Here is a good article by Sammy Franco that covers some basic information for anyone that carries a blade for self defense.
KNIFE FIGHTING TIPS
Here are a few knife fighting tips and suggestions from Contemporary Fighting Arts that will improve your odds of survival when knife fighting in a self defense situation.
KNIFE FIGHTING #1 BUY A GOOD BLADE. Here a few important points to consider when purchasing a knife for self-defense (specifically knife fighting) : (1) Make certain the knife fits comfortably in both your right and left hand; (2) Choose a fighting knife that is designed for both slashing as well as stabbing; (3) Avoid all knives with finger grooves as they will limit your grip when engaged in combat; (4) Choose a blade that is sharp and large enough to penetrate the criminal assailantís vital arteries and organs when knife fighting; (5) Choose a knife that is light enough for you to manipulate it easily and quickly when knife fighting; (6) Use either a lock blade or fixed blade made of high-carbon stainless steel.
KNIFE FIGHTING #2 AVOID USING A SPRING BLADE. Avoid using spring blades (i.e. switchblades, stilettos) when knife fighting. They are inherently dangerous for the following reasons: (1) The internal spring can malfunction in a time of need; (2) The structural integrity of the knife is usually poor; (3) The hand grips are usually too thin and often slippery; (4) They look menacing and have a criminal stigma attached to them. Remember, if your knife fighting altercation is later taken to court, the jury will not look unfavorably at you even though you may have been justified in killing your adversary.
KNIFE FIGHTING #3 SELECT THE APPROPRIATE KNIFE GRIP. When knife fighting, select the grip appropriate for your range of engagement. To accomplish this there are three knife fighting ranges which you must be aware of. They include the following: (1) Long Range Combat- The hammer grip is ideal for this range of combat; (2) Mid Range Combat- The hammer grip is still the most preferred grip for this distance of engagement; (3) Close-Quarter Range Combat - The ice pick grip or modified ice pick grip is preferred in this particular range of combat.
KNIFE FIGHTING #4 FAMILIARIZE YOURSELF WITH DIFFERENT TYPES OF EDGED WEAPONS. Familiarize yourself with the different types of fighting knives that are used by street criminals. There are seven different classifications of knives. They include the following: (1) Gravity Blades; (2) Spring Blades; (3) Lock Blades; (4) Folding Blades; (5) Fixed Blades; (6) Ballistic Blades; (7) Makeshift/Improvised Blades.
KNIFE FIGHTING #5 MASTER THE TWO PRIMARY GRIPS. One of the foundational elements of effective knife fighting is the grip. In edged weapon combat, there are two primary knife grips that you must master. They are: (1) Hammer Grip - this grip is generally used for long and mid range knife fighting. Both slashing and linear thrusting movements can be applied with this grip; (2) Ice Pick Grip - this grip does have limited movement. It is generally used for close-quarter knife fighting. Both tight slashing and angular stabbing movements can be applied with this type of grip.
KNIFE FIGHTING #6 NEVER THROW A KNIFE. Contrary to what you may have seen in the movies, never throw your knife at your assailant when engaged in edged weapon combat. This is dangerous for the following reasons: (1) Knife Type - few fighting knives are specifically designed and balanced for throwing movements; (2) Target Acquisition - it is extremely difficult to hit a moving target when throwing any type of knife; (3) Arms Your Adversary - if your fighting knife misses its target, it will automatically arm your adversary.
KNIFE FIGHTING #7 DONíT FORGET YOUR SECONDARY WEAPONS. When knife fighting, never forget that you have numerous secondary weapons at your immediate disposal. Some include: (1) Head - used for butting your adversary at close-quarters; (2) Teeth - used for biting your assailant at close-quarters; (3) Elbows - used for striking your assailant at close-quarters; (4) Knees - also used for striking your adversary in close-quarter knife fighting range; (5) Legs - used for kicking your assailant at the mid-range of knife combat; (6) Hands - used for striking your assailant at the mid-range of knife combat.
KNIFE FIGHTING #8 POSSESS THE THREE ESSENTIAL REQUIREMENTS. Never carry a fighting knife unless you possess the three essential requirements to facilitate effective deployment. (1) Knowledge - this means knowing and understanding the elements, nature and characteristics of knife combat and know how to apply them to any combat situation; (2) Skills - this means possessing the proficiency, facility, or dexterity necessary for knife combat. Skill is developed through training and experience, and it is perfected through consistent edged weapon practice; (3) Attitude - this refers to your immediate state of mind or disposition toward fighting with knives. The bottom line is, you must always possess a positive mental awareness.
KNIFE FIGHTING #9 HOLD YOUR KNIFE IN FRONT OF YOU. When fighting with knives, hold your fighting knife in your front hand. This knife forward stance is critical for these two reasons: (1) It brings your closest weapon (your fighting knife) to the assailantís closest targets; (2) The unprotected (or unarmed) side of your body is kept back and away from your assailant stabs and slashes. Generally a lead hand knife fighter will have a tactical advantage over a rear hand knife fighter when knife fighting.
KNIFE FIGHTING #10 EXPECT TO GET CUT. Whether youíre unarmed and defending against a knife attack or fighting with knives against your adversary, expect to get cut. This frame of mind is critical for the following reasons: (1) It prepares you for the cold reality of knife fighting; (2) It helps prevent you from going into mental shock if you do get cut in a knife fight; (3) It frees you from the mental concern of your well-being during the altercation.
KNIFE FIGHTING #11 NEVER THREATEN YOUR ADVERSARY WITH A KNIFE. A fighting knife is a tool of destruction that is intended to injure or kill, not intimidate. Never pull a knife unless youíre legally and morally justified to use it. Remember, knife fighting is not glamourous. It's not like the movies. Knife fighting is gruesome, dangerous and above all - deadly! A fighting knife should only be displayed when you have no other choice but to defend yourself or loved ones from death!
KNIFE FIGHTING #12 IT'S NOT A GAME. Never forget that knife combat is not a game and should only be a last resort in a self defense situation. Moreover, be very selective when searching for a edged weapon instructor. There are many charlantans out there just trying to make a quick buck off the public. You should search for a knife fighting instructor with the same care as you would looking for a good doctor.s a blade