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Old 04-10-2008, 09:26 PM   #274
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Location: Dojo Address: 193 Turnpike Rd. Santa Barbara, CA.
Join Date: Feb 2002
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Re: Knife Randori Videos


Here’s my problem with the video – stating it here so as to tie this in with the last suggestion I made to Chris. (i.e. The point about spiraling distance and leading)

First and foremost, the moves shown in the video are “big man” moves. The mass and force necessary to have them work require that the attack have less of one or both. For me, that’s no way to design a self-defense or a killing paradigm. For example, no one would ever advertise, “Join now! Come learn to defend yourself against smaller people!” Jeesh – who would show up for that?

Second, the moves, regarding police work, demonstrate by the tactical options chosen that a police officer is NOT a weapons-man first. He/she is! Rather than training folks to pull their weapons as a last resort, officers need to be trained that empty hand fighting is an “f-up” you try and get out of – so you can pull your weapons. Why? Because this is life or death struggles – not sport. For officers, in my opinion, empty-hand fighting is the last resort. Running into to someone, closing the gap like that, guarantees that you will at worst not be able to draw your weapons or at the best find yourself in the middle of a weapon-retention battle. Both are terrible options for law enforcement personnel.

For me then, not just as an officer, but as someone that carries weapons, this is no way to fight a knife. This is only the way to fight a knife when you “f-up” and you can’t find your way back to your primary strategies.


As I said, I agree with the position that the standard knife fighting drills – even the ones we “did” in our own video – are very far away from how one should fight a knife or fight with a knife. I stated this earlier.

However, the reaction time theory proposed in the video is completely flawed, as it only pertains to the reaction time of an officer that stands still and attempts to draw from that position. Standing still is NOT the way to fight with a firearm. Anyone that does that and/or only trains like that is someone, in my opinion, that did not move passed the basic firearm restrictions that are placed on the lowest common denominator officer in the Academy.

Additionally, the officers in the video are only using level one holsters – another sign in my opinion that one is not gearing him/herself for urban combat while wearing a firearm, etc. In our video, Michael is wearing a level three holster and I’m wearing a level four holster. We are getting our weapons out fine once we drop the arbitrary range restriction of standing still. It’s not the knife that is the problem in the video, it’s the standing still restriction that is making the “reaction time theory” look valid.

I have never argued that the knife is not a lethal weapon – it is, and that is one reason why I do not stand still, rush in against folks that are my size or bigger, or not be able to know the difference between real and fake knife usage when facing a knife in real life. Toward that same point, part of fighting with a weapon, say a firearm for example, is knowing how to keep the situation prime for its implementation. For example, take that last section where the officer comes in on the guy attempting a burglary. What’s with the walking right up and saying “Police!” – and then you keep walking into knife range and right out of firearm range – what?! Last time we came up on that exact scene – only it was night – our weapons were already out and my senior deputy literally – LITERALLY – scared the crap out of the suspect, “SHOW ME YOUR HANDS NOW!” He never saw us coming, and the odds were so placed in our favor because of our approach and positioningthat we kept the firearm as the lethal weapon in the engagement.

For me the video shows not the lethality of the knife but the ineptness of fighting with a firearm in police work. That’s no way to make a point but the one saying the officers in the video need to re-evaluate their training assumptions and the practices they derive from them.

David M. Valadez
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