Thread: live blades
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Old 09-20-2003, 05:34 AM   #12
Location: Western Australia
Join Date: Sep 2001
Posts: 241
Dave Organ (DaveO) wrote:

IMO that shift in mindset is extremely valuable; a reinforcement that that weight in uke's hand represents a real threat.

Not for self-defence though; you're right there. So far; all the knife defences I've seen are one step from useless. Don't get me wrong, the techniques work, if the attacker gives you time to prepare, and if he uses the knife in a manner you've specifically trained against, and if he has no knife training or practice himself, and if you can overcome the instinctive horror a blade in the hands of an attacker gives you.

You'll note there are an awful lot of if's in there. Let's be blunt: someone using a knife for attack isn't thinking about fighting; he's thinking about killing. ... he's most liable to be coming in from the blindside in a rush - you're not even going to see the knife until it's residing in your kidney.

To be blunt; I see very little real defensive value in aikido knife-defence techniques.

But all that said; there's more to the techniques than defensive value, isn't there? They teach movement, control, discipline, among a great many other benefits.

Tanto techniques do help aikido in general; providing a separate element which nage must deal with. For this reason, a live blade can be an interesting addition for more senior members - lift a live blade against a yudansha and watch his smooth, polished technique break down in uncertainty in a real hurry.

Hello Dave, how's training coming along

Thank you for your comments. You do make an interesting observation in that when a live blade is in your hand, both tori and uke treat the situation and the tanto with a great deal more respect.

As for the effectiveness of aikido in a knife attack situation, I would hazard a guess that it would not be that different for any other martial art in terms of unarmed techniques against a someone wielding a knife.

I was very impressed with the Mr Michael Hackett's very pragmatic and informative post on "knife defenses" thread in this forum. He makes some very pointed (no pun intended) observations which certainly reinforce my understanding of the dynamics of a knife attack.

About 6 months ago, I had the pleasure (yes it was fun and informative) of attending a knife defense seminar form someone with the credentails to undertake such a seminar. He noted that if you are unfortunate enough to be involved in a knife attack, expect to get cut and to bleed. It becomes what is known as a frenzied attack and he showed that its very possible for about 30 stabs and slashes to occur in a space of less than 15 seconds.

The reason you don't see the knife before you're cut is that the knife is a short range weapon (less than half an arms length) and at that range it's difficult to get a complete view of what is going on, made even more difficult with the massive kick your body gets in adrenalin.

The points that you make certainly are in accordance with my research on the net.

However, given all that I am still unconvinced that there is any net value i training with live blades when the risk of injury and litigation is considered.

Happy training all

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