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Wynand van Dyk
11-29-2004, 04:41 AM
When we do tanto work, with wooden / rubber knives ofcourse, I like to play around and just stand in kamae and have a fellow aikidoka practice munetsuki on me. I try and tenkan out of the way and I have noticed that If I stay very close to my "attacker" I effectively block his next attempt to stab me and he needs to reset his position in relation to me.

In staying this close, he more often than I like manages to "cut" as opposed to stab me. I wonder if it is preferable, in real life to trade one type of wound for another. Would a long (but shallow) cut across the abdomen be preferable to an organ penetrating stab? Personally I think it would, a shallow cut across the abdomen is nothing that stitches cannot fix but a stab that punctures ones liver or intestines can lead to all manner of complications.

Ofcourse I know that I should endeavour to never let the blade touch me at all but I want some other opinions as well. If you have to, would you trade one type of wound (or no wound at all) for another (possibly less serious) wound to get some kind of advantage over your attacker?

Jorx
11-29-2004, 04:54 AM
In knife vs. knife work most likely in real situation BOTH fighters are going to suffer severe injuries.

A cut can result in blood loss which will weaken you very much.

What advice I hace recieved is that in knife fight one should start trying to cut opponents hands and face to weaken him because it's very hard to actually get this one finalizing stab...

ian
11-29-2004, 06:13 AM
Interesting point made by Ueshiba in his 'Budo training in aikido' book where he says 'in the past you would suffer a cut in the flesh to inflict a cut to the bone, but this is not the way of aikido' (or something like that). He is suggesting that we accept no damage at all.

According to British military reports (following 2nd world war) you are completely correct in your assumption. Fights where the person holds the knife backwards (blade pointing down from little finger, along wrist) are more bloody but produce far fewer fatalities than fights where the blade is protruding from thumb side, and this is due to easier organ penetration through stabbing.

A stab to the stomach or throat is supposed to have a very bad psychological effect on the opponent (regardless of severity). A stab to the kidneys is one of the best ways to kill someone (esp. in assasinations). Also, if you can, remove the knife after a stab, since it will allow more bleeding into the body cavity. (And the converse is true, don't remove an implement that has been stabbed into you, it helps to stop the bleeding).

A stab to the lungs (turn blade sideways to pentrate ribs) can incapacitate someone (lung-collapse, bleeding into lungs), as can slicing the achilles tendon (stops them running away). Of course the throat is very susceptible to stabs due to all the blood vessels.

Fitness is a good way to help survive with knife wounds. If you are fit your body can survive and work with less oxygen (and therefore less blood). So being fit may enable you to escape or survive long enough to get to hospital.

P.S. I do not recommend to anyone carrying or using a knife. They are a lethal threat - Personally I believe anyone carrying a knife is asking to be killed. Apparently knives kill more people than guns in the US.

PPS if this is too much detail Jun, please feel free to remove this post.

Wynand van Dyk
11-29-2004, 07:28 AM
PPS if this is too much detail Jun, please feel free to remove this post.

Your reply was interesting, thanks, in regards to what I quoted above. Why would you be worried about giving too much detail in a reply? Is there some forum rule I am missing?

mj
11-29-2004, 08:56 AM
Probably the detail where he details in detail how to kill people.

SeiserL
11-29-2004, 12:53 PM
IMHO, the outcome of most knife fights is one goes to the hospital the other to the morgue. It is wise in a knife fight to expect to get cut because stataistically it usually happens. But also remember that its usually an ambush and assination, not a fight. Check out some FMA forums.

willy_lee
11-29-2004, 01:50 PM
I wonder if it is preferable, in real life to trade one type of wound for another. Would a long (but shallow) cut across the abdomen be preferable to an organ penetrating stab?
As a *result* it is of course preferable, to have a relatively less life-threatening wound than not. Of course, as you say, you should not choose to get the cut at all, you should try to avoid any contact. It takes very little for someone to turn a shallow cut into a deeper one; do not assume that you will have that choice.

About your strategy, I think that sometimes you want to increase distance (in which case, you do not come in where you risk a cut), and sometimes you want to close distance. Keep in mind that often it is easier to close distance than widen it. And trying to widen distance sometimes means you are just giving him another chance to cut you. Sorry I'm so vague :)

=wl

bkedelen
11-30-2004, 11:37 AM
I disagree with Ian's claim that "anyone carrying a knife is asking to be killed". While this may be true in northern Ireland, here in the western United States it is a very common practice. A small folding knife can be an extremely handy tool. I personally know many stateside Aikidoka who carry a knife for a variety of reasons, and have never heard of it being a detriment to any of them. Whether to open your mail, cut your seat belt so you can escape a burning car, or simply so that you can learn the essence (and dissipate the fear) of one of man's original tools, a folder is an irreplaceable everyday item.

bkedelen
11-30-2004, 11:49 AM
As a caveat, I should mention that at no time should you deploy a knife against another human being. Doing so may not only lead to your death, but should you survive, you will certainly spend an unpleasant quantity of time in prison (knives are considered by U.S. law as a deadly weapon within twenty-one feet of another human, and thanks to Hollywood combatants wielding knives are always portrayed as bad-guys). It does the martial artist no good, however, to remain ignorant of the techniques and potential of knives simply because they are scary. One never knows when their survival may hinge on basic knowledge of a simple edged instrument.

mr_crystal
11-30-2004, 09:37 PM
Hi, I'm new to this forum and I'm from South Africa. I used to do Wing Tsun and the AMOK knife fighting system. First thing we got taught is, if someone pulls a knife on you....run if you can.If you can't, then you must be prepared to get cut. But you have to try minimize the damage to your body and try and inflict as much as you can on your opponent.Getting one good cut in can be difficult if the aisalant is any good with a knife, thus you go for the "smaller" cuts and at more frequency.To protect yourself, I would'nt recommend any cut to abdomen, but rather on the forearms if any place else and away from any arteries. Loss of blood will lead to someone passing out...and thats just not pretty at all.

CNYMike
12-01-2004, 09:05 PM
When we do tanto work, with wooden / rubber knives ofcourse, I like to play around and just stand in kamae and have a fellow aikidoka practice munetsuki on me. I try and tenkan out of the way and I have noticed that If I stay very close to my "attacker" I effectively block his next attempt to stab me and he needs to reset his position in relation to me.

In staying this close, he more often than I like manages to "cut" as opposed to stab me. I wonder if it is preferable, in real life to trade one type of wound for another. Would a long (but shallow) cut across the abdomen be preferable to an organ penetrating stab? Personally I think it would, a shallow cut across the abdomen is nothing that stitches cannot fix but a stab that punctures ones liver or intestines can lead to all manner of complications.

Ofcourse I know that I should endeavour to never let the blade touch me at all but I want some other opinions as well. If you have to, would you trade one type of wound (or no wound at all) for another (possibly less serious) wound to get some kind of advantage over your attacker?

In addition to the other excellent comments that have been made here, I'd like to add the following:

A couple of years ago, my Kali instructor played a video in which police officers who have survived knife attacks. There are plenty of police officers who have not; one offcier began his statement by saying, "As the emotionally disturbed female stabbed my partner to death .... " At least one officer recounted having a huge amount of stitches for his wounds.

It was quite a reality check.

So that slash across the abdomen, while maybe not lethal, would not be any fun either. Remember that a knife is a lethal weapon. All by itself, it is the equivelant of 10 or 20 years of martial arts training, and unlike an impact weapon, does not need to build up momentum to maim or kill you. You should respect the weapon and not poo-poo any potential injury, even if it something "some stitches should fix."

For the purposes of the drill you are doing, I advise slowing the pace down a little bit, and focusing on correct form and technique. You want to educate your muscle memory in the correct evasive footwork and make a habit of getting away from the blade. Don't worry about what to do against a super-fast slash or thrust; that's not the point at this stage anyway.

Lan Powers
12-01-2004, 09:58 PM
Just as an aside, it is very natural to raise your hands to deflect away an attack. Just remember to turn your palms in toward yourself, not out toward the attacker. Arteries on the INSIDE of the arms means you bleed down/out much quicker with a cut.
Not a pleasant thought, but being attacked with a knife ain't pleasant anyway.
FWIW
Lan

CNYMike
12-02-2004, 07:15 AM
^^^^ Yes, this is how empty hand disarms are introduced in Kali. Excellent point!

willy_lee
12-03-2004, 09:55 AM
Just as an aside, it is very natural to raise your hands to deflect away an attack. Just remember to turn your palms in toward yourself, not out toward the attacker. Arteries on the INSIDE of the arms means you bleed down/out much quicker with a cut.
Not a pleasant thought, but being attacked with a knife ain't pleasant anyway.
FWIW
Lan
As an aside to the aside, I learned this in a kali context too, like Mike. At the time I wondered why we didn't learn this in aikido.

Later I was perusing a book by Doshu (the current one) and looking at the photos of techniques demonstrated, I noticed that he was doing a lot of similar covering and passing type stuff with the back of his hands. I thought "huh, he does that too" :)

=wl

akiy
12-03-2004, 10:04 AM
As an aside to the aside, I learned this in a kali context too, like Mike. At the time I wondered why we didn't learn this in aikido.
I remember a class with Dennis Hooker sensei who emphasized exactly this point (of keeping the palm-side of the arm away from knife attackers)...

-- Jun

Rich Babin
12-03-2004, 10:53 AM
First, let me make it clear that I am not an attorney!!
There are very few federal laws related to knife carry, the best known being the ban on transporting switchblades across state lines. For the most part, knife carry rules are left up to the states - and there is a tremendous difference from state to state in what is considered a "dangerous weapon". In most states carrying "some" kind of blade is a right, but it is limited, not only to size, but to where you carry it, and most importantly, what is your reason for carrying it. A tactical folder of less than 4" in length is legal to carry concealed most but not all places, and remember, there are local ordinances as well (Portland tried to ban all knives).
I would recommend the website:
http://pweb.netcom.com/~brlevine/sta-law.htm
to anyone who carries and has not consulted and attorney in their locale.

CNYMike
12-03-2004, 11:53 AM
As an aside to the aside, I learned this in a kali context too, like Mike. At the time I wondered why we didn't learn this in aikido.

Later I was perusing a book by Doshu (the current one) and looking at the photos of techniques demonstrated, I noticed that he was doing a lot of similar covering and passing type stuff with the back of his hands. I thought "huh, he does that too" :)

=wl

Yeah, you don't seem to get that ready position where you have both palms turned towards you that Kail uses, but that may be a matter of reference point.

Jun added:


I remember a class with Dennis Hooker sensei who emphasized exactly this point (of keeping the palm-side of the arm away from knife attackers)...


Well, Aikido is based on Japanese weapons techniques; protecting your wrist veins from being cut is only sensible, so of course, it would be in the curriculum.

Getting back into Aikido while doing Kali is interesting; we did an Irimi throw once and I was like, "Oh, female triangle with both hands extended. Not a bad place to be." A good way to do it against my Kali instructor? Not sure. But as a general rule, not a bad place to be! :D

henry brown
12-03-2004, 02:57 PM
You want to take a cut on the back of your hand and arm if necessary because:

1) the muscles in the posterior are extensors. If you are cut badly here, your hand will naturally form a fist due to unopposed flexion.

2) all of the big arteries are on the anterior (palm) side of your hand.

3) the palms of your hands have more sensory nerves, so as well as your hand being forced open with a deep cut here (due to unopposed extension), it will hurt a lot more.

In my (brief) expereince at the medical examiner's office in Baltimore (many years ago), I saw a lot more people dead from knife attack with 'protective' wounds on their palms and anterior forearm than on the posterior surface. Maybe the people who knew enough to take the cut on the back of their arm ended up in the ER instead.....I don't know that for a fact though!

L. Camejo
12-03-2004, 06:26 PM
Interesting concepts about the use of the back of the hands.

From those who have experience in this, how would you regard the effectiveness of using the edge of the hand (aka hand blade) as regards defending against and fielding knife attacks to get into position, for striking or for follow up techniques?

LC:ai::ki:

CNYMike
12-03-2004, 10:22 PM
Interesting concepts about the use of the back of the hands.

From those who have experience in this, how would you regard the effectiveness of using the edge of the hand (aka hand blade) as regards defending against and fielding knife attacks to get into position, for striking or for follow up techniques?

LC:ai::ki:

I just looked at the disarms in the Doshu's book THE AIKIDO MASTER COURSE; most of the time when he's using the hand blade as a block is against the kinfe in an ice-pick grip. This isn't TOO far removed from what Kali does against that grip (the block is different, but the palm is turned outward, more or less), so it's probably ok.

Oddly enough, the book doesn't deal with forehand slashes or other types of thrusts. Could be a problem; maybe not.

In any case, let's look at some principles that can cut across arts: Guro Dan Inosanto has laid out three elements for a disarm: A "tranquilizer shot" prior to the disarm, the disarm itself, and a follow-up of some kind. The last is important because Guro Andy Astle explained that having his knife taken from him would put him at such a disadvantage that his first impulse would be to blast in and take the person who disarmed him out. You want that follow-up.

Well, in Aikido terms, atemi-waza takes the place of the tranquilzer shot, so don't forget that! The disarm and follow-up seem to be blurred together because Aikido likes to use a joint lock or throw to take the weapon, so pinning uke -- painfully one would hope -- counts as a follow-up. (I hope.)

Of coures "seem to" are the key words here; my evaluaiton could be off. So anyone else who's crosstraining in Kali and Aikido is welcome to step in and correct me on this!

L. Camejo
12-04-2004, 06:18 AM
Thanks for the info Michael.

What you said is similar to what I was thinking. Very recently we did some training incorporating the quick forehand slashes/thrusts to either side of the abdomen with the usual angled strikes to either side of the neck and straight thrust to the centre of mass. This made up 5 basic angles of attack and I applied the fundamental concepts we used for resistance tanto randori to these scenarios. Some very interesting angles came out of it for some intriguing aplications of joint and atemi waza. We did it at medium speed and then built it up a bit. We used it with the"ice pick" grip and will try some with the "reverse grip" next week and see how it works.

I would really like to learn some FMA and get more insight into their methods of using and dealing with the knife. But until I can find and instructor, I am using what we do for tanto randori (which has proven to be very effective in itself, especially against stabbing attacks) to develop a method of dealing with "any angle with any grip" knife attacks. So far it's coming along well. We use the hand blade primarily to do this, which reminded me of stuff I saw in FMA, but wanted to be sure.

Good info though.

Domo.
LC:ai::ki:

CNYMike
12-04-2004, 09:09 AM
Thanks for the info Michael.


You're welcome.


What you said is similar to what I was thinking. Very recently we did some training incorporating the quick forehand slashes/thrusts to either side of the abdomen with the usual angled strikes to either side of the neck and straight thrust to the centre of mass. This made up 5 basic angles of attack and I applied the fundamental concepts we used for resistance tanto randori to these scenarios. Some very interesting angles came out of it for some intriguing aplications of joint and atemi waza. We did it at medium speed and then built it up a bit. We used it with the"ice pick" grip and will try some with the "reverse grip" next week and see how it works.

I would really like to learn some FMA and get more insight into their methods of using and dealing with the knife. But until I can find and instructor, I am using what we do for tanto randori (which has proven to be very effective in itself, especially against stabbing attacks) to develop a method of dealing with "any angle with any grip" knife attacks. So far it's coming along well. We use the hand blade primarily to do this, which reminded me of stuff I saw in FMA, but wanted to be sure.

Good info though.

Domo.
LC:ai::ki:

:o To be honest, I didn't go into more detailed description of some moves because I was lazy -- I didn't feel like typing and typing! :o And my Kali instructor keeps drilling in principles anyway, so that's more important. But I'll give you a little tip that might help:

Remember that there are NINE angles of attack -- straight up, straight down, back and forth on the horizontal line, along the diagnols, and of course, the thrust. Basically the same angles you use for the 8-directions stepping exercises rotating 90 degrees plus the thurst. You should cover all of them. Yokomenuchi is probably the most important because in FMA systems it's "Angle one," the line an attack is most likely to come at you on, but the other 8 angles are important to.

And those angles are used not only for the knife, but for punches, kicks, other weapons -- everything will be coming in on one of those nine angles of attack. You've probably been playing with them all along and never knew it!

If you already knew that, mea culap, but at least I reminded you. If you didn't know that, then I hope it helps.

As far as FMA goes, a good place to start would be Sifu Dan Inosanto's web site. Here is the hyperlink:

http://www.inosanto.com

Unfortunately, I checked the instructor's list, and there doesn't seem to be anyone out your way. But it is a good place to start. That my instructors get their Kali from him and I went to 6 of his seminars is, of course, a coincidence. ;) :D But I hope this helps.

David Becker
12-04-2004, 08:00 PM
1) I highly reccomend the Caliber Press video "Surviving Edged Weapons." It's geared towards law enforcement but once the fight starts, the fact that you are wearing a badge doesn't change the dynamics of surviving.

2) Regarding instantly going to jail for using a knife in self defense. Whether or not you go to jail depends on whether you were legally justiifed in using the amount of force you used. It doesn't matter if it's a pocket knife or a flame thrower, the question is whether you were justified in using lethal force.

It is of course, best to avoid the whole thing altogether.

Regards
David

David Becker
12-04-2004, 08:53 PM
Of course I should have prefaced my remarks regarding legal matters with the caveat that they only apply to the US. I dunno what the rest of you have to deal with...

taras
12-05-2004, 02:02 AM
There is a lot of good advice and info on knife attacks in this thread, but no one said yet that the best defence against a knife is to run as fast as you can to avoid all the nice things that Ian mentioned.

A few years ago I finished training (yes, we did tanto tori) and went to work (hostel for homeless, nightshift) and yes there was a kickoff and people started running down the stairs screaming 'he's got a knife!' Funny, a couple of hours beforehand I thought that something like that would happen. Anyway, my best move then was to ring the Police. Nobody hurt.

CNYMike
12-05-2004, 11:13 AM
There is a lot of good advice and info on knife attacks in this thread, but no one said yet that the best defence against a knife is to run as fast as you can to avoid all the nice things that Ian mentioned.



My kali instructors have emphasized that empty hand defenses against a knife are the last resort; if running doesn't work, you can throw things at the attacker, or protect your hands with your shoe. But they're still part of the curricula for Kali and, of course, Aikido.

The Molinjir
12-05-2004, 12:10 PM
The tiny bit I know on this subject is this:
Try not to get in a knife fight in the first place, but if so, I have heard that you are supposed to slash at your opponents hands, not at his body, as the knife is too short to reach him without you sustaining injury to your arms. The goal, apparently (to the best of my knowledge) is to cut your opponent's hands until he is forced to drop his weapon. Then you either stab, or pin, etc.

Just my two cents,

Molinjir

L. Camejo
12-05-2004, 12:56 PM
Remember that there are NINE angles of attack -- straight up, straight down, back and forth on the horizontal line, along the diagnols, and of course, the thrust. Basically the same angles you use for the 8-directions stepping exercises rotating 90 degrees plus the thurst. You should cover all of them. Yokomenuchi is probably the most important because in FMA systems it's "Angle one," the line an attack is most likely to come at you on, but the other 8 angles are important to.

Yep, basically we are working up to that since the majority of my students are pretty much beginners, so I'm using a very graduated process to get to the 9. In our testing syllabus for 2nd Dan I know at least 6 angles come into play from different grips and hand positions on the knife and we usually do those in class on a pretty regular basis.

And those angles are used not only for the knife, but for punches, kicks, other weapons -- everything will be coming in on one of those nine angles of attack. You've probably been playing with them all along and never knew it!

Of course, been there, done that, got the T-shirt.:) These angles are common aspects of basic body movement, so they are all over in Aikido training as well. The lower diagonals appear nicely in low roundhouse kicks for example, which we have been training against a lot in recent times. I like to cover all the bases.

Unfortunately, I checked the instructor's list, and there doesn't seem to be anyone out your way. But it is a good place to start. That my instructors get their Kali from him and I went to 6 of his seminars is, of course, a coincidence. ;) :D But I hope this helps.

Yep, checked the area already. I think there is a FMA instructor who recently started in Puerto Rico, but as is usually the case for me I will learn it when the time is right in the place that is best. It's how I found Aikido.:) Thanks for all the info though, much appreciated.

The most interesting thing happened after a student of mine watched the movie "The Hunted" with Tommy Lee Jones et al. He came to the next training session and asked if I saw it, I hadn't until recently. He found that a lot of the empty handed moves looked a lot like how we do Aikido. Having seen it, I tend to concur with much of it, but the knife work was just unreal.:) We do tanto work every class so I guess this thread has inspired me to broaden our already extensive tanto practice to incorporate some stuff I may have been neglecting.

CNYMike
12-06-2004, 11:07 AM
Yep, basically we are working up to that since the majority of my students are pretty much beginners, so I'm using a very graduated process to get to the 9. In our testing syllabus for 2nd Dan I know at least 6 angles come into play from different grips and hand positions on the knife and we usually do those in class on a pretty regular basis ..... These angles are common aspects of basic body movement, so they are all over in Aikido training as well. The lower diagonals appear nicely in low roundhouse kicks for example, which we have been training against a lot in recent times. I like to cover all the bases.



Kewl.


Yep, checked the area already. I think there is a FMA instructor who recently started in Puerto Rico, but as is usually the case for me I will learn it when the time is right in the place that is best. It's how I found Aikido.:) Thanks for all the info though, much appreciated.


You're welcome. And I got into Kali by signing up at Guro Kevin Seaman's academy which was three miles from my house, so I hear what you're saying about the "right place."


The most interesting thing happened after a student of mine watched the movie "The Hunted" with Tommy Lee Jones et al. He came to the next training session and asked if I saw it, I hadn't until recently. He found that a lot of the empty handed moves looked a lot like how we do Aikido. Having seen it, I tend to concur with much of it, but the knife work was just unreal.:) We do tanto work every class so I guess this thread has inspired me to broaden our already extensive tanto practice to incorporate some stuff I may have been neglecting.

Cool.

"The Hunted" is one of those many filsm I haven't seen, even though there was an article in BLACK BELT about its the Filipino knife techniques that the actors used. I'll have to rent it sometime!