12 June 2014

More knife fighting BS

Today on Facebook a good friend and law enforcement student sent me a like to a video called something like "What you need to know if you carry a knife for self defense".  It was an intro to what I imagine are a series of videos to follow.  It showed a guy in his living room with is knife collection.  In five minutes, he spoke about the varying quality of knives, sharpening and carrying them.  The one thing he said that got my attention was that he had amassed this knowledge from years of study.  My years of study have taught me something much different.

If you want to study edged weapons like someone would study BJJ or Boxing that is fine, but the truth in that if anything you are going to be attacked with an edged weapon that you never see coming and you are going to have to defend yourself open handed.  Your knowledge of knives and the quality of what you are carrying will not matter.  The one that cuts your skin will be something that most reading this will not be caught dead with.  It will be a knife that was designed first as a tool and then pressed into service as a weapon.  Things like steak knives, screwdrivers, and box cutters.

Most know that I earn part of my living bouncing.  Recently, while working with one of my regular partners, I was involved in an altercation.  A fella who was a bit taller than me and about 80 pounds lighter was asked to leave the bar.  During the exchange, he swung at me and missed.  A buddy of his then attempted to strike me and got a palm smash to the right cheek bone that put him flat on his ass.  It ended up with three of us and about six of them, not counting the ones that were kicking one bouncer as he held the guy in a rear choke on the ground.  At one point, I had the original guy up standing and was taking him out the door when he did land a punch to my face and the blood began to flow.  In response to this, I hit him with two palm smashes and a kick to the ball of his ankle.  This brought is head down for a knee strike that opened up his forehead and took him out of the fight.  I handed him off to a bartender and went back into the bar to move the other guys out.  You may ask yourself what the hell this has to do with knife fighting.  It has to do with an observation that I have made many times.  During the chaos of a real fight, you and the people you are fighting will be moving all over the place and if someone decides to pull a weapon you will probably not be in a physical or mental position to see it.  All you know is that you are fighting a person, and to fight a person you are usually facing their front.  You might detect movement you recognize as drawing a weapon, but more likely it will be a roundhouse with a knife attached.  All the shots I took to my body and the back of my head could just as easily have been stabs or cuts.

The bottom line is that if your training is based on defending against a weapon that in real life you will likely never even see, and you are training to survive the street, you are wasting your time.  Here are some take aways-

During an altercation, the best place to be is well within arms distance.  If you are well outside arms distance, run away if you can.  This is usually not an option for police, corrections, and bouncers.  In that case, get a physical barrier between you and them.

Once the fight is on the fight is on, end it.  You need to decide what that means.

Tying up with one person is OK in the dojo or gym, but on street it just allows their buddies to abuse you.

The fastest way to take someone out of a fight is a combination of Central Nervous System disruption/destruction and Structural System disruption/destruction.  If you don't know how to accomplish that, then learn.

You will be held accountable for your actions either by your employer or in court.  Probably both.  There are very few situations where you could ever justify using a knife, or any weapon.  It is much easier to justify open hand strikes and some kicks.  Even easier if you never strike them with a closed fist.  Again,, if you need a closed fist to effectively strike, you need to seek training.  Broken hands suck.

Do with this information as you wish.

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