Techniques for dealing with a knife or firearm threat

If you see them coming and recognize their intent before they are a couple of steps from swinging distance I think this is an option. I was able to do this once to avoid an obvious robbery attempt though there where other people not too far away and the pair of criminals didn’t want to make a scene by running after me.

But not all criminals are completely incompetent. If they get inside swinging distance before their intent becomes clear enough to react to turning your back to run as they draw their knife may not work out so well. In my early sessions when I missed a block with my coach and tried to reset and gain a little distance he would be all over me. In those situations I seem to have the best success if I fight through the first slice or stab and get control of the knife.


At this early stage of my hand to hand training I am hoping that any criminal I am unfortunate enough to run into doesn’t have an ounce of training!

My coach did mention that if you do get stabbed, grab onto the knife so they can’t pull it out if possible.

The little bit of knife instruction I have read and seen has emphasized slashing over stabbing.

I’m curious, as someone with knife training if you suddenly found yourself ambushed and had a knife swinging at you before you could do any prep, would your first move be to go for your knife or put all your effort into getting control of theirs? Or maybe getting them off balance so you could get to yours?

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We trained to maintain distance, not to turn our backs to our adversaries. I do think there’s an appropriate time to turn and run, but you have to have your rearview mirrors on (head on a swivel). Otherwise, it’s about trading space for time.


This is the ideal but it can be hard in day to day life. Waking down the sidewalk, standing in line at the grocery store etc.

I’ve been able to walk, talk or jog my way out of the few serious threats I have faced so far. I fully agree that avoidance is option number 1. I’m just trying to fill up my toolbox with additional options and build up my skill level in case option 1 fails.

In elementary school I was blazingly fast and could easily avoid all the groups of girls attempting to kiss me. I unfortunately didn’t realize then that I shouldn’t have been resisting so hard;) But I am much slower now and have family to protect so running may not always be my best option. That’s why I am studying and training so I can better decide when and if to run as well as for ways to buy time and distance to either get away or get to my defensive weapon.

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Agreed. It’s a good thing to practice, though. Even taking 1-2 steps back could be the difference between getting sliced or getting control.


Tons of tactics but one on one training with an instructor would probably be better!


I, personally as part of my EDC, carry 2 Damascus Steel Kerambits (offhand).

So in your scenario. I am going to move off the X first while drawing both knives. Using my offhand for that draw, then I will use my strong side to ward them off long enough to get my own knives into it and looking for obstacles to put between us. My Kerambits are unusual in that they are sharp on both sides, like a dagger. So I can cut with either side.

Then I am going to see what their reaction is. If they hesitate or backup. I am going to draw. Just because I am trained, doesn’t mean I want a CQB with knives.

But, if I absolutely have to fight with knives. I am targeting arteries, and ligaments. I am going to assume you are being taught the targets you should be focusing on.