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Old March 24, 2013, 10:50 PM   #1
btmj
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Woman's use of knife with pistol

My wife and I were talking with my sister a couple of days ago, talking about defending oneself in the home, and similar topics. We were at her house. She told me that she practices shooting her 1911 and Glock 19 one handed most of the time, because she expects that in an emergency she would have her knife in her left hand.

I asked her to elaborate. She explained that her house has small rooms and tight hallways, and most encounters with bad guys would be at close range... I said "bad breath distance" and she said Exactly ! She fears that the bad guys might try to wrestle the gun from her, and she believes she would have a much better chance of retaining the gun if she also had a knife. In her words, "the SOB would have take the gun and the knife away from me simultaneously, otherwise he is going to be bleeding badly, either from a bullet or from the knife." At 44, she is tall and athletic. I think it would be difficult to tackle her thus armed, without getting shot, stabbed, or both.

She showed me the knife, and I recognized it... a heavy Bowie knife with about a 10 inch blade. My Dad was an avid knife collector, and when we were teens / young adults he gave me and my siblings a variety of knives. The Bowie knife was a gift to her long ago.

Now my question is this... Her plan seems well thought out, but I have never heard or seen of any training that emphasizes a pistol in the right hand, and a large knife in the other.

Thoughts? Not that it will make any difference what I tell her, the woman can be incredibly stubborn.
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Old March 25, 2013, 12:21 AM   #2
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The main concern with such techniques, is insuring that the non-shooting hand remains unshot.

Usually, these techniques involve the shooting being done from a one-handed retention position which pulls the gun in tight against the body in a comfortable position about midway up the torso. It's intended to make it much more difficult for the attacker to access the firearm.

A common approach for protecting the non-shooting hand is blocking out areas for it to operate that won't ever be covered by the muzzle.

More conventionally, shooting with one hand and defending/striking with the other involves an empty non-shooting hand. It's used to block blows to the face (hand and arm are high and out of the area covered by the handgun) or to administer pushes/strikes high on the target.

What she's suggesting isn't really terribly off-the-wall, but it's not a basic technique. She should really get some instruction from someone who teaches techniques similar to her intended approach.
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Old March 25, 2013, 01:27 AM   #3
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What you're suggesting sounds like some Close Quarters Battle (CQB) techniques used by Special Operations types (and in video games). The pistol is held in the strong hand and a knife is held upside down in the weak hand. The weak hand goes under the strong hand wrist and the backs of your hands press together similar to using a flashlight. The problem with this is... the SpecOps guys are very well trained in this system. I would suggest that a two-handed grip on the weapon would give better security than having two weapons. I feel that practicing shooting from retention positions would be more effective than trying to learn advanced CQB techniques.
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Old March 25, 2013, 03:11 AM   #4
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Me thinks your Sister is reasonably correct, my problem with it, that is a very big knife! A double edged 4" Blade would be easier to use, and retain.

An old kit bag, well wrapped in duct tape, great for hanging in the garage, and use to practice on. Might change her mind

I would not use this idea, if I had to shoot one handed, I could, 40 years of bulls eye shooting has me real comfy with the one hand gun. But two handed is better, quicker reset after first, and multiple shots, more accurate too.

You can always go to one hand, but the off hand empty give you door opening, and blocking uses. Just an old guys opinion.
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Old March 25, 2013, 05:56 AM   #5
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I am in the get training camp. That knife is to big for good close quarter combat using the offhand unless she is extraordinarily strong and ambidextrous. At least 4" but not more than 5" of blade would be handier and easier to keep control of and harder for a bad guy to try and take from her, a dagger would be good for this use.

Grew up playing rough and learned to stick fight along the way so my Maglight flashlight held FBI style works for me. I have the bright light in the eyes effect and a heavy sturdy noggin busting club to back it up. I am primarily a one handed shooter myself and see little problem with that as long as she continues to practice that way but I would encourage her to train with weakhand shooting too, you never know if your dominate arm will be available when its time to shoot.

Just dos centavos from a dinosaur.
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Old March 25, 2013, 06:14 AM   #6
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I agree with John and the others. It's not an unheard of technique, it's one that does require specific training by a qualified instructor. I've had training in it and am still training in it. (To me a person can never get enough training).
I actually made a veiled reference to it in a reply I posted about a month ago on a thread:
Quote:
I always think in the terms of you never know when you might need to be using an arm or hand for deflection or close combat while using your other one to make a quick draw and get your shot off. Hence why I prefer my crossbreed IWB in a combat cut, carried on the backside of my hip area. I can draw with a clean sweep and not have to worry about snatching clothes up (and I will admit, surgically enhanced female parts, like trying to appendix carry.) That leaves my other hand/arm free to throw up a block, etc.
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Old March 25, 2013, 09:55 AM   #7
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It's easier to learn to use a gun then a knife. Get proper training and you shouldn't have to worry about the bandit getting yor gun.

I teach a women's firearm safety and self defense class.

Notice I said "self defense" and not "shooting" class. It's rather I conventuals we deal with what occurred in the real world, an couple examples; I use a rather large rag doll. The lady has it by the hand and has to pull the doll behind her to protect it while she engages the target.

Another and more on topic is the shoulder stap of a purse is attached to the target stand and the lady has to engage the target while pulling the purse AND protecting the handgun.

I use several similar scanarios but you get the idea... I don't do knives, I stress having the pistol/revolver on your person or with in reach 24/7.
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Old March 25, 2013, 09:03 PM   #8
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Thanks for all the thoughts. I was also thinking that this technique of hers was an advanced technique more suitable to someone with a high level of training. Her training consists of a two years of tae kwon do as a teen (20 years ago), and more recently she and her husband go to the shooting range a couple of times a year. She is not exactly what you might call SAS

I am not going to be able to talk her out of the knife... my sister is just that way. But I might be able to talk her into something more appropriately sized. Maybe not... honestly if she had a machete or a sword, I think she would use that !

I am not sure where she got this idea, but Habaz72 mentioned video games. Her son played a lot of games when he was a teenager, so maybe that was it.

Thanks again for your thoughts...
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Old March 25, 2013, 09:09 PM   #9
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I know a guy who has had two knife kills in our recent conflicts, both times when an enemy tried to take/wrestle for his rifle. Rather than fight over the rifle, and with his pistol hand occupied/blocked by the enemy's relative position, he drew knife with weak hand and decisively ended both encounters.

So, yes, this technique can work very well.

But yes, the guy in question is a SOF type, and has had at least some training.

She may already train; if she does not, then she might look for an escrima or arnis class, since they train at fighting with a knife or stick in either hand, or two knives or two sticks.
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Old March 25, 2013, 09:25 PM   #10
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Get her a pistol bayonet!!!!
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Old March 26, 2013, 12:01 PM   #11
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Get her a pistol bayonet!!!!
Oh please tell us that was a joke
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Old March 26, 2013, 12:19 PM   #12
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I would have thought she should be phoning the police and waiting for the BG to come to her. If he doesn't and leaves the house that's good. Walking around the house looking for him is not a good idea unless she has no choice. If she is going down that road and thinks one firearm is not enough why not carry two better than one and a knife. PS Most people would be happy with one firearm.
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Old March 26, 2013, 12:41 PM   #13
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I carry a knife with me on a daily basis, and one stays on my nightstand; however, if I hear a bump in the night I grab my firearm, and in my weak hand I grab a flashlight.

I have had knife training, and every knife instructor will tell you that the object of coming out of a knife fight is to be bleeding less than your opponent as opposed to not bleeding at all.

I do not recommend people put a knife as a defensive tool unless they actually know how to use it from getting training in that area. A knife is rarely an instantaneously incapacitating weapon. A crowbar in the hands of a criminal is a much more formidable weapon than a 10" knife in the hands of a person who has no idea how to use it defensively.

IMO, your sister should leave the knife away, and either use her weak hand to get a proper two-handed grip on her firearm, or use it to hold a flashlight.
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Old March 26, 2013, 04:07 PM   #14
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Get her a pistol bayonet!!!!
Oh please tell us that was a joke


Nope. Not a joke - they fit on the rail.

http://www.knifecenter.com/item/KA99...ick-Detachable

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Old March 26, 2013, 06:46 PM   #15
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I know how they work and fit on the gun but I also know that a pistol grip is a poor hilt for a knife and a blade in front of the muzzle is a lever for the bad guy to push the muzzle away from him. Anytime you add hardware to a gun you add weight, ruin the balance and make something else that can go wrong. More better would be a flash light with lots of lumens and some solid weight. That or a shotgun is what floats my boat.
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Old March 27, 2013, 01:29 AM   #16
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Pistol bayonet.

Okay. How long before we see some Rambo in a movie whip his pistol overhand and impale somebody half way across a room?

(Probably already happened.)
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Old March 27, 2013, 10:18 AM   #17
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Few men know how to knife-fight or anything about it. Only in the movies does someone fall down and dies instantly from a knife wound. I know where the effective targets are in the human body, subclavial arterys, carotids, femorals, kidneys, etc., and I would not use a knife if a gun were available. Use the handgun and be done with it.
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Old March 27, 2013, 10:41 AM   #18
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Few men know how to knife-fight or anything about it. Only in the movies does someone fall down and dies instantly from a knife wound. I know where the effective targets are in the human body, subclavial arterys, carotids, femorals, kidneys, etc., and I would not use a knife if a gun were available. Use the handgun and be done with it.
Yup yup and triple yup. In spite of my knife fetish as indicated by a strange collection of working, hunting, survival and combat knives I would prefer a club to a knife and a gun to a club. Especially now that I'm not as strong, agile and as quick as I used to be. I hurt myself laughing everytime I see a knife fight on TV or in the movies. I'd worry more about a cleaver or a 10" cast iron skillet than I would a 10" Bowie knife.
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Old March 27, 2013, 11:05 AM   #19
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If your sister is well coordinated with both hands, then I don't see a problem. What I mean is this: If she can switch weapons hand to hand and still be effective then likely she's got enough coordination to shoot and stab or slash as necessary. If she cannot yet do this, then the necessary practice must be undertaken: otherwise, she might be better off focusing on just using the gun. P.S. One more thing to check is if the Bowie knife is the best knife for a close quarters encounter. As I read it, Bowie's knife was an advantage in great part because of its size, yet only some attack situations would be best served by a Bowie knife, and she should find out if fighting in her home's small rooms or tight hallways is one of these.
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Old March 27, 2013, 01:22 PM   #20
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That's interesting, Old Grump, because I completely disagree with you.

The cleaver is designed to cleave, using either momentum or a rocking pressure. It is only a threat in one direction, more or less.

The skillet relies purely on blunt force, and requires some room to travel in order to be a threat.

A good knife is a threat at the point, in one direction; but its blade is designed to cut by slicing, and it doesn't require much relative speed in order to inflict a deep cut - and since its travel is easily reversed, it's a threat in multiple directions.

Having practiced thousands of counters vs different weapon types, blunt weapons are the simplest to counter - don't try to block, per se, just step inside the arc, right up to the wielder, where the inside radius doesn't allow much speed on the weapon; unidirectional threat types such as cleavers are the next simplest; but knives can be a real pain.
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Old March 27, 2013, 02:32 PM   #21
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I have convinced her to use a different knife. Dad also gave her a Ka-Bar, and I told her this would be more appropriate... "but the marine knife is smaller than the bowie knife" she said. Yep, but it is a more modern design and is easier to use under pressure... because it is smaller, you will have better leverage, I said.

I also told her it might be a better idea to just shoot with both hands... her response "unless I am holding an uzi, I want a big knife"...

stubborn !
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Old March 27, 2013, 03:12 PM   #22
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That's interesting, Old Grump, because I completely disagree with you.

The cleaver is designed to cleave, using either momentum or a rocking pressure. It is only a threat in one direction, more or less.

The skillet relies purely on blunt force, and requires some room to travel in order to be a threat.

A good knife is a threat at the point, in one direction; but its blade is designed to cut by slicing, and it doesn't require much relative speed in order to inflict a deep cut - and since its travel is easily reversed, it's a threat in multiple directions.

Having practiced thousands of counters vs different weapon types, blunt weapons are the simplest to counter - don't try to block, per se, just step inside the arc, right up to the wielder, where the inside radius doesn't allow much speed on the weapon; unidirectional threat types such as cleavers are the next simplest; but knives can be a real pain.
You have valid points and I agree a knife in the hands of somebody who knows what they are doing is bad medicine 'BUT', you knew there was a but coming didn't you?

I have trained against unconventional weapons and trust me, I will take my chances against most people with a knife rather then try to stop a cleaver. An untrained man or woman with a skillet and I suggested 10" over 12" because of the weight issue only needs to hit you once to hurt you, arm broken, forehead flattened, sideways swing into the ribs will double a person over right nicely and it will be awhile before they can stand up straight again. A man fighting for possession of the protagonists gun won't even see a cleaver coming till it's to late.

I'm old and slow now but it used to be the instructor would keep me off the mat when he was trying to teach a technique because I cheated. I still cheat. The last punk kid that pulled a knife on me got a whack on the top of his head from my cane, second swing got him on the forearm making him drop his knife and when I swung the third time he was out of range and moving down the block a lot faster than I could run.

First time I grabbed the wrist of the kid with the knife and squeezed till he dropped it. The second two, a New York tough guy got kicked in the chest and lost his knife. the third guy, a Chicago punk, got kicked under his left eye and lost his desire to continue. I'm just a simple farm boy and don't know all the fancy moves or names of the moves but I grew up fighting and never really stopped. Other than formalized fencing, boxing and wrestling all my fighting was in the street figuratively speaking and I did learn a couple of things along the way.

One thing I learned is me and a 16" nightstick would have bamboozled most every knife fighter I ever come up against with two exceptions. One a little Filipino fellow I was happy to be friends with and the other was my Marine partner on Shore Patrol.

Back to the OP's sister she now has an easier to handle knife and if it gives her a confidence factor to have it that will do her good in time of need. Chances are she won't need it but if she does I won't want to be the boogerman. Hopefully she gets some martial arts training to go with it.
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Old March 27, 2013, 09:43 PM   #23
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Old Grump, cheating is good. Among several of my favorite Murphy's Laws of Combat is the one that says, "If you find yourself in a fair fight, your tactics suck."

As far as the 10" Bowie vs a smaller knife, it depends on training. It only requires 2.5" - 3" to reach vitals, if the knife is placed well; so, a knife in the 4" to 7" range can be every bit as effective as a Bowie, depending on how it is used, without the drawbacks that come with mass and length. OTOH, the Bowie's shape and weight lend themselves better toward slashing. IIRC some things I read on Bowie, he liked to get inside and use his blade slashing against legs, or else stabbing up into the gut - and he successfully used it in duels against guys who were wielding swords.

Note that the Roman gladius was "only" about 18" long; for the Romans' massed tactics, anything longer would have been unwieldy. In the Roman shield wall, the gladius would typically be used to go after femoral arteries, groins, and guts, stabbing inward or upward from below shield level. Bowie, from what I read, used the large knife in much the way the Romans used the short sword.

Tactics can dictate the weapon; to an extent, the weapon may also dictate tactics.

I know one MP who likes to use a karambit knife in his off hand. His idea being that if somebody tries to grab his gun, he can use his off hand to draw his karambit and slash across the hand/wrist of the grabber. His retention training involves use of the karambit in that fashion; he has a training version made out of some sort of plastic, looks like lexan, that he uses when practicing.

On a similar note, he and I have blue guns that we use in our real guns' holsters when we practice this kind of thing. (I am NOT an MP; this is a guy who used to train at the same dojo as I did, and we would work out on other stuff before or after the formal class.)
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Old March 28, 2013, 10:50 AM   #24
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My two favorite blades are a 4 1/2" Buck skinning knife and my 13 1/2" Hisshou. I have Bowie's but find them heavy for their size and not as handy to use in a reflex dictated situation. I worked with dagger fighters using one knife and 2 knife techniques and them ding dongs were nuts. They didn't mind getting cut as long as the other guy bled more than they did. They decided I was not nice and to rough because while they were displaying their fancy knife moves and dance steps I would bull rush them and stick them in the solar plexus with my rubber knife. Apparently I didn't respect their traditions enough. That being said watching them work out is one of the reasons I find movie knife fights hilarious, they should have had these guys doing their fight scenes. Sicilians in Long Beach California, what a bunch and I'm glad we got along with each other.

My Marine partner was more like me except I was the white gorilla and he was the black Mongoose. His words not mine. He would stick fight with me and wrestle with me but wouldn't box. Roughest day I ever had and the sorest I have ever been was cane training with an Englishman who sat in our night stick training and then he took over. He worked up a nice sweat and 20 of us SP's and MP's walked out of the gym battered, exhausted and humbled. Single best training session I ever had and I am so happy I never had to fight anybody like him for real.
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Old March 28, 2013, 11:02 AM   #25
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Re: Woman's use of knife with pistol

Mleake, in the hands of someone who knows what they are doing, yes a knife is a much more formidable weapon (why I use one instead of a skillet). However, I would bet that those of us that know how to use knives in defense and counter other hand attacks are in the minority.

I am smaller, and don't have the raw physical strength of some. I would expect that if someone were to attack me they would have at least 50 lbs and about 5" on me. For me, finding an opportunity to get inside of an assailants arm reach quick enough to deliver a couple stabs and slashes and then getting out is the name of the game. Make hits where they count, and counter your opponents attacks... But you know what they say about plans
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