The knife or edged weapon is perhaps one of the most dangerous things a person can face in their life. The reason for this is that the edged weapon (which I will refer to as a knife but can by anything sharp) turns even the most unskilled person into a potential killing machine. They are readily available and are cheap. Most kitchens will have an arsenal of knives that in the wrong hands become tools that can result in the loss of life.
Now there are a range of courses out there that offer solutions to this, in fact entire martial arts and self defence systems have been created just to deal with the threat of knives. Its big business. People will pay a lot of money to learn how to deal with the threat of knives. So what do I think, what does the writer of the fastest growing and most controversial martial arts blog on the web think? Well to be honest my view point on knife defence is surprisingly simple:
"Everything can work in an instructors mind, however not everything will work for the individual student"
Now to be honest that a bit of a rip off from Hock Hockenhiem's comment of "Everything works sometimes, nothing works all the time" or words to that effect.( I heard this from someone who attended the seminar he taught, if its incorrect sorry Hock). I really liked it and got thinking about the comment and devised my own interpretation. The reason for my variation is that I believe that many instructors are creating techniques in their own mind. They get a rubber knife, create a technique, then get a friend to try and slash them and pressure test if it works. Now depending on the nature of the pressure test you get an assessment of the techniques ability to perform under pressure.
There is nothing wrong with pressure testing however something that most instructors are missing out in their equations are
- The Affects of Adrenaline and Stress
- The actual ability of the student
- The injuries from the blade
These 3 components are essential when designing any drill or technique. Adrenaline will cause a wide range of chemical and physical responses in the human body. The ability of the student will vary depending on skill, fast twitch muscle fibres, awareness levels and levels of intoxication. The big factor here is also the injuries from the blade. If you defend yourself against a knife you need to expect to get injured, expect to get cut and expect to get hurt. After each cut there will be consequences that affect your ability to fight. Such as the knife that slices you tendons in your hand as you grab the blade to stop it entering you. Granted, grabbing the blade isn't ideal but its better than getting stabbed, however once you have done this the hand you grabbed is out of action. You may also suffer cuts and injuries that reduce the actual bodies ability to deal with stress including blood loss, punctured lungs and much much more. Its a bit like the Carlson Gracie comment "Hit a black belt in the head and he becomes a brown belt".
Knife defence training can offer some very good techniques that could help you defend your life. The great danger though is again from the instructors. You need to make the student very aware that when faced with a blade the best option is always escape. If you have to go hands on then expect to get hurt and expect to get injured. Teaching knife defence is a difficult subject and I know there are many courses that are very good out there, however for every good trainer and system there will be many that are totally unrealistic and even dangerous. We must never increase the students self belief that they can take a person on that has a knife and defeat them like a action film star.
I hope and pray that more quality courses dominate the market place and the ones who teach blasé bolt ons for knife defence are embarrassed enough to either review what they teach and improve it or stop their training entirely.
As I say to all instructors "teach what you know will work, not what you think will work"
Here are the videos, look at the speed of the attack and also the way the attacker closes down the cops. Even guns dont help the police in the videos
Until next time keep safe
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