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I got my first knife demo

2855 Views 23 Replies 20 Participants Last post by  oilman
In the handgun class this past weekend I got my first demonstration of why the old adage about bringing a knife to a gun fight might not be true in all instances. The instructor took a rubber knife and gave a student a toy gun, which the student holstered. They stood a bit over 21 feet apart and the instructor told the student to draw before he got to him with the knife. Even with the knowledge that the instructor was going to come at him it took him three tries to get the gun out before the instructor got to him, and even then he would have more than likely missed his shot and got cut or stabbed.

The other demo the instructor did was to take a large rump roast and wrap it in a t-shirt. The whole bundle was about 1 foot long and anywhere from 4-6 inches thick. After taping this bundle to a stick for safety he then took a standard folding knife with about a 3 inch blade and slashed the meat with it. The knife nearly severed a large section of meat off. The cut was towards the end of the bundle, so probably 4-5 inches thick where the knife cut it. So, if the bundle represented your bicep then it would have been severed clean. He then took another folding knife with a 1 inch blade and did the same thing. This tiny one inch blade cut a 4 inch long gash that was at least 1 inch deep.

With either of these two blades a cut to the right part of me and I am done. This really brought home the point Gary Brommeland was making, in a different thread, about not letting someone close to within 20 feet of you.

If you have already drawn your weapon you have the advantage, if not you are done.
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:gah: Yikes :gah:

I've heard and read about that, but that sounds like a pretty good demonstration. Really brings the point home.
4my son said:
:gah: Yikes :gah:

I've heard and read about that, but that sounds like a pretty good demonstration. Really brings the point home.
And the edge too! :rolleyes: :image035:
It's called the Tuller Drill named for Dennis Tuller. I'm sure most members of this forum already know this. It's an eye opener, that is for sure. Even 21' is too close.
Even 21' is too close.
Yes, and when you take into consideration the Tueller drills are usually run with a holstered gun with no garments covering it, imagine what the scenario would be like under normal concealed carry conditions where you're having to pull open a coat or dig under a shirt to get to your gun. :gah:

This is where some hand-to-hand and disarm skills would be handy - something to block and stop the blade arm so you actually have time to draw. :dead:
Did you happen to time it?

1.5-2.0 seconds is enough time for an attacker to travel 21 feet and open one up with his knife........and barely enough time for someone to recognize, draw from a holstered position, aim and fire upon a knife wielding threat.
wow ! I won't dispute the evidence. I would like to try that...preferably not the real thing but the drill.....
Another thing that many don't realise is that if the BG is a well trained knife fighter you are not going to even see a blade untill he can reach out and cut. I trained in this stuff and alot of time is spent on learning to conceal a weapon that is drawn and ready to use until it's too late for the opponent.

The good news is that the really well trained knife fighters I've known are good guys.

It's more the wackos that worry me.....:aargh4:

I'll be honest - blades scare the crap outa me - in the wrong hands of course.

For sure the old adage is always true - distance is your friend.
Standing still to draw from the holster against someone moving on you with an edged weapon in nigh suicidal. The best bet is to move aggressively at a 45 degree angle to his line of attack, preferably away from his strong side, while you're drawing. Bet the instructor didn't have his student try that, 'cause the knife guy loses every time. All too often we train as if our feet are rooted to the ground, when in reality we should be moving laterally, looking for cover and generally playing havoc with our opponent's focus while drawing a weapon. Evade, use your footwork, use angling and distancing. You can hit him from far outside contact distance, so you should have every advantage. Here's the trick: you'll only do this under pressure if you train this way a LOT...

The best way to do it is find yourself a fairly clear open space, say your garage or back yard, and have a buddy come at you with a fake knife. Within a very short time, you'll begin to see why a knife isn't preferred over a firearm for defensive purposes. The reason a knife scares people is because they aren't used to seeing one used in an attack. Practice this movement pattern with dry fire, and if you have a range that will allow it, against a target (safely) with live fire. Go slowly at first, but, doggone it, get out of the habit of just standing there while you draw. YMMV.
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sacp81170a said:
Standing still to draw from the holster against someone moving on you with an edged weapon in nigh suicidal. The best bet is to move aggressively at a 45 degree angle to his line of attack, preferably away from his strong side, while you're drawing... you'll only do this under pressure if you train this way a LOT...get out of the habit of just standing there while you draw. YMMV.
Excellent advice!! Thanks for the reminder. Since I'm still new to this, I have to constantly remind myself when I mentally run through scenarios to MOVE MOVE MOVE and TAKE COVER -- regardless of what the offensive weapon is.

Good advice from all of you. For some of us who haven't had the opportunity to take a good defensive course, this kind of talk can save a life...maybe mine! :blink:
Our group of instructors have an event once a year were students come and play with us in the mountains of Oregon (right outside of Sisters OR) were one event is doing the Tuller drill were the person stands in a square marked on the ground and is told to wait, react as they deem fit. At this point from a pulley system between two trees a target is hung, behind the person is a man who runs the opposite direction which pulls the target towards the player, yep you guess it, 21 feet and the actual speed of a normal healthy mammal. 9 times out of 10 the player attempts to draw and engage the moving target and this is their only consideration meaning, they do not attempt to move laterally, backwards or for that matter in any direction. Ask them why afterwards, their body had gone to “flight flight/freeze”, they do not use this term but we know that is what they meant. The surprising part is one quarter of the players have been to some high level training at nationally known schools. Does this make a difference? May be, may be not. As the old adage goes something to the tune of, it’s only theory until you have been taught and then practiced it. Every single LEO moved when the target began moving, I expected this but would not drop my jaw if they didn’t.

In regards to cutting meat, Bram Frank inventor of the Spyderco Gunting cuts a hunk of beef while inside pant legs without any intent then goes on to hack at chicken legs making the point, “this could be your fingers.” Seeing this live is a wake up call to those who don’t realize how little it takes to “defang you.” I have trained with Bram and learned a great deal from him.

When thinking distance and reaction time, both Bram Frank and Ernest Emerson both teach (more so with Mr. Emerson) to close the distance and negate the “sweet zone” of the weapon directed at you. I agree with this but also have to disagree. It all comes down to a) your mental state b) training c) the environment d) what you perceive as your opponents abilities and mind set. What is unique about combat/attack is, they are immutable so as any good instructor will tell you, do not depend on they attacker doing step 3 and does step 6...what you going to do?

I surely do not have all the answers but truly believe that if you have not done the Tuller drill you need too and learn from it. Learn about the OODA loop and the color codes.

Expect to get cut. Expect it to feel unlike a cut but typically a punch. There was a study done and published in ASLET magazine (Novemeber/December 2002) were 85 LEO were told they would be attacked with a marking knife. Not having the magazine in front of me, my guess is that less then 5 officers may be 3 actually did more then back up away from the threat and either engaged or moved laterally. These are men and woman who are trained were the average citizen is not for the most part.

(okay I drank way to much coffee tonight :rant: I will stop now)
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If you are under attack, by knife, bat, bar, whatever the BG happens to have in his hand at the time, another very useful counter is to move into the attack. Go on the offensive. The last thing the BG expects is a decisive attack. Action beats reaction so put the advantage back in your corner and make the BG react to you. If you train at it, your "counter" attack can be very effective and give you the time you need to draw your handgun if needed.
Wow, I really haven't thought out some of this stuff. Hey fitz wanna do some practice? Time to hit the toy store and find a match to my 642 and your glock 19(not really in the mood to point guns at buddies, regardless of how unloaded and safe it may be. Habit i guess.)
Great thread, something we should all think about.
Rocnerd said:
Even with the knowledge that the instructor was going to come at him it took him three tries to get the gun out
This is an important point. He KNEW the instructor was going to rush him and he still took three tries (there are no "re-do's" when it's for real). If you DON'T know the attack is coming, it's going to take more time (therefore more distance required) to respond. And, as Betty pointed out, the average CCW'er is going to be at a disadvantage because their weapon is concealed. I know for me, it takes longer to draw from my IWB holster than it did to draw from a duty-rig. All these factors add to the time it takes to respond.

When was the last time anyone heard of an attack starting at 20-30 feet? They don't. More than likely, they're going to start at normal conversational range, or maybe out to 10 or 15 feet if we've seen the threat in time. I feel that it's so critical to have effective alternatives to your firearm (empty-hand or knife). I say "critical" because as we can see from these drills, you have virtually no chance of drawing and getting shots on target before the attacker closes with you.

+1 to the comments on moving off-line. If you remain stationary, you're going to be in trouble.

If you're interested in seeing exactly what your "response distance" is, here's a drill you can try the next time you're at the range with a friend. Set a target at about 1-3 yards (it doesn't have to be too far away, remember, the bad guy is running towards you). Have your friend face away from the firing line. When he says "Go," or "Now," or whatever, he will start running away, you will draw (from your normal concealment rig) and engage the target. When he hears the shot(s), he stops running. Turn around and measure the distance and you will have the distance you would have needed had someone been charging at you.
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vzwnnj said:
move back, move sideways...but move
On the second attempt the student actually moved instinctually and the intructor ephasized that was key. If you move you force the guy with the knife to adjust to you. It is hard to adjust when you are going full speed. For the drill though he had the student stand still, as if he was backed against a car or wall, and so had no where to go.

The instructor also demonstrated how easily an open knife can be hidden and used. It gave a whole new meaning to condition yellow for me.

Kenpotex - I like that drill and will definitely try that next chance I get. Thanks.
Couple of thoughts:

As stated, if you have warning, or as soon as you are able, MOVE. The scenario of someone charging you from more than 10 feet is more the realm of an escalating Domestic, or a traffic incident, both of these essentially where the other individual started to walk away.....and decides not to. Pretty unusual, all in all.

Layered options are your friends- if your artillery needs more time and space than you have, you need something closer to the "surface" to access. Houston PD/Harris Co SO was seeing a rash of "tackle-muggings, about 10 years ago, and they started a bait team. Essentially, the muggers would work in teams of 2-3, hide between cars, and dog-pile the intended victim. Point is this- there are two types of armed agressors: 1) those who, by presentation of the weapon in close range, intend to intimidate you into compliance, and 2) those who are out to TAKE YOU DOWN, and get what they want from your twitching carcass.

Type 1 is the type you can practice your akido, prison grab-n-shove, etc., and do your draw. Also most likely to run, if you up the ante on them.

Type 2 demands some basic level of physical fitness, and some basic, brutal H2H/shiv-style response.

The one you are most likely to encounter will depend greatly on the neighborhood you are in. Hammers aren't the only tools we need........
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I have read that LEO's are now training there people at 15 yards instead of 7yards. Because they have found out that even with practice it takes almost 2/2.5 seconds to draw there weapons but until I get the word it's the 21 foot rule that I have to teach. Be Safe Out There. Kurt
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