Stephen W. Browne Rants and Raves

December 5, 2010

Knives, knife fighting, and nightmares – part 1

Filed under: Martial arts — Stephen W. Browne @ 9:09 am

For law enforcement officers, civilians, and martial artists, knives are a terrifying reality.

Police who have to get close to contacts to question or arrest them, have to keep in mind the possibility of them having something unobtrusive and deadly (maybe even perfectly legal) concealed about their person.

For civilians, the idea of being confronted by a knife-wielding robber – or worse a kidnapper, is a nightmare. On some primal level its even scarier than a gun, with good reason.

For martial artists, it’s a nightmare plus the shredding of their pride and self-image the first time it’s brought home to them that literally minutes of knife training beats a black belt.

I’ve written here about my primary martial art Pekiti Tirsia Kali which has a strong emphasis on blade use, the bush knife/short sword and dagger.

I’ve written about the new martial arts buzzword “combatives.” I wrote about the term coming into use to mean martial arts with a combat emphasis for military, police, and civilian self-defense here.

I covered briefly the history of military combatives and how the most relevant training for civilians came from the wartime OSS here.

I wrote how combatives is not new, but martial arts returning to their roots here.

I reviewed a little of what’s out there in books and instructional videos here. And here I discoursed a bit on what you can get out of the material if you’re training without a teacher of that specific discipline.

Most of these are mostly empty-hand oriented, with some time devoted to bare hand defense against a knife attack. Lots of luck. You’re going to need it.

The Fairbairn manual “Get Tough” has a few illustrations of basic moves with the Fairbairn-Sykes commando dagger. But the F-S dagger, essentially a modern version of the medieval misericorde, is designed to be used for “silent sentry removal,” or to put it bluntly an assassination with a quick thrust.

For years material on knife use was hard to come by. Those who knew something about it tended to keep it to themselves. The first published material on “knife fighting” such as David Steele’s “Secrets of Modern Knife Fighting,” or William L. Cassidy’s “The Complete Book of Knife Fighting” is mostly about different kinds of knives, a bit about the history of knife duelling, and a few techniques disconnected from any system.

Martial artists with training in weapons-based martial arts refrained from publishing knife systems from a sense of responsibility.

No more. The cat is out of the bag, he’s pissed off and clawing up everything in sight.

There are all kinds of video courses out there now. Some of them are even pretty good. Some present pretty complete systems of training. And a lot of the material is available for zero dollars on Youtube. You could go from video clip to clip and pick up a fairly complete system.

Not that it matters, a complete tyro with a knife, a single technique, and a lot of heart (also called “crazy”) is deadly enough.

In part 2 I’ll review some of the stuff available, reasons why a knife may be a better choice than a gun for self-defense IN SOME CIRCUMSTANCES (remember that caveat please,) and what kind of trouble the available material can get you into.

In the meantime reflect on this self-defense adage, “Run from a knife – attack a gun.”

And review Marc “Animal” MacYoung’s secton on knife fighting on No Nonesense Self-Defense here.

Go to part 2.

No Comments »

No comments yet.

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URL

Leave a comment

Powered by WordPress