There are many martial arts systems out there that teaches empty hand knife defense skills. Most of the scenario is your basic knife at the stomach, knife at the small of your back or thrusting at the stomach.
But what’s really different about this next one is what if the attacker has the knife at the neck area with the blade touching the skin. And, to make it further interesting for this training/demonstration is to have the attacker cut your neck if he senses that the defender tries to defend with a technique of some sort.
Fred Mastro is a self defense instructor from Germany, he has some great solutions for this type of knife defense. His approach is practical in sense of non economy of motion. In this case its actually about economy of techniques. For example, most self defense system would teach you to quickly go for the hand holding the knife and do a wrist lock to disarm them. So imagine in your mind as soon as the defender intitiate his movement to grab the adversary knife hand, more than likely the defender has been cut and they’re now wrestling over the blade.
Mastro shows you simple strikes at the ribs and the back of the neck to throw your adversary off, these are effective stuns that creates an involuntary reaction from the adversary to move away from the defender. Like when the doctor hits test your reflex by tapping your knees or funny bone. The beauty behind these strikes is that the attacker don’t see it coming.
[Fred Mastro] Ok, if you have a knife… Ok, this position. Not just to work here, because you can cut. At the same time, we need this, to have this little distance to work. Ok. After this, I love this. [Disarm]
[Director] One more time. And explain to us why he can’t stop it. May I? May I try?
[Director] So, if you move, I–
[Fred] Yeah. So if I move, you cut, huh?
[Director] Cut! I cut him!
[Fred] Ok. If I move, you cut.
[Fred] Elbow, cut.
[Director] I cut him.
[Fred] I go back, gun? Cut.
[Fred] Ok. (to Cameraman) Go here. (To Director) I need to make a little distance, and in the same time…
[Director] OH! [pained noises]
[Fred] Just to have a distance.
[Director] One more.
[Director] I’m gonna cut him.
[Fred] Yeah. Please. Ok. [Punches]
[Director gives pained noises]
[Director] (groaning) I cut him. I think I cut him.
[Fred] Ok. You know why?
[Fred] Because first time, you are like this. And second time, you are like this. [Laughter] Yeah. If you are close, yeah, get in close. Not close, this one.
[Director, grunting] Yeah.
[Fred] Very close, it’s incredible, but you have some nerve with your hands. [Fred whacks the Director, who grunts]
[Stick drops as Doug walks off in pain]
[Fred] Can you cut, Doug?
[Doug] Cut me? Ok.
[Fred] You don’t see what’s happened?
[Doug] You don’t see it, exactly. You don’t see it. You just– that’s the key.
[Fred] It’s mean, but it’s not these guys behind you.
[Director] You lose all intention. You lose ANY intention. You lose EVERYTHING.
[Fred] You need– for this one, is better, to feel just the end, some very close contact. Is possible [Uninteligable] With a short knife. No problem. But look the hand– [Fred attacks director] Distance. Ok?
[Director] Yeah, I pulled–
[Fred] You need this distance. The same. Here? Ok? The same move. You can see this. [Fred knees Director, Director falls, cursing quietly.] Ah, please sir. Please, please. [mock-cuts Director’s hand, laughs, helps him back up.] This one is good for camera.
[Fred] Because, is not large move. Is very close, slow motion, I don’t touch you. No, use your hand, use your hand. This. Where’s this, my body is not this, but this. And I need the distance with the knife. Slow motion.
[Director] Show me the wrong way. If you punch me the wrong way I go this way.
[Fred] Normal. If I hit you normally.
[Director] Yeah, yeah.
[Fred] Elbow is the same. The elbow is the same, if I block and I come in with the elbow, is the same.
[Director] *Bow*, *bow*, right through!
[Fred] Never punch in this situation. I saw some style of this, they come and punch– ok, but!
[Director] I’m cutting him!
[Fred] You know why? You don’t know the size of the blade. If the blade is this size, is the blade this size? Imagine a big blade, I don’t see, because this is my angle.
[Director] Yeah, oh, here. The blade’s here.
[Fred] I punch you–
[Director] *SCHTCHT* [laughter]
[Fred] Big distance with the blade. You cut the VIP. Sure. The same, here. I love -this- reaction. To have this reaction, you need to work down. Inside the knee [Fred kicks Director, Director grunts and reacts] and you have this reaction.
[Fred] Can feel the– You feel the knee.
[Fred] It’s twenty per-cent. Twenty percent. Twenty percent. Sometimes, -the same- ok. I can use, I like this punch. [Fred punches Director, who grunts and doubles over again] Ok.
[Director] Phone! [laughter]
[Fred] No, you can’t say, no problem. But I break the- [laughter] But the best one is this, and this.
[Fred] And no problem, I don’t need to catch this, look. Very slow, ten percent, look, this one and this one. Ten percent. See?
[Director] It’s moving.
[Fred] Take a knife, real knife. Real knife. This is muscle. I’m sure. Take the knife. Take! Take the knife, brother. Take the knife.
[Director] [Grunts in pain, drops knife, curses]
[Fred] Twenty-five percent. Just twenty-five percent.
[Cameraman] How ‘ya doin’ there, big guy?
[Director] I was not– ok that wasn’t rehearsed, I was not comfortable with having the real knife out. Uh, not something that we would normally do or normally show, but I guess in this instance, we gotta do it man. Because the videos sometimes don’t do this shit justice, and there’s a lot of– just, just, go man. Go to a course. I dare you. I will personally give you double your money back if you ever go to like a Mastro seminar and you’re like ‘yeah this is Bullshit’. Personally. I’ll put my life on it, man. Forreal. So, uh, the usual stuff: Like, subscribe, comment, come to a class and experience it for yourself. That’s all I gotta say. Now I gotta go… fuckin’…FUCK.
It is the question that has been asked many times in the self protection world. Whether you’re a survivalist, Joe DT, MMA wannabe or into Krav Maga. Sometimes you have to wonder, will this training help you survive in the real world, or is it just unrealistic training that you got yourself into?
Even Doug Marcaida Kali expert says, “that his Kali training is unrealistic”. That “none of this is real” and that there is a damn good reason for it. Filipino Martial Arts, like all martial arts, is plagued by criticism of its training principles. That movements are staged, rehearsed, practiced over and over again, drilled, memorized—until it becomes routine, until it becomes natural, until it becomes instinctive. Sound familiar? If you’re into firearms training, it should sound familiar.
Training is a progressive and fluid, never-ending lifestyle that first takes into the account the safety of the practitioner. When teaching someone how to use firearms it is advisable to take baby steps. To learn the safety rules. The mechanics of the firearm. Perhaps they start with a smaller calibre and progress and explore their preference. Paper and steel targets certainly do not shoot back. But the skills extracted through compartmentalized training (like how a boxer uses a skipping rope to work on stamina and coordination) are invaluable steps needed in order to progress the nature of said training.
Keyboard warriors aside, those who train understand that the value of compartmentalized training is absolutely essential to the bigger picture. Yet, we still read comments like “Paper Targets Don’t Shoot Back”—of course they don’t. In the same token we hear things like well he’s not attacking you realistically with that knife. Of course not. It’s a knife. Even dulled training knives hurt.
The point Doug Marcaida makes in this video is that like ALL training of ANY combative sport, any martial art, any sport PERIOD needs to first develop a solid understanding and mastery of the fundamentals before progressing into advanced. That the skills developed in training are valuable tools in order to appreciate and fully understand the nature of high speed, realistic and aggressive training. In the same way that a gun owner shoots paper targets to develop their skills and not simply tossed into an active shooter situation to “train.” So the next time someone tells you that Kali or Filipino Martial Arts training is unrealistic, simply smile and say “Yes. Yes it is.” —-you’ll smile knowing the reason its unrealistic is that it HAS TO BE.
Doug Marcaida: “Um it’s definitely exploring the different feeds that he can do can do– one feed, multiple attacks. So in this particular case Ishaan feeds one attack, Chris will do multiples and he’ll find his answers in this pod system (?)
“Now Ishaan will go feed, and feed twice. He’ll feeds once, and Chris will have to deal with that, Now ishaan will have to feed three times– one… and two… and three, in fluid motion. Ok? So, Chris and I-
Funker Tactical: “So, How much of this is prepared in your mind, and how much of it is happening on the spot?”
Chris: “So What’s prepared in my mind is, the, the angle–”
FT: “You have the same patterns all the time that you do for a low line or a high line, or…?”
Chris: “I have the same initial answer, and either I’m on the inside–, or I’m on the outside. From there, what I follow up with is based on where my hand lies, or how I feel. If my hand falls this way, I find I come back at any angle on the clock system that I see best.
FT: “There’s improvisation–”
Chris: “There’s some improvisation. There’s some improvisation but most of it, is calculated. If I go to stay up on this side– I’m on the inside, I go to the outside– cut through, exit on eleven. If I’m on the inside, say I was on the inside here, knife tap, oh he moved– I open up, exit on the one. Boom. Cut. Open up again on one. Jab him here, stab again on five. Open up, give me a nose strike– oop! Cut. Top, underneath, inside jam, pass on the outside.”
FT: “These guys are– I mean these guys have been doing it for a while, I imagine if this is something new to you, that’s a– a great place to explore and– you know, improvise and find new things!”
Doug: “You learn the basics first. So once again, it’s like learning a numbering system, right, you learn how to count from one to ten, then on one to one hundred, then you start mixing up different numbers, same thing as this. So, in this particular game, uh, Ishaan is doing a question and answer. I’ll transfer over, right? So. I’m asking Chris, ‘Ok Chris, if I deliver one question, answer, what happens if I give you this question in here?’ Bam. He gives me his answer. ‘Ok, but what if the question lies here?’ and then there’s another follow-up question to this, and Chris’ answer to that. In this question you hit this other thing over here, and he just answers, he thinks about it, he thinks about the angle, then he finishes the answer. Bam. So here’s my question, follow up with a different question, and this is another question. He gives me different answers. So this is like a question/answer, but we’re not trying to argue.”
FT: “I got it!”
Doug: “And it’s a difference, right?”
FT: “It’s a conversation!”
Doug: “It’s a conversation, because I’m trying to learn, I’m asking ‘Well, what if there’s this entry into that entry into this entry?’ Then Chris will think about it, ‘well if there’s here, into this into that’, then he’ll direct it this way. So there’s no right or wrong, there’s only exploration, that’s what we’re always talking about. If I’m in this particular grip, Chris I come in here you do that, ok now watch. When I come in here, I hook, and I cut you this way. So Chris comes up here and I’ll hook and I’ll cut you this way– then he’s got to come up with an answer going that way. Is it right or wrong? There’s no right or wrong. It’s whoever does what they do best, first, and better than the other person.”
FT: “So you guys have had many conversations?”
Doug: “A lot of conversations.”
Chris: “A LOT of conversations!”
FT: “So can we see an example of a non-verbal conversation? Like, what level are you guys at right now?”
FT: “Ah… Okay…”
Doug: “So my questions to him were here and here and here, and what you would do. I’m not trying to hurt him. I want to bring out things from him. And in the final things he wants to finish, this takes care of that. So the nonverbal thing is, I find a way where I grab, and he just automatically goes in there and destroys me. See, because there’s no resistance given to that. And the whole point here is that, ‘is it real?’, Guys, none of this is real. This is training! This is enjoying the art form. Once again, there are three facets of it, ‘Martial Art’ encompasses everything, within that martial art to make it realistic you want to have a reality base training within that martial art. But you also have to have a self-defense, which is ‘ok, here’s a stimulus of this attack’, his self-defense is how to deal with it this way. Boom. If I wanna be realistic later, I start pushing him and hitting him, hitting him, hitting him, and then he attacks and everything, that’s more realism, we’re trying to amp up with a lot of adrenaline and stress and everything else. Screaming and everything else. But then, again, we talk about the art form. In the end after we deliver the strikes in here, we do this–”
-Handshake between Doug and Chris-
Doug: “We’re friends, we’re buddies, everybody walks away. Integrity, Honor, enjoying what they did. And that’s a whole martial art that encompasses all these different facets of training.”
FT: “And that’s important for you, to not just be like– Because you know, in firearms training, in certain different martial arts, it’s all about “Everything used to be reality-based, train how you fight, fight how you train.”
Doug: “Uh, if it’s reality-based in firearms, and how is it that you’re shooting at a paper target, the paper target’s not shooting back? Where’s the reality in that?”
FT: “Y-and you know, there are still people who comment on videos that say ‘paper targets don’t shoot back’.”
Doug: “Well, of course, because it’s about safety. But do you ever question a bullet that ever hits somebody when they’re not prepared for it, they never saw it coming, right– or even if they are prepared for it? That’s what the paper target there’s for, that you express yourself perfectly. And if you hit that perfect target that even doesn’t shoot back, but if you train to do that later on, then you’ve accomplished something! You can hit something like a marksman? But same thing with weapons, it’s the same training. I’m not out here to book crazed people (?) I’m out here to go up with the way of the blade, the way of the weapons of Kali that we enjoy, nothing more than that. When we train in military, different story. The military doesn’t need to have all these other things of Integrity and Honor and they have a mission to accomplish. So we weed out all the other stuff. When you work with Law Enforcement it’s to protect and serve, it’s no kill in there (sic). When it comes to security programs, once again same thing: Safety and security. It’s to make sure the persons that they’re accosting, or they have to reprimand, has to be safe for them too. And then you have the civilian populace, where you can’t use a spear as a practice of the arts, so if you are faced with these things, you know what to do. But the number one thing is, never get into the situation to begin with, through awareness and everything else. Learn the disease so you can cure it.”
Transcription prepared by Sam Morstan
Source: Doug Marcaida Youtube, FunkerTactical
The Karambit knife is becoming more popular in the U.S. thanks to Doug Marcaida as one of the pioneers to spearhead the knife through training law enforcement with various government and local agencies.
In this segment Doug demonstrates the use of the Karambit to control by using the hooking motion to trap and counter with a strike or maintain control. In the Filipino Martial Arts style of training once a technique is learned, it is then applied to a flow drill such as the hubbad.
This drill is used at the close quarter range. This segment Doug highlights the function of using the karambit natural blade curvature to hook (capture), deflect a limb and using the point on the top blade for pressure point in joint locks control. The pressure point control demonstrated in this video is used to temporarily control to get the arms out of the way, its not meant to hold the attacker in their place.
For more info on Doug Marcaida go to Doug Marcaida Facebook