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Old October 9, 2004, 07:50 PM   #51
mete
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As Fairburn found many years ago - slashing has more psychological effect, bleeding etc. Thrusts do more serious damage since they get into the vital organs. This however assumes a knife of long [at least 6-7"] blade. With a folding knife you're handicapped. Yes, bring a gun to a knife fight !!
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Old October 10, 2004, 09:31 AM   #52
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Well, within 6 feet or so, don't bring a gun to a knifefight-at least not if the knifer knows what he's doing.


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Old October 10, 2004, 03:50 PM   #53
Joe Talmadge
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Quote:
Well, within 6 feet or so, don't bring a gun to a knifefight-at least not if the knifer knows what he's doing.
Well thanks, Larry. I've been waiting to see if anyone would ever bring that up. People smirk and say, "don't bring a knife to a gunfight -- har har!" without thinking about it. If the knife is out and the gun isn't, and the action is starting in close, it's very unclear the person with the gun is at any kind of advantage. How hard it is to spoil the draw and sink the knife? Answer: not hard, which is why the firearms training crowd is finally realizing that it needs to focus more on unarmed combatives, in order to get the gun into play.

mete, your statement about the blade length needed to cause a lot of damage with a knife is not accurate. Massive damage can and is caused -- with thrusts -- with even short knives. On a hard thrust, the flesh compresses, bones push in, and so a short knife actually penetrates in much further than its length.

People who get slashed go to the hospital, people who get stabbed go to the morgue. That's an overgeneralization, but often correct in the majority of cases.
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Old October 18, 2004, 11:42 PM   #54
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Joe,

I'd agree-with the caveat that it IS a generalization. Wouldn't want Leo Gaje slashing me...

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Old October 19, 2004, 06:19 AM   #55
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An oft overlooked aspect of knife tactics...

Whether slashing or thrusting, sharp counts. There's a big difference between a slash with a knife that has to be forced to cut paper and slash with a knife that is scalpel sharp.


When knife has been used for months or years for routine daily tasks like opening boxes, it's not going to deliver what is needed in a life and death situation - whether that's personal defense or cutting a seatbelt to get out of a burning car.


Get your defensive knife sharp, and leave it alone. Don't use it for daily tasks.
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Old October 22, 2004, 05:02 PM   #56
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Quartus,

Definitely agree it's good to have your defensive knife sharp! But let me present a different conclusion than "get it sharp and don't use it".

As I use my knife over the months and years, I check for sharpness and re-sharpen frequently. Each time I sharpen, I grind away a little more of the factory's thick 20+ degree edge, and grind it down closer and closer to 15 degrees. So, as I use my knife, it actually performs better and better as I re-sharpen each time -- the technique is outlined fairly clearly in the Sharpening FAQ. You don't need to put your defensive knife away. Just keep up with the edge and keep it sharp.

One thing to look out for: Most of us have had an experience where we put a sharp knife away, then picked it up months or years down the line, and it wasn't sharp anymore. What happened? Steel can micro-oxidize away at the edge (carbon steels *very* quickly, under the right conditions). Even if you never use your knife, you'll need to keep up with the edge and make sure it stays sharp.
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Old October 22, 2004, 06:10 PM   #57
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Just adding another 2 cents worth:

Krept wrote : "Ihave heard by those involved in combat that the best approach is to stab right for the face assault style, as human instinct is to shield the face in such an attack."

In actuality, the single most devastating knife fighting group ever put on a battlefield used this exact technique: the Roman army of 2000 years ago. Their "sword" was generally speaking a 15 to 22 inch dagger and their basic tactic was just as Krept wrote: "stab em in the face". They went up and over those big shields they carried (sometimes between two of them) but their target of choice was the opponents face.

Worked pretty good for several hundred years.

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Old October 23, 2004, 08:35 AM   #58
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It's hard to argue that stabbing someone in the face ISN'T effective...ouch.

The problem is that "human instinct is to shield the face in such an attack", and some sparring will quickly show the difficulty of reaching the face-even on an unarmed individual.


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Old October 27, 2004, 07:25 PM   #59
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Engaging in a knife fight will almost surely kill you more reliably than a gunfight. If your up againsed someone trained with a knife and your not, run, run far, run fast. If you are a trained knife fighter up against a trained knife fighter run..run, far and fast. Knife fighting, much like fistfighting, will result in you getting hit, no matter how good you think you are. If you are up against a someone with a knife, you are better off empty handed, trust me. If you are a martial artist up against an assailent with a knife, but untrained, you have the upper hand. Novice knife fighters tend to keep the knife in sight, and focus solely on the knife, it's not too hard to make quick work of them. They are focusing on one limb to strike you with, and you have four. However, if they are trained, its a whole different ball game, and if you wake up the next day, you won't be feeling so hot.

I was at a gas station pay phone late one night as I was having car trouble. A truck pulled up next to me as I got off the phone, the passenger window was rolled down. The passenger notified me that he intended on 'cutting me', i had never seen this guy before, and it's a small town. He held his arm out the window, and down along the door, im assuming to keep a low profile, as there is no tactical advantage in this. He flicked his wrist, not moving his arm, and out popped a six inch blade. I was about 5 feet away, so I stepped towards the passenger side door, and landed a kick right into his elbow that was up against the door. He screamed as his elbow surely broke, and dropped the knife from his hand. The driver opened his door, I turned the other way, and sprinted. That is how you win a knife fight, if he had been out of the truck, I would have skipped the kicking portion of the confrontation, and turned and sprinted.
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Old October 27, 2004, 07:32 PM   #60
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Stabbing in the face is a good technuiqe, but requires alot more clarification. The more progressive fighting styles, such as places who don't get caught up in technique and form in a traditional martial arts sense, rather self preservation fighting, where the object is to survive not win, slash the face and neck.

It is important to point out that the knife is hidden, at the side of the torso, so the combatant can't see it unless he cranes his neck and tries to walk around that side of you. Secondly, you are in your nornal fighting stance, free hand out. You do not use the knife until the combatant has left himself opened, if they punch, you block with that hand, then step into them, stab to the face, and use a combination of slashes on vital head or body targets, almost all of them arteries or nerve centers. It is best you look up the sight of the guy who showed me technuiqes than rely on my explination. The site is www.demibarbito.com and they teach open hand, stick, knife, and tactical handgun and shotgun, none of them classes, were talking one on one here, or small groups only.
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Old October 27, 2004, 07:56 PM   #61
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"If you are up against a someone with a knife, you are better off empty handed, trust me."

Ncodemus, do you mean you would prefer NOT to have a knife, vs. having one?


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Old November 2, 2004, 10:38 AM   #62
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How can you defend against a blade if you don't know how to use one? I love firearms but IMHO the blade wins within arms distance. http://www.mercop.com/edged.html
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Old November 2, 2004, 02:08 PM   #63
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Quote:
Stab more than slash.
With all due respect: Nope! This is the best way I know to, ‘catch it’ from someone who’s ready and knows how to handle a blade. Basically, you’re dealing with two forms of motion in a knifefighting duel: linear attack, and circular defense. Advanced fighters, also, know how to use circular motion in order to attack; but, what are your chances of going up against someone like this? I’d venture to say; ‘Not too great.’

I’d, also, suggest that you forget about using any 4 inch blade to defend yourself; you’re more likely to ruin your civil reputation with it. I’ve used and worked with short blades all my life; and, I can tell you that any stout stick is a much better weapon than any knife – even an $800.00, ‘wonder folder’. If you have any doubt, whatsoever, you should see what a knowledgeable fighter can do with a 3 foot metal rod – watch out! A knife isn’t worth a damn against a good rod-weapon.

Plainly put: Don’t let anyone acting aggressive with a knife get close to you; and, also, don’t let anyone with a Shillelagh do it – either! Knife or rod, both, can and will kill. Given a choice, I’d leave every one of my: Randalls, Morseths, Hibbens, Gerbers, Bucks, and CRKT’s in the closet and select a stout 4 foot stick every time!

You can go high AND low with a stick; you can’t do that with a knife. Raise a knife in a duel; and you’re going to get cut. With a stick you can fight at the limit of your opponent’s range and, still, hurt him. Overextend your reach with a blade; and, again, you will be completely vulnerable. That folder may get you into trouble with the authorities, too; but, how many people are able to recognize a simple cane for the deadly weapon that it may become? (No, I won’t even begin to tell you how to kill with a stick; suffice it to say that, in the right hands, it’s easy!)



PS: It’s not; ‘So basic ideas was all I was looking for.’ Instead, it’s; ‘So basic ideas were all I was looking for.’



Ahhh, I thought I was done; but, they just keep rolling in:

Quote:
I have heard by those involved in combat that the best approach is to stab right for the face assault style, as human instinct is to shield the face in such an attack.

Sounds logical. Of course if you explain this and then try to do it in training, it might come out a little different. On the street, where both people are sweating and there is most likely going to be some weapon fixation? Yeah, might be a good strategy.
Let’s go back to; ‘NEVER GO HIGH IN A KNIFEFIGHT!’ Furthermore, we’re not talking about boxing. If you reach for the head, your chances of getting cut on the way in (or out) are significantly greater – Too great to make this a viable form of attack against a talented protagonist with a short blade.

And, still, more:

Quote:
A cut to the body, face, arms, legs etc. While horrifying to see is much the same as a "flesh wound" in a gun fight. The particular muscles and perhaps tendons may be damaged but fast incapacitation probably will not follow if the opponent is determined.
Again, with all due respect – WRONG! A knife is capable of doing MUCH MORE damage than a bullet in CQB. If you’re being rushed by an attacker with a knife and all you’ve got is a pistol, guess what? You are the fighter who is UNDERARMED! Don’t let an enraged knifer get to you because it ain’t going to be about flesh wounds. BEFORE he starts to close: ‘Open up and freight him down’ as you step backwards or to the side. In CQB a knifer is the one with the better weapon.

OK, last one reply:

Quote:
I would try to make sure that your opponent is immediately, if possible, incapacitated with stabs to important organs (ed.) and blood vessels. (ed.)
Wrong, again! The FIRST THING you should attempt to do in any hand-to-hand knifefight is to AVOID THE BLADE. The SECOND THING you should do is attempt to DAMAGE YOUR OPPONENT’S WEAPON HAND.


(Never mind how I know. I wouldn't tell you, anyway.)
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Old November 3, 2004, 03:06 PM   #64
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Arc, thanks for the interesting post. I'd like to respectfully submit an opposing view. I was going to argue you technique and tactic choices point by point, but I realized that I had more fundamental issues with your approach. To wit, statements like this:

Quote:
The FIRST THING you should attempt to do in any hand-to-hand knifefight is to AVOID THE BLADE. The SECOND THING you should do is attempt to DAMAGE YOUR OPPONENT’S WEAPON HAND.
I thought this thread was about realistic defense with a knife. In my first contribution to this thread, I gave the opinion that the instant assumption people have when you mention a knife encounter is "both people armed with a knife, starting at long range" is exactly the least likely scenario one might encounter. But much of your post reads as if that's the context for your advice: two people both armed with knives, starting in largo. My apologies if I'm reading that wrong, but I don't see any other clear interpretation of your post.

The more likely scenario? Either you or the bad guy starts with a knife, not both. The action starts in medio or corto, not in largo. While I suppose it's possible that tomorrow I'll walk down the street, and some guy will pull a knife on me from 10 feet away, and then wait for me to pull mine, it's really so unlikely that I don't think that scenario should consume a whole lot of my training. For realistic self-defense scenarios, in my opinion, one guy or the other has the knife, and it starts in medio or corto, fast and furious.

So, to the extent that your tactics and techniques suggested rely on the "knife duel" type scenario -- which it does to a great extent -- I feel your reply is irrelevent to anyone thinking about reality-based knife defense. I don't necessarily agree with your techinques and tactics even under that scenario, but I won't argue with them now, because I feel the knife duel scenario itself isn't worth hurting our brains over, given that there have been very few posts in this thread that have addressed more realistic scenarios.

I'm trying to state this in the most respectful way I can, but still get my point across in the most frank and forthright manner possible. My apologies if I've insulted you anywhere here, it's not my intention.


Joe
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Old November 3, 2004, 07:32 PM   #65
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Joe, you have more than politely stated your opinion; and you are certainly entitled to it. What’s with the: ‘Corto’, ‘medio’, y ‘largo’ terminology? Do I detect something of Filipino technique? You’re right, too. I DO have experience, ‘dueling’ with knives. I can look at the scars on my forearms or side anytime that I feel like being reminded of, ‘the good old days’.

Nowadays, though, I read a lot about knifefighting or, more in line with your viewpoint, ‘knife attacks’ on various internet websites. I take it all with, ‘a grain of salt’; I honestly don’t think there are too many, ‘survivors’ around to comment on this sort of martial behavior. It’s been many years, now, since anybody’s come at me with a knife; but, I’ll stand by my original statement; ‘The FIRST THING you should attempt to do in any hand-to-hand knifefight is to AVOID THE BLADE. The SECOND THING you should do is attempt to DAMAGE YOUR OPPONENT’S WEAPON HAND.’

Look, I’m not addressing these remarks to assassination. If you catch it from a guy who’s just asked you for, ‘the time’, well, that’s your fault because he never should have been allowed to get THAT close in the first place! This being said: Whether it’s a sneak attack or a, ‘duel’ doesn’t really matter. In the brief moment you’re going to have between the instant you see, either, rapid arm motion or steel - and the guy is on you - my advice would be to SEEK TO AVOID THE BLADE!

To an experienced man with a short blade, most aggressive reactions you will attempt – other than avoidance - are going to be little more than opportunities for him to cut you; and, it needs to be recognized that a, ‘good knifer’ is going to be coming on hard and fast! He’ll slash to clear YOUR hands and follow by thrusting to cripple you. The current, ‘target du jour’ is the neck; but that wouldn’t be my first choice. Me? I’d hit low and, then, move up. If I ever had, ‘a style’ (And I’d like to think that I did not.) I used to prefer to whack a hand or elbow before it was almost at maximum extension. If I couldn’t get to the arms, then, I’d go for either side of whatever leading knee. The only time I’d stand on an opponent’s vertical body centerline (a la Steven Segal) was when I wanted to bring him forward to have at me. Then I’d fight exactly the same way as: Echanis, Styers, and Biddle recommended. I know that, ‘the wheel’ keeps getting reinvented; but, quite frankly, I haven’t witnessed any knifefighting style that works better than what I’ve briefly outlined here.

If you have only a second or two to react: My suggestion would be to get off the other guy’s vertical body centerline – ideally by moving away from the blade toward the side of your opponent’s body that forces him to reach across himself in order to get at you. Then, encourage him to reach and seek to damage his weapon hand. A smart fighter is going to rush you. It’s up to you to be able to, ‘pass him by on one of HIS corners’. The only thing I’ll add is, sometimes, a low kick will work – especially to the side of the knee - but I, personally, wouldn’t try any form of high attack short of, maybe, pushing a shoulder.

Other than this you are more than welcome to practice and prepare yourself for CQB in any way that you see fit. I really do appreciate your courtesy; so many times this sort of discussion will turn into a, ‘pissing contest’. You have graciously decided not to do that; and I respect you for it. May I suggest that - against the day when you may suddenly have to face a short blade - you tuck my, ‘strange advice’ away, somewhere, in the back of your mind.

In the broad perspective from which you approach, ‘knifed combat’ I’d have to agree that stopping the attack IS the primary consideration; and, if you’re carrying a gun, I’d certainly recommend using it. To my mind: Avoidance of the blade is (and will remain) the primary directive in any knifefight: corto, medio, o largo, spontaneous, or dueling. I don’t care if you run away, kick a chair into the middle of the fray, or start moving toward the opposite side of your opponent’s body away from his knife. The key word remains, ‘AVOID’.

After avoidance comes the reply. Do whatever you can to clear yourself of the blade and encourage your opponent to reach for you. If you’re familiar with Aikido-style joint locks – fine. Use barehanded techniques, again a la Steven Segal, to clear yourself of the weapon; but, whatever you do, quickly damaging the other guy’s weapon hand is going to be paramount to your survival.

One of my favorite people to practice knifefighting with was a Tai Chi Chuan instructor who was crossed trained in Okinawan Gung Fu. He was excellent at inside, ‘push hands’ techniques aimed primarily at: wrists, forearms, and elbows. He was originally trained by an old Hawaiian named (Professor) Henry Lee. My instructor’s name was Alex; and he used to be able to stand on my vertical body centerline; and, with his powerful short arms and hardened hands, he could consistently push any attack I made away from his body; and, then hit me hard - often from the inside! Fortunately for guys like you and me there aren’t too many Alex Kupai’s in this world. Alex always said that I had a lot to learn about Tai Chi; but, not too much more to know about knifefighting. (He wasn’t too shabby with a blade, himself; and, I believe he meant the compliment, too.)

What the hey, this sort of response has helped to bring me to the age of 62; and, in my time, I’ve been complimented by, both, Ed Parker and Gil Hibben. They always seemed to think that I knew what I was doing with a knife in my hands. However, I do have to admit that was yesterday; and this is today. I don’t, ‘knifefight’ anymore - not in or outside of a dojo. (Can’t, my legs were permanently damaged in an accident back in 1990.) I just like to talk about it, now; and, try as I might, I’m still drawn to these sometimes silly and too often inane threads. Maybe I should, ‘cut it out’.

Best of luck to you!
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Last edited by Arc Angel; November 3, 2004 at 09:41 PM.
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Old November 3, 2004, 09:23 PM   #66
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And I'd like to thank both of you for a very civil, and informative, discussion!
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Old November 5, 2004, 08:30 AM   #67
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Dammit, everybody's being polite...

What is this, the High Road?




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Old November 5, 2004, 09:48 AM   #68
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Don't kid yourself! I've been in plenty of internet fights on The High Road. The worst was, probably, about that idiot who shot a guy to death while the victim was walking his dogs in a park area.

Many of The High Road, 'regulars' seem to think this idiot is some sort of, 'gun hero' who was, just, exercising his second amendment right of self-defense. The clear fact that this, 'attack' was largely imaginary completely eluded many High Roaders. 'Why' more respondents couldn't recognize this trigger-happy jerk for the coward that he really is, I'll never know?

True story: About 3 weeks after becoming involved in this heated debate, I'm walking in the park and - so help me, God - we were suddenly confronted by three large aggressive dogs! Life really can be strange! No, I didn't start shooting. As a matter of fact, because I let one of the animals get much too close to me, I doubted I'd be able to draw and rack the slide before being bitten. For a few moments there, I was genuinely concerned and thinking about abstruse realities like, ‘evil karma’!

As the animal closed in on me, I was forced to reach for the knife on my far side just as some dizzy woman came running up to us shouting; 'I'm sorry!' 'I'm sorry!' ‘We're from the South!’ We didn't think the dogs would be a problem around here!'

For a moment I was too angry to speak. I just kept looking at her and shaking my head. ‘From the South - huh!’ Thank God the Pit Bull I was holding is consummately obedient because my, 'little girl' was truly ready-to-go! Thankfully, however, she continued to listen to my soft commands not to – Even when the lead dog came right up to her and (stupidly) growled in her face.
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Old November 22, 2004, 01:38 PM   #69
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In no particular order:

Knife fights typically resemble brutal, fast and furious one-sided muggings where the mugger has the knife and the muggie didn't know it until far to late.

The small knife unseen until felt is plenty large enough. Lets define small as 4 inches and under for arguments sake. There are plenty of 3.5-4 inch knives out there and plenty of locals where they are legally carried.

"Felt" is often mistaken for being punched. Many a stab victim has reported they mistakenly believed they were being punched in the side before they began to cough blood, black out, and lose the use of their legs. You're in serious trouble at this stage.

Defang what, if you don't know there is something to defang?

Duels are rare enough to be almost unheard of. Those of you carrying guns at this stage should be accessing and using them. This is the least likely and only scenario were the "I'd use my gun" plans hold water for most.

Know dueling advice when you hear it. Recognize it for what it is. Absorb it if you’re interested, certainly, but understand the context whereby it is useful. See immediately above.

Stabs send more to the morgue than slashes.

Most gun enthusiasts are kidding themselves when it comes to the topic. No, you're not always in yellow let alone orange. No, you're not that fast and even if you are it most likely won't matter.
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Old November 22, 2004, 11:33 PM   #70
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Exactly!

In the case you describe, where it's the bad guy with the knife, you'll likely be defending at first as if it were an empty-hand assault, because the knife is hard to notice. You're right, most people, even after being stabbed, don't realize they're in a knife assault at first. Statistically, that's the way it is. That doesn't mean other scenarios aren't possible -- especially for someone who is very aware -- but it's important to spend a lot of time training for the reality we know about.
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Old November 25, 2004, 03:53 PM   #71
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I hope someone doesn't think I know what I'm talking about and take my advice. However I understand from the experts that there IS a time to run in a knife fight and that's when your assailant has an axe. The Randlemade knives booklet advises this, and in a fight to go for the gut, for shock. Then follow up with a stab to the heart, Be sure to slide the knife in so it goes between the ribs, not otherwise and so be blunted. The Model I Randal in 8-inch blade appears to be an appropriate weapon for this.
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