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Old 05-07-2007, 09:29 PM   #26
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

Quote:
Amelia Smith wrote: View Post
I disagree. Coming from a female perspective, I would think that knives are used more often as a means of intimidation than to kill, maim, etc.
What is used more often depends on your neck of the woods and the nature of knife violence trends in your area rather than from your perspective as a potential victim (I'm assuming you are not a potential aggressor here). My own reference was based on my own reality in this country and that gained from Police training material and reports on compiled knife attack statistics in the U.S. What is common in countries with a strong knife and blade culture will be different to what is common in a country where a gun culture may be more prevalent in personal attack scenarios. We are seeing an interesting transition in this country right now as more violent crime is being committed with guns than blades. Ten years or so ago crime with a blade was far more popular. So what is a "common real" attack can be affected by many factors imho.
Quote:
Amelia Smith wrote: View Post
When the knife is used to intimidate, not being intimidated and having some technique/response to get away is very effective, but at that point it's more about psychology than technique.
Of course it's psychological, the majority of actual self defence training is psychological, not technique oriented. Much of it focuses on introducing an average law abiding citizen to the criminal mindset and having that person develop a mindset that will aid them in survival when faced with a dangerous criminal. Technique is quite secondary with awareness being one of the primary elements of self defence training. This is why I made the point earlier about the differences between martial arts and self defence. The knife options I alluded to earlier were based on principles and mindset elements that one can derive from solid, Budo-oriented Aikido training, not just technique per se.

LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 05-08-2007, 12:59 AM   #27
DaveO
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

Hi all.
Not to be a jerk, but I voted "Not very effective" for the reason that I have a) survived street knife assaults, b) committed knife assaults and c) know the difference between Aikido and defence training.

The whole point of tantodori training is not to 'defend against knives'. If it was, it'd be totally useless, simply because the reality of a knife assault is so radically different from what is taught in the dojo. Knife assaults are wild, hairy, frenzied and you barely have a clue to what is happening - on either end of the knife - until it's over and you stop for a moment - assuming you're not the one on the ground making bubbling sounds - and think 'duuuhhhhhh!'.
Surviving a knife assault takes a heck of a lot of blind luck and instinctive reaction in the right direction. Deliberate defense requires specific training far, far above what any aikido dojo teaches and even then, it's 50/50.

The point of tantodori isn't fighting, nor defense. It's (IMO) to provide a focus, a means of directing ki into a very tight, specific course to test and sharpen technique. IOW, the threat posed by the tanto focusses nage's energy - either by intimidation or awareness - on the approaching threat in a far more direct manner than open handed technique.
I'm sorry, I realize this is only my opinion and not at all clear, I always have trouble expressing this concept. All I know is, if one were to face a genuine streetfighter with standard aikido tantodori technique, he'd have you for lunch, simply because unlike in the dojo, he's not playing your game.

Last edited by DaveO : 05-08-2007 at 01:02 AM. Reason: clarifying a point.

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Old 05-08-2007, 01:52 AM   #28
raul rodrigo
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

In my country, a "real knife attack" would mean an attack by someone who has Kali or Pekiti tirsia or similar training. (Not that these skills are all that common, even here in the home of FMA, but a kali attack is as real as real gets around here.) After 11 years of aikido training, I still don't stand much of a chance against one of these guys holding a knife.
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Old 05-08-2007, 02:59 AM   #29
Edward
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

Any armed vs. unarmed encounter is never very favourable to the empty handed party. I would rank it as follows:

aikido with Katana: extremely effective.
aikido with bokken/jo: very effective.
aikido unarmed: RIP

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Old 05-08-2007, 03:46 AM   #30
CitoMaramba
 
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

Well, I did my Pubmed Search and found one particulary interesting article. Here is the abstract:

1: Forensic Sci Int. 2006 Jun 2;159(2-3):113-8. Epub 2005 Sep 2.

Sharp force injuries in clinical forensic medicine--findings in victims and perpetrators.

Schmidt U, Pollak S.

Institute of Legal Medicine, University Hospital of Freiburg,

"The injury findings in 58 perpetrators and 158 victims surviving bodily injuries due to sharp force are presented here. Defence injuries were found in 45.9% of the victims without any significant differences between males and females. There was no clear predominance of defence injuries on the left forearm and hand, as
is known from autopsy studies; the right and the left hands were affected with an almost identical frequency. Regarding other parts of the victims' bodies, the topographic distribution of injuries showed a marked concentration on the left side (63.7%). The thorax, head and neck were frequently affected (45.9%, 15.3%
and 15.3%, respectively), and less often the abdomen (11.1%), the lumbar and gluteal region (6.3%) and the lower extremities (6.1%). In surviving victims with only one singular stab apart from the upper limbs, the incidence of additional defence injuries on the hands and/or forearms was significantly higher (28.3%) than in fatalities. When the perpetrators had unintentionally cut their own hands, the frequency of these injuries on the right and left hands was almost equal."

One interesting finding for me was this:
In surviving victims with only one singular stab apart from the upper limbs, the incidence of additional defence injuries on the hands and/or forearms was significantly higher (28.3%) than in fatalities.

In my opinion, this means that actively defending against a knife attack means that YOU WILL GET CUT, but will increase your chances of survival.
Unfortunately no data was collected on whether the victims or attackers had any kind of training in the martial arts.

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:40 AM   #31
seank
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

I voted very effective, but not because of any consideration to technique. I have been attacked with a knife by someone who grabbed the first thing at hand, and had various other encounters with different weapons pre-Aikido.

Whilst I can't really pin any one Aikido movement or technique (I hesitate to use that word) that is singularly effective against a knife, I firmly believe the biggest strength in Aikido comes in facing the attack, the wielder and the weapon (in that order).

I would suggest that most people with experience in fights of any type will agree that in any fight you either get lucky or you get hit; even the best technique can be defeated on a bad day. It follows the same reasoning that with a weapon, a knife or any other type, you can just as easily be hit/cut/etc.

I caveat this by saying that not fearing the weapon or the person wielding it, being prepared to receive an attack and not standing still are all physically effective responses to a knife attack regardless - and these are all things we can learn through Aikido.
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:49 AM   #32
SeiserL
 
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

Who is doing the Aikido?

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:04 PM   #33
Amelia Smith
 
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

Quote:
Cito Maramba wrote: View Post
In my opinion, this means that actively defending against a knife attack means that YOU WILL GET CUT, but will increase your chances of survival.
Yep. That's what I think, too.
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Old 05-08-2007, 06:40 PM   #34
Chuck Clark
 
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

Quite often the knife weilding assailant comes away with cuts from the weapon. Unless they're really well-trained in knife retention and have practiced cutting material similar to the real thing often (and having a well-designed knife) they cut themselves. I grew up hearing that the rule is: When a knife is involved in an attack everyone is liable to get cut.

Chuck Clark
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Old 05-08-2007, 10:28 PM   #35
Mark Uttech
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

Quote:
Paul Sanderson-Cimino wrote: View Post
I really feel like everyone who voted "very effective" should spend some time during jiyu-keiko demonstrating as much to themselves. Hand a training partner a tanto, and tell them to earnestly try to "kill" you as though it were a real knife. No need for classical aikido strikes; just swing or thrust the knife however feels most natural.

I feel like that might get some people to change their votes. I dunno. Just my two cents!
I have had awkward experiences, but it still would not change my vote. I voted 'very effective' and I continue to believe it. Practice is something to practice; practice is not 'something to prove'.

In gassho,

Mark
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Old 05-09-2007, 01:32 AM   #36
CitoMaramba
 
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

Quote:
Chuck Clark wrote: View Post
Quite often the knife weilding assailant comes away with cuts from the weapon. Unless they're really well-trained in knife retention and have practiced cutting material similar to the real thing often (and having a well-designed knife) they cut themselves. I grew up hearing that the rule is: When a knife is involved in an attack everyone is liable to get cut.
Yes, the study I found bears this out:

"3.2. Injuries of the perpetrators
Among the 58 perpetrators of knife attacks (50 males and 8 females aged 17--72), there were 21 individuals showing sharp force injuries which were mainly of a superficial nature. Five of the perpetrators had intentionally inflicted injuries on themselves after the offence, either with suicidal intent or to simulate self-defence. Injuries unintentionally inflicted during the attack were found in 16 offenders. Altogether, the perpetrators' hands showed 50 cut wounds with 24 injuries being localized on the right and 26 on the left hand."

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
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Old 05-09-2007, 02:10 AM   #37
Dieter Haffner
 
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

I happen to hear a quote from Sugano, that he made a few years ago, just yesterday.

When he was asked what he would do when someone threatened him with a knife. He responded: "Run away.". He said that anyone with a weapon, even just a pencil, had a huge advantage over an unarmed person.

I felt like sharing this because the overall feeling that I get from the poll and this thread is this: when you are doing aikido you will be OK when someone attacks you with a knife. Because there are lots of anecdotes about aikido people (even beginners) that could defend themselves. And half of the community says that what we train is very effective to perfectly effective.

I hope that noone, who has been training for a couple of years and did some techniques against tanto, will think that they will be OK when affronted by a knife swinger and takes his chance. Because "Hey, i have read on Aikiweb that this stuff is very effective.".

Now I know that noone has said that you should stand and fight, but it is very important to at least say that you need to run, no matter the years of training and previous fights you have come out off.

BTW, I voted not very effective.
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Old 05-09-2007, 05:42 AM   #38
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

The "just run away" response actually brings up something very important to knife defence imho. I learnt this while doing some training under Rocky Izumi who is also a certified DT instructor.

Just running away does not work always if confronted with a knife attacker. Running away must be done properly. The scenario training we did showed that a knife weilder will actually be able to accelerate and close on you very quickly and stab you in the back if you turn your back and run away from the attacker. This is the case as long as you are within 15 feet of your attacker I believe (those with more DT experience may verify this figure for me). However anyone can test this, try running away from a knife attacker by running in the same direction that he is facing (if he is facing you), even if there is some distance between you. See how quickly he catches up to you. This is because while you are turning around he is accelerating. Of course running away might work if you are both facing the same direction, but then this would likely mean that he is right behind you with the knife ready to go into your back, else he is not really a threat, but this close range leaves not much area for error or acceleration imo.

In the training we did the best running away option involved running past the attacker and exiting behind him, forcing him to turn around and then accelerate. In this case running away worked every time.

Running away also assumes that we detect the knife and threat while it is still possible to escape. With a knife you only realise what is happening most times after you are already in danger or hit. I think Aikido's awareness training helps a lot in avoiding the encounter, but going back to Chuck Clark's first post, it then comes down to who is weilding the knife and who is doing the Aikido. In running past the attacker to escape, basic tai sabaki (hopefully with something protecting your hands) works as well as anything else I'd imagine, so it once again comes down to who is involved imho.

LC

Last edited by L. Camejo : 05-09-2007 at 05:45 AM.

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 05-09-2007, 05:54 AM   #39
Demetrio Cereijo
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

Running away isn't always an option. Are you going to run away leaving your ...... - fill here with wife, sons, old mother, friend, platoon leader et c.- facing the knife wielding bad guy?

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Old 05-09-2007, 09:28 AM   #40
Edward
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

An anecdote first: My own grandfather, who was born at the end of the late 1880s, and obviously lived in a radically different era than ours, was severely injured in the belly by a knife that he was himself wielding. It seems he was trying to stab someone but ended up getting cut by his own weapon. For the record, neither my grandfather nor the other guy had ever heard of aikido or DT

This is to say that any encounter could go either way, even with a skilled knife fighter.

Also, I agree with Larry about the running away in the correct direction. I have been taught the same thing. Also I believe that if this was truly an option, aikido training should include a lot of short and medium length sprint training
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Old 05-09-2007, 09:32 AM   #41
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

Ah yes, the Monty Python technique... "Run Away! Run Away!"

Inocencio Maramba, MD, MSc
Dangayan Singkaw Aikido Shinzui
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Old 05-09-2007, 11:19 AM   #42
Mark Uttech
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

I think I will run away from this thread.

In gassho,

Mark
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Old 05-10-2007, 04:26 AM   #43
Rupert Atkinson
 
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

Simple: If you train against a real knife attack then your Aikido should be effective. If not, then ...

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Old 05-10-2007, 06:51 AM   #44
SeiserL
 
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

As always, who is handling the knife and who is executing the Aikido technique?

Since very few people I have trained with in any martial arts have ever really been in a real knife fight (ambush), and few are trained in executing a real knife attack, I would guess that even fewer train against a real knife attack, making their physical effectiveness just about nil.

IMHO, you will fight how you train. So train with honest and genuine intent and intensity.

Lynn Seiser PhD
Yondan Aikido & FMA/JKD
We do not rise to the level of our expectations, but fall to the level of our training. Train well. KWATZ!
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Old 05-12-2007, 12:13 AM   #45
xuzen
 
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

If my aikido move include blowing poison-tipped dart out of a blow-pipe and knife wielding assailant is standing 10-15 meters or so... yeah, I guess I would be effective.

Boon.

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Old 05-12-2007, 10:20 AM   #46
wayneth
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

Whenever we do tanto-dori in class, my instructor always says the same thing and that is you have three options when threatened with someone brandishing a knife.
1. run...it don't make you a coward if you were to run
2. if that fails get a weapon of your own, whether it be a snooker que, a belt or what Sensei Cottier says use a big thick winter coat which adds protection, even if just a little.
3. if all three fail, then you have to refer to empty handed defence but it doesnt have to be techniques like shiho-nage or sankyo etc. just simple tai-sabaki away from the situation and then run.

I don't think its the aikido that is effective, rather the person, especially when defending yourself against a knife attack. When threatened you have to be positive in thinking that when you have to move you move and don't freeze on the spot, which I would imagine does happen quite often.
Wayne
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Old 05-12-2007, 12:06 PM   #47
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

I've uploaded three images of wounds sustained by a police officer that thought he could disarm someone with a knife. He decided to not use his duty pistol, stick, etc.

Warning: This images are graphic.

http://www.jiyushinkai.org/wounds.html

Hard to look at but necessary to understand reality.

Chuck Clark
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Old 05-12-2007, 03:05 PM   #48
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

I repeat what someone said earlier. It depends on the attacker and the defender. Someone stated this was more of a starting point than an end point to the person who made this statement earlier. As if such a simple answer does not appropriately answer the question Thats fine if the goal is just conversation and speculation but in the end it still depends on the attacker & defender thats just the way it is.
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Old 05-12-2007, 06:15 PM   #49
L. Camejo
 
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

Good photos for the reality check Clark Sensei.

Sadly, though we may speculate about this online there are people who do end up in situations where they are unarmed and someone is attacking them with a knife and as Clark Sensei's photos show, the results are often not pretty (if one survives).

As Budoka we would hope that there is something in our training to comprehensively deal with this situation, but there is no guarantee and it is quite easy to end up like the guy in those photos if one is unlucky enough. However, imho to do nothing at all only assists in manifesting this outcome or worse unless the attacker has other plans for you.

This is the nature of reality however, moreso for some, and it has to be dealt with in some fashion if one is faced with it. To all those who are near to this sort of reality - Gambatte.
LC

--Mushin Mugamae - No Mind No Posture. He who is possessed by nothing possesses everything.--
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Old 05-12-2007, 06:40 PM   #50
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Re: Poll: How physically effective do you think aikido is against a real knife attack

There are two reasons why I would tend to try and move beyond the answer of "depends on the attacker and the defender":

1. This answer does not account for "luck" (i.e. that crazy unknown element that almost always plays things out according to its own will) - which as Barfly said, counts too (especially in life and death encounters).

and,

2. The whole point of martial arts training is to move beyond this kind of dependency. For example, you can have the greatest knife fighter in the world, and though you suck at knife defenses, if you can apply the principles I suggested earlier, you can take his great skill, and your lack of skill, pretty much out of the equation - which is what one should try to do whenever irreversible consequences may be on the horizon. For me, that is basic to real-life martial applications - never fight the guy on his own terms.

I mean I get the answer, but I would hate for some cop I'm training to look at me and give me that reply as a reason for just succumbing to his "inevitable" defeat simply because he knows the guy armed with the knife is very skilled at knife fighting. Where I'm coming from, if you know he's skilled at knife fighting, make it against his odds to enter into that kind of attack, etc. In other words, there are things that one can and should do, things that even make crappy knife defense skills more viable, things that have one move beyond "the guy with the greater skill in knife attacking or defending comes out on top." Learning these things are what full Aikido training must involve.

my opinion,
dmv

David M. Valadez
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