Firs of all: You Rock. I wish I had come up with that Lithuanian Budhist thing.
Okay, as to your question, I saw your first post and deferred to those on the list who are more blade oriented than I. But, now you have brought up a bigger picture, which I will happily address.
In fact, I alluded to this in another thread:
Fighting should be simple. Defense should be based on the lowest common denominator and individually improved upon as appropriate.
People are severely beaten everyday by BGs (that means Bad Guys if you are out there Jeff
) who haven't any idea how to count to ten in Japanese.
I heard about a school of martial arts in NYC (New York City) that was run exclusively for people who were in wheelchairs. Apparently these guys were pretty damn effective, too.
Of course, you are not in a wheelchair and I haven't heard about any schools for guys with bad backs. The perfect solution would be to explain your situation to a capable trainer of *any* self-defense techniques and see what he can work out for you. Perhaps there are some maneuvers someone can suggest that you can handle and are effective.
You might try one of the Canemaster cane techniques that have been discuss elsewhere on the site. I am only vaguley familar with them, but hopefully they have considered that people who actually need
canes might want to use theirs.
Unfortunately, reality may be that you are not going to be able to effectively mount a defense. I am not saying this to discourage you, please don't think that is the case. I know what it is like to have a really
bad back and your physical options amy be very limited. My father had to retire from police work because of a back injury (falling off a second story porch with a 300lb BG on top of you will do that) and he hasn't been the same since, he has good days and bad days, has gone through several surgeries and is still no where near as capable as he once was.
The fact that you are even asking these questions indicates that you will find the right answers. IMHO, the knife is like any other tool, it requires a certain amount of skill to use effectively. As you said the amount of skill required for sirloin would be measurably less than the skill required for fighting with Mr. Mad Dog and not coming out looking like a swept up ticker-tape parade stirred into a bloody mary.
I have had very little formal knife training, but I like to think I can apply some HTH (hand-to-hand) techniques and knowledge of the human body to hold my own if it ever came down to a knife fight.
Meanwhile: I've got guns.