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Thread: Knife fighting techniques

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    Default Knife fighting techniques

    Dear Kenpo brothers and sisters:

    How many of you actually practice personal knife fighting techniques either offensive, defensive or both?

    For those of you that don't are you of the belief that such techniques are unimportant or are you afraid of the possible legal and/or social ramifications of training students to kill or be killed?

    Nelson Kari

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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    I know from personal experience that the AKKI, under Mr. Paul Mills, has an excellent knife curriculum with sets, forms, techniques (offensive and defensive)...etc.. In my estimation, it's second to none.

    I know (rather second hand) that the UKF also teaches a good deal of knife techniques. I'll leave it to someone from their group or at least 'in the know' to fill us in about that.

    the legal & moral ramifications of using any weapon (From fist to firearm) as always an important thing to consider.

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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    I do as part of our Pekiti Tirsia Kali class, it is a completely seperate curricullum from kenpo, and in that system you cannot learn the defense against the knife without learning the offense.

    So far most of our Kali students have also been our Kenpo students so we had a good feel for who they were. That said, I had a conversation with one noted knife instructor when I trained with him for the first time, he said that although he didn't know me he didn't have a problem training me. I was curious why, and then he asked "You drove here didn't you?" As far as he was concerned if the government felt you were responsible enough to be driving a 1000+ pounds of death at high rates of speed, you could learn how to use a knife. At the end of our training he did warn me and my training partner, "if you misuse this information it will ruin your life," something that I have repeated to my own students.

    Lamont
    Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Kenpo Karate
    www.blackbirdmartialarts.com

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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    To me, the only aspect of 'knife fighting' that has any real utility is empty hand defenses. I say this for a couple reasons. First, using a knife offensively on an unarmed attacker takes limited training to be effective. I've seen several cases were the victim of domestic abuse finally skewers her much larger and more aggressive man. And they all did it successfully without any training. Second, from a legal standpoint, sticking an unarmed person with a blade is mostly likely going to be agg. or felonious assault (or perhaps attempted murder) if they live, and agg. murder if they die.

    Third, unless you work in a kitchen and you are attacked there, you are going to have to carry the knife around. (Of course those who have mastered using plasticware lethally, I except you.) And carrying a knife around can result in criminal charges. Plus, from my experience certain schools of 'knife fighting' use large blades that could be thought of as a large Bowie knife or a short sword. Try concealing that.

    Fourth, why hassle with all the potential criminal problems when you can, in most states, legally possess a firearm? Me, I would rather have a .45, then whip out my little Balisong for protection. Plus, it has the advantage of range.

    And if your training for that situation where you are attacked by a knife and just happen to have your trusty blade in hand, really what are the chances that if you do carry it that you'll be attacked by a fellow blade enthusiast? I haven't looked at any UCRs in a a while, but to my best recollection knife assaults are relatively rare events. And if you factor out those situations were the victim was knifed by surprise (meaning they couldn't respond), extensively training for such an event seems to have limited benefit.

    So I'd rather spend my precious training time on things that I think are more relevant.

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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    Dear Drew:

    Thanks for your reply! I was waiting for someone with your perspective to post a response.

    The first point you made referred to the use of a knife on an unarmed attacker. I'm not sure where you got the impression that I was an advocate of this but in certain cases I believe that it is acceptable from a personal, moral or legal standpoint. If a person is attacked by another much larger person and feels that their life is threatened I would suspect that latitude would be given as to what means that person chose to defend themselves. Multiple unarmed attackers would also be a case where a knife might give an assaulted person an edge.

    In my state, Wisconsin, you can legally carry a clip knife on your person if it is plainly displayed. Wisconsin does not allow concealed carry of a firearm so your .45 is out of the picture here.

    Your comment:

    "So I'd rather spend my precious training time on things that I think are more relevant."

    gave me a chuckle. I certainly hope that you'll never have need of an effective knife defense or your "precious time" could be cut short. (No pun intended!)

    Nelson Kari

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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    Thanks for your reply! I was waiting for someone with your perspective to post a response.
    Should I feel baited?

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    If a person is attacked by another much larger person and feels that their life is threatened I would suspect that latitude would be given as to what means that person chose to defend themselves. Multiple unarmed attackers would also be a case where a knife might give an assaulted person an edge.
    This is true, but is highly dependant on the factual situation. But just because someone attacks you doesn't automatically vest you with the right to use deadly force. Pulling your knife and sticking someone in either of those cases may still not be justified. Sure, in some cases it may be warranted. Although, I have yet to see a case of self-defense between two people armed with a knife, or the victim stabbing a person or two when being beat down by a gang. Honestly, pulling a knife would probably get your attackers to think twice--or arm themselves in kind. And it takes no training to intimidate someone with a knife. But even setting aside the legal argument there are other more prudential reasons not to invest a lot of time in 'knife fighting,' as I stated.

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    "So I'd rather spend my precious training time on things that I think are more relevant."

    gave me a chuckle. I certainly hope that you'll never have need of an effective knife defense or your "precious time" could be cut short. (No pun intended!)

    Nelson Kari
    I said at the beginning I think unarmed v. armed training is useful and necessary. At no time did I suggest the knife defenses were meritless. The bulk of my response was aimed at the situation where you are armed with a knife. We're a gun culture and mutual combat by dagger just ain't going to happen with any real degree of probablity. So why spend hours learning 'knife fighting'?

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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    Third, unless you work in a kitchen and you are attacked there, you are going to have to carry the knife around. And carrying a knife around can result in criminal charges. Plus, from my experience certain schools of 'knife fighting' use large blades that could be thought of as a large Bowie knife or a short sword. Try concealing that.
    Maybe in Cali, not in Wyoming. Wyoming law just says I CAN'T carry it concealed, there is no length limit or differentiation between a folder and fixed blade. That said, I just carry a folder. ('Course I can open carry my Glock too, if desired.) Many schools of "knife fighting" deal with the short blade as well, optimizing its use is quite different than with a big blade.

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    I said at the beginning I think unarmed v. armed training is useful and necessary. At no time did I suggest the knife defenses were meritless. The bulk of my response was aimed at the situation where you are armed with a knife. We're a gun culture and mutual combat by dagger just ain't going to happen with any real degree of probablity. So why spend hours learning 'knife fighting'?
    Attribute development, tactile sensitivity in particular, it also forces you to visually "read" your opponent better, the knife gives far less margin for error than the punch.

    In addition, it forces the student to recognize and deal with attacks beyond those typically contained in the various kenpo curricullums, including offensive baiting attacks and ways attackers can overcome common defenses.

    Lamont
    Pekiti Tirsia Kali and Kenpo Karate
    www.blackbirdmartialarts.com

    “He, who will not reason, is a bigot; he, who cannot, is a fool; and he, who dares not, is a slave.”
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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    To me, the only aspect of 'knife fighting' that has any real utility is empty hand defenses. I say this for a couple reasons. First, using a knife offensively on an unarmed attacker takes limited training to be effective. I've seen several cases were the victim of domestic abuse finally skewers her much larger and more aggressive man. And they all did it successfully without any training. Second, from a legal standpoint, sticking an unarmed person with a blade is mostly likely going to be agg. or felonious assault (or perhaps attempted murder) if they live, and agg. murder if they die. .
    Well,

    I used to train Mike Echanis, and we did train FOR THE MILITARY USE of the knife.

    Which does serve a useful purpose.

    I'm confused to why you went into a domestic abuse situation when that was NOT the topic brought up by Nelson.

    I'm assuming that you have a "philosophical PROBLEM" with knife training?

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    Third, unless you work in a kitchen and you are attacked there, you are going to have to carry the knife around. (Of course those who have mastered using plasticware lethally, I except you.) And carrying a knife around can result in criminal charges. Plus, from my experience certain schools of 'knife fighting' use large blades that could be thought of as a large Bowie knife or a short sword. Try concealing that.
    Your assumptions are coming from somewhere else than my universe.

    I know one 10th degree black in Kenpo Karate that carries 3 knives.

    They are all legal.

    One is for throwing (it can also be used for cutting open boxes).

    Another one which is very sharp is for cutting open boxes.

    Another one is for trimming his finger-nails, and is also a small tool kit.

    Where did this "sheet" about a kitchen come about?

    Where did this "sheet" about a Bowie Knife come from?

    I actually teach a very lethal course on "Dragon's Fang" where what is used is a 1" blade very expertly.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    Fourth, why hassle with all the potential criminal problems when you can, in most states, legally possess a firearm? Me, I would rather have a .45, then whip out my little Balisong for protection. Plus, it has the advantage of range.
    So, does that mean if you have a firearm that you should not need to know the knife and it's strategies?

    Sounds very narrow minded to me.

    And the rules on "whipping out a .45" are also very strict.

    And where did that sheet about a Balisong come from?

    It's NOT useful for anything and is a very inferior tool.

    And, what specifically do you know about the "legalities of RANGE"?

    AND there are LEGALITIES OF RANGE AND REASONABLENESS, my friend.
    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    Dear Kenpo brothers and sisters:

    How many of you actually practice personal knife fighting techniques either offensive, defensive or both?

    For those of you that don't are you of the belief that such techniques are unimportant or are you afraid of the possible legal and/or social ramifications of training students to kill or be killed?

    Nelson Kari
    Sorry for my late reply Nelson.

    I'm now a grand-daddy, but it was a tough week for the mom and the child.

    I'm back. Isn't everyone glad?

    In my school it is mandatory.

    I will mention that we only train adults.

    We do NOT allow children, the feeble minded, nor the insane to practice here.

    Dr. John M. La Tourrette

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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by Brother John View Post
    I know from personal experience that the AKKI, under Mr. Paul Mills, has an excellent knife curriculum with sets, forms, techniques (offensive and defensive)...etc.. In my estimation, it's second to none.
    Thank you Mr. Haag.

    My "tongue" is getting "hard" just thinking about it.

    I'll look into what he's got.

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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindside View Post
    and in that system you cannot learn the defense against the knife without learning the offense.
    Which is a very good reality to have if you are going to train with a knife, or ever go against one who is attacking you with a knife.

    Thank you.

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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by Drew View Post
    And if your training for that situation where you are attacked by a knife and just happen to have your trusty blade in hand, really what are the chances that if you do carry it that you'll be attacked by a fellow blade enthusiast? I haven't looked at any UCRs in a a while, but to my best recollection knife assaults are relatively rare events. And if you factor out those situations were the victim was knifed by surprise (meaning they couldn't respond), extensively training for such an event seems to have limited benefit.
    You have just shown the world that you do NOT know anything about knife fight strategies and tactics.

    Good move on your part.

    I'm curious to what skills you have about a knife?

    Would anyone like to help him out and give him the "concept" BEHIND training with a knife?

    And USING a knife on that Chinese coolie who is coming at you with a machete is NOT the correct answer.

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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    Your comment:
    "So I'd rather spend my precious training time on things that I think are more relevant."
    gave me a chuckle. I certainly hope that you'll never have need of an effective knife defense or your "precious time" could be cut short. (No pun intended!)
    Yep.

    distancing MUST NOT be important for him.

    Controlling FEAR must NOT be important for him.

    Knowing the "KILL ZONE" of a knife must NOT be important for him.

    Howq to read a knife threat vs a real knife attack is NOT important to him.

    Zones of Awareness must NOT be important to him.

    Blab, blab, blab.

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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    Dear Kenpo brothers and sisters:

    How many of you actually practice personal knife fighting techniques either
    Quote Originally Posted by Brother John View Post
    I know (rather second hand) that the UKF also teaches a good deal of knife techniques. I'll leave it to someone from their group or at least 'in the know' to fill us in about that.
    Yes, we do work the knife more than most EPAK cirriculums. However, its important to point out that we do so not by working more "knife techniques", but by operating the entire system in a fashion that is more conducive to knife work to begin with than the common technique-based approach.

    Put short, it is very difficult to be innovative in the empty hand if one only operates from the framework of mixing / grafting / combining set techniques within the cirriculum. The capacity to perform truly freeform kenpo at the same level of sophistication as prescribed techniques often doesn't occur until well into the black belts, if at all. Under severe stress, loss of the ability to matrix the system efficiently may result in uncompleted technique or technique fractions and a resorting to whatever mode the kenpoist can in fact innovate freely (which is for many, sparring). Failure to effectively launch all of the sophisticated motions within kenpo may lead to some blunders and chaos in the fight, yes, but the kenpoist may still come out as the victor provided the training and conditioning is good.

    However, a failure to act appropriately (i.e. sponteneity with all the sophisticated motions of kenpo), can have more severe consequences when dealing with a knife attack (be it empty hand, or with a knife against another). A small mistake in the empty hand becomes a large mistake against a knife. So, its not enough to simply have a laundry list of knife techniques and operate with the assumption that they will assimilate effectively under life and death stress. There has to be a fundamental mode of operation, a platform so simple it that its tenets can be counted on a single hand, as basic as the neutral bow. This kind of approach simplifies the system, and, in the case of the knife, provides a fundamental, ground-zero approach to working with and against a blade.

    This is kind of a readers-digest explanation of how we work the knife. We work it, yes, but not as a list of "knife techniques". I realize that's kind of vauge without going into details, but hopefully that answers the question anyway.

    Quote Originally Posted by nelson View Post
    Dear Kenpo brothers and sisters:
    For those of you that don't are you...afraid of the possible legal and/or social ramifications of training students to kill or be killed?
    This is no different than with the empty hand, I believe. I address ethics first and foremost, be it with empty hand, knife (however, I'm not qualified to teach our knife system), or even gun. Put short, ethics should be addressed outside of kenpo. In other words, we're martial humans who will submit, hurt, maim, or kill to protect our peace. This goes way beyond kenpo and taps into who we are as men and women. All positive attributes of the martial path aside, Kenpo is simply an extension of that intent, a physical realization of our will to protect and serve. So, I don't address the ethical implications of a technique, I encourage my students to explore and understand their ethical platform, to define their do's and don'ts in terms of their own morals and judgement. When they have this nailed down, when they know why they would kill, and can demonstrate the capacity for judgement, compassion, and humility, then the kenpo, and all it brings to the table in terms of hurting, maimimg, or killng, is just mechanics.

    Great topic,

    Cheers,

    Steven Brown
    UKF

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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by bujuts View Post
    Yes, we do work the knife more than most EPAK cirriculums. However, its important to point out that we do so not by working more "knife techniques", but by operating the entire system in a fashion that is more conducive to knife work to begin with than the common technique-based approach.

    Put short, it is very difficult to be innovative in the empty hand if one only operates from the framework of mixing / grafting / combining set techniques within the cirriculum. The capacity to perform truly freeform kenpo at the same level of sophistication as prescribed techniques often doesn't occur until well into the black belts, if at all. Under severe stress, loss of the ability to matrix the system efficiently may result in uncompleted technique or technique fractions and a resorting to whatever mode the kenpoist can in fact innovate freely (which is for many, sparring). Failure to effectively launch all of the sophisticated motions within kenpo may lead to some blunders and chaos in the fight, yes, but the kenpoist may still come out as the victor provided the training and conditioning is good.

    However, a failure to act appropriately (i.e. sponteneity with all the sophisticated motions of kenpo), can have more severe consequences when dealing with a knife attack (be it empty hand, or with a knife against another). A small mistake in the empty hand becomes a large mistake against a knife. So, its not enough to simply have a laundry list of knife techniques and operate with the assumption that they will assimilate effectively under life and death stress. There has to be a fundamental mode of operation, a platform so simple it that its tenets can be counted on a single hand, as basic as the neutral bow. This kind of approach simplifies the system, and, in the case of the knife, provides a fundamental, ground-zero approach to working with and against a blade.

    This is kind of a readers-digest explanation of how we work the knife. We work it, yes, but not as a list of "knife techniques". I realize that's kind of vauge without going into details, but hopefully that answers the question anyway.



    This is no different than with the empty hand, I believe. I address ethics first and foremost, be it with empty hand, knife (however, I'm not qualified to teach our knife system), or even gun. Put short, ethics should be addressed outside of kenpo. In other words, we're martial humans who will submit, hurt, maim, or kill to protect our peace. This goes way beyond kenpo and taps into who we are as men and women. All positive attributes of the martial path aside, Kenpo is simply an extension of that intent, a physical realization of our will to protect and serve. So, I don't address the ethical implications of a technique, I encourage my students to explore and understand their ethical platform, to define their do's and don'ts in terms of their own morals and judgement. When they have this nailed down, when they know why they would kill, and can demonstrate the capacity for judgement, compassion, and humility, then the kenpo, and all it brings to the table in terms of hurting, maimimg, or killng, is just mechanics.

    Great topic,

    Cheers,

    Steven Brown
    UKF
    Whataninterestinginformativepost.

    Thankyouverymuch.

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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    Yep.

    distancing MUST NOT be important for him.

    Controlling FEAR must NOT be important for him.

    Knowing the "KILL ZONE" of a knife must NOT be important for him.

    Howq to read a knife threat vs a real knife attack is NOT important to him.

    Zones of Awareness must NOT be important to him.

    Blab, blab, blab.
    Interesting you chose to swing by for a drive-by ad hominem attack, rather than intelligently address my reasoning. Or for that matter actually read what I said. If you (or anyone) can perusade me that I am wrong, I'd certainly reconsider my position. Yes, I've read your book, and no it didn't persuade me otherwise.

    My basic premise is spending significant amounts of time learning to use a blade offensively is a distraction to the skills the vast majority of people need to successfully defend themselves.

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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindside View Post
    Maybe in Cali, not in Wyoming. Wyoming law just says I CAN'T carry it concealed, there is no length limit or differentiation between a folder and fixed blade. That said, I just carry a folder. ('Course I can open carry my Glock too, if desired.)
    Very true. Many states are the same, especially the more rural states. I've seen my share of pocket folders. Though even in open-carry states, you are likely have more than a few encounters with the police who want to ask you a few questions. And I would bet that many employers wouldn't let you carry it around and depending on the size, a few shops might ask you to leave. If you carry around a large sheath knife, I would love to hear your experiences. Also, unless you happen to live in a state like yours, it may be difficult to carry a blade with a guard. And that presents its own problems.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindside View Post
    Many schools of "knife fighting" deal with the short blade as well, optimizing its use is quite different than with a big blade.
    Which I think is the more useful skill.

    Quote Originally Posted by Blindside View Post
    Attribute development, tactile sensitivity in particular, it also forces you to visually "read" your opponent better, the knife gives far less margin for error than the punch.

    In addition, it forces the student to recognize and deal with attacks beyond those typically contained in the various kenpo curricullums, including offensive baiting attacks and ways attackers can overcome common defenses.

    Lamont
    I would maintain that such skills can be more efficiently acquired using other training tools. If you can learn these skills and concepts while training information you are far more likely to need and use, I feel that you get a lot more benefit at a reduced cost.

    Only about 1% of the assaults on police officers involved knives. Of those only 17% suffered injury. And usually knife fatalities account for only a couple of the deaths suffered by law enforcement. In my mind, officers are routinely exposed to more dangerous situations that the average person or Kenpo student. And knife attacks are rare events for them.

    When such attacks happen, officers are usually able to respond successfully without having the benefit of their own blade. So, I think the empty hand defenses are sufficient for the average person to guard against what is really a statistically insignificant attack. And if you need more assurance, you can do as I suggested, for those that can, get a CCW. (Or looking further at gear used to avoid injury 83% of the time, maybe consider a Taser?)

    For those people (for some reason) are exposed to more blades and have a blade handy at all times, it probably makes sense to do more study. But here in the US, these people must have a job or lifestyle more dangerous than a cop.

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    Default Re: Knife fighting techniques

    Quote Originally Posted by John M. La Tourrette View Post
    You have just shown the world that you do NOT know anything about knife fight strategies and tactics.

    Good move on your part.

    I'm curious to what skills you have about a knife?

    Would anyone like to help him out and give him the "concept" BEHIND training with a knife?

    And USING a knife on that Chinese coolie who is coming at you with a machete is NOT the correct answer.
    The usage of a knife is for a stealth attack. If I use a knife on someone they will never see it,or me. The typical Joe weilding a blade typicaly will not even know the orbits,striking surfaces,or applications for that blade.
    Brad Marshall SP
    KKFI

    trgodbm@yahoo.com

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    Brother John (09-25-2007)

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