing exactly what he expects. Because if he thought you might fight back, he likely wouldn’t have picked you in the first place.
I’m not telling you to fight over your wallet, I’m telling you to fight for your life. If you are the target of his victimization, the SAFEST assumption is even if he doesn’t kill or injure you on the SPOT, it doesn’t mean he doesn’t intend to do so. I already wrote about Tom here.
In Type 1 static knife assaults, your attacker will be so CLOSE-IN you’ll be able to smell the liquor he drank after dinner. His arms will NOT be EXTENDED. There will be no room for most techniques which involve an antiquated kotegaeshi wrist lock which came from a time when samurai wore ARMOR.
INTIMIDATION and CONCEAL-ABILITY. Remember, he needs to make a living doing this. He does not want to get caught and wants to get easy money from MANY individuals and/or move you to a secondary, LESS VISIBLE crime scene for the kill.
In a busy, urban nightlife area, he’s often going to position both of you to face a wall. This “side-hug” mugging viewed from behind looks like two drunks talking about the football game. NOBODY would pay any attention to this.
The next thing to consider is SPECIFIC knife defenses do not work. A criminal can attack you with a push dagger held in the fist. Or with a butcher’s meat cleaver held like a club/ home-made blackjack made out of rolls of quarters which would both still split your skull even if you managed to block at the forearm. Or attack you with a curved-blade karambit. Under stressful, low-light conditions, how would you tell the difference?
If you really look like an easy mark, the criminal will attempt to simply strong arm you in a mugging, while keeping the knife either folded as a fist pack or in his pocket, ready to deploy if sh#t goes south. Any self defense you train must thus treat empty handed assaults as if your attacker is armed.
Rather then rant about all the defenses which do not work, let’s take a look at a video where I can both agree and disagree with.
These instructors are teaching a forearm parry taken straight from Rex Applegate’s “Kill or Get Killed.” This parry is GREAT in a Type 1 static, mugging attack BUT in this context of a dynamic knife assault, it’s horrible. This is an example of how outdated and poorly done some elements of WW2 Combatives are.
It’s too SPECIFIC of a defense for a DYNAMIC assault. This would ONLY work if your attacker was TRAINED to commit with a lead thrust in the same manner that a boxer would throw a lead jab. The average untrained murderer is going to 1) lunge at you, 2) violently grab your clothing with his lead hand, driving his forearm into your neck and jaw, and push you BACK on your heels, 3) all while the REAR hand stabs you REPEATEDLY.
Or as Carl Cestari HIMSELF put in his Knife Defense instructional tape, when the skel throws a lead haymaker, hits your neck with his forearm, and gets you into a head lock, you’re lucky to even be conscious as you get stabbed REPEATEDLY. It’s not going to be one stab, he’s going to DRAW BACK and stab repeatedly. Even if you manage to grab the knife arm, he can still easily pass the knife to his OTHER HAND.
This is why I like what is currently taught by Cestari protégé Damian Ross of the Self Defense Co. He teaches you to go with your natural reaction which is to step off-line when someone charges you and immediately follow with edge of hand chops to the back of the neck. No simultaneous block-and-strike Krav Maga “bursting” garbage which teaches you to WAIT to get grabbed/stabbed.
The side-step found in Ross’ Weapons Defense Module 8 is literally the EXACT same technique Cestari taught in his Fairbairn Seminar. I own damn near all of Cestari’s DVDs in addition to Ross’s. I can definitely see how Ross really is continuing Cestari’s legacy of keeping combatives “stupid ape simple” as opposed to needlessly complicating things with antiquated jujitsu like other so-called “successors.”
Will you need to be able to hit hard to make it work? OF COURSE. If you can’t hit someone hard enough to knock him unconscious, your chances of surviving a dynamic knife attack UNARMED go to sh#t. If you can’t fight, your best defense is a 2nd Amendment one even if in an IDEAL world, you’d have BOTH.
This is why Ross forces you in his SDC Combatives system to develop and train your striking abilities in the earlier modules BEFORE he introduces weapons defenses. While some may like Cestari’s speaking style over Ross’s, Cestari’s tapes don’t include nearly as many organized TRAINING drills. The very progressive step-by-step and conveniently packaged nature of Ross’s system is why if you had to pick, you would buy Ross’s system over Cestari’s DVD’s even if in an IDEAL world, you’d have both.
Add the fact how all of Ross’s programs have now gone “Netflix” on-demand to meet the modern convenience of wireless internet. It’s as simple as:
1) Watch the streaming videos on your laptop, phone, or tablet
2) Download the PDF training manuals
3) Go HIT SOMETHING and TRAIN
And you can even film your training to upload it to the “Facebook” of self defense which is Ross’s forum. This way, Ross, other instructors, and fellow members can comment about what you’re doing right and what you’re doing wrong. Often it’s as simple as “keep your damn chin down and elbow up…” Or “don’t telegraph, lead with more SPEED and SNAP, than follow with power.”
At least CLICK HERE to get Ross’s FREE lessons and guide. All you need to do is given him your best email. If you get on his mailing list, you might even get a special discount (HINT, HINT). But Ross has told me if it gets too crowded on the network, prices will have to come up in order to make sure all the content streams quickly. So get on this NOW.
Until next time,
Hit with Hate. Hit the Weights. Seize the Day.