Re: knife defenses
Sorry to hear of your friend's terrible injuries. Obviously none of us will really understand what happened that evening. Maybe the yondan couldn't believe he was really being attacked and failed to react. Maybe he simply froze. Maybe he had been drinking himself and wasn't at his best. Maybe the physical environment (tables, stoves, etc.) kept his movement limited. Maybe he just made a mistake. And maybe he did the very best he could under the circumstances and prevented himself from suffering even more serious injuries. I personally believe that NO art will guarentee absolute success in every encounter, including the use of firearms. Training, good hard training, will increase chances of surviving without injuries. I often think of the analogy of seat belt use; they won't guarentee you will survive an auto crash, but they sure improve the chances.
I hope your friend recovers soon.