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.
Come to a Fred Mastro seminar and take the Funker Tactical Challenge: Block a throat cut attempt and your seminar is free! Some folks took them up on that and well…see for yourself! It’s done with a plastic knife, for safety purpose.
Funker Tactical sponsored Fred Mastro seminar by providing this “Throat Cut Challenge”. The result is pretty fun to watch and can only speculate that Funker Tactical and Mastro got the idea for this challenge from the late “Bruce Lee“.
Bruce Lee in his younger days before making it big in Hollywood. Used to attend the big martial arts tournaments and demonstrated his lighting punch. His punch was unstoppable, he would have top black belts try to block his punch, see the clip below.
From a self defense perspective, Fred Mastro demonstration offers insights. The main idea is to raise your awareness and respect that range and how vulnerable you are when a person is going to sucker punch you, with or without a weapon in hand.
[Fred Mastro] We have a Funker Tactical contest. Will you explain?
[Second person] So, Fred Master, Funker Tactical, right? So there’s a Funker Tactical Challenge: Anyone here who would like to film with Fred to TRY, keyword try, to attempt to block his famous knife cut, the seminar for you is free. IF you can block it.
[Second] But! You have to film it, and we have to make sure that Funker Tactical is a part so we can see it. So, anyone who wants to do that, please let us know.
[Fred] Or, if you don’t want to have your face in Funker Tactical, you can try for fun.
[Second] Or you can try for fun.
[Fred] Just for fun, no problem.
[Second] But if you succeed in blocking it, the seminar’s free.
[Fred] Someone want to try?
[Laughter, crowd noise]
[Second] One person! One person! One brave person, come on!
[Fred] I explain. I struggle with this holding on, it’s plastic. That way, no problem. Ok, you know the angle? We make the right distance, ok? Not here. Right distance. I don’t stop. My angle is this. You know the angle. Ok? When you’re ok, you tell me ‘ok’, then I start to cut here. You can block with this one, with this one, these two hands– like you want.
[Fred] Ok? You tell me ok.
[A few more thumps]
[Volunteer throws his hands up] Ok.
[Fred] Come on, just for fun, just for fun!
[Chanting ‘Christian!’ and applause]
[Fred] Just for fun! Ok. Distance.
[Christian] Like this?
[Paulo] That was good!
[Fred] You’re funny, thank you for this one. Ok, because here, is more easy. Then you can see. Long distance. You tell me ok, and when you tell me ok, I will. Not ok-and cut.
[Fred] After ‘ok’ I wait one second, and then we start.
[Fred] And I’m here. [Thwip]
[Fred] [after a few more strikes] Another two times.
[Two more failed blocks]
[laughter and applause]
[Fred] This is for you, Paulo! [laughter] You wanna do one? Just for fun, just for fun!
[Volunteer 2] Ok.
[Fred speaks, hard to hear]
[Volunteer 2] Ok. ECH! [failed block]
[More failed blocks]
[Fred] Last one.
[Laughter and applause]
[Fred] Last one? Please. Ya it’s for fun.
[Fred] I explain little after. Ok. This one, because this one, very easy. If you cut me at this distance, I am in trouble too. But is this distance, perhaps it is possible to block. Perhaps. Ok. You tell me ok.
[Volunteer 3] Ok.
[V3] Ok [Flinches, audience laughs]
[Fred] No, you tell me just one time ok. When you are OK.
[Fred] Now? Execution. This, execution. This, execution. You feel?
[Fred] For me, I’m sorry, but for me, this is more important. not just to cut to– not just to cut like this. We need power. No power of the cut, Because it’s- I am very quick. But not effective, then go back, gun, boom. And I kill him. I need power. I need the power. Last one, this power. This power. Ok, then you go and- [THUMP]
[V3] I was *not* ready.
[Fred] Thank you.
[Fred] Paulo! You spend money, because this seminar’s free. Not you pays, Paulo pays!
[Fred] Thank you.
Source: Fred Mastro, Funker Tactical Youtube