The following article by Sang H. Kim is based on the principles and techniques taught in the Knife Defense video series. It is intended to give a brief overview of the central tenet of knife combat for the experienced martial artist.
Much has been written about the effectiveness of one system or another in a realistic or "street" situation. Many styles claim to be scientifically designed or to have secret techniques to defeat even the toughest of opponents, including armed assailants. Yet when it comes to an assailant armed with a knife, you don't need to learn a lot of fancy, secret techniques, you only need to remember four simple options. In an armed confrontation, basic is best and the most direct techniques are the ones that will give you the opportunity to walk away when it's over.
Four Choices, One Result
When faced with a weapon, you have four choices: retreat, lateral inside close, lateral outside close or pass by. Each of these initial movements allows you to shorten the distance between you and your opponent. Once you get close, you can apply the defense of your choice. If you prefer kicking, you can use a kick. If you prefer locking, you can apply a lock. If you prefer grappling, you can take your opponent to the ground. But to use any of these skills, you first have to get close to your attacker.
Retreat: Cowardice or Foresight
To retreat is generally seen by the opponent as a sign of cowardice. You are too afraid to fight or you are unable to match your opponent's strength, so you step back to avoid being drawn into a confrontation. However, the retreat can be a smart intial move since it gives you a chance to meaure your attacker's seriousness and prepare a strategy. And there is always the chance that when you signal a retreat, your attacker will back off enough to let you escape. This is, of course, the safest and most intelligent way to defeat an armed attacker. It is also the least likely outcome. Read More