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Self Defense/Can aikido work against knife?


I have been studying Tangsodo in Canada for years, but I have always wondered if Aikido techniques could work against someone attacking with a knife in a street scenario.

I have visited a kapap instructor in the region who say it's garbage because all they do is thrust a single times and they're too compliant. He said that all knife attacks are really quick and if you try to grab, you'll get cut 'many times.' He also said that through pressure testing, he found that most techniques including grappling and joint locks work terribly compared to striking.


its partially true.

most MA that train against the knife train slowly, and unrealistically. In reality, you are going to get cut in a knife fight! 100% no questions! Its not like you see in the movies!

How about THIS for a goal.... "you SURVIVE the attack!"

that already makes you a hero!

When I was young and stupid(er) I used to practice knife throwing. it was a nice summer day and I was outside with bare feet.

I used military issue "Kabar knives" (they're pretty big) I would throw them at the target, go collect them and start again, over and over again.

One time I must have put too much rotation, or not enough and the knife hit handle first and bounced back. I saw it coming back and everything was like it was in slow motion. I put my foot out to stop the knife rather then have it hit the ground - duh!

the blade stuck in my foot on the top where there is not much skin... due to the physics, the knife kept going, so it "popped" a piece of skin out of the top of my foot like you pop the eye out of a potatoes about an inch round.

It took a few seconds for me to realize what was going on.. My first instinct was to look for the piece of skin! but it was in the grass so I couldn’t find it.

for a few seconds, the wound was not even bleeding! but when I looked down at my foot, I could see the tendons moving when I point my toes up to look at my foot! THEN the blood started coming!

I was my myself, about 18 years old at the time. took my t-shirt off, tied it as tight as I could around my foot and drove myself barefoot to the hospital.

Then the pain started!

Since the piece of skin was missing and the wound was wide, they could not stitch it. so they "disinfected it" - talk about pain! then they patched me up better and sent discharge me with pain medication.

What did I learn from that? That was the power of a knife with NO weight behind it! Its OWN power! .. and HALF that power had already been discharged when hitting the target!

What would happen if there was even a BIT of force behind it? .. you know what its like to open a watermelon right? Or a squash? Or a pumpkin? Areas of the body not protected by bones, are about that same consistency! Doesn’t take much to open guts or veins!

Many MA clubs that train against the knife use rubber knives. This is the worst thing you could do because there is no feel at all in comparison to a rel knife and the practitioner is NOT taught respect.

For beginner students, we train with solid wooden knives. They give a bit better feel as to what it takes to disarm but once a student learns some moves, they get cocky and think they are invincible.

Lets put it this way...

A person’s natural reaction when you grab them, is to pull away. If they pull away with the knife, your fingers will be severed! If not all the way through, al the tendons will be cut for sure rendering the hand useless.. and you will be bleeding profusely, so you will have that to deal with as well as the attack.

I don’t care what moves you learn, you are best to fight fire with fire. Don’t try to be a hero! Even a professional WILL be cut in a knife fight! Remember the goal is to Survive!

Number one defense, try to talk your way out of it. Give them what they want. Usually its only money, which is pretty much worthless in todays society.

2) if you absolutely have to fight and you have a heavy jacket, like leather, you can take it off and wrap it around your arm as a sort of shield. Try to defend against the strikes with the “shelid” while you punch him in the jaw or kick his knees…. Its more like a “stomp” not a kick. You’re going to stand right through his knee, collapsing it and taking him down. Then, if you have good shoes, or boots you can try kicking the knife away or kicking his face or balls etc, whichever comes first. Stand on the knife wrist, stomp with the other foot.

(Different story if you are caught in the summer with flip flops or sandles on)

see how the dynamica change in each incident? Time, place, terrain, weather etc.

therefore there is no one fix for any given situation. Those that try to teach, “if they punch, you do this” won’t work. You have to work from reaction, not memory bcase in the moment, you will forget.

Its impossible for me or anyone else to tell you, when the knife attack comes, to use your Akido or boxing, or whatever. There are too many dynamics, to many variables. Body has to recact naturally not attack #1 = defense number 23 – that’s bullshit.

2 theres lots of talk about these what I call “small motor skills” – that’s also bullshit! You’re not going to get a guy in a finger lock or hit pressure point number 365  at the lateral deltoid – it AIN’T gonna happen. You need GROSS MOTOR SKILLS! BIG MOVEMENTS during such attack. Small motor stuff is when you are stuck and theres nothing left to do but to try to break a finger or poke his eye out. By then its usually too late because hes already gutted you like a Christmas turkey (so I hear – I don’t eat meat – and neither should you! Its 100% cruel and 100% unnecessary! More on that if you are interested)

Key is not to tense up and to do this you must breath even when under attack (easier said than done) all takes practice. The more you do anything, the better you become at it but the best you can hope for in a knife attack is to walk away alive. Theres nothing shameful about running either! If you are about to be gutted by a gang who all have knives, and you can run, you would simply be stupid to “see if your lessons work” – its not like in class where if you get “play stabbed” you can go back and say, “can I get a do over?” NO- You’re already DEAD and you CAN’T come BACK!

Now wisen up! This is serious shit you are talking about here! I’ve trained for near 30 years in various MA. Am I better prepared than the average Joe on the street? Sure I am! Am I invincible? Not a chance! Would I RUN given the opportunity! DAMN STRAIGHT! Better a live “coward” than a dead guy that thought it might work. You wont even get a write up in the paper! Maybe in the obituaries but you wont make front page. Is it worth it? – The “live coward” can still tell his grand kids how he SURVIVED a KNIFE ATTACK!

if this hasn't hopefully opened your eyes a bit and saved your ass, you might also want to google "knife attack images".

this is reality - anything less is BULLSHIT!

I want to go on to say that there is a myriad of possible defenses, including use of improvised weapons - ie WHATEVER THE FUCK YOU HAVE AROUND YOU AT THE TIME...

ANYTHING you can use... a BOOK can be like a shield. A HOT beverage, a GLASS, a beer bottle, a chair, umbrella, keys to whip at their face to give you that precious second to try to disarm him, HIS BUDDY! If he HAS a buddy and his buddy is unarmed, you can push buddy into him.. a table, any freaking thing! But I teach this and study this for years, its impossible to learn in the context of a letter here. I just hope to shed some reality on the situation. Many people that teach this stuff have no real experience with real knifes or fighting or anything.


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Thanks a lot for the answer. I loved your explanation. I'm actually kind of a veggie too. Do you also feel that the meat industry is a bit cruel?

Its perpetuated by TRADITION, and COMPLACENCY and M O N E Y ! ! ! !
if the Meat and Dairy Industry were "Necessary" then ALL the vegetarians and vegans on the planet (and there are more than 11 million) would be DEAD by now!
MOST of the animals are PROCESSED ALIVE! They are not going to stop the line ups of 1000's of animals because they are "not quite dead"!!

"cruel"??? ... if you and I were to write a horror movie script, there is NO POSSIBLE WAY we would be able to make a more horrific horror movie than this.

Line ups of HELPLESS ENTIRE FAMILIES being pushed and prodded with electric shock prods to their DEATH! the hear, smell, see and FEEL their families being RIPPED APART ALIVE by MACHINES to be FED TO MAN - Who doesn't even need it!

OH, but thats the way my PARENTS ate, and THEIR parents and people have to eat something right!?

you know what the difference is? today we have INTERNET! in the 50's 60s 70s 80s even 90's generations could only really go by what they saw on TV which was (is) highly regulated. And there is no such thing as a TV ad saying, "Don't eat meat" - HELL NO! all the TV ads PROMOTE IT! They PROMOTE MILK! they PROMOTE the KEG, Mc DONALDS - this is what gets promoted.




What are they hiding!??? this is just a fairly recently law since photographs start making it out to the aso far FREE internet!

I quit cold turkey about 10 year ago now. Im still 200lbs. I can still bench 4 plates! AND Im 10 years older now too!

we haven't even touched on the HUGE Collateral Damage to the planet either.

... BTW I see you are from Bedfordshire.... my best friend married an English girl. We went over for the wedding back in 82 I think it was. I like Bedfordshire

.. email me at

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