• If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

Knife Fighters... A Discussion on the Defensive Art of Knifefighting.

enbloc

NES Life Member
NES Member
Rating - 100%
43   0   0
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
29,346
Likes
42,765
First off, let me say I've never had to use a knife to defend myself, and know little about the Art itself.

What I would like to do is offer an outlet for those who have trained to defend themselves with bladed objects; whether knife/sword/dagger or even spear.

Please contribute your knowledge and experiences to this thread on the Martial use of Knife fighting.

Thanks for your consideration...
~Enbloc

 
Last edited:

Cuthbert Allgood

NES Member
Rating - 100%
55   0   0
Joined
Feb 22, 2009
Messages
8,826
Likes
16,344
Having done a wee bit of martial arts in my days, I'll relay a funny quip from a knife fighting seminar:

Rule #1 You are gonna get cut
Rule #2 The other guy is gonna bleed more than you.

He also spoke a lot about the concept of timers vs switches. Timers being blood loss. Switches being 'making parts stop working effectively'
 

Picton

NES Member
Rating - 100%
30   0   0
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
16,300
Likes
20,866
Location
MA
Yes, I took a combatives course in college and there were two weeks on knife fighting. I learned the same "rules" Roland did above. "If you get into a knife fight, you're GONNA get cut." That's the quote I remember.

The instructor was one of those quiet guys with crazy eyes and some of the best training on earth (behind the fence at Bragg), and he pointed out that any fight is something you want to end fast, and by any means necessary, but that when you see a knife in your opponent's hand?

Time to go into overdrive and get it overwith as soon as possible. He said you find a new gear when a knife's in the picture. I had no basis to question how he knew that, and I figure it's probably true.
 

SHOCKNAWE

NES Member
Rating - 100%
41   0   0
Joined
Jul 10, 2014
Messages
4,497
Likes
7,089
Location
FU Mass, TY NH
A pretty good training exercise is to put on a white T Shirt and give your opponent a black magic marker, have him try to slash you while your trying to evade in a room setting, It’s tough to not have your shirt get inked up
 

SHOCKNAWE

NES Member
Rating - 100%
41   0   0
Joined
Jul 10, 2014
Messages
4,497
Likes
7,089
Location
FU Mass, TY NH
Really a great idea...
I liked it, but it’s not really “Training” per say, it’s geared towards being in a housing unit inside a prison mostly. But it wil cement the fact that you are getting cut. If someone pulls a knife on me on the street I’m either shooting or running. Call me a Pusey I don’t care, knifes are not anything you want plunging in you. I got shanked right through my left hand back in 2005. Not fun
 

Buck F

NES Member
Rating - 100%
18   0   0
Joined
Feb 12, 2015
Messages
4,522
Likes
6,304
Location
SE MA
A pretty good training exercise is to put on a white T Shirt and give your opponent a black magic marker, have him try to slash you while your trying to evade in a room setting, It’s tough to not have your shirt get inked up

We had a white t shirt/marker seminar at our Krav dojo a couple of weeks ago, I missed it this time around but heard it was a blast and very enlightening.

I do KRAV 3x a week, every week. I also try and do a private session once a week, probably ends up being more like 2-3x a month, where I get to choose the curriculum. The past couple of months I have been working on weapons defenses (knife, stick, gun etc). Been doing a lot of knife since that’s my biggest concern: if I travel somewhere I can’t carry. Been doing some basic defensives, a little kali basics. Have started carrying a Karambit as an EDC. Not that I’d ever want to go knife on knife, but since statistics show that there’s a better than even chance that a street fight will end up on the ground I figure if we’re rolling around and I cant draw or safely shoot my attacker, especially if he’s on top or behind me, hopefully a few jabs in the leg or arm slices will get the guy off of me. I’m to old/busy to get very deep into BJJ but I do sometimes do some groundwork in the sessions too.

instructors do stress that in a knife encounter, you’re gonna get cut.

Another one I have heard: The loser of a knife fight dies at the scene, the winner dies in the ambulance.
 
Last edited:

Mesatchornug

NES Member
Rating - 100%
8   0   0
Joined
Dec 11, 2011
Messages
3,877
Likes
5,623
Location
Medford
the version I always heard was "no one wins a knife fight."

Used to host some open sparring at my house. Occasionally, we'd add knives, batons, etc. The marker drill is really good (I preferred red, I'm a bastard) because it's easy to "think" you blocked everything, but your shirt won't lie.
 

Robin Proctor

Instructor
NES Member
Rating - 100%
24   0   0
Joined
Jan 30, 2020
Messages
868
Likes
1,366
Location
South Shore
Knife fighting is nasty nasty stuff. You may be able to thwart off one or two thrusts but that’s it. I would favor the gaucho style if anything. It basically looks to use anything you can grab with your off hand to assist in defense and then attack with knife by stabbing and ripping. Otherwise the best move is to try and neutralize the opponents knife hand at his wrist and attack with knees and head butts. Be a fighter with a knife not a knife fighter. If that makes any sense.
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Apr 9, 2018
Messages
1,554
Likes
3,224
Location
NH
I have a question about knife fighting. Should you seek an instructor who is actually experienced in real-life knife fights? I'm not talking sparring or training or even someone who's genuinely well-versed in knife fighting theory and history, but two dudes literally trying to kill each other with knives? Do such instructors exist? If not, how do you know who's legit?
 

Climbnsink

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Feb 2, 2009
Messages
7,080
Likes
6,952
I have a question about knife fighting. Should you seek an instructor who is actually experienced in real-life knife fights? I'm not talking sparring or training or even someone who's genuinely well-versed in knife fighting theory and history, but two dudes literally trying to kill each other with knives? Do such instructors exist? If not, how do you know who's legit?
If they are legit shouldn't they have scars to prove it?
 

Robin Proctor

Instructor
NES Member
Rating - 100%
24   0   0
Joined
Jan 30, 2020
Messages
868
Likes
1,366
Location
South Shore
I have a question about knife fighting. Should you seek an instructor who is actually experienced in real-life knife fights? I'm not talking sparring or training or even someone who's genuinely well-versed in knife fighting theory and history, but two dudes literally trying to kill each other with knives? Do such instructors exist? If not, how do you know who's legit?

there are a lot of fakes. Most are fakes actually. Find one based on people who actually used it when they had no guns. There are styles based on like gauncho( brazilish) mentioned above, or Aztec. Krav (real krav also hard to find...sounds like Buck Faker might have a real one) has some great knife moves based on original Jew vs Nazi needs.
 

Buck F

NES Member
Rating - 100%
18   0   0
Joined
Feb 12, 2015
Messages
4,522
Likes
6,304
Location
SE MA
I have a question about knife fighting. Should you seek an instructor who is actually experienced in real-life knife fights? I'm not talking sparring or training or even someone who's genuinely well-versed in knife fighting theory and history, but two dudes literally trying to kill each other with knives? Do such instructors exist? If not, how do you know who's legit?

Great question. Not sure that trying to find someone who's that experienced in two dudes trying to kill each other w/ a knife is very realistic. If I'm defending against another guy w/ a knife, the last thing I want to have to resort to is me fighting him w/ a knife. That's not to say that you won't be in a knife versus you without a gun situation, but it's also unlikely that your primary defense vs a knife will also be a knife or that unless you spend a lot of time training, that the knife will do you much good. I do a [very little] bit of Kali (filipino knife/stick martial arts) w/ my instructor, mostly for fun, but I can't imagine that Kali is all that practical in a real life situation. I guess I'd rather have a stick against a knife than go bare handed or have a knife. There's also a lot of bad knife defense info out there. Anyone who makes it look simple and effective is probably full of it.
 
Last edited:

Buck F

NES Member
Rating - 100%
18   0   0
Joined
Feb 12, 2015
Messages
4,522
Likes
6,304
Location
SE MA
there are a lot of fakes. Most are fakes actually.

This. If they do a move where they instantly disarm the knife guy by bending the wrist or striking it, move on. In Krav they basically teach a few simple ways that, if everything goes according to plan and you saw it coming, you may avoid getting stabbed the second, third and fourth times. It is an eye opener trying to defend against someone who comes at you hard and fast w/ a knife (even a plastic one or a marker in a controlled environment). They basically said that you're trying to avoid being stabbed the second, third or fourth time because if someone is close enough to you and flashes a knife and begins stabbing, it's probably already too late. Your best defense against a knife is situational awareness and distance -until it's not (distance). You better figure out a way to 1. stop him from stabbing you and 2. neutralize him quick.

Many instructors will tell you they'd rather go up against someone w/ a gun than w/ a knife. The gun defenses are certainly easier/more realistic, if the circumstances are right.
 

enbloc

NES Life Member
NES Member
Rating - 100%
43   0   0
Joined
Sep 10, 2009
Messages
29,346
Likes
42,765
Please take the following statement with a grain of salt, as it is an observation and in no way is intended to be a Racist remark. Moreover, it is meant with respect...

Growing up in Lowell and having many Puerto Rican friends and neighbors (a couple of relatives now to boot) Puerto Ricans are knife fighters,
or as @Robin Proctor perfectly stated; "Fighters with Knives" They seem to have zero fear of a blade and treat it almost as a "stinger".
That is to say, you don't know it's there, there is a strike that looks more like a punch, and it goes back into hiding as quick as it came out. Like a pissed off hornet, only faster and with a cooler head.

Filipinos, I am told are also fighters with knives, and much respect to them and their arts...

~Enbloc
 

Picton

NES Member
Rating - 100%
30   0   0
Joined
Sep 17, 2012
Messages
16,300
Likes
20,866
Location
MA
I have no illusions. I don't think there's any amount of training I can reasonably get that will make me the equal of (or superior to) one of the "Puerto Rican Filipinos" @enbloc is referencing above.

I think, if I get into a real knife fight, I'm just going to have to hope my fear and my sense of self-preservation makes me vicious enough to prevail. I'm not optimistic. It's one of the reasons I don't plan on getting into a knife fight unless I've got a whoooole lot of advantages. Like, the kind of advantages that shoot bullets.

The "Paul Atreides Meets Feyd-Rautha Harkonnen" situation is so low-probability it's just not realistically worth training for.
 

ReluctantDecoy

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Oct 17, 2017
Messages
4,475
Likes
5,025
Location
Cambridge, MA
Assuming I'm not packing, my knife fight defensive skill is cardio. Run from knives. It won't be the theatrical 10 minute knife fight scene from an 80-90's action movie where the hero is barely scratched. Someone is going to get stuck, and probably stuck real fast. I'd only go head to head if the other guy bothers to catch up. Then I'd pull out some sweet ninja-like hand motions on them to make them think I know what I'm doing.

tumblr_nrjh92yQRo1uymix6o1_400.gifv
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Mar 21, 2017
Messages
550
Likes
449
I watched the video I posted above and realized I live way too cushy a life to deal with someone coming at me with 100% intent to kill. I've asked some of the instructors I know and respect on how they train to mentally and emotionally go 0-100 when the situation calls for it and the short answer is stress inoculation, or, realistically train, train, train, and train some more. Problem then becomes finding training partners who want to go that hard in training, and committing yourself to that level of training as well.
 

Buck F

NES Member
Rating - 100%
18   0   0
Joined
Feb 12, 2015
Messages
4,522
Likes
6,304
Location
SE MA
Please take the following statement with a grain of salt, as it is an observation and in no way is intended to be a Racist remark. Moreover, it is meant with respect...

Growing up in Lowell and having many Puerto Rican friends and neighbors (a couple of relatives now to boot) Puerto Ricans are knife fighters,
or as @Robin Proctor perfectly stated; "Fighters with Knives" They seem to have zero fear of a blade and treat it almost as a "stinger".
That is to say, you don't know it's there, there is a strike that looks more like a punch, and it goes back into hiding as quick as it came out. Like a pissed off hornet, only faster and with a cooler head.

Filipinos, I am told are also fighters with knives, and much respect to them and their arts...

~Enbloc

I think the distinction needs to be made between two guys facing off w/ knives, which almost never happens, and someone attacking someone else with a knife. The latter is usually by surprise, very fast, very violent and usually over before the victim realizes he's been stabbed a dozen times. I'm from the Bronx and Puerto Ricans are notorious for their knives, but I wouldn't call them fearless, if anything it's usually a pretty cowardly (albeit effective) attack. Also spent a few years overseas and where I lived, Gypsies were known for always having a blade on them. Again, they may flash the knife at you to get your wallet, but otherwise they walk up to you, often from behind, and just start stabbing you. Calling it a "fight" is being charitable. Gypsies are also known for pickpocketing and home burglaries. We caught a couple of them in our neighbor's apartment and they certainly had some dark curses for us when the cops arrived. Caught one w/ her hand in my front pocket on the Metro in Rome, thankfully caught it in time. I have seen them pickpocket and purse snatch a few times over the years.
 
Last edited:
Rating - 100%
10   0   0
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Messages
4,482
Likes
3,319
Location
Portland, ME
there are a lot of fakes. Most are fakes actually. Find one based on people who actually used it when they had no guns. There are styles based on like gauncho( brazilish) mentioned above, or Aztec. Krav (real krav also hard to find...sounds like Buck Faker might have a real one) has some great knife moves based on original Jew vs Nazi needs.

The theory behind Silat interests me.

Ya. Lots of fakes. Switches and timers. Good way of isolating things.
 
Top Bottom