- May 16, 2011
- West of Boston
ONSIGHT FIREARMS TRAININGOctober 17, 2019
DEFENSIVE KNIFE SKILLS
DEFENSIVE KNIFE SKILLS
Location: Lowell MA, Private facility, 6pm – 9:45pm
Class size: 5 (3 males & 2 females)
This was a class I normally would not have signed up for, however when it was posted my daughter (14 years old) was very interested in taking it…. so I was game. She has always had a thing for pocket knives and is not legally able to carry a gun so I am happy to take her and attend the class. We both had attended Ben’s shooting classes so I knew it would be fun and with his background in martial arts and fighting it would be informative and we will be taught by someone who knows his shit inside and out!
We arrived a little early, Ben asked me to take off my gun, my knife, remove everything from my pockets including my wedding ring for safety. My daughter Kate took off her rings, her edc stabby knife and her TQ from her pockets. We shot the shit catching up with each other until the remainder of the students arrived. It was good to see Ben as it had been four months since he had been back to Massachusetts.
Ben introduced himself, his background and outlined the class. We went around the room telling our name, our age, prior training experience and what we wanted to get out of the class. For me it was everything, I had never had any instruction on using a knife in a defensive or offensive way and never had hand to hand instruction other than a little boxing as a teenager. I have always carried a knife my whole life and really had no idea how to use it effectively except on opening and breaking down boxes. After taking Dr. William Aprills “Unthinkable” a year ago I had been carrying a clinch pick and figured it was time to get some training.
We had a discussion about mindset and the possibilities of options if we were involved in an attack. Ben stressed getting the heck of the area if possible. He said, if we could not run away from the potential oncoming attack we needed to be all in and win the fight. As with all things in life situational awareness is key. Make sure you see the bad guy before he gets too close, a lifesaving skill. Keep your head out of your phone when you are in transitional spaces!
Ben brought us over to a table where he had a spread of different types of knives and pens laid out. He went through each type, the pro, the cons and how law enforcement & the courts will judge each type. There were large and small folders, fixed blades, Karamits, Clinch picks, neck knives, and punching knives. Ben demo’d each type of knife, how it should be used, and how knife placement on your body should be given some extended thought. We moved on to the section of the table where pens were laid out, both tactical looking pens, semi tactical looking pens and regular 59 cent plastic pens. We discussed the usage of these pens and where they could be taken into to. Some of the pens were average enough that Ben was able to get through TSA and onto planes, while others definitely looked like weapons. The standout demonstration with the pens was with a standard plastic Papermate pen and a cardboard target simulating the face of an attacker. I was amazed by what damage was done when holding the pen in such a way and scraping the face. WOW! I did not see that coming! Really Good Stuff!
Ben showed us different ways to hold the knife, a number of types of cuts and where on the body we should be starting the blade and where the blade should be ending up on their bodies. For instance, an X cut should start from the attacker's neck up by their ear and cut diagonally all the way down past their chest on both sides making an X on their body. We were shown horizontal slices and the location on the body and face we should be concentrating on. Some of the more memorable options that we were taught were the thrust “stab”.... where we would thrust the knife into the belt buckle region and using our body weight to basically split the attacker into two pieces from the groin down ... and the “buzz saw”. The buzz saw technique was where you took your knife and made a circular “buzz saw” motion over and over again into the attacker's face directing the blade right between their eyes and cutting down their chin. WOW!
We paired off into twos and were given rubber knives to practice these cuts. Ben would come around and coach us individually and make polite corrections that were needed with our technique. You really got a sense of how devastating these cuts will be as the rubber blade lightly scrapes your body, neck, and face. WOW, I hope I never get into a knife attack!
Ben showed us how to block a knife attack with arm blocks, how to dodge a blade, and basically how not to get cut from an oncoming attack if we were unable to unass the area. During one point in the class, one of the students seemed a little skeptical that a small girl (my 14 yr old daughter) would be able to access her knife from concealment and getting cuts into a larger stronger attacker that was hands on her. Ben gave Kate (my daughter) a small wooden knife about the size of her edc stabby knife had her put where she normally carries it and he went hands on her throat. With the techniques, she was just shown and practiced she was able to access her wooden knife and make a few very brutal X cuts into Ben's stomach and arms. NICE WORK KATE! I was a proud Daddy!
We spent some time talking about exactly where on the body you would want to cut someone to make them stop doing evil shit to you. We practiced raking the forearm and bicep, slicing arteries, creating distance and getting the f*** out of the danger area.
As this was my first experience with this type of class, information coming out in a firehouse speed and I am sure I missed more than half of the concepts. I look forward to taking the class again where I can absorb more and to prefect my techniques.
I have said “…Ben DeWalt, OnSight Firearms Training is the BEST KEPT SECRET within the firearms training community...”