In Reality- using an edged weapon for self-defense

In Reality- using an edged weapon for self-defense

This is a discussion on In Reality- using an edged weapon for self-defense within the Carry & Defensive Scenarios forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This is going to be the first article in our new column called "In Reality", in which I will tackle some age old questions when ...

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Thread: In Reality- using an edged weapon for self-defense

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    In Reality- using an edged weapon for self-defense

    This is going to be the first article in our new column called "In Reality", in which I will tackle some age old questions when it comes to all things related to preparedness and personal protection. We are first going to start off with the reality of using an edged weapon for self-defense.

    We live in a society where you would think that we are desensitized to violence, but for some reason people are still shocked when they are actually witness to it. Even in a state that allows its citizens to carry concealed firearms, the path of someone involved in a clear cut shooting is likely to be a long one. The only thing that would be worse is cutting someone in self-defense.

    Here are some obvious hurdles when it comes to the righteous use of a knife for self-defense. On one hand most people do not view knives as a legitimate personal protection tool, even those that are huge proponents of the right to self-defense. When they envision someone protecting themselves with something, it is usually a firearm. Thanks to TV and movies, we have all sat through thousands of shoot, don't shoot situations. But when it comes to edged weapons, we have seen lots of "knife fighting" with no clear lines drawn as when you would mentally choose to cut as you would to "drop the hammer". Because of distance and target focus, most on screen blade play is a flurry of body movement that ends with a fatal dramatic stab. The same is true of scenes involving firearms where our good guy appears to be down and out until you see the villain fall backwards. Only then does your mind put two and two together realizing that our hero was able to deploy his gun and fire a contact shot, thus saving his life. A knife is viewed as a sneaky tool that can come out of anywhere.

    Keeping the above in mind, let's look at the physics of using a knife. Being a contact distance weapon that can puncture, tear, or cut flesh, an edged weapon requires that you be able to touch your attacker. At the same time, the attacker must be in a position to employ deadly force on you. This justifies one out of the three things needed that allows you to use deadly force, they have the immediate opportunity.

    The next part we need to fulfill is jeopardy, meaning that the attacker is acting in a manner that a reasonable and prudent person would conclude that they intend to kill or cripple you. A particular act in and of itself may not kill you but it would be reasonable to believe that you would as they say in the UFC "not be capable of intelligently defending yourself". For instance, they are not attacking you with a weapon per se, but you have just been pushed during that altercation and have just had your head bounced off of a brick wall and you are going in and out of consciousness. There is a lot of blood and things are getting foggy, you have weapons on you, once you are out cold will he take your money and run or take your weapons and finish you? The extent of your jeopardy is more like a thermostat that can fluctuate greatly second to second based on multiple factors that if ever understood it will only be weeks, months, or years later. You have to make that decision in the moment with the information you have.

    Even though for our purposes we are discussing it last, the first part of justifying deadly force is ability. Let's cover the five basic examples as they relate to the defensive use of an edged weapon-

    Weapon employed against you- if it is a firearm and it is outside arms distance, your ability to do anything even with a knife in hand is very small. Any impact weapon is likely to extend the reach of your attacker, probably negating the use of your knife, even if you have it in hand. Now we are down to knife on knife which makes up a huge portion of cultural martial arts, and "knife fighting". By definition this would require you to be within reach of someone with a knife and you having pre-deployed yours, or deploying it as you are being attacked. For you to meet this deadly force with deadly force, you would have to articulate that you saw or anticipated your attacker having a knife which provoked you to draw yours. For you to cut them, depending on the blade length, they would have to be in a position to cut you as well. More likely to result in a mutual cutting.

    Force in numbers- is a situation where one could articulate that even without seeing any visible weapons, deploying a knife would be more than justified. The problem is tool fixation. When surrounded by a few people, moving forward creates a vacuum where everyone fills in behind you. You can only stab or cut one person at a time. Once the pack moves in and your arm is controlled, the knife is a moot point. I would rather start off with a stick in hand personally.

    Able vs Disabled- a situation that is very misunderstood. It does not mean that you walked out of your house with a broken leg and were attacked by someone who was able bodied. It can be as simple as you being knocked down to the ground and you cannot or are not allowed to get up. Not being able to stand up or walk is a disability. Again, another example would be losing consciousness from blunt force trauma to the head or strangulation. This is contact distance fighting where you will need to be able to cut your attacker off of you.

    Male vs Female- gender does not change the physics. Even if your attacker is doing something that justifies deadly force, but you are not close enough to touch him, the knife is useless. Again, the likeliest situation is one where you need to cut the attacker off of you.

    Physical size and strength- the same realities apply here as they do for male vs female.

    In reality, to make the judicious use of edged weapons relevant to the situations where they are most likely to be used, we have to-

    * Begin the majority of drills with the attacker initiating contact with the good guy in the form of a punch, push, or bum rush.
    * Train the student to use the smallest amount of space and movement necessary to deploy their knife.
    * Train the student to use the natural funnels of the body such as the crotch, arm pits, and sides of the neck as landmarks for default targeting, instead of focusing on being at a distance to be able see the body to use intentional targeting.

    * The majority of deployment practice should be done from any position other than standing upright.
    * A heavy emphasis needs to be placed on the use of open hand combatives that allow the student to create space to deploy the knife, use them along with the knife to include getting the attacker off of them.



    Make sure reality is driving your training, not your training driving your reality.


  2. #2
    VIP Member Array searcher 45's Avatar
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    I am much faster with my lock blade folder than with my CC.

    LBF does not have over penetration problem.

    LBF is quite and effective if used correctly.

    All of age male and female members of family carry LBF with pocket clip as a get off me tool.

    SA is almost more important than what you are carrying.

    The best gun or knife fight is the one you never have, but if you have one fight to win.
    NOT LIVING IN FEAR, JUST READY!!!
    I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness,
    nor the arrow for its swiftness,
    nor the warrior for his glory.
    I love only that which they defend.
    -J.R.R. Tolkien

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    Senior Member Array xsigma40cal's Avatar
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    Well stated. The way you say it, it sounds like the lock blade should almost be primary before the CW if not for the SA that comes in identifying a threat. Point well taken.

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    VIP Member Array searcher 45's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by xsigma40cal View Post
    Well stated. The way you say it, it sounds like the lock blade should almost be primary before the CW if not for the SA that comes in identifying a threat. Point well taken.
    If the threat is very close and you are in a crowd of folks you may do more harm than good with CC due to miss or over penetration.

    According to reports I have read FBI studies state that 80% of gun fights are within 6' of each other.

    If this is correct a Lock Blade folder could be very effective in these up close, smell his bad breath, type of affairs.

    IMHO YMMV
    NOT LIVING IN FEAR, JUST READY!!!
    I do not love the bright sword for its sharpness,
    nor the arrow for its swiftness,
    nor the warrior for his glory.
    I love only that which they defend.
    -J.R.R. Tolkien

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    Member Array David in MI's Avatar
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    Good post, mercop. This is something that has been on my mind with more regularity lately. Are you ever in Michigan? You can send me a PM if you wish.

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    Member Array mitocondriac's Avatar
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    Going to pick up my Bench Made 585 tomorrow. Need to go get some practical training with it. Thanks for the post never really thought about the technicalities of training with my knife.

    Anyone rep a good edged teacher in Dallas area?
    So If Guns Kill People Do Pencils Miss Spell Words???

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    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    I am supposed to train a dept in Detroit if they ever get their act together.

    As far as a good edged teacher. From where I sit based on all I have seen any ongoing realistic training is hard to find and I will be writing an "In Reality" article about it. You would be hard pressed to keep a school open teaching only reality based stuff. This is the reason that people like me, Hoch, Southnarc, Kelly Worden, James Keating, etc travel to teach. For stuff to be effective in the street you need to pressure test it and if that is not something you can safely due a few nights a week. Successful schools are usually that way because of kids programs. The other day I met an 8 yr old black belt:(.

    I will also be doing an article on forming your own Close Quarter Combat Group. For me and those I train I will be sticking with Inverted Edge Tactics. It's only real use is cutting people off of you. In doing my research for the above article that is exactly what I see as the role for edged weapons.- George

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    Mic
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    Senior Member Array Mic's Avatar
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    You bring up some verry interesting points, however, there are too many cheap thugs out there with guns, so why bring a knife to a gun fight?
    Timid people sleep peacefully at night because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.


    Molôn Labé!

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    VIP Member Array ron8903's Avatar
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    In reality I rather not, but prepared to do so.
    "A lie gets halfway around the world before the truth has a chance to get its pants on."
    - Sir Winston Churchill

  10. #10
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mic View Post
    You bring up some verry interesting points, however, there are too many cheap thugs out there with guns, so why bring a knife to a gun fight?
    For those who believe no proof is necessary, for those who don't believe no proof is enough. There is no such thing as a gun fight, knife fight, or fist fight. There are only fights. There are many more "cheap thugs" out their with knives than guns. A convicted felon will not catch a 10 year stint for carrying a box cutter- George

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    Senior Member Array psychophipps's Avatar
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    The other thing to keep in mind is that while criminals don't make the best life decisions, they're not idiots. If they want something they'll often give it a go without a tool to start to dodge weapons-based charges but will go for a tool if it starts going badly for them. All too often your common bar brawl ends up a bar stabbing because of this.

  12. #12
    Senior Member Array mastercapt's Avatar
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    Knife

    I am a smaller man(5.7) than most. All though out my life, I envisioned a scenerio where someone much larger would thry to do me harm, simply because of my smaller size, I may look like an easy vitim.
    My father, who was 5.6, told me to avoid a fight, back down, and leave. Better to be referred to a a "chicken" than in the past tense.
    However, if you are forced to fight, If you win, it's considered to be a fair fight.
    So, if i am in fear for my life, I will use whatever I can to defend myself.
    I carry a LBF as a tool, but will use it as a weapon if I HAVE to. The company I work at is a military contractor, so no firearms are allowed in the building. However, everyone there seems to have a LBF clipped in their pocket.
    I would venture a guess as this is why there is a lot of politeness there, LOL

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