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Old May 21, 2004, 06:19 PM   #26
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Using a large knife helps, of course. I like my KA-BAR - it's pretty "scary" looking. Hopefully I'll never actually have to use it, but if I do, I know it'll do the damage required to win.

Of course, the first strategy is to bring a gun. I do agree though, stab more than slash.

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Old May 21, 2004, 08:19 PM   #27
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In a knife fight, the choice of whether to stab or to slash depends on the target area you are involved with.

Limbs should be attacked with slashes. Arms and legs are small, rapidly moving targets and a stab which uses only the narrow point of the blade has a better than average chance of missing the limb as it moves.

Plus, a stab that misses has to be retracted, offering your adversary that much more time to counter-slash your arm.

So. Slash at limbs: this brings the entire edge of the knife into play against the smaller, quickly-moving limbs, and a slash that misses has already moved somewhat out of your opponents' area of control.

The body and head shold be attacked with stabs. Where the limbs have the main muscle tissue, nerves and blood vessels outside of any protecting bone, this is not the case with the head and torso.

A slash aimed at the torso must necessarily encounter the ribcage before it can get to the vital organs, nerves and vessels housed therein. Ribs are amazingly tough, springy bone and are well-capable of causing a knife blade to skip from rib to rib during the length of the cut, producing a relatively superficial injury, whereas a stab has a good chance of slipping between the protective ribs to reach the vitals.

As far as the head goes, what can you say about the skull? It is the hardest bone in the human body and the very curvature increases the protective ability of that bone to an amazing degree, and while there are more than a few weak spots in the skull, these spots are not big enough to take advantage of with a slash.

So, slash when your opponent offers you a limb, stab when you get to the body and/or head.

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Old May 23, 2004, 12:45 PM   #28
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If you are forced into facing a threat with a knife- and for some reason cannot use a firearm to defeat the threat- any tool you can use to engage your attacker while staying outside his effective knifing range should be utilized. Sticks, thrown projectiles- rocks, plates, dirt, whatever- anything that can hurt him while keeping you out of cutting range.

If you are about to die, and have only a knife, your attacker should not even be aware you have a knife until he's unconscious. Go in hard, because the only alternative is death.


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Old May 24, 2004, 02:06 AM   #29
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I cant bring any formal knife training to the table, but I can bring 38 years of general wisdom. If you can run, by all means do so. If you cant, dont let them know you have a knife until you stick it somewhere important.....and maybe twist it a little. Then run!

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Old May 29, 2004, 09:42 AM   #30
Joe Talmadge
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Anyone know a good webpage with information about tactics with folding knives and such? I've been looking around but haven't found much of anything. Thanks!
It's interesting that a post about tactics with folders generates so many warnings about avoiding knife fights. Why the assumption that if one guy has a knife in his hand, the other guy must necessarily have one, also? Reality says that if one guy has a knife, it's more likely the other guy doesn't. In short, if situations with knives are rare, knife-to-knife fights are incredibly rare. The bad guy will not pull his knife 10 feet away, then wait for you to pull yours so you can start a duel, so you can pretty much push aside all the warnings about knife fights.

So what are you talking about, really? One possibility, you pulling your knife defensively, against someone who isn't similarly armed. Maybe multiple guys jumped you. Maybe one guy jumped you, but you have reason to believe your life is in danger and you're losing the fight. Maybe your warning bell went off and you palmed the knife when the bad guy walked up, and deployed it before he could deploy. Another possibility of a knife being introduced is that the bad guy hit his knife, then pulled it and started attacking before you had time to pull yours (again, he's not going to stand 10 feet away and wait for you to draw -- he doesn't want you to know you're in a knife assault until after the knife is in you). In all of these cases, a theme emerges: you should be spending a lot of training time training empty hand against the knife, but with the bad guy giving criminal-knife-assault type energy instead of flowing energy. And you should be spending a lot of time with the knife in your hand, against unarmed bad guys. Also, the idea of starting unarmed and fighting your way to your knife (making time and space to draw) is important.

If this sounds more like reality to you than the knife-on-knife duels you're being warned about (or even if it doesn't), here's the next step for further reading:

Then go to and check out "CQC Knife", "Expression of Pikal", and "Knife Defense"

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Old May 29, 2004, 11:35 AM   #31
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Good post, Joe.

Good to see you.


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Old June 29, 2004, 07:38 PM   #32
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During an impoverished period while pursuing a masters degree at a local university, I worked for three weeks one summer at a local meat packing plant.

During this time, I was privileged to observe the slaughter of beef cattle.

The cow was led in at the top of the ramp out of a chute. The cattle were already rather crazed because they could smell the blood of the previous inductees into the T-Bone Hall of Fame.

The executioners were two Mexicans. They hit ther cow in the head with a tool that drove an air-powered bolt into the cow's head, then as the cow fell down the ramp, they inserted their hook bladed knives into the cow belly and just let gravity do the work.

In under three seconds, all of the internal organs of the cow were spread out (steaming in the refrigerated air) on the slaughter house floor, and whether the cow was dead or still alive was strictly academic.

I think that some cultures use edged weapons better than other, Filipinos and Mexicans come to mind.
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Old July 2, 2004, 02:39 AM   #33
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Best way to utilize a knife against an attacker is not to let them know you have one until it is buried in their body or they've been slashed in the right place. It should come as a complete surprize to them.
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Old July 2, 2004, 03:07 PM   #34
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Check here: Martial Blade Craft
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Old July 2, 2004, 03:36 PM   #35
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Forget learning off the web: go to and get some good books. after that look for practice knives buy two and find a buddy train together and within a year you'll have the confidence and ability to survive a knife fight.
Foster and polish
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While serving in the world;
Illuminate the path
According to your inner light"

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Billow like Great Waves;
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Use One to strike All.
Learn and forget! "

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Old July 12, 2004, 09:52 AM   #36
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I can't believe there are new responses to this thread I started so long ago...

Thanks for all the info!
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Old July 14, 2004, 11:53 PM   #37
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(Yeah, and here's one more!)

‘Stab more than slash’ ???

I’ve been playing these games for more than 40 years. Here’s some of the lessons I’ve learned; and, yes, I’ve got the knicks on my hands, forearms, and sides to warrant these remarks: (1) If you are able to run away from an attacker with a knife, do so! (2) If you must stand and fight, DO NOT put your back to the wall; you’ll need the space behind and around you to avoid the blade. (3) If there is any sort of, ‘pole weapon’ available, use it. A stick is a better weapon than a knife; and, even, a rolled up magazine will do. (4) Avoid, ‘going in’ using any linear form of attack (like stabbing) because it is always easier to counter than to hit. (5) Force the attacker to reach for you; ‘work his perimeter’ and bring his attacks to the maximum extent of his reach. (6) The hands and forearms are your principal targets. Aim for them! (7) If you must stab always launch the attack from a, ‘quarter angle’. (Imagine your attacker standing in the middle of a giant horizontal, ‘X’. Stab at him from the end of the, ‘X’s’ arms.) (8) If your attacker is right-handed, ALWAYS move to your right and force him to slow down by striking at you across his own body. (9) Recognize that your attacker is most vulnerable at that precise moment, ‘When’ he is fully extended and reaching for you. (10) Place ANY available obstacle between yourself and the attacker. (11) Break off contact at the very first opportunity. The hero who understands, ‘When’ to withdraw lives to fight another day.

If I knew I were going into a knifefight without a weapon-of-choice, I’d look for a stick and a handful of: salt, sand, or dirt. There you have it; a lot of what I’ve learned about knifefighting over the past 40 years. This isn’t a pretty subject to talk about – is it!
‘There are, only, two kinds of warriors in this world: Those who dream of war, and those who have nightmares about it. As for me? I dream of a better world. I dream of war!’
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Old August 23, 2004, 11:14 PM   #38
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...if you're gonna' break the law by bringing an illegal knife, might as well go ahead and bring a gun...

...and you'll STILL need training...

Good hand to hand will teach you ALOT about fighting with weapons...Good takes time and effort...

Get started hurting now to understand what you're really in for...If you win a good fight of any'll still be pissin' and pukin' blood afterwards...

...just less than the loser...
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Old September 8, 2004, 07:54 AM   #39
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Old September 13, 2004, 08:51 AM   #40
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I have to agree with gyp_c2. You're breaking the law with anything above 3 in. and screwed with anything under. I'd rather survive illegally than die legally. Hint hint hint.
People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and that's the exact opposite of a civilized society.
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Old September 25, 2004, 09:53 AM   #41
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Do nothing illegal. Don't leave. Hide nothing. Alter no evidence. Call 911.

Aside from that, know that our culture associates knives with low lifes only.

Absent a legal carry gun, what you need is good verbal skills, fast sneakers, a cell phone, and a can of OC (if legal for you to carry in your area).
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Old September 28, 2004, 11:11 PM   #42
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I think PBASS hit the nail right on the head.

From my perspective, I can neither carry a gun or any other offensive weapon. I have a utility knife, but unless I plan on "paring" the other guys skin off of him it's not of much use!

What I would appreciate from some of the more learned members here, is tactics for attacker has knife and you don't ... I know run the hell the other way is a wonderful tactic, but not always realistic.

I do know some martial arts (no expert); I know the basics of blocking and using the opponents inertia against him. I wear Kevlar gloves most of the time.

However, if my back is against the wall so to speak, am I screwed or is there some usefull info out there for some poor shmuck like myself who might just be in the wrong place at the wrong time?
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Old October 1, 2004, 03:57 AM   #43
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Here ya go
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Old October 3, 2004, 08:44 PM   #44
Joe Talmadge
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With the caveat that I've never been in a knife encounter, much less unarmed against the knife, I got the Redzone tapes based on recommendations from some very good folks, and am happy that I did. I'm executing the Redzone techniques and techniques more effectively in training than I've been able to with any other techniques. And, in fact, one of the first things shown in Redzone are types of techniques that work against flowing, martial-artsy type attacks, but tend to fail against explosive attacks accompanied by forward drive (i.e., real-life attacks).

Video is here:

The pictures at the bottom tell the story a bit.
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Old October 3, 2004, 09:33 PM   #45
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OK, here's my 2 cents worth!

I began the study of knife fighting back in 78. I was camping, was sitting next to the fire and got to thinking about survival tactics. Almost everything I did required a knife...clean a fish, build temp. shelter, whittle kindling, so I had a knife...but didn't know how to use it for to thinking, suppose the only tool I had was a knife?

Suppose the situation came where the only tool I had with me was a knife...

I have over the years purchased all of the books, video's and have taken personalized instuction from "prison" trained knifers!

Cold Steel Knives has a video by Lynn Thompson, its as good as most, gives you some feel for the blade...

Now, if your caught without a weapon against the knife...move out of the knifers reach and watch him move towards you on his "forward" leg. You can then kick the knee cap, or do a sweep. Scream as soon as his foot moves within reach, and launch an explosive attack, kicks towards the knee, finger tips towards the eyes, you will have about 1/2 second if you have caught him by for the gun, a man with a knife can be within reach in under a second this is moving 20 feet. He rushes you pulling his knife while your trying to get your holstered gun out...not pretty!

I agree the stick is better than the knife, if you have the area to move about in. Take a crowded bar, you can't move with the stick, but you can get in close and do massive amounts of damage with the knife. Now go out into the parking lot and the stick, with mobility, area to move is a better weapon!

Target with the stick (impact weapon) the ankles, knees, wrists, elbows, calf muscle, throat, and collar bone!

Knife targets, muscles (hands extensor/flexor), femour artery, liver, kidneys, throat, eyes, soft palate, testicals!

All weapons require "specific" targets...gun, knife, get a copy of Grey's anatony out of the library and learn where the targeting does the most damage with what ever weapon your using!
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Old October 4, 2004, 12:16 AM   #46
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Doesn't get much better than this gentleman.Here's the link.
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Old October 4, 2004, 05:56 PM   #47
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Crowd a gun, flee a knife.

Or...Kali! See if there is a school of Kali in your area ( they are usualy reasonably priced and not filled with a bunch of tkd housewives...not that there is anything wrong with that!).It is not a "flowy" form. It is the most combative principles taken from many types of fighting. No high kicks, no pos'n. Dany Inasanto rules. It applies to empty or full hand.

Learning to use a blade is pointless unless you train for hand speed as well. It is all a race.

Nothin like fileting a bicep to end a fight. Training on your own is good, but unless you incorporate sparring into your regime, you are foked. I also have to agree with the comments on a stick. A collapsable batton is a wonderfull thing. As is the Escrima training you will get in Kali!
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Old October 4, 2004, 06:25 PM   #48
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I have to agree with gyp_c2. You're breaking the law with anything above 3 in.
Depends where you are. Laws vary.
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Old October 5, 2004, 06:18 PM   #49
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Actually the best way to slow someone down is not in stabbing, but slashing with a very sharp knife. Targeting the biggest arteries you can find, the folds of the arms, folds of the hip, or the neck......very large arteries and Veins, cause lots of bleeding. secondly, lying next to each artery is a major nerve , when severed, will cause them to lose function of the hand or leg. The neck has a large artery on each side of the Adams apple(voice box of the wind pipe.) cut one of those and its bad news. Cutting any major Artery will cause the victim to bleed to death in one to two minutes. But remember that works both ways. I suggest you carry a cain with you, one thats weighted at one end, use like a sword, baseball bat, ECT. A club will beat a knife anytime.
Last a word of warning.......knives, clubs, black jacks, slappers are all considered concealed weapons and carry the same legal implications as a gun.
Just be aware of your surroundings.
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Old October 9, 2004, 07:20 PM   #50
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Paladin Press has two authors, Marc "Animal" MacYoung, and Peyton Quinn, who've made videos about knife defense, and MacYoung's made one on knife use. Furthermore, both of these gentlemen have had to USE them in real-life situations. They also have training facilities in Colrado, which Paladin Press can link you to. They would be my first choice as far as instuction.
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