Survival Basics

Self-Defense with a Blade

When we talk about self-defense, we tend to talk about using a gun, usually a pistol. I do so as well, as I’ve carried concealed for years. But while the gun is an excellent self-defense tool, it’s not the only thing out there. 

Problems with common self-defense tools

By and large, gun owners and especially those of us who carry concealed, disparage using other, “lesser” weapons. The general idea is that if we have a gun, why bother with anything else? But there are times when we may need to rely on some other sort of weapon; such as when we are someplace where we aren’t allowed to take our guns with us. 

Self-Defense with a Blade

Besides that, using a gun can be seen as “overkill” all too easily. We’ve all seen how the police have been chastised for using guns against armed individuals. One of the more common complaints is that “They didn’t need to kill them.” To some extent that’s true and it’s why more and more police are carrying taser guns in addition to their duty sidearm. 

Use of knife as a self-defense tool

You and I might not be carrying those taser guns (they’re bulky, so hard to conceal), but we can carry a knife. Knives are just about as deadly as a pistol at close range, in the hands of someone who knows what they’re doing. Even so, they present the image of using a “less deadly” weapon, when you have a pistol available to you. 

There are a couple of valid reasons why few of us bother carrying a fighting knife, along with our guns. Other than the disdain I mentioned above, it takes a whole other set of training and skills to use a fighting knife, than what it does to shoot a gun. There’s also a widely shared idea that it is easy to get seriously injured in a knife fight. Kind of strange if you ask me, as many of the same people don’t think they will get injured in a fight with pistols. 

Fighting with a knife

Let’s see if we can do something about the difficulty of fighting with a knife. 

First of all, I’m going to assume that if you’re fighting someone with a knife, it’s because they are using a knife or some lesser weapon. Hopefully you’ll never face off against someone with a gun, when all you’ve got is a knife. 

While any knife can be used in a fight, you’re best off with a fixed-blade knife. That way, there’s less risk of the knife breaking and no risk of the blade lock failing, allowing it to close on your hand. If you can, you want a double-edged knife, but if not, then at least one with a good point. Don’t go for the sharp point of a dagger though, but rather a spear point, as the sharp point can break. The only really good sharp pointed knife that is good for fighting (rather than playing assassin) is the karambit. But that takes time to master. 

Tips on fighting with a knife

To fight with that knife, keep your focus on the opponent’s knife blade. That’s what you’re fighting, not his body. It’s that blade you must stop, as that’s what they will use to hurt you. 

Here’s the secret; rather than trying to attack your opponent’s body, stabbing it, attack their arm. Cut it as many times as you can, in as many places as you can. That will either make them drop the knife, switch knife hands, or just give up. At the least, a small cut will make them more cautious, giving you the advantage. 

Enough cuts, even small cuts, will give you the victory. But the other part is making sure that you don’t get cut at the same time. Your focus on their blade will help in this regard as well, as you will see any move they make, rather than them slipping the knife in when your attention is elsewhere. 

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