Daniel Moore wrote:
In a Saturday pub scuffle I watched as a friend of my fathers (3rd dan in Aiki-Jutsu) was attacked by a drunken idiot holding a small switch blade. The attacker didn't perform Dojo friendly thrusts and swipes, but did quickly stagger over and wave the blade quite quickly (for someone drunk), and proceeded to cut off my fathers friends index finger and blind his left eye. With all his experience he couldn't defend himself against an attacker who doesn't even know where his own hands are, let alone act in a logical manner. This kind of attack is undefendible as you cannot predict where that blade is going to be next, in your ribs or in the attackers own leg. There is no defense other than running away.
Very sad and an all too common occurence in todays society.
I think we have to accept that much of dojo practice and dealing with extreme street violence are not strictly compatable. That doesnt invalidate the practice but clearly there are no guarantees that what you practice will easily translate into something applicable to this scenario.
If you look at the work of the British Combat Association and similar organisations the first thing they tell you about dealing with knife weilding maniacs is that you will get cut. adrenaline will explode through your body and dojo practice goes out of the window. For this reason they attempt to inject similar pressure into their training with abuse, swearing, dialogue and threats along with the attacks themselves.
Perfect dojo techniques even from the most skilled aren't possible when all the other factors come into play - darkness, strange clothes, slippery floors, loud music or whatever.
all you can do is minimise the risk and take the damage where its not going to kill you while dealing with the problem in the simplest way possible. eg back of the hands and forearms.
If the option of running away is there take it. If pride presents a problem then think of achieving a personal best. Do a sub-four minute mile.
If its not an option then the simplest techniques are what you have left to rely on. Anything elaborate will increase the risk factor. Learn to hit hard.
If this isn't what you want to do try to avoid such confrontations in the first place. Be aware of the ever increasing danger.
You don't elaborate on how this started Daniel ...were there any warning signs? did the guy come from no-where?
Anyway...not trying to lecture, I'm sure that there are others with greater experience than me around. Just offering up some general thoughts.
I also hope your friend recovers as much and as soon as possible.