Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Surviving Knife Assaults: 5 General Tips

Defending against assaults with knives and other sharp objects comprises a significant part of our self defense training at IKMF Toronto.  Beside being extremely dangerous, these assaults are quite common as such weapons are readily available.  Some examples include:
  • knives of all sorts (carving, jack, swiss army, hunting)
  • broken bottles 
  • screw drivers 
  • utility knives  
All of these weapons are easily concealed and used in various ways - stabs, slashes, threats etc....  All of these can inflict fatal wounds. Here are some general tips for surviving knife assaults:

  1. Flee whenever possible: Even well trained martial artist should heed this advice.  There is a bad Steven Seagal movie (is there any other kind?)where he waits for an assailant to pick up a carving knife so he can disarm him.  Bad self defense!  Flee the scene and certainly do not wait for someone to grab a weapon.
  2. Use common objects:  Chairs, gym bags, toasters, coffee, cups........Anything you can grab us use to distract, defect, shield or strike.
  3. Use your legs: Besides running, use your legs to kick.  Kicks can keep your attacker at a distance and are more powerful than hand strikes.  Keep in mind that this option is not available if your assailant is very close.
  4. Strike as soon as possible: To facilitate an escape or to disarm your assailant you must strike him.
  5. Observe: How is the assailant holding the knife?  This can indicate how he will attack and how you will defend.

Knife assaults are brutal.  Avoid and escape whenever possible.  There are times, unfortunately when these options are not available (imagine an assault in an elevator, subway...) and you must engage the attacker.  This is a subject for future blogs and the focus of many of our classes.

Please feel free to contact us with any questions or any suggestions for future topics.

Stay safe,

Christopher Gagne
Lead Instructor and Owner
International Krav Maga Federation(IKMF), Toronto

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