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Self Defense/Bleeding in a Knife Fight


This video goes over a lot of things never mentioned in knife defense classes.

There is one thing the instructor doesn't mention though that I am curious about. Since they both put on blood, wouldn't it make it harder for the knife attacker to continue stabbing?

On a related to note, how are skilled knifers able to grip on a knife and not let it slip out of their hands as they attack? I mean seeing the instructor have incredible difficulty just trying to trap the knife with a  little blood (and later having 0% success once they added more liquids) made me wonder how a veteran knifer can still continue stabbing with maximum grip despite blood flowing. With how close the knife pierces, shouldn't the weapon slip out at one point once you put too many wounds as blood engroves your hand?

First off, you're asking me to comment on something other people are teaching/demonstrating.

I don't teach 'grabbing the knife arm.' Despite the emphasis on grabbing the knife hand that is commonly taught, it's usually a disastrous strategy to attempt. Amazingly enough for the very reasons demonstrated in this video. Securing the limb is problematic anyway, blood just makes it worse and the grab more unreliable.

Now neutralizing the knife arm, well that ain't a bad idea. But you need something
A) more reliable than a grab
B) that still allows you to move and do stuff (grabbing doesn't do that)

One of the faster and more reliable way to neutralize the knife arm is to trap it under your arm as you do REALLY bad things to the guy. Like fatal things.

Unfortunately most people don't teach the fatal aspect, much less the need to do it NOW! Their approach is to try to grab the knife wrist and either
A) hang on
B) proceed as if it was a normal 'fight'

In not even theory, but hypothesis, this 'might' work. However, as we often joke the difference between theory and practice is in theory there is no difference...

What is not an uncommon result is what happened in the two scenarios, the guy loses control and ends up trying to fight defensively against a blade. You might think 'with the results you see in the video,' (him trying to hold the guy off at a distance). But that's not how it normally works -- especially in the environment that was filmed in. In real life often the knifer, knowing he has the superior weapon and is safe from ineffective countermeasures, closes in hard against an unarmed opponent. Like slamming the dude into the wall and shanking him repeatedly -- the physics of such an attack are WAY different than what they were showing.

Basically this guy's recommended response hanging back and slap blocking the blade away can ONLY work if the knifer hangs back and tries to stab.  Which, straight up is STILL trying to fight the guy with a knife.

Bad strategy that. More over it's a bad strategy no matter what specific blocking tactics you use. BECAUSE YOU'RE STILL STANDING THERE TRYING TO FIGHT A KNIFER!!!

As for the blood on the knife handle question...

So if the guy is holding the knife tightly in his hand, how is blood going to get on the handle?

I will however, point something out. You can tell the knifer had never stabbed anyone OR undergone training from someone who had (despite all the cool knife fighting training they'd done.) It's all in the grip.

Two basic grips. Hammer and saber.

Hammer for stabbing, saber for slashing. Kind of like hard to soft/soft to hard rule about hitting, remembering this is a matter of YOUR own safety.

Hammer grip you hold the knife like you do a hammer. And you hold it TIGHT! Yes this grip is less mobile. Yes the tension 'slows you down.' It's worth it. Why do you hold it tight? Because it is a stabbing grip. It gives you a better hold on your knife in case during the stab, you accidentally hit a bone. When you hit bone IF you have a tight grip your blade bounces or slides off the bone. When you hit bone with a loose grip (whether saber or a too-loose-hammer) your hand slides up OFF the handle and onto the blade, cutting you. Oh wanna know something interesting? Cops have books with pictures various improvised weapons makes AND demonstrating what this kind of self-inflicted knife wound looks like -- so do ERs.  It's a very specific wound. So when they see it, they know how you got it.

Saber grips are slashing grips, not stabbing grips. The only way it is safe to stab with a saber grip is if you have a specially designed knife that allows your thumb to be part of the 'slide stop.'

The fact that the so-called 'knifer' in this video was holding the blade in a saber grip means he's been well trained in a fantasy knife fighting system.  There's a lot of them out there.

So what you have here is a video that does point out a real problem with most training about handling a blade. But hey, that's about as profound as seeing the hole in a sinking boat. His recommendation of slap blocks doesn't plug the hole.  

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Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

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Read "In the Name of Self-Defense" the streets don't give a Ph.D in scuffle.

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