...We are talking about defensively.
I've remained mum on this thread since noting when the OP first posted and there were no other responses, yet.
Simply because the answer is there is no all and any situations answer (!). Quite simply it very much depends.
There is now though a lot of theory posted here as well as links to other sites with more theory.
But bottom line...
* Who here has ever even once been in a fight on the streets against aggressors, and NOT as in a class/course against people who'll have lunch with you, and been stabbed or slashed?
* Of same very specific condition who has attempted to _defend_ against as much (taking the offensive is of no regard here for us), and did you fail or succeed?
* Who here has been first person witness with your own eyes to either of the above, and I mean start to finish not oh I saw a guy a block distant sitting/lying in a pool of his own blood?
When ever this subject comes up be it here or elsewhere I note there are always a strong positioning and voice from persons who have been through X, Y, or Z class/course training.
Persons who learned this or that offense and anti-offense as via the military, fighting against equally trained/skilled war fighters equally armed with tools akin to short swords.
None of this 'training' stuff though is of any _REAL_ use to civilians. Average Joe and Jane Citizen who is not walking the streets carrying a KaBar or a machete or a anything but at best a ~9" total length (blade and handle) as unfolded 'box cutter'.
Persons on the street that we might encounter are very much largely going to be untrained and have not been through a formal course/class. Street combatants training comes from street interaction and observation as well as applied practice...on the street.
They do not act nor react like folks who will have lunch with you at the end of your course/class.
Don't take my word for it though...
Just ask any person who actually has been stabbed/slashed, has been in the position of offense and/or defense, and/or has been direct first person witness to such violence as on the streets and/or in a prison (not jail nor 'detention center').
The answer to this question is simple and basic.
It's both and either.
The singular goal as on the streets, not in a combat class/course or military theater, is to STOP the actions of your attacker. How to best or most efficiently dispatch that person as in his/her ability to remain locomotive or even respirate is of low concern (!).
When being threatened or attacked by a person with any edged weapon (broken bottle, knife, pointed stick, etc.) the primary thought in the mind of the person at the opposite end is to either 1) Gain Distance to ESCAPE and/or 2) How can I make this person STOP being a threat right now!
If cutting him/her in the face with a slash by way of a razor blade will do that job then there is nothing further to discuss. This occurs, real world. If doing same with a carpet knife will get that job done then task complete. If stabbing that person in the neck, chest, or soft abdomen with a broken bottle will do it then job done.
Ask anyone who has really been under stress confronted with as much whether they were worried about being either stabbed or cut, they will tell you simply they just did not want to be _CUT_.
Rather than discussing this amongst yourselves who largely have never ever seen such a situation thanks to having lived lives that are largely normal and simply average, it would be better and best to seek out the input of those who have been there and done that.
I guarantee you those persons will not have a specific camp to plant feet in. The answer is and has long been, both....and whatever else is necessary to make the attacker stop.
- Janq has been for real not in theory stabbed, defended successfully against slashes and stabs, and been first person witness to others undergoing same in win, lose, and draw efforts...all of and amongst the streets with real people who wanted my own and other folks lunch
P.S. - This is no different than anything else from using a firearm defensively to dance to sex.
It's nice to hear commentary from folks who have thoughts and theories on how things might go...But always at the end of the day bottom line what is most useful and pertinent and valuable is feedback from persons who have had both feet in directly and literally. Those persons first person reports and views are worth a hundred other persons theories on a matter. Recall how we all talked about this and that theory in HS as related to sex, and how off base and incorrect those were who had no more _real_ experience than we did as virgins.
This subject matter is no different, and is just as individual circumstance specific.