Knife Attack Defense

One of the toughest things you’re going to run into is going empty-hand against a knife. It’s one of the scariest situations you can possibly imagine. In most situations one of the most common and committed attacks is a thrusting motion straight at you.

Typically, when this is done in a demonstration, you’ll see martial artist thrust the knife out and just kinda hang it out there and wait for you to do a technique. When people do it for real, they’ll do what’s called “bulldogging.” Or ‘prison style,’ which is essentially getting their hands up into your eyes and just working the knife hard in fast thrusts towards the stomach area multiple times.

In a prison-style “shanking,” or a vicious street attack where the opponent’s goal is simply to kill you, you will have only one shot to block the initial knife thrust using self-defense technique.

There are a couple of techniques that you can try out and practice to see which ones works best for you. These two techniques are called “the Split X block” and “Stop block”. The main objective of both of these techniques is to stop the attack and control the knife arm.

Distance is very crucial in the controlling of the knife hand maintaining a close distance is vital to mitigate your injury. Ok, onward to the first technique.

Split X-Block
The technique to stop the attack is called an X block, split just means the arms doesn’t necessary cross at the wrist as in the traditional way of executing the x block. Distance and spatial relationship (awareness) is vital to making the block work. As you see the attack coming on you intercept it by stepping in, stepping does two things:

  • First, bridging the gap is your advantage in nullifying the attacker knife hand movement
  • Second, their attacking arm motion is not at 100% power when contact is made

Once the knife hand is stopped, the top hand hooks their upper arm to prevent them from pulling their arm back. At the same time the lower hand grabs at their wrist. Both hands now pull towards you to contol the limb. This is followed up with knee strikes, stomps kicks to the knees, shine and toe. In the video highlights doing a take down, a much simpler version is to shove (push) the attacker into an object or between an object like 2 parked cars. Then, making a run to safety, if not just merely continue with strikes and push them to the ground and run.

Stop Block
Just as it sounds one hand shoves out to the shoulder the other hand stops at their knife hand near the forearm area. Once their knife hand (arm) is stopped, the transition is to control.

Two on One
The control is simply to grab the knife arm and step to their outside position which is called zoning and you have both hands controlling the one arm, thus called “two on one”. two_on_oneThis term comes from Greco-Roman wrestling which involves staying on the outside and controlling their limbs. Follow up strikes are low knees to the thigh or head and driving headbutts as you see in the video.

The second video shows a little bit of resistance from their training partner with punches and switching knife, this is how it is practice so as to get a sense of a knife attacker movements.

Basically its about stopping the attacking arm (knife hand), minimizing their motion, controlling and strike until its safe to push them to the ground and run.

Written by J Hines

Source:Michael Janich BlackBelt Mag & Karl Tanswell of SBG