Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Defending Against the Knife… Counterattack!

If you believe that you may be attacked by a knife, your first choice of defense should be to run away. If you’re like me and can’t run fast, then you have to go to Plan B and find something close by that you can use to defend yourself. Your last choice should be defending yourself with your hands. And if you do use your hands to defend yourself, make sure you counterattack immediately.

One of the drills we did the other night was more of an observation. We stood still for 30 seconds while our partner stabbed us with a practice knife. You and your partner were to count the amount of stabs within 30 seconds. I was stabbed 99 times!

Another drill had us standing beside someone. That someone represented a significant other, friend, etc. An attacker approached threatening with a knife. You didn’t know which person (s)he was going to attack first.

This brings up the point of different ranges. The range you find yourself in (very close, close, medium or long) will dictate how you will defend. At the very close range, you can’t defend yourself unless you are very lucky. At a close range, you may be able to use a hand defense. At the medium range, you might be able to use a hand defense as well as a body defense. And at the long range... run or go to Plan B.

Our final drill had our partner attacking from all angles. I was able to make my defenses and several times was able to disarm my attacker. However, I was making a grave error. Once I made the initial defense, I didn’t strike back immediately.

Under the stress of having someone come at you fast and furious, you tend to get tunnel vision and only see the knife. So, you end up defending against the attack several times. Not a good thing. Had I struck back immediately to the face or throat of the attacker, I would have slowed the attacker down long enough for me to immobilize the attacking limb and stop any additional stabs.

There is a fight scene in the movie "The Bourne Ultimatum" where Jason Bourne is attacked by a CIA asset named Desh Bouksani. Desh's initial attack is with a knife and he uses it from every angle. Jason starts out using hand defenses from the close range. Ultimately, Jason defeats Desh by using objects around them.

Remember, the edged weapon attacker is programmed to attack several times, not only once. The initial defense is a counterattack unto itself and aids in helping stop further attacks. The icing on the cake is that immediate strike to the face or throat that upsets the attacker’s brain transmissions. Once that happens, you'll have a better chance of immobilizing the attacking limb and delivering multiple strikes until you feel safe enough to disengage and flee or until the attacker is neutralized enough to allow you to make a disarm.
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