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Wednesday, February 24, 2016


The ninja were for all intent and purposes were the special forces operatives of their day and I have always been interested in the special forces operatives of our day and their history, particularly in close quarter combat (CQC) and World War II Combatives such as William E Fairbain's Defendu and many others.

Growing up I had always heard people say don’t ever mess with a WW2 combat veteran they will kill ya. I remember my mother’s cousin who was a WW2 vet, one day at a family reunion his three sons who were grown men at the time got upset with their dad and decided that they were going to teach him a lesson in front of the entire family. Well that didn’t quite work out the way they had planned. My mother’s cousin made pretty easy work out of kicking all three of his sons’ asses.

I was a boy at the time but I remember that when his sons jumped him from behind he made short work of them. I am thinking now years later that his sons were lucky that he did nt really hurt them I am sure he could have.

 WWII Combatives relied on speed, surprise, and overwhelming violence.  They were not teaching recruits in World War II how to arrest people.  They were not teaching chokes so the enemy could wake up later. It was all about war and killing. Quite simply it was KILL OR BE KILLED!

World War II combatives are close quarters combat techniques which include hand-to-hand close quarter combat methods, advanced firearm point shooting methods, and weapons techniques like the knife, the bayonet and improvised weapons. I mean talk about being able to defend yourself and fight like Jason Bourne!!!! This combat method was taught to allied special forces in World War II by such famous instructors as Rex Applegate, William E. Fairbairn and Dermot (Pat) O’neil.

W.E. Fairbairn taught unarmed combat to the famed British Commandos and the U.S. armed forces during World War II.  Fairbairn was recruited to train the British commandos in his combat method. During this period, he expanded his method into the 'Silent Killing Close Quarters Combat method' for military application. Fairbairn who was a 2nd degree black belt in Judo and trained in boxing  and other martial arts contributed more to the knowledge base of how to kill the enemy in close quarters than perhaps anyone else to this day.

W.E. Fairbairn, the father of close quarter combatives,  established his own method called Defendu (Fairbairn Fighting Systems) with Eric A. Sykes. Defendu was based on Fairbairn’s training in Kodokan Judo, and other fighting styles; and was designed to be highly effective.

In 1941 Rex Applegate was recruited by Wild Bill Donovan for the OSS, specifically to build and run what was called "The School for Spies and Assassins", the location of which is now Camp David. Donovan had Applegate learn all that he could about armed and unarmed fighting from William E. Fairbairn to form a brutal and effective system.
U.S. Army officers Rex Applegate and Anthony Biddle were taught Fairbairn's methods at a training facility in Scotland, and adopted the program for the training of OSS operatives at a newly opened camp near Lake Ontario in Canada. During the war, training was provided to British Commandos, the Devil's Brigade, OSS, U.S. Army Rangers and Marine Raiders.

Applegate was the close-combat coordinator for all clandestine missions and this role brought him into contact with other fighters and martial artists of the time period such as a Finnish soldier who killed 21 Russians with a knife and the founder of the British SAS: David Stirling. At one point during the war, Applegate served as the personal bodyguard to President Franklin D Roosevelt.

Dermot O’Neill  was a devoted practitioner of Japanese judo a fith degree black belt awarded by the kodokan while living and working in Japan. He was also considered by many to be the protégé of William E.  Fairbairn.

O’Neill came to the United States at the behest and recommendation of WE Fairbairn who was at this time involved with the OSS. O’Neill was slated to work for the OSS, but was sent instead to serve as an instructor with the First Special Service Force, a joint Canadian-US commando unit known as the “Devil’s Brigade.” When the 1st SSF was sent into action, O’Neill refused to stay behind and declared that since he trained these boys he would damn well fight beside them.

After the war O’Neill served as a consultant on police and security for various Federal agencies, including the State Department and the Central Intelligence Agency. In the mid-1960s O’Neill located in the Washington, DC area and began work with the International Police Academy there. This organization was funded by the Agency for International Development and was a cover for para-military operations and training run by the CIA.

O’Neill was considered a very tough man in his day and had a reputation for not backing down from anyone. His skill in judo was highly praised even at the kodokan.  The methods of hand-to-hand combat he devised and taught were greatly effective and such was proven in actual battle numerous times. O’Neill greatly influenced military close quarter combat for the United States Army, the United States Army Military Police Corps and the United States Marine Corps.

WW2 would be the pinnacle of close quarters battle, hand to hand, knife and bayonet it all would gell during this time. Designated as the 1st Special Service Force, the Devil's Brigade was a joint World War II American-Canadian commando unit trained at Fort Harrison near Helena, Montana in the United States. Many modern American and Canadian Special Forces units trace their heritage to this unit. For the movie of the same name, see The Devil's Brigade.

Members of this unit received rigorous and intensive training in stealth tactics; hand-to-hand combat; knife, the use of explosives for demolition; parachuting; amphibious warfare; rock-climbing and mountain warfare. From the outset, the 1st Special Service Force was armed with a variety of non-standard or limited-issue weapons, such as the M1941 Johnson machine gun. The Johnson  LMG in particular helped greatly increase the firepower of the unit and was highly regarded by those who used it in combat and a fighting knife made exclusively for the Force called the V-42 combat knife.

In japan the Japanese military were doing the same with a special forces group of their own at the “Nakano school”  and were  coming to the exact same conclusions with close quarter combat  as Fairbairn, Sykes, Applegate,and O'Neill had. Hit hard, fast, hit the vulnerable areas, kill. NO BULLSHIT. Get IN and get the JOB DONE as quickly and brutally as possible.  

The Japanese military did employ a "knife" design as a combat knife as well as the traditional so-called "Tanto" design. The term TANTO merely describes a "hand sword" NOT particularly a "design" TANTO-JUTSU can refer to ANY knife. The tanto design that is familiar to most of us is actually called a "kogatana".  As I understand it Tanto-jutsu/Kaiken-jutsu usually means "knife fighting technique". TANKEN-JUTSU refers to the use of the BAYONET as a knife. This is taught as part of the JUKEN-JUTSU (bayonet fighting) syllabus.

Monday, February 22, 2016


A knife fight is a violent physical confrontation between two or more combatants in which one or more participants is armed with a knife.  A knife fight is defined by the presence of a knife as a weapon and the violent intent of the combatants to kill or incapacitate each other; the participants may be completely untrained, self-taught, or trained in one or more formal or informal systems of knife fighting. Knife fights may involve the use of any type of knife, though certain knives, termed fighting knives, are purposely designed for such confrontations – the dagger being just one example.

Modern tactics for knife combat were developed by two British members of the Shanghai Municipal Police of the International Settlement in the 1920s. At the time the Shanghai streets were rife with criminal activity, exacerbated by the political tensions of the time and the breakdown of social order in much of the country.

Captain William E. Fairbairn and Sergeant Eric A. Sykes developed knife fighting skills and defences, which they began teaching to both police recruits and members of the British Army, Royal Marines and U.S. Marine units then stationed in Shanghai.  Fairbairn reportedly engaged in hundreds of street fights in his twenty-year career in Shanghai, where he organized and headed a special anti-riot squad.  Much of his body – arms, legs, torso, and even the palms of his hands – was covered with scars from knife wounds from those fights.

During World War II, Fairbairn and Sykes continued to refine their knife fighting techniques for military and paramilitary forces, teaching British Commandos, Special Operations Executive (SOE) personnel, selected American and foreign soldiers and covert espionage personnel, including members of the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS) and US/UK combined Operation Jedburgh teams. Their experience in training both soldiers and civilians in quick-kill knife fighting techniques eventually led to the development of a specialized fighting dagger suited for both covert elimination of enemy sentinels and close-combat knife fighting, the Fairbairn-Sykes Fighting Knife, a landmark weapon of its type.

The knife was designed exclusively for surprise attack and fighting, with a slender blade that can easily penetrate a ribcage. The vase handle grants precise grip, and the blade's design is especially suited to its use as a fighting knife. Fairbairn's rationale is in his book Get Tough! (1942).

In close-quarters fighting there is no more deadly weapon than the knife. In choosing a knife there are two important factors to bear in mind: balance and keenness. The hilt should fit easily in your hand, and the blade should not be so heavy that it tends to drag the hilt from your fingers in a loose grip. It is essential that the blade have a sharp stabbing point and good cutting edges, because an artery torn through (as against a clean cut) tends to contract and stop the bleeding. If a main artery is cleanly severed, the wounded man will quickly lose consciousness and die.

The length of the blade was chosen to give several inches of blade to penetrate the body after passing through the 3 in (7.6 cm) of the thickest clothing that was anticipated to be worn in the war, namely that of Soviet greatcoats. Later production runs of the F–S fighting knife have a blade length that is about 7.5 in (19 cm).

In all cases the handle had a distinctive foil-like grip to enable a number of handling options. Many variations on the F–S fighting knife exist in regards to size of blade and particularly of handle. The design has influenced the design of knives throughout the many decades since its introduction. - WIKIPEDIA


Hand-to-hand combat (sometimes abbreviated as HTH or H2H) is a lethal or non-lethal physical confrontation between two or more persons at very short range (grappling distance) that does not involve the use of firearms or other distance weapons. While the phrase "hand-to-hand" appears to refer to unarmed combat, the term is generic and may include use of striking weapons used at grappling distance such as knives, sticks, batons, or improvised weapons such as entrenching tools.[1] While the term hand-to-hand combat originally referred principally to engagements by combatants on the battlefield, it can also refer to any personal physical engagement by two or more people, including law enforcement officers, civilians, and criminals.

Combat within close quarters (to a range just beyond grappling distance) is commonly termed close combat or close-quarters combat. It may include lethal and non-lethal weapons and methods depending upon the restrictions imposed by civilian law, military rules of engagement, or ethical codes. Close combat using firearms or other distance weapons by military combatants at the tactical level is modernly referred to as close quarter battle. The United States Army uses the term combatives to describe various military fighting systems used in hand-to-hand combat training, systems which may incorporate eclectic techniques from several different martial arts and combat sports.

Close Quarters Combat, or World War II combatives, was largely codified by William Ewart Fairbairn and Eric Anthony Sykes. Also known for their eponymous Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife, Fairbairn and Sykes had worked in the Shanghai Municipal Police of the International Settlement (1854-1943) of Shanghai in the 1920s, widely acknowledged as the most dangerous port city in the world due to a heavy opium trade run by organized crime (the Chinese Triads).

After the May Thirtieth Movement riots, which resulted in a police massacre, Fairbairn was charged with developing an auxiliary squad for riot control and aggressive policing. After absorbing the most appropriate elements from a variety of martial-arts experts, from China, Japan and elsewhere, he condensed these arts into a practical combat system he called Defendu. He and his police team went on to field-test these skills on the streets of Shanghai; Fairbairn himself used his combat system effectively in over 2000 documented encounters, including over 600 lethal-force engagements.[2] The aim of his combat system was simply to be as brutally effective as possible. It was also a system that, unlike traditional Eastern martial-arts that required years of intensive training, could be digested by recruits relatively quickly. The method incorporated training in point shooting and gun combat techniques, as well as the effective use of more ad hoc weapons such as chairs or table legs.

During the Second World War, Fairbairn was brought back to Britain, and, after demonstrating the effectiveness of his techniques, was recruited to train the British commandos in his combat method. During this period, he expanded his 'Shanghai Method' into the 'Silent Killing Close Quarters Combat method' for military application. This became standard combat training for all British Special Operations personnel. He also designed the pioneering Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife, which was adopted for use by British and American Special Forces. In 1942, he published a textbook for close quarters combat training called Get Tough.

U.S. Army officers Rex Applegate and Anthony Biddle were taught Fairbairn's methods at a training facility in Scotland, and adopted the program for the training of OSS operatives at a newly opened camp near Lake Ontario in Canada. Applegate published his work in 1943, called Kill or Get Killed. During the war, training was provided to British Commandos, the Devil's Brigade, OSS, U.S. Army Rangers and Marine Raiders.

Other combat systems designed for military combat were introduced elsewhere, including European Unifight, Soviet/Russian Sambo, Army hand-to-hand fight and Systema, Chinese military Sanshou/Sanda, Israeli Kapap and Krav Maga. The prevalence and style of hand-to-hand combat training often changes based on perceived need. Elite units such as special forces and commando units tend to place higher emphasis on hand-to-hand combat training.

Although hand-to-hand fighting was accorded less importance in major militaries after World War II, insurgency conflicts such as the Vietnam War, low intensity conflict and urban warfare have prompted many armies to pay more attention to this form of combat. When such fighting includes firearms designed for close-in fighting, it is often referred to as Close Quarters Battle (CQB) at the platoon or squad level, or Military Operations on Urban Terrain (MOUT) at higher tactical levels.  - WIKIPEDIA

Friday, February 12, 2016


The book "My  Method Of Self-Defense" written in 1957 and long out of print it is quite unlike other Judo books. This is a book that to this day there hasnt been another judo book quite like it. 

MIKONOSUKE KAWAISHI  was an  8th degree black belt in Kodokan judo. He developed and taught a terrific and extremely deadly form of judo — close combat/self- defense. This system of judo he described and outlined in this classic book.

Kawaishi knife fighting  techniques in his book “My Method of Self Defense”  seemed to reflect heavily from the knife fighting techniques that can be found in WWII U.S. military Hand to hand combat field training manuals. Kawaishi ‘s sole concern  insofar as self-defense  was involved  was practicality and realism.

MY METHOD OD SELF DEFENSE by Mikinosuke Kawaishi


In his Foreword the author emphasizes the point that he has elaborated his Method of Self-Defence with the constant view of maintaining close contact with judo. It is therefore contended that the student's progress in both these arts will be reciprocally stimulated by their concurrent practice.

Do not forget that quasi-mechanical repetition of self-defence methods should be accompanied by what is called taisabaki, or the art of managing the body for the purpose of eluding attack and defending yourself. This rotation must be made with the entire body ("tai") starting from the hips. The taisabaki enables you to preserve perfect balance and to counter with an atemi method with the maximum of decon-traction, speed, precision and efficacy. The potency of an atemi technique is the function of the "moment" when it is delivered. It should reach the adversary when he is relaxed and off balance. The blow ought to be dealt with all its strength and density only at the instant of impact. This is a condition essential to its success. And the difficult art of defence, once acquired, should be resorted to only in cases of extreme urgency.

For a better understanding of the following pages it should be noted that the various phases of the movements are explained separately by paragraphs. Tori executes the defence and Uke submits. Uke is the aggressor and Tori the demonstrator of every self-defence method. For the sake of clarity Tori is always depicted with black hair and wearing a black belt, whereas Uke is always depicted with light hair and wearing a white belt. Every phase of the defences forms the subject of a drawing and the whole reads normally from left to right and from top to bottom.

In all the figures the movements and contacts are indicated by arrows. In each series the parries follow as far as possible an analogous progression: attacks effected from a distance, then from short range, holds most customary or least dangerous at first and in case of need attacks from the front, side and back.

 Lastly, these numerous parries are complementary and interchangeable in the sense that they are valid against various attacks. It will then be appropriate to master at the outset the holds in the order indicated, but it will soon be realized that the range of parries is infinitely wider still, above all when combined with the atemi described in the second and last part of this work which for that reason must never be lost sight of, as in many cases they form an integral part or element of the given method of defence.


These defensive positions are not designed to constitute a definite guard as in boxing or fencing. They are rather a style of holding oneself, a series of ATTITUDES which naturally link up with one another and enable the defender with maximum facility to pivot, retreat and advance in order to foil the attack, to block it, then to counter it or even to forestall it. The essential principle of this Self-Defence may be summed up as follows:

  2. Parry and counter-attack.
The first atemi is a preliminary counter which affords an opening for successfully applying the counter, e.g. a lock, strangulation or throw. The second atemi permits the defender to finish off his opponent, if necessary.

The practice of the Defensive Positions trains you not to be taken off your guard in the face of an attack and instantaneously to place yourself in the best position for defence and counter.

Much as in judo the execution of the kata or pre-arranged forms displays the degree of your knowledge and assimilation of techniques, so here in self-defence the manner in which you adopt these positions reflects your comprehension and your mastery of the whole.


Wednesday, February 10, 2016


Article by Barron Shepherd
Artwork by David Conway

First and foremost I want to say that one cannot defend themselves from a knife attack by simply reading an article. You should study the subject of knife fighting in depth. Yes, you really need to have a strong understanding of what you are doing and what is really going on.


The first type is the stone-cold killer type he is most likely an ex-con. He will kill without hesitation to avoid going back to the jail. A wanted felon with a history of violent crimes also certainly fits this profile. His attack will appear to come out of nowhere.

An opportunity attacker is someone who initiates a spontaneous attack.  He has no plan to attack anyone; he just sees an opportunity and in a split second decides to attack.

A criminal caught in the act of a crime could react violently and attack in an effort to get away. He does not set out to attack or to kill anyone, but in such a situation he believes he has been forced to react with violence. This is another surprise attack, but not pre-planned.

The mentally disturbed attacker is most likely a homeless man or woman armed with a knife for reasons of paranoia or protection.

People under the influence of alcohol or drugs can fall under the same category.  The drug-induced frenzy; a crackhead or meth freak who has gone over the edge and has grabbed a knife.


(1) Thrust. The thrust is the most common and most dangerous type of knife attack. It is a strike directed straight into the target by jabbing or lunging.
(2) Slash. The slash is a sweeping surface cut or circular slash. The wound is usually a long cut, varying from a slight surface cut to a deep gash.
(3) Tear. The tear is a cut made by dragging the tip of the blade across the body to create a ripping-type cut.
(4) Hack. The hack is delivered by using the knife to block or chop with.

The sewing machine a rapid fire stabbing attack. It is a truly deadly attack and the intent is to kill you. It is carried out in a series of short thrusts while moving forward with violent pressure to keep you moving backward in a vulnerable and reactive type state.

The slash and stab is the scenario you hope you never have to face. This attacker is usually the most skilled in the use of an edged weapon. This attacker is set upon killing you and has both the skill and intent to do so.


Rule 1: Present the least vulnerable target. If someone is shooting at you, you find cover. The same principle applies here. If you are physically attacked, you move, you angle, you put something between you and the attack.

Rule 2: Stop the offensive capability of the attacker as soon as possible. This is where your actual physical training kicks in. This is where you must turn reaction into action and turn the tables on your assailant

Rule 3: Gain control of the individual. This is the final aspect where your training comes into play. However, this principle can only be applied if you have successfully applied rules 1 and 2. Rule 3 is where you take final control of the attacker. The best way to control the weapon is to take control of the individual. “You have far more to fear from a deadly man than from a deadly weapon.”

The first thing that happens to you is your reaction to the attack. This is where your mind is simply saying  Oh No! or WTF is going on? What is Happening? You are basically frozen in time during this phase even if it lasts only a millisecond this provides plenty of opportunity for the attacker to get in one, two, or maybe even three strikes, especially when you are caught totally off guard.

The second phase is when your protective instincts kick in. This is a pure fight or flight mechanism and your conscious mind is still not in control. The next thing that happens is that you start to move, usually backward, away from the danger: the attack.

You can actually practice the above sequence to increase its efficiency. By combining mental imagery with the physical actions I have just described you can decrease the time it takes to go from the “oh, no” phase to the protective phase.


The best defense against an armed attack is evasion and a well-timed counterattack.

1.) You must block and redirect the attack of the weapon to neutralize its lethal capability and clear the body of its trajectory of fire and angle of attack.

2.) You must stabilize the weapon by controlling the wrist, hand and weapon of the attacking arm of the enemy.

3.) You proceed to disarm the weapon by breaking the joint of the locked extremity or simply by applying power to induce enough pain for control and disarmament.

Sunday, February 7, 2016


Article by Barron Shepherd
Artwork by David Conway


A knife fight is a violent physical confrontation between two or more combatants in which one or more participants is armed with a knife. Knife combat is one of the most scary and brutal things that anyone should ever have to encounter.  It is a close quarter Combatives situation and matter of life or death.


I have been asked Why WWII Combatives compared to modern combatives . For me the answer is simple. ATTITUDE. WWII Combatives seek primarily to disable the enemy as quickly as possible at all costs, whereas the Modern type military combatives seek primarily to build a "warrior spirit" and the courage to close with the enemy. Men trained to serve during the Second World War were quickly made to forget all thoughts about gentlemanly warfare or “fighting fairly”. It was quite frankly KILL or BE KILLED.

Combatives has always been about teaching people how to effectively protect themselves in the shortest time possible. WWII Combatives however relied on speed, surprise, and overwhelming violence. 

 A lot of the following information and principles are derived from old War Department Field manuals during WWII.  In this article we will explore some Combative principles and techniques from that era. MOST importantly pay intention to the mindset the manual was attempting to convey behind the training.
Knife Disarms

The soldier who in combat becomes unarmed because of a lost or useless weapon IS NOT HELPLESS. He does one of two things: he immediately secures another weapon, any weapon and continues to fight; if this is not possible he disarms his opponent and kills his opponent with the opponent’s own weapon.

THE TEMPORARILY UNARMED FIGHTER REACTS JUST AS AGRESSIVELY AS IF HE WERE ARMED. With his eyes his brain and his muscles he gets set for a timed close in attack. The “TIME” is that instant when the opponent has charged or committed himself to a thrust from which he is unable to recover or counter the unarmed fighter’s sudden maneuver.

The basic principles in disarming are:
1.       Do not telegraph or give away the intended disarming movement before he charges.
2.       Whatever the movement used, use it at the last possible moment and at top speed.
The disarming movements described herein are simple maneuvers. Through training they become instinctive. 

If the soldier does not immediately succeed in wresting the enemy’s weapon from him, several supplementary attack movements may be employed effectively.
Such movements include:
1.       Kneeing him to the groin or thigh. Kicking him in the knee, shin or instep.
2.       Hitting him with your elbow, fist, heel of the hand or the outer ridge of the hand.
3.       Jabbing the eyes or throat with fingers
4.       Suddenly throwing anything at the eyes’ of an armed attacker, as he closes in, that will momentarily distract him and provide an opening for the disarmer.

To disarm an opponent armed with a knife the basic actions are to deflect the knife and immediately apply pressure or a blow, to cause the attacker to release the knife. The disarming movements described are those which the soldier uses to meet a right handed attacker. For a left handed attack the directional movements of the disarmer are reversed.

With the left forearm block the knife arm BEFORE it becomes extended. The forearm is bent at the wrist to prevent to prevent the knife arm from slipping sideways. Bring the right foot forward driving the knee into the groin or thigh (kneespike), or, if that is not possible, stepping past to protect the front of the body. Carry the right forearm under and behind the opponents upper arm and grab you left wrist with your right hand. Backward pressure will cause the attacker to drop the knife and probably break/dislocate the elbow.

Side-step  quickly to the left outside of the thrust and knock the knife arm to the side with the left forearm. With the right hand grasp the opponents right wrist and at the same time bring pressure on the right elbow with the left hand or forearm. As the opponents wrist is twisted the left hand continues to put pressure on the right elbow from above. By Placing a leg in front of the opponents nearest leg you are in a position to kick out the leg and throw him to the ground.

Against a knife fighter who does not use overhand or under hand thrusts or slashes, but moves his weapon in swift arcs in all directions, disarming tactics are extremely difficult if Not impossible. Against such an opponent it is best to keep out of range of his blade and to attack him by throwing anything at his face and kicking at his knees meanwhile keeping alert for an opening to get inside the range of his weapon.

As I was reading thru this old world war 2 field training manual I realized I didn’t see terms like we see today like surviving a knife fight isn’t about fighting. I didn’t see terms like self defense. Fighting unarmed was about fighting it was about combat. The mindset here was to not only fight but to kill. 

Monday, February 1, 2016


Sometimes in our lives things happen to others that we know and it just hits too close to home. It makes you rethink and sometime may even be a revelation and even a turning point in your life or the way you do things or see things. Reality sets in. It makes you think.

Recently a person I know and speak with several times thru the course of most weeks had gotten himself into a physical altercation, At first it was just a fist fight but later almost ended with someone losing their life.  Even though this particular incident took place in a bar it still raised some red flags in my mind about the training the majority of martial artist do and if it is even practical and effective in this day and time.

It was the viciousness of the attack that sent my mind spinning it made me look at how I train and prepare myself physically to confront such a overwhelming attempt to end a life.  My friend was literally stabbed and slashed 14 times by a guy who had followed him out of a bar after an altercation they had inside the bar. The attacker ran up on him from behind and began stabbing and slashing him with a knife.

My friend was in the hospital in a coma for three days both lungs had collapsed. He spent two weeks in the hospital. When I finally saw him he took off his shirt and showed me his wounds.   There were multiple stab wounds to both sides of his ribs. There were slashes that covered his back, the back of his neck and both arms. The stitches were too numerous to count. It was evident that was indeed a wild, mindless and violent attack. It was a raging, chaotic fast flurry of stab after stab and slash after slash. I look and see how most people train to defend themselves and quite honestly it just isn’t enough, and guys, it wont deal with such a vicious attack like I just described.

Reading and learning from a book, learning from a video, larping and other systematized type practices just isn’t going to cut it. This guy didn’t make a thrust or a slash and just leave his fucking hand out there so someone could disarm him. This was a fast and furious continuous storm of knife slashes and stabs coming at you unpredictably from all directions. Forget the shit you see from larping martial artists in YouTube videos.  Live action role play on a motionless attacker who just stands there while you do your thing will not even come close. IF you aren’t training for a full blitz wild type of an attack you are dead. My friend could have very easily lost his life. The attacker now sits in jail with no bond on an attempted murder charge.

I looked at my friend with the knife wounds all over his back, on both sides of his ribs, his neck and arms and it dawns on me now more than ever. Over my years of training in self defense, and teaching self defense I never saw any system, or style of knife defense that immediately clicked in my head as being effective.  I have seen a load of self defense instructors who teach how to analyze the knife from different angles with all these fancy, complicated, and downright ineffective techniques. Some people though seem to buy into them because they LOOK COOL.

I found myself going back to my days in the military and the things I was taught in basic and the Military Police Corp in the mid 80’s. I DID NOT fight in a war anywhere.  I DO NOT have combat ribbons or medals.  But my stint in the military was really my first experiences in training with dealing and preparing for the possibility of a serious attack, a life or death situation.

My first exposure to Judo was in the military but the Judo taught wasn’t for sport it was for combat and survival, it was life or death. It was practical and effective. Your opponent come at you crouched and attacked you realistically. First it was done slow and by the numbers but then it progressed becoming more fluid and faster. The guy just didn’t leave his arm dangling straight out in front of your face waiting for you to react. If you missed that small window of opportunity to do something they would come at you again and again. You kept doing it till ya got it right.

We didn’t learn a hundred and something techniques, we didn’t pull guard or fight off our backs. We didn't strike some cool movie Bruce Lee fighting pose.  It wasn’t a game it was how we prepared for what would be a life or death situation. A situation for me that keeps it all in perspective. Personally and being someone that practices combat training with the knife, the outcome is never good for the victim from a determined attacker.

In this case my friend was attacked from behind and I know hindsight is 20/20 and every “internet master knife fighter” and his brother has an opinion,  but I cant emphasize enough to be aware of your surroundings always. If possible leave quickly or try to arm yourself with a weapon that'll keep distance between you and your assailant (bo/mop,shovel,broom etc) and definitely keep moving.   I keep in my mind the 21 foot rule regarding drawing my handgun, and if its imminent just be mindful of your vital areas because you're gonna get cut, stabbed or both.

From my experience almost all knife attackers use short, quick stabbing and slashing motions and not big movements, making most of the knife disarm techniques taught by martial artists useless.... So, instead of talking about a lot of crap concerning so-called unarmed "knife" defenses,  I want to look at reversing the roles.

Instead of looking at it from the defender’s point of view let’s assume the "role" of the attacker. The mind set and the weapon of choice. The attackers choice of weapon…a knife.  A knife is up close and personal, ferocious and brutal. You have to close on your victim and physically, violently and with extreme prejudice stab,slash, and hack him to bits. A knife is about as personal, ruthless brutal and deadly as it gets. It's not like a gun, which has an element of detachment.

As the attacker, your attack will be a frenzy of hate,rage and murderous intent. You more than likely aren’t going to fake a move or feint with your knife, you aren’t sparring with your blade, you damn sure wont be "half-stepping" with your knife. You  are going to attack and attack and attack with mindless brutal and ruthless rage and do ANY and EVERYTHING that will finish your victim off in as ferocious a manner as inhumanly possible. Murderous intent, rage, hate and adrenaline are fueling you to an almost superhuman state of frenzied violence.  Even when your man goes down you still keep stabbing and slashing away. In the case of my friend a bystander who was a legal firearms carrier pulled a  gun on the attacker. Only then was the attacker stopped.

FACE THE FACTS!!! This is what REALLY happens when one human being uses a knife on another. Too many are playing knife gymnastics without really realizing what an knife wielding assailant has in store for them. It isn’t going to be pretty! Are you REALLY preparing to DEAL with something like this?