Research continues on IET & cutting vs stabbing under stress

Research continues on IET & cutting vs stabbing under stress

This is a discussion on Research continues on IET & cutting vs stabbing under stress within the Defensive Knives & Other Weapons forums, part of the Defensive Carry Discussions category; This past weekend in VA Beach we took 8 students that were between 34 and 61 yrs of age. A few had years of traditional ...

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Thread: Research continues on IET & cutting vs stabbing under stress

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    Research continues on IET & cutting vs stabbing under stress

    This past weekend in VA Beach we took 8 students that were between 34 and 61 yrs of age. A few had years of traditional martial arts with lots of edged weapons specialization.

    One student was given a Dummies Unlimited training baton and the other a Sharkee open folder trainer that has a felt strip on which you rub chalk on so you can see where it cuts. After being put at about five yards apart both student were told to attack each other on command for 3 seconds. The student with the knife was told to use any grips and attacks that they wished. Myself and another instructor as well as the other students were did our best to watch what happened and the students were told to try to keep track of where they hit/cut or where they were hit and cut. All students did the drill both with the baton and the knife. The second time they did it all students were told to us the inverted grip. The following observations were compiled by what we and the students saw, felt in addition to what the chalk showed.

    Traditional grip findingings-

    ØThe students with the knife closed the distance quickly in an attempt to negate the centrifugal force of the baton. This was most often accomplish by a block with their off hand that wrapped around the arm and seemed to largely cut down on subsequent attacks.
    ØDuring the first round while using a traditional grip no stabs were recorded.
    ØMost agreed that approx 5-9 cuts/slashes were landed in the three seconds.
    ØApproximately 85% of all cuts were back and forth across the chest of the attacker. The other 15% were some cuts to the side of the neck, these cuts seemed to be glancing cuts.
    ØOnce the weapon was controlled the students seemed to target center mass with not cuts/slashes on the arms and legs.
    ØNo cuts were recorded below the belt line.
    ØNo distinct cuts were recorded on the back of the attackers such as those from reaching through the armpits.

    Inverted Edge Grip-

    ØAgain the students with the knife seemed to close the distance quickly and used a wrapping block to control the baton.
    ØOne stab was recorded that landed just about the belt line with such force that it stopped the confrontation.
    ØMost agreed that that approx 9+ cuts were landed in three seconds.
    ØThe majority of first cuts were either under the arm that the baton was in or in groin. After that the cuts seemed to largely land under the reaction side arm and several beginning to cut on the back and dragging out under the armpit. Several times the knife was used to hook behind the weak hand side of the neck and drug around to the front.

    Conclusions-

    The reason for the drill was to see if people with extensive - minimal training would react the same way under stress, especially when attacked with what would be considered a deadly weapon obviously warranting deadly force.

    The drill was done purposely with a drawn blade because many will argue that when drawing from several carry position the first natural cut in a clearing cut that will then lead to a stab.

    None of the students believed they would have had any chance of drawing a folder or a fixed blade without first dealing with the threat.

    Even though when using a regular or inverted grip people wrapped and controlled the weapon arm of the attacker, only those using the inverted grip seemed to transition from one side of the body to the other or go below the belt.

    It seems the argument for carrying blades longer than 3-4 inches for self-defense is largely academic; the evidence suggests that in a in a defensive situation you will slash and not stab. In the past we have seen that this is especially true when moving to the rear. Since the knife is a contact distance weapon requiring it to touch skin to cause physical trauma the length of the blade seems to be negated during defense.

    The traditional grips as employed resulted in cuts that largely skipped off the chest while the inverted edge cuts got caught behind the neck, arm pits and groin and needed to be pulled through the target before cutting again.

    The traditional grip requires movement outside the silhouette of the attacker both before and after the cut. The inverted edged allows the blade to cut in a cyclic fashion without going outside the silhouette of the attacker providing unparalleled economy of motion.

    Even in very cold weather the head, neck, face and hands are usually exposed. Even when wearing heavy jacket most people will still be wearing light jeans or pants leaving the femoral artery very exposed. The most effective way to target the femoral artery is with the inverted edge.

    Readers are invited to replicate the above drill and post their results.


  2. #2
    Member Array takurpic's Avatar
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    Pics of the different grips might be helpful.

    Good info. Thanks!

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    Array Tangle's Avatar
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    Quite interesting!
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    I find this very interesting...realistic...

    Pics of the various descriptions could be helpful.

    Thanks for the post...more info is welcomed.
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    Member Array laeckcrov's Avatar
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    When i was taught to knife fight, we were instructed to attack the sides of the neck, insides of the arms, crease of the elbow, and inside thigh/groin area. In the event of a kicking opponent the back of the knee and calf were also viable targets.

    These were designed to maximize blood loss and inflicted pain. The theory is that causing massive blood loss will be the eventually fatal result of a knife fight, and pain is a good way to stop an attack.

    Now as my "Utility knife" i carry a folding buck 101, or any of several assisted openers, all straight edge.

    But in light of the training i received, i started (and still do, when possible) carrying two of these (see image). The finger whole serves two purposes, securing it to your hand so you don't lose it, and allows a reversal from a standard grip to a reverse grip as necessary without ever having a chance to lose it.

    Typically you place it on your index finger like a ring, in a reverse grip, with the blade facing forward as you make a fist. Very nasty, very effective. I recommend learning to use them and carrying them for anyone who carries a knife as a defensive tool.

    Sorry about the impersonal photo, i have no working digital camera.
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    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by retsupt99 View Post
    I find this very interesting...realistic...

    Pics of the various descriptions could be helpful.

    Thanks for the post...more info is welcomed.
    this link is to a PDF that shows some forward-grip edge-up stuff...
    http://www.shivworks.com/PSP/ECQ%20knife%20work.pdf

    and here's one that shows some reverse-grip edge-in (Pikal) stuff...
    http://www.shivworks.com/PSP/An%20Ex...of%20Pikal.pdf
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

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  7. #7
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    The whole story behind it. A Terry Trahan recently did a review of my IET and stated it has little to do with the Shivwork material.

    MCS IET (Inverted Edge Tactics) | Modern Combative Systems Blog

  8. #8
    VIP Member Array KenpoTex's Avatar
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    Fair enough...
    "Being a predator isn't always comfortable but the only other option is to be prey. That is not an acceptable option." ~Phil Messina

    If you carry in Condition 3, you have two empty chambers. One in the weapon...the other between your ears.

    Matt K.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Array the_fallguy's Avatar
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    Interesting findings. I really would have thought that stabbing would be more prevalent than slashing, with the exception of knifes like the TDI or a karambit.

    Would you consider running the test again with people who have extensive training with the knife? Greg Alland is in your area, and I would be very interested to see how he or some of his students reacted under stress. I'm sure I can get some contact info for you if you're interested.
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    I believe I had one of his students in the class and I know Greg. When you are being attacked chest to chest people just seemed to respond with slashes.

    Had the guy with the baton not rushed them to attack you would have seen more "defanging of the snake" but as hso said, when you are gonna getting your head caved in you don't go for your secret moves. There was a massive amount of violence inflicted in that 3 seconds.

    That is interesting about hunting hogs. My theory is that since we are not born with any physical stabbing weapons we swipe under stress. Even big cats use clawing to pull down and hold prey so they can "stab" it with there teeth. To get constant, repetitive stabs to the same place you have to be controlling part of your attacker, usually his arm.

    At least in the US we have much more research when it comes to the defensive use of firearms than edged weapons so I will use this example.

    Even though at contact distances most agencies teach the speed rock or some sort of indexing of the pistol from the hoslter to deal with threats up close and personal. Most of it is done with the strong foot staying back a bit. In force on force with air soft or in real shootings that erupt within a few yards I have found that most officers and BGs respond by drop stepping to their rear with their reaction side foot as the gun comes up and out to the side as they start shooting.

    My goal through research is to expose how people actually react to attacks under seven yards regardless of training. Once we have that information we can train into it instead of fighting it. By doing this we cut down on training time, build confidence and will hopefully save lives.

    When you are attacked and believe someone is trying to kill you especially at these very short distances your reptilian brain kicks in and you are back to being a cave man.

    Just like with firearms as the distance increases the person who is trained with a stick or knife is gong to have an advantage. For that reason I will not discontinue my traditional training or discount it for other but to give usable skill sets in the minimum amount of time to the most people I will use other things.

    IMHO one of the most important things when you talk about weapon use is economy of motion. The body has natural economy of motion and sometimes we just refuse to use it. For example, during an average day how may times do we bring our hands from our sides up to chest lever vs from chest level up over our heads. I would say that we do the former about 95%. That means that neuropathway is established and used at a high frequency. IET uses that pathway instead of trying to make a new one. This leads to continuity of motion.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Array the_fallguy's Avatar
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    I never recorded any information, but the group I trained with seemed to have a fairly high number of stabbing incidences under stress of a violent attack, at least in scenario training. That is why I drew the conclusion in my first comment. I wish now that we had recorded the reactions closely for comparison. To be fair, there was a lot of emphasis on stabbing in our training regimen.

    I agree with your ideology to reinforce the natural reactions instead of defying them. I personally believe that training only prevails when synapses are built under stress, so the body reacts in a familiar fashion that is associates with a prior psycological success. When someone is confronted to an unfamiliar/untrained scenario they tend to freeze or default to a single response over and over (typically an action that their mind has associated with some amount of success in previous experiences). These are my observations, anyhow. I would like to hear your take on this, and what conclusions you have come to so far.

    Have you considered sharing your experiment with Tony Blauer or Gabe Suarez? They might have a lot to bring to the table here since they run a lot of violent scenario training with multiple strangers every year.
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  12. #12
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    I agree with all of your statements. This information is posted on Gabe's Warrior Talk Forums and seems to be getting some attention.

    My information is all over the place on my site and blog along with several forums for everyone to see. I put it out that way to open it to the most scrutiny to make up for people that have not trained with me to through BS flags or agree with. For that reason I appreciate you our discussion.

    I can be found at SHOT, Blade and other knife and gun shows going hands on with all types of people showing what I do and it seems to make sense to them.

    Although I have trained people like the Air Force Special Operations Command's DAGRE teams and other LE/MIL types my training is geared toward the average citizen over a weekend. In a weekend I can teach the alphabet and maybe even some words, then students can work on sentences and paragraphs by themselves or subsequent classes.

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    Array QKShooter's Avatar
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    Interesting.

    Sorry but with a 5" blade rather than a 3" blade it's sort of obvious that any aggressive and motivated knife wielding person can perform a slash 2 inches quicker and stab 2" deeper - or to the same depth as a 3" blade while being 2" further away.
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    Senior Member Array the_fallguy's Avatar
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    I kind of disagree there, QKShooter. Under stress, people tend to make a panic grip on the knife. This usually results in them running their knuckles against the same surface they are trying to cut, then dragging the blade across it. This is where knives like the TDI shine, because they can be effectively used by folks with little or no training.

    Extending the blade in a fencing type grip (where the difference in length would become more beneficial) doesn't seem to happen unless there are two mutual combatants who are hesitant to close on each other (as opposed to an attacker/s who wants to close the distance and pump someone full of holes regardless of the danger they might face).
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  15. #15
    Senior Member Array mercop's Avatar
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    I will go out on a limb and say that if I use IET with the main blade of a leatherman and with say a Spyderco military the person cut will not know the difference.

    Caliber and blade length never make up for mindset and training.

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