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Old May 1, 2001, 12:18 AM   #1
PaladinX13
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This is really more of a triva thing but it's bugging the hell out of me. I don't remember where, but I remember reading something to the effect "...for a martial artist, dropping the knife is a serious consideration; there are 6 (stab/slash/...) basic moves one can perform with a knife in hand but 16 with an open hand; they are: check/grab/block/..."

I don't remember where I read it (so I can't remember if it's credible) and I can't remember the exact list of moves. Can anyone help me out with my memory lapse? Also, would you agree with the spirit of the quote?
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Old May 1, 2001, 03:03 AM   #2
Mort
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Sorry, I can't help you with the quote. As to the sentiment, I disagree most strenuously.

The knife is dynamic, like the empty hand. What the person who said this is neglecting is that with a knife in your hand, certain empty hand movements are superceded or made redundant. For example, how do you check with a blade? You slash, hack or place. How do you block? Same thing. Since the blade is steel instead of flesh, we need not reconfigure it for different tasks as we do our hands. What the knife sacrifices in actual mutability it makes up for in speed, simplicity and destruction. Furthermore, the knife has possibilities not available with empty hand; trapping and passing in reverse grip is far more lively than the same without a knife.

Also, if you want to get fancy about it, grabbing and locking is also possible with a knife. You'll see some knife players in a modified saber grip, with their thumb hovering above the spine. This allows them to flow into joint locks, when the locks present themselves.

Finally, it's important to remember that when you have a knife in your hand, that's not your only tool. What about your check hand? The check hand, properly integrated into knife play, is capable of all those things the knife hand was capable of before you put a knife in it.
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Old May 1, 2001, 05:41 AM   #3
Double Naught Spy
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I don't know the quote either, but it sounds a iffy. The one thing it doesn't mention that if your knife is taken from you, it can be used against you. That just won't happen with your hand.

I think it is correct that for a martial artist, dropping the knife is a serious consideration, not so that he can use his hands, but because now there is an available weapon floating around that can be used against the artist.

On the flip side, most hand tactics will not open a nice blood flow and if they can, chances are the task is better done with a knife.

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Old May 1, 2001, 03:51 PM   #4
gryphon
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I don't know about the rest of you, but the only thing that I caanot do with a knife in hand is grab someone with that hand. All techniques that I have been trained in for empty hand apply with knife as well.

The situation comes down to do you really want to do that kind of damage to your opponent, and if you have the knife in your hand already, the answer is probably YES.

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Old May 1, 2001, 09:13 PM   #5
Triple D
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Hmmm

Just ask yourself one simple question:

Would you rather fight a guy with empty hands /or/ a guy holding a knife?

Pretty easy question to answer.
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Old May 2, 2001, 10:50 AM   #6
PaladinX13
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Triple D, welcome to TFL!

I'll be the semi-devil's advocate (just to keep this from being a thread where everyone drops in with a "one-liner of wisdom" it's been good so far), gryphon hit the nail on the head when he says it's about the damage. An open hand gives you the option of drawing blood whereas a knife makes it pretty much a necessity with a motivated attacker. As far as I know, police are given asp, baton, mace, and H2H training... not knives. There are times that less force is better.

Also, I notice most responses are critical of the few items I put on "my" list... please realize I don't remember the items from the original. One thing I imagine would be on the original would be the ability to throw and dynamically grapple. I realize there are isolated examples where you would be able to throw someone such and such a way (or basically forcefully shove) even with a knife in hand... or even grapple in a specific position- but from what I've seen, it doesn't seem possible with a knife (or any other object) in hand. Throws are a good way of controlling groups whereas a knife tends to crystalize their actions into teamwork aimed at getting rid of that knife (just my observations from "reality" TV like Police Videos, MaxEx, etc.)... finally, if a knife is as useful as open hand, shouldn't more martial arts emphasize knife use more? Granted, a lot of it has to do with tradition, but how does it turn out that so few seriously deal with it? Finally, there are legal considerations, IMO... unless your fists are registered as deadly weapons!

One other note, please don't take the "dropping the knife" literally for discussion purposes... perhaps the decision whether to sheath or unsheath?
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Old May 2, 2001, 01:00 PM   #7
Ken J. Good
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Most Jujitsu throws and redirections directly have their origin in edged weapon conflict. It is actually quite easy to throw someone using an edged weapon. The "empty hand" was the logical extension of an armed warrior.

Think about it for a moment. If you had your choice; cut and let the opponent stand there and re-cut you, or develop techniques that cut while de-stablizing & throwing the opponent. This stradegy prevents an immediate back cut on you.

The cut/combination can be lethal or non-lethal depending on the target choosen.
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Old May 2, 2001, 06:04 PM   #8
RazorsEdge
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The open hand has NO advantages, unless the knife guy is a real dummy OR you are Tarzan and you need your hands to hang on to swinging vine.

When I was in grad school, i had the dubious privilege of working night shift in a slaughter house for two weeks.

There were two Mexicans who butchered the steers, and you'd have to see what a real pro can do with a blade to believe it. I'm talking complete disassembly in less than ten seconds.

If a martial arts school neglects knife training, it is because they are seriously out of touch, though, to get really good, you have to do it for real, and if you do it for real you will lose body parts, and spend a lot of time in hospital or jail.

My short term strategy is to be very polite to Mexicans.
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Old May 2, 2001, 09:53 PM   #9
Glamdring
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The only time I can see where empty hand would be better than knife in hand is where your simply wanting to restrain or apply a force compliance technique.

You can use a knife to deliver non lethal attacks, using hilt/spine/side of blade, but still possible to end up cutting someone you didn't intend to cut.

From what I understand a sword would probably be better for non lethal [er non cutting/stabbing] attacks than a knife because it has more mass and with it's reach/length can be driven to higher speeds [at the tip].

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Old May 2, 2001, 10:42 PM   #10
PaladinX13
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Continuing my role (of course, I'm not going empty handed to a "knife fight" any time soon)...

Ken, those sound very interesting but I imagine they were designed for swords... even so, I'd love to see it. Is there anywhere I can view a "knife throw"? The only place I've seen one is in videogames where the enemy is impaled first before being thrown.

RazorsEdge, well I think there are SOME advantages. Still haven't addressed the legal issues (basically illegal to carry any decent fighting knife in just about any major city) or limited force (why police don't carry them) or just the fact your hands will always be with you. Regardless, remember to be polite to us Asians cuz we all know Kung Fu!

Glamdring, I could see that... the knife-like sai was used by Japanese police, however, that's an edgeless weapon... and Kenshin (fictional character) uses a sabaka sword (a "reverse" sword with a blunt edge and sharp side inside the curve). I mean, I can use a knife for non lethal attacks in the same way I can use gun to pistol whip someone.

I think the legal issue is important though... it just seems to me that the majority of physical confrontation (more often hot tempers than life threatening situation) ends in such a way that you'd wish you hadn't used a knife (not to say you shouldn't carry one, I've got a Crawford Kasper folder most of the time). But hell, if I can still throw and control an angry drunk without giving up my knife advantage... maybe I should (though, being larger AND flashing a knife probably wouldn't be in my advantage)? So any info on where to see the knife throws, grappling, controling?
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Old May 3, 2001, 08:43 AM   #11
RazorsEdge
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Perhaps I am stating the obvious, but I don't think it is a good idea to "present" a knife and then try to use it non-lethally.

By presenting a blade you have upped the ante, and your opponent is justified in using deadly force, including that pocket pistol he has not yet revealed.

I realize that punks in pool halls may do a certain amount of posturing where nobody gets hurts, but introducing a deadly weapon against a stranger carries self-evident risks.
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Old May 3, 2001, 11:04 AM   #12
Glamdring
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[Went OT was thinking throwing knife not throwing goblin ]

For throwing knifes it isn't real hard with a full sized knife to throw it. Though tomahawks are a lot easier to throw. The first time my friend, who is into blackpowder & etc, showed me how to throw tomahawk I was able to make it stick on the second throw.

I think if one practiced once or twice a week throwing hawks or purpose built knifes you could have a combat level of skill in 6 months or so. Not saying you would be able to throw 100% in real world situation, but the truth of the matter is that 50% hit rate is good with handguns in real life.

I was a RO for a trail walk couple of years ago. And at a few of the stations the people had to throw their hawk and their partners hawk at a target. Only couple managed to stick their hawks but they had to throw at unknown range and deal with brush & etc.
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