07 January 2013

On carrying large knives....

In my opinion carrying a large blade is dependent on how much time you spend sitting.  Humans are designed to stand, crouch, and squat.  The whole sitting thing is a fairly recent invention and accounts for lots of our back problems. 

I prefer American Express tools, ones you don't leave home without.  For me this is a Kel Tec P3AT and a Large Sebenza.  These go into my pockets the same way most would grab their wallet and keys before heading out the door.

When the need arises for me to carry a fixed blade as my primary deadly force option, I prefer knives with 3-5 inch blades.  This allows discreet carry regardless of dress or activity level. The small size also allows you to palm it at the first sign of danger.  Contrary to what many believe, it is not as easy as you think to draw a fixed blade while in physical contact with your attacker.  This is because of poor carry position, poor sheath design, and lack of realistic training (most of which is centered around already having the knife in your hand).

The only time I would prefer a large blade, 10 inches +, would be if I was outside of contact distance, largely because it would afford me to use the same principle based movement as I do with a stick.  But first, let's paint a picture of what a scenario would have to look like to make this possible.

1)  I would have to make a habit of carrying this big knife every day since you do not get an e-mail warning you of an attack.

2)  I would have to see the attack coming, and it would have to be that of deadly force for me to draw my knife.  That deadly force would have to be at stand off distance.

3)  I would have to attack my attacker to cut him, during this time I would still need to be in danger of having deadly force used against me. What would be the deadly force threat?

a) If it is a gun, as soon as I move, he will shoot me.  In best case scenario, I would trade being shot for getting my cut.  A mutual slaying.

b) A knife, in my opinion the most improbable, this would be the knife fight that many fantasies are made of.

c) An impact weapon, which would likely give him reach on you.

So, you can see why even though you could make a habit of carrying a huge knife, your chance of having time and opportunity for use are slim In my opinion, so slim that carrying a large knife for self-defense has little to do with planning to realistically use an edge weapon to defend yourself, and more with feeling cool.

The bottom line is that for me, out of all the tools I carry such as a gun, impact weapons, and knives (no matter the size), knives are the last tool I believe I will have the time and opportunity to use in a fight.  If I do need to use a knife, it will be to cut someone off of me at contact distance.  When you are this close, you cannot afford any movement outside of your silhouette or that of your attackers.  The bigger and heavier the knife, the more prone you are to swinging it outside that silhouette The farther outside the silhouette it goes, the better the chance of your attacker blocking and trapping it using nothing more than their natural protective responses.  Smaller blades allow you to use less movement and space The attacker should feel like they are being attacked by Hornets.  As a matter of fact, regardless of whether you are using open hands, stick, or a blade, the attacker should feel like they are being attacked by Hornets.  You want them to mentally and physically shut down The faster they do, the safer you are, and the less force you need to use.  This protects your mental well being as well as your freedom.

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