Monday, February 17, 2014


Overheard at the gun show last weekend:
A: We’re having a sale on all knives having red on them or their boxes in celebration of Valentine’s Day.
B: Yeah, because nothing says Happy Valentine’s Day like a knife.
A: Well, after all, they are up-close and personal!

I admit I’ve only taken a few classes on knife fighting, but I will say they are all up-close and personal. 

None of those classes have been anything like the knife fight in “Under Siege” between Tommy Lee Jones and Steven Seagal.  I did take a class from a demobbed Marine and frankly, a trained man with a knife is a terror.  I had two different black belt instructors, and both of them admitted they would think twice about going up empty-handed against a skilled man with a knife.

If you’re highly trained with a knife and keep that perishable skill current with weekly work-outs, you can skip the rest.  But if you haven’t, read on.

Spyderco PPT knife
The PPT from Spyderco, a great place to start!

The simplest rules of fighting with a knife are:
  1. Have a knife
  2. Cut something that isn’t you.  
  3. Know that you’re going to be cut.  

After that all the simple rules fall apart.  Too much of this is situational.

But remember, your assailant selected you because their weapon, no matter what it is - superior strength, reach, element of surprise, power, blinding speed, force of numbers -  is so great they could attack you with complete impunity.

If they believe that then I must accept that as a substantial reason to justify my increased level of force. 

The point is, don’t flash the blade, warn that you have a knife, or pretend you’re the karate kid channeling samurai Miyamoto Musashi. 

I wouldn't try bluffing or scaring them in hopes they walk away or let me go. I’d hide the blade until I needed it and then I’d use that tool to separate matter*.  Their matter.

Oh yes, when you’re free and safe, call the police and get the professionals moving.

*What is a knife blade but a matter separator tool?