Defense of others from a knife attack

I’ve had a fair bit of training on both how to use a knife and how to defend against them.

There are a few basic skills involved that need to be learned but beware of the “internet trainers and experts” especially on youtube.

First rule of fighting with or against a knife is that you’re going to get cut and you’re going to have to be able to fight through that to survive.

Gun vs knife? Keep your distance, he can’t hurt you if he can’t reach you.

Keep in mind too, you are under no obligation to let them close to arms length either before using deadly force to stop them.

Remember too that in such a scenario you have no lawful use of deadly force unless the threat is imminent and immediate so if you start shooting when the bad guy is fifty yards away waiving a knife around threatening you there is no lawful use of DF.

In this scenario, third party defense things get very complicated and you’re probably going to have to make a perfect shot to stop the bad guy without injuring the innocent.

Don’t be afraid to look at alternative targets like the feet, knees, hips etc either if the chance arises and the knife is not to the subject’s neck etc.

Pain is a great motivator and taking out their landing gear is a great way to get them to release the innocent.


The reason for the heightened fear is because someone armed with a knife is more likely to use it. Knives are quiet, draw less attention, can be just as deadly but much easier to use with the intent to only injure rather than kill.

Many don’t realize the only difference between using a knife vs gun is the added time you get for the gun, but aggravated rape, robbery, kidnapping etc are all the same and carry the same penalty with any deadly weapon being used.

Knives also require less skill and training.

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The difference between a Marine and a SEAL

Marine: I shoot 1000 rounds a year.
SEAL: I drop 1000 rounds a year on the ground and it’s not worth my time to pick them up.




Keep that up and you will incite a riot.:rofl:

I’m not even gonna start in on the Jarheads and Squids… .:sunglasses:

We as squids always called them grunts onboarding the ship. Where does jarhead come from?

Words keep changing when I hit reply. Does that happen to everyone?

It goes back at least as far as WWII, it’s due to the recruit haircuts. Basically it looks like someone put a jar on top of their head, shaved everything below and buzzed off what was left on top.

“High and Tight” taken to the extreme.

I’m not having any trouble with text changing here but I have seen it with the same format when used on other sites.

I have heard the term before, it just isn"t what we called them.

Training with Dummy knives is the way to go. Even if you do bring a gun to a knife fight… it is good to know how one would use the knife. What are its limits? How much force is needed for a slash, or for a pierce? This will help you. most of the time, anyone using weapons are focused on the weapon itself more than the opponent.

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How much training have you done with dummy knives?

10-15 hours in total, less than I would like. I dropped out of martial arts when I was younger. Depleting skill so I really should refresh.

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I speak “Hoo-Yah”, “Ooh-Rah”, “Ooh-Ahh” and “Let’s get Starbucks” :sunglasses: I’ve served (as in worked with/deployed etc, not that I was in all five services) with all FIVE branches (yes I am including the Puddle Pirates) and will give any and all of them a good ribbing as I expect no less from them in good natured inter service humor and rivalry. That’s a club you have to earn the right to.

Back on topic: Human’s in general (there are exceptions) do not particularly want to hurt/wound/kill/maim another person. A man/woman with a fully loaded firearm will scream at a bad guy with a knife to “drop it” all the way up to near contact. If that is misjudged or as @WildRose alludes to the effects of your bang stick are not as instantaneous as the movies would have you believe, or (GASP!!!, say it ain’t so) you miss, The best thing that might happen is that you die, knives are one of those things that can constitute “worse than dying”. Obviously we are trying to avoid any of the 4 scenarios, hence we are having the conversation.

You need to have “knife attack” in your pre programed list of “shoot him now’s”, in most cases even if you see the knife you are behind the power curve and it may be a better idea to leave the gun in the holster and capture the knife rather than getting hit when you just clear leather and potentially loose it. How fast can you clear leather and get an accurate shot on target while concealed with no warning? 2 Seconds, 3, 4, 5 … What ever the answer that is your red circle/buffer zone for any instance, the distance covered by a bag guy before you can get a shot on/or three.

For most of us that Red Zone is pretty big. So unless you ar planning on keeping a gun in your hand at all times the only real defense is situational awareness. Head up, eyes up - don’t be in your phone.




What I call my Ready Armed Aura. Although unexpected from behind washes some of that out.

This is something that many knife fighters will tell you. I am not starting my knife strike at 21 feet. In Kenjutsu, there is a draw strike called Iaijutsu and on Escrima it’s called Bunot Kaluban. That means you strike as you draw.

Only someone not very well versed in knife fighting is going to draw a knife 21 feet away. You will know I drew a knife when you feel that initial icy burn of a sharp blade cutting you.

Depending on if I think of can get gun out and in play, in time, I am instead going to take that time to wrap my non dominant arm. To use as a shield. I know I’m getting cut so I want to make it as non damaging as possible.

@Zavier_D I got you brother. The point of the drill was to demonstrate to students just how much ground could be covered by the time you got rounds on target. Remember these were students that had been “tuning up” for an entire week, probably close to 2500 rounds per man, (we allotted 3000 so the instructors could stay proficient :rofl:)



I have to admit that in many ways, a knife attack scares me more than a bad guy with a firearm. I know that’s irrational, but I think it’s a familiarity issue with me. I’ve been trained on how to respond to someone with a gun, and I’m comfortable using firearms. I’m not a medic, but I’ve been trained on how to respond to bullet wounds until a medic arrives. A single knife wound could (potentially) be much worse than a single bullet wound, and I’m less confident in my ability to slow the bleeding on a long knife cut.

I would not feel confident defending myself with a knife; that’s a skill set I’ve never acquired. I carry a knife for every day use, but if I had to defend myself with one then I’ve already lost.

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