Knives In Self-defence: What Are Your Objectives?


July 14, 2008, 06:07 PM
Ok, so I know knives are generally not regarded as very effective self-defence tools, and I'm not actually interested in using them as such or anything like that. I am just curious:

Suppose you were to give me a lecture on how to use a knife to defend myself, assuming there is no alternative, what would my objectives in the confrontation be? Am I aiming to destroy muscle tissue? Sever tendons? Pierce the heart? Cause bleeding? Trauma? You see where I'm going.

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The Tourist
July 14, 2008, 06:27 PM
My sincere advice is to do the same thing you would engage when trying to learn any skill set.

Find an expert. In this case, James Keating, Jerry Vancook, Massad Ayoob. Contact them for classroom and field training. Many of these guys tour the country and offer seminars.

(Perhaps Gunsite Raven and Thunder Ranch have classes. Best thing is to call them.)

The best knife in the world is only good for slicing strawberries unless you know what you're doing with it. Many of my clients are actually more of a danger to themselves.

July 14, 2008, 06:29 PM
As I said, I don't actually want to learn how to 'knife fight'. I'm just interested as to what you're trying to achieve when you employ a knife in self-defence (obviously, to neutralise the threat, but what are you aiming to do in order to achieve that?).

July 14, 2008, 06:31 PM
To my way of thinking you'd be looking to get away from a confrontation alive and unharmed.

That being said though if for some reason you're in a confrontation that you can't flee from for whatever reason and the only thing that you have for a weapon is a knife then you have to convince your attacker that you're way more trouble than you're worth (by inflicting damage) or putting them out of the fight completely. I'm no expert on fighting with knives or anything, I've only ever taken a short Escrima course but the single best way to end to fight seems to be a stab wound to the lung.

If they're having trouble breathing then they're going to have trouble attacking or chasing you.

I've been an EMT for a number of years now and with most of the stabbings that I've been called the person that's been stabbed usually could still fight back unless they were stabbed multiple times in the torso with some of those multiple stab wounds hitting one or both of the lungs (so that they're being deprived of oxygen so that their fighting ability is greatly decreased). When that happens it's usually just a matter of a minute or so before the person (that's be stabbed in the lung) drops.

After that in order or importance would be....

The Eyes.

The Throat.

The Liver.

The Kidneys.

Slashing the tendons of their primary arm.

If it sounds kind of gruesome that's because it is. Defending yourself with a firearm or a blunt object would be much easier psychologically for the average person than trying to defend yourself with a knife.

July 14, 2008, 06:36 PM
You are aiming to sever tendons and disable the attacker. Severing tendons disconnects the muscle from the bone and halts movement right now. A stab wound may stop the attacker, but in maybe 15 to 30 seconds? Mm. Cut a tendon and they stop now. Killing is very low on the priority list, as is bloodshed. Stop the attacker post haste.

A nice side-effect is that the muscle immediately balls up, which is excruciatingly painful. The pain can be very effective is making the attacker stop using the limbs that still do work to attack you with.

My recent reading on the topic tells me that a 2" karambit is the most effective for expediently disabling an attacker in a knife fight.


The Tourist
July 14, 2008, 06:49 PM
I don't actually want to learn how to 'knife fight'.

Oh, I understand. And I carry some of the best/sharpest knives ever made.

But ask yourself this--if you cannot get away, you are in the very middle of a knife fight, aren't you?

And that's the point. No THR member here seeks a fight. Gun, knife or club, the entire idea of the philosophy here is to get home safely.

But it is a weapon, and weapons require teachers.

We are dealing with very serious life and death issues (not to mention being maimed) when we talk about veins, arteries and tendons.

Shun Kitchen Knives includes a bandage with each product. Funny or not, everyone--and that includes me, gets cut.

Having said that, the best book I've ever read on this subject is called "Bloody Iron." No hype, just some solid truths. It's written by soldiers who served time in prison. Even a friend of mine who is a guard in a mental hospital (and has gotten shanked) told me the info was very real world.

Find a good teacher.

July 14, 2008, 06:53 PM
My belief is that karambits are more hat than cattle, and in any case, nothing you'd want to explain to a DA or a jury.

They sure do look fancy in pics and vids against training mopes just standing there getting slashed in their t-shrts, and shorts or jeans though.:rolleyes:

July 14, 2008, 06:55 PM
Knives are, in general, more useful for offense than defense.

I believe there are two strategies you can use.

1). If you're already in close, you have to stay in until the threat can't hurt you. There are three ways to stop any machine: electrical, hydraulic, and structural failure. With a small knife, the only one you can count on is inflicting hydraulic damage (bleeding). You cut until their machine don't work.

2). If you're already outside and can't disengage/run, you can cut their weapons. Cut arms, hands, and feet/legs, should they kick.


July 14, 2008, 07:02 PM
In the age of HIV, knives should be a very last resort.


July 14, 2008, 07:06 PM
No, you're absolutely right. This is just one of many reasons I often tell people to not plan on using a knife if they have any choice.

I bitched a good friend of mine out last week. He carries at least one firearm if he's wearing clothes, carries knives, and this year has begun carrying an automatic knife in addition to his Kershaws and Spydercos.

Basically, I told him as "tacticaled out" as he is, there's no excuse for a 50-ish man with some balance issues (stroke in 04) not carrying a useful cane, aka a 3 foot whomping stick. :banghead:


July 14, 2008, 07:06 PM
i carry a spyderco chinook for utility reasons. if the need arises, it can be used for self defense. the worst advise anyone can give anyone else is how to kill with a knife, because the advice is nothing like the reality. most knife wounds that can be inflicted in a fight (not an ambush) are non-lethal. any reputable knife defense trainer will teach you how to disable an opponent, to leave room for escape. in my own experiences, i've aimed for the face and hands, not because i was trained to, but because those were the most obvious targets. nowadays, my knife would be used to to my gun, while my gun is used to get to my shotgun.

July 14, 2008, 07:12 PM
My objectives as passed forward to me being one born to be a target for criminals (such as kidnapping) , a hi risk industry, mentored by mentors and elders with real life experience in the work I was raised into:

Not knife fights.

Instead small sharp knives, and other "edges" to allow me to cut rope if tied up.
Concealed means concealed, and having such items accessible if hands were tied in front, or in back, or other positions.

My like kind and partners did the same, so for example if my lady pard and I were tied together, practiced plans and the ability to access edged tools, hand cuff keys, and other tools.

Another "tool" everyone carried when I was a kid, was a cut or masonry nail. Some carried just a "regular old nail".

Why? Because the cut nail works to wedge a door shut, to run a shotgun like a 1100 that has lost its bolt handle, to undo a trunk lock, as one has been locked into a trunk of a car, to undo knots...etc.

Yes, I have used a pocket knife to defend, and one was a Case Barehead Slimline Trapper CV blades, another was a Hen & Rooster small [2 3/4" closed] pen knife and one was a Case Peanut.

Stick beats knife, and a screwdriver is society acceptable, and it will wedge a door shut, or pry a window open.
Rolled up magazines, bandanna's, coffee cup, bottle of water...

I do not do , nor suggest knife fights.

July 14, 2008, 07:15 PM

I have deliberately not carried a firearm at times, just to remind myself that my brain was the real defensive tool, not the weapon.

At the same time, none of y'all need to emulate sm and his rusty razor blade just for the hell of it. (And I'd suggest a wrench before a razor anyway.)

Just sayin'.


July 14, 2008, 07:31 PM
Basically, I told him as "tacticaled out" as he is, there's no excuse for a 50-ish man with some balance issues (stroke in 04) not carrying a useful cane, aka a 3 foot whomping stick.
Yep. Best everyday SD weapon you can have short of a gun. Unoffensive to the "P.C." crowd, and has the length to keep an attacker at a distance. If I weren't so young I'd probably carry one. Just don't want to get confused for a pimp :D (anyone see that episode of Seinfeld?). If I were in my fifties or better, I'd have one. I'd still carry a practical knife for utilitarian purposes, but not for SD. Some of those knotty shillelaghs (spelling?) are very nice.


July 14, 2008, 07:48 PM
I'm 37 and I often take a nice piece of irish blackthorn on my walks with the pups.

A good stick has the advantage of being lethal or nonlethal, depending on how you use it.

Plus it's very good for defensive warding.

July 14, 2008, 08:02 PM
Peter Egan, the great motorcycle writer once wrote an article about "Some place you should not be" his point was being in a ditch after taking a turn too fast is some place you should not be but your there because decision you made prior to that were wrong. I guess my point is situational awareness, analysis of your surroundings can keep you out of trouble a good portion of the time. As for knife fighting- not for me- got lucky once, cut the face - dont ever want to do it again. but i was able to stop the threat and get to a better weapon. Gun, impact weapon (my cane), keys on a chain, some thing that will get me disengaged quickly is my goal
just my .02

July 14, 2008, 08:30 PM
I do agree that the arteries, lungs, major organs and the tendons are the primary attack points with a knife. BUT they are also a lot harder to get to when you are not training properly and not looking for a knife "fight". These spots tend to be well protected and small targets where you will need to A)parry an attack b) create an opening to attack and c) effectively damage that area. All of this takes training.

In the specific conditions you are refering to though, I would certainly go with a straight, deep, and quick stab into the face then abdomen. The face to stun and the abdomen to damage. Stay away from the slashing unless you get some training. Untrained slashes wont do much damage other than superficial wounds for the most part. Even a perfectly placed weak slash to the neck may not be fatal.

Again, this is only for the situation you are describing for someone who doesnt want to knife fight. But someone who has a knife as a last resort who has 0 training and must defend themselves.


July 14, 2008, 08:59 PM
Thanks for the helpful responses.

As I said, I was just curious. When I say I'm not looking to learn how to knife fight, I do actually mean it. I don't even carry a lock knife! It may be hard to believe but yes, I am actually just curious :rolleyes:

July 14, 2008, 10:16 PM
generally speaking you need to get the hell out of there asap... if you do need to make a cut or two to do that. the arm that has the knife is generally the best target... any of the arms major muscle/ tendon areas are perfect. a Good cut will disable an arm to the point where it can no longer attack.

There are 3 things that can happen in a knife fight, 2 of them are bad.

July 14, 2008, 10:19 PM
Two major popular schools of thought are to destroy the limbs or cause the attacker to collapse due to loss of blood pressure. Both of these schools of thought use close in cutting/slashing/ripping. These are base heavily on Indonesian/Philippines knife techniques from Silat, Kali and other styles.

A third school based on western blade combat focuses on the thrust.

All require training and skill.

A fourth "school" is the prison knife style. Simple rush in and pump your opponent with the blade making as many holes as possible as fast as possible. Focus on pumping the blade up under the ribs to reach the heart, lungs, liver and major arteries, into the throat and eyes and into the kidneys. No finesse there.

July 14, 2008, 11:06 PM
Well, I listed both of those first two, but I saw the limb attack used in a longer distance style...

July 14, 2008, 11:12 PM
Pointy end goes into other man.

That's about the extent of my knife training- I don't carry a knife as a weapon. I would use one in self-defense, only if need be, and with that simple philosophy in mind.

Dr. Tad Hussein Winslow
July 15, 2008, 12:23 AM
Many of my clients are actually more of a danger to themselves.

Sorry, I don't believe that for a second. I've never had any formal training in knives, and I know the difference between stabbing myself and stabbing my attacker. You slice, dice and stab for the vitals of the mongrel intent on hurting you, if need be. It's not rocket surgery.

Pointy end goes into other man.

Well said; thank you! :)

The Highlander
July 15, 2008, 12:27 AM
The way you fight to defend yourself varies greatly depending on the kind of weapon(s) your threat(s) are using.

Your stance and grip may also vary depending on the weapon you are carrying. If you have a small folder you aren't going to be stabbing as much as slashing. Because of this you will probably want to go for a clenched fist with the thumb running down the tang. However if you have a decent guard/grip with a longer blade, you may want to go for a hit grip, with your fist completely wrapped around the blade. (blade up, not down) This will assist in stabbing.

The main thing really is to keep cool and think. Be sure to use both hands.

As for targets, the jugular and carotid in the neck are both solid choices. The rib cage guards the heart, so try to hit a different area. The solar plexus (base of the rib cage) is a solid target to aim for with an upward thrust. Also as previously stated the tendons make for great targets as well.

July 15, 2008, 12:36 AM
A fourth "school" is the prison knife style. Simple rush in and pump your opponent with the blade making as many holes as possible as fast as possible. Focus on pumping the blade up under the ribs to reach the heart, lungs, liver and major arteries, into the throat and eyes and into the kidneys. No finesse there.

This is how I was mentored as wee brat to use a screwdriver and continued to be as I became older.
Yes, the tool was a screwdriver, though adaptable to scissors and other tools.
Mentors included Cops, Ex Cons, Military and some other interesting folks.
Folks that had been on other countries with very strict regulations about folks having guns, knives and the like.

'Offensive' lessons these were called though they were "defensive lessons".
i.e. a young girl has had advances made by a dad, stepdad or uncle, especially when drunk and beating up on mom.

Some of these males took away knives from ladies, and only let them have a knife when it was time to cook them something to eat.
Just like the ladies had no money, except to get beer, liquor and groceries.

I am going w-a-y back with this, keep in mind I am over age 50.

So in order to be defensive, one had to think like a criminal and be "offensive"

Don't look like prey - think like a criminal.

Mods cut me a bit of slack if you will, as I know there are some abused and battered folks lurking here for answers on THR.

Here are some "offensive" lessons, proven, that assist in being "defensive".

-Look at the human anatomy and physiology.
Caratoid artery, femoral artery, and other arteries and veins.
Muscle, tendons and the like too.

-To save "liquor money" at the grocery store cutting out coupons help.
Drunk/stoned abusive males do not always think about anything but themselves and one does a nice pair of scissors. Even a kid's pair to help mom cut coupons has one pointy blade.
It is "normal" to have such scissors "handy"

-Sewing at home means the drunk has control over you, and again scissors are needed.
A kid assists and learns sewing and can stay busy cutting patches for that quilt they can sell for "more liquor and dope money".

-Getting some more "liquor money" by going over to deliver some dresses made , or to get a fitting and bring back the work, means carrying scissors, and of course the kid goes along as the male does not want them around -
but these gals do have to be back home by a certain time or get the crap beat out of them.

-The broom stick in the window sill to keep someone from breaking in, like a drunk buddy wanting to hurt the male , or even cops or anyone else coming to get them, is a "stick", stick beats knife, and is a normal item.

One has to iron clothes and everyone knows a abusive drunk never misses a day of work.
They arrive dressed nice in ironed clothes.
Those dresses and all being made have to be ironed too.

So the offensive tip, is it is normal for a ironing board to be out, with a iron.

Abuse starts, toss that hot iron, and it is a normal reaction to catch something and being drunk and/or high, means reaction and judgment is impaired.
Burned hands do not make good fists to beat a lady and the urges of a fella toward that younger daughter, are no longer a first priority.
Then use the ironing board to keep distance and evade.

Just some of the offensive lessons, for defensive uses that were passed onto folks , including kids.

Still knives were not suggested or promoted as defensive tools.
That said, pocket knives and The Christy [tm] knife was shown how to use properly.

Ex Cons taught Cops, Military, and the Cops and Military had lessons to pass on as well.
Dead serious when I share a Ex Con would show a kid and mom how to wait for a bus, get on on, ride and exit and travel to destination and not look like prey.
I mean the Ex Con, or one of the others, would access someone and then point out the times they could have been shived, and purse snatched or worse.
Flip roles and the lady , kid, whomever, would pretend to be the criminal and how and when they could take down the Ex Con or whomever was assisting in lessons.

Keep in mind, some of these folks I call Mentors worked in restrictive countries, and Police /Military might shoot you at a check point.
The small caliber , small handgun , or J frame, one got in a dead drop, and dead dropped off before crossing a checkpoint or if Police/Military were coming around to roust folks.
Very small pen knives were valued.
The real tools were the brain and reading signals, and other things.
Along with too many "improvised" and "expedient" tools. These improvised and expedient tools differ.

Internet was not around back then, nor was 911 or known gun schools, and other things.
Evil has always been around, folks survived, and knives for fighting, were not encouraged.
We did not know it by ADEE, but essentially that is what was taught.
Problem 2 has always existed, so one offensively thought before hand, about consequences when evil, such as that male came into a little girls room in the middle of the night.

Cops saw the coupons and patches for a quilt, along with the blood, and the scissors with blood.

Judge said, the little girl did what any prudent little girl would do when a bigger male, did what he did, and she had to fight to keep from happening that was happening.

19 cent pair of scissors to the attacker, that was her stepdad.

The mom could not help, she had been beaten unconscious, and left in the workshop outside.

Evil comes in all flavors.

There is former Bond Daddy that does not wish me good health or a long life.
He is sporting a Rolex President, paid cash for the Benz and the BMW.
He was from good stock, as was his wife.
Just he got a bit caught up with bling bling and Cocaine.
I mean he got in deep.
No big deal, he has a good looking wife, so let her pay off the dudes with being a sex toy.
Hey, he has "blow" and them young gals are easy to take to a hotel with coke, and flashing bling.

There she was, never suspecting a thing, and "company" is going to drop by about some Bond business.
She was doing a nice dinner, as clients meant money!

She committed suicide some years later, she fought, just outnumbered.

Go buy those Fantasy knives to fight Zombies one on one if you want.

Reality is Real.

July 15, 2008, 08:21 AM
I think the best way to defend yourself with a knife [for actual defense] is to possibly use a fish knife. The ones you use to pull out the intestines.

NOTE: i'm to tired to read the whole topic. atm

July 15, 2008, 10:25 AM
A fourth "school" is the prison knife style. Simple rush in and pump your opponent with the blade making as many holes as possible as fast as possible. Focus on pumping the blade up under the ribs to reach the heart, lungs, liver and major arteries, into the throat and eyes and into the kidneys. No finesse there.

That's the one I've seen the most and it seems to work pretty well.

It's straight forward, brutal and effective.

Then again there aren't alot of people trained in Escrima and Kali stabbing others over petty arguments.

The Tourist
July 15, 2008, 12:15 PM
"Many of my clients are actually more of a danger to themselves." Sorry, I don't believe that for a second.

Sorry guy. Accidental kitchen knife cuts that require stitiches are the most common ER visits of edged tools. The biggest concern here is that these wounds usually include the human hand.

With its many veins, arteries, tendons and bones, our local Dean Clinic now has a special department that deals only with hands and wrists. I know, I've been a patient there.

Whenever this subject comes up, most people assume the cuts come from a tradionally depicted fights like in "The West Side Story." In fact, those are pretty rare.

What is actually treated at ERs is knife attacks. These are situations where the victim is stalked for robbery or assault and the perpetrator chooses a knife for a weapon.

I have also heard two theories on defense with a knife, and I'm not sure I believe totally in either one.

The first is the belief that a knife should be held furtively, as against the thigh or behide the back. If the aggressor presses his attack, the knife is the last thing he sees in life.

The second theory is to just let him see it. I don't believe in the "ups the ante" criticism. The aggressor has already made his intentions known. Your overall concern is not to kill him, but to stop him or wound him so badly he cannot chase you as you withdraw.

Here are the problems. If you hide the knife and the simply kill the guy, how does this look to law enforcement? And trust me, a guy sliced to death is going to cause an investigation. And if one witness testifies "the knife came out of nowhere" you now have to explain your action.

In the second scenario, the perp sees the knife. Now the witness can testify you made no effort to withdraw. In effect, you actively and deliberately participated in a death.

My advice? Stay off the railroad tracks. We all know where these idiots gather. Don't go there. Liquor is cheaper and the music is the same by simply avoiding honky-tonks. You like fellowship and goofing off?

Well, every city has a bike-night or a custom car gathering. In some areas there are "lowrider" events expressly for families. I'm going to organize a run up to the new Harley Museum in Milwaukee. My Grandfather worked for Harley.

Your city is the same way. Check the newspapers.

BTW, yes, I carry an EDC. I've used the current one untold times. None of the events were for knife fighting, and the knife will probably corrode to rust before that ever happens.

Fred Fuller
July 15, 2008, 01:18 PM
My objective is to never have to use a knife in self defense.

I hope to be aware enough to avoid trouble. I know enough to understand that hope is a poor game plan. So I have trained to use a knife if necessary, and I always have a single purpose defensive folding knife (usually two) on my person. I want a knife easily available on both the strong side or support side. I want 'em sharp and easy to open. And I hope I never have to use 'em for that.

But, as Southnarc puts it, 'sometimes your awareness fails.' If that ever happens to me, I may need a knife easily available as a 'get offa me' tool. Distance is your friend, when you carry a gun. Even when you don't...

Anyone who thinks they may not get cut on their own blade in a serious all-on scuffle, needs to get on the mats for a while and see what happens.


July 15, 2008, 02:07 PM
Don't think you need training? Don't think you'll cut yourself using a knife in self defense? HA!

Get a rubber practice knife and coat the edge with lipstick and then you and a buddy aggressively play around a little. Count the "cuts" on your off hand and torso.

Without training, even solo training, you can be a threat to yourself with a knife. Don't think that you can just whip this thing out and flail away without some practice.

July 15, 2008, 02:15 PM
Before I started training at 22, I managed to stab myself in the wrist and in the back of the thigh. Ow...:scrutiny:

July 15, 2008, 02:28 PM
Call me a noob but taking a basic anatomy class in college taught me boatloads of valuable defensive knife strategy.

Brian Dale
July 15, 2008, 02:44 PM
...taking a basic anatomy class in college taught me boatloads of valuable defensive knife strategy.Yeah, I taught a human anatomy lab course to undergraduates once. It's applying such knowledge that's fraught with peril. The weapon that I've always used is my car: be somewhere else when the fight starts.

"When awareness fails," though...I'll be very afraid.

July 15, 2008, 03:28 PM
Again I'll say it, a knife fight is someplace you dont want to be. 40 plus years of being a medic, emt, and an RN has taught me plenty of anatomy, taken all kinds a martial arts,been in some nasty brawls, in the end I want to be someplace else when the brown stuff hits the blades. I am not afraid to fight but if I can avoid it, or do something to cause quick disengagement I have won

July 15, 2008, 04:10 PM
As someone said before, my reaction to the question is "the pointy end goes in the other man".

I have used a medium stockman to defend myself one time. Guy was going to mess me over, for what I can't remember, put my hand in my pocket and asked him if he had a knife. "NO, do you?" he asked. "Yes." He left. Couldn't have been happier.

Karate teacher showed us how to put a small lockback to work. Said, "Use a stick, or run, if you can. You don't want to be in a knife fight." Then showed us how to use one if we had to -- basically, you know where the blood runs and breath goes, cut it. Practice manipulating it so you don't cut yourself. Break contact and run as soon as you can.

One of ours was getting in her car in the parking garage after work, and all the doors unlocked when she pushed the button. Guy got in the other side with a knife and told her she was his and she was going to drive where he told her and do what he said when they got there.

She didn't pull her knife. She busted his nose, just smashed it flat, blood spurted, he crumpled over holding it, and she ran. Just a beginner, but she used one of the first punches she ever learned.

Use your brain. Whatever tool you have, is good, but the brain is first.

The Tourist
July 16, 2008, 01:42 AM
There is another segment to this debate that I think we may have been tiptoeing around, and that is the "knife" itself. We're trying to be very adult.

To anyone who has ever worked in an ER or scanned the pictures of knife wounds at it is clear that there is something grizzly about knife cuts. Some people don't even like to handle knives, in a similar manner as spiders and snakes. There's "something" about being cut.

I make no secret about my age, but I don't get hassled much. I'm certainly no match for young turks on a level playing field.

But even if you can easily win and blacken my eyes or break my nose (for the third time) there is that little voice in your head that wonders about months of rehab and sliced tendons. Or that pretty face of yours that will never look the same again. Yikes, is smacking a knife sharpener worth all of that pain?

Why? Why do we secretly fear a slice more than being shot?

While I am a consumer of the psychiatric sciences, I am no expert. I just know the concept and the idea exist. One afternoon I was transfering a sheathed Razel out of a pair of pants stored in my truck. Due to sheer clumsiness, the Razel slipped out of the sheath and for a nano-second the knife bobbled before I could gain control.

I was afraid, in fact, very afraid. Not knowing where the edge was going flip, I almost jumped away and let the knife clatter to the ground. And I know the foolishness of my actions. A knife once slipped out of my hand while sharpening and I grabbed for the handle--and missed...

In a very real sense I believe broadcasting that idea keeps me safe. To call my bluff means painful skin grafts, and fights that will never happen.

For one moment here, imagine yourself getting a severe knife slash. And you *know* that feeling of a blade cutting.

July 16, 2008, 02:46 AM
All these threads make me want to do is carry an extra mag of ammo and my cane. I ain't gettin' in no knife fight! My attacker may think he is, but he'll find it's a gun fight soon enough. I carry 3 knives much of the time and NONE are for defense. What are my expectations? To not get in a knife fight and walk away by any means available.

Carl Levitian
July 16, 2008, 03:47 AM
My objective is not ever to get into a knife fight. Since I don't carry anything but a small slip joint pocket knife like a Victorinox bantam, it's unlikly I would think of a folding knife as a weapon.

Funny, but even when I was a young G.I full of vinigar, and me and my buds from my squad were out for fun in the bars, I never carried a knife for defence. If we were going to a bad part of town in our young and dumb stage, a spare handle for a large ball peen hammer went inside our waist band with the smaller end down. Made a good short billie club and was lightweight. There were also pool ques, bar stools, beer pitchers, beer bottles, fire extingquishers, ash trays, chair rungs, and the common screw driver in a pants pocket. The idea of a knife fight scares me too much, I'd rather take just about any action than that, including running like hell. And I recall one night doing just that. It worked good too.

No, I've always loved a nice sharp little pocket knife for a cutting tool, but not a weapon. Too many other tools around for that role. Sm is right, stick beats knife anyday. I remember a class we had in the army on makeshift weapons if we were ever taken POW. No knives, but it's surprising what damage can be done with a suport rung kicked out of a chair, a piece of broken off mop or broom handle, or even the bottom part of a crutch taken out. Drilled us in the thinking that the thing in the hand is the tool, the weapon is the thing between the ears.

July 16, 2008, 03:51 AM
the thing in the hand is the tool, the weapon is the thing between the ears

This can never be said enough.

July 16, 2008, 08:13 AM
As I said, I don't actually want to learn how to 'knife fight'. I'm just interested as to what you're trying to achieve when you employ a knife in self-defence (obviously, to neutralise the threat, but what are you aiming to do in order to achieve that?).
Study or take a refresher on human anatomy. Vital organs like the heart, liver, kidneys, largest blood vessels, major vessels near the surface, ligaments vital to standing - the legs - and arms. In other words, target areas for stabs and slashes.

Basically, you want your assailant to be oblivious to the fact that you even have a knife at all until it is stuck into his chest or otherwise employed. Rarely is it going to be wise to use it as a threat or other "fending" action.

July 16, 2008, 09:41 AM
I always carry a knife.

ive done some Martial Arts when younger
and all rules that apply to a unarmed fight
apply - when u have a knife.

If the fight is unavoidable, there is no
reason to intimidate the BG, play weak,
hide knife in hand - strike/slash/stab
in unexpected moment.

i consider it a last resort - to defend myself
from harm, and to prevent Aggressors harming
innocent victims.

when you draw a knife, you have to be determined
to win, even if that means the death of the attacker.
...same as in a regular unarmed fight IMHO.

(Read SUN TZU.)

The Tourist
July 16, 2008, 11:56 AM
stick beats knife anyday

Send me a knife.

However, I'm not surprised at your comment. In fact, I often question why it doesn't surface sooner.

For example, how many times has there been a justified police shooting to a felon who pulls a knife? Pretty common stuff, it must happen hundreds of times in various jurisdictions.

But an equal cry will go up, "Why did they shoot him, it was only a knife!"

There are simply too many variables. If one of my MA clients was confronted by a drunken townie brandishing a .25 ACP Raven, it would be the townie in jeopardy, not my client.

In that scenario, it's "gun vs. knife," and the gun loses.

In fact, within contact distances--even near contact distances--I'd rather have a sharp tanto. I'd tell the responding EMS personnel to bring laundry basket and a scoop.

Fighting is a serious business as you know. There are millions of knives, tens of millions of MA experts and an increasing number of tinkers' apprentices.

July 16, 2008, 12:32 PM
My belief is that karambits are more hat than cattle,

What a great turn of phrase that is. I assure you that I will be using that at some point.

If I had to get into a knife fight, which would be bad because like the OP I know virtually nothing about knife fighting and am not particularly interested in learning, I guess my main goal would be slashes to the hands and face. Failing that, the groin. I would add that I would also be trying real, real hard to kick the knee. It doesn't matter how big and strong you are, if you get your kneecap blown backwards, you aren't going to be able to give chase.

Thinking about it, this explains to a certain degree why I have never been worried when I carry a small knife, which I occasionally do. For slashing, the small knife is going to be able to do a fair degree of damage. Certain small knives, like the Boker Subclaw (which I own, lol), seem to me like they would be particularly effective in this role.

In any event, I really don't want to get into a knife fight.

The Tourist
July 16, 2008, 12:54 PM
I know virtually nothing about knife fighting

If I could, I'd like my participation here to change that.

For example, even a dedicated revolver collector here at THR knows the basic differences between a 1911 and a Smith 639. And he could probably load and unload them with the proper ammunition and disassemble them for cleaning.

However, let's say you're my enemy and we tangle in a tavern. For the purposes of debate, I pull a razor sharp Razel. Your post leads me to point out many things.

You might not even know what a Razel is.

You might not know simple defense moves.

You might not know "defanging" MA techniques to get the knife from me.

In a very real sense, you will be maimed, sent to the ER, and if I manage to slice your femoral artery, you will die.

How many times have you seen an expensive red Corvette with the top down, looked over and saw an automatic transmission knob?

Upon seeing it, what did you think?

Well, I wonder the same thing about untrained youngsters and knives.

July 16, 2008, 02:23 PM
I can see your points, and I don't disagree with them, though I do know what a Razel is :neener:

Let me clarify that when I said I wasn't particularly interested in learning about knife fighting, what I should have said is that I am not so interested in making it a major point of study, mostly because chances are pretty darn slim that I will ever need anything more than a few basic techniques, if even those. I am interested in martial arts in general though my few classes of Arnis a decade ago and one class of Krav Maga that left me as tired as I have ever been have been my only foray into that world. I actually got so worn out during that Krav Maga class that I hurled, which was a first.

July 16, 2008, 02:28 PM
I'm no expert on blades, but it seems to me that the old rule applies. Hands are what kill, so stop the hands. If you can slice the tendons that ought to work.

July 16, 2008, 02:33 PM
You know, thinking about it, if I'm ever in a knife fight I'm probably just going to be flailing around slashing at everything like a little girl on fire.

I've alway been a proponet of the premise that panicing never helped any situation. However, in a knife fight, if just might. ;)


July 16, 2008, 02:43 PM
My Role.

Is to pass forward as passed to me. Not only did I promise Mentors & Elders, I promised myself I would.

Don't ask me about a lot of knives, guns, sticks, martial art forms or anything else, as I am not ashamed to admit I do not know.

Ask Jeff White, Mas Ayoob, Lee Lapin, Mrs. Lapin, Preacherman, Larry Ashcraft, Smoke-Rizen, hso, Will Fennel springmom ...etc., if I did not say :

If I ever show up to learn something from you, I am showing up with a willing attitude, pencil, paper and will have to start below the first rung of the ladder.

Don't toss me a AR, I have not handled, much less shot one in years. Don't ask me the last time I cleaned a deer, it has been too long, and if memory serves I used a Hen & Rooster Trapper to do so whenever it was I did.

My role is the correct basic fundamentals.
I get folks started, and suggest they go see others.
Yes, I have shared lessons with some skill sets I know, and have experiences with, still I will suggest someone go see Will Fennell, Awerbuck, Givens, Ayoob, SouthNarc, or whomever .

I do my thing, and then these folks go see other.
They show up to see Mr. Tom Givens, after I have started them out, with a Model 10.
Maybe Awerbuck with a 1100 in 20.

Not once, never, has an instructor ever made fun of the person that showed up with the equipment they showed up with.
Givens and his staff did not make fun of the police trade in Model 10 and holster a lady had from the used holster bin.
She had been through a living hell, survived, and then I earned her trust to help her.
She got equipment that fit her, after trying a number of guns and holsters.
Private donations for her to take a Givens class.
She shared why she was there, and why she showed up with the little equipment she had, and Givens and his staff understood and assisted her.
They went over and beyond in assisting her.

My role focuses a lot on the "A" of ADEE.

Ask Preacherman, whom is , hell words cannot express what he is, still he read me, as I read signals and we needed to leave an area, quickly and safely.
I read signals, people, places and things. An enemy showed up, and I picked them up early, and Preacherman did not have to ask, but read me and "I got your six, you take lead, and we are good to go".
We were in my vehicle.

I choose to deal with battered and abused ladies and kids. Add, physically limited and elderly.
Ask El Tejon about one situation I called him on advice, and suggestions with a young lady, with a baby, and a abusive boyfriend, with friends running dope.

I got that lady and baby, up to speed, with a Single Shot Shotgun and Model 10.
She was under age 21, so she could not legally carry concealed, still around her home she could.

Boyfriend was wanting to hurt her "permanently" and the baby too.
She had no idea the laptop hidden in the trunk of her car, by him, was a listing of dope related business matters.
No idea he had stashed cocaine in her home.

Give me 10 min and I get a gal up to speed with a single shot, give me 20 minutes more and they can use a Model 10.

It does not matter one iota what make, model gauge, caliber, or anything.
Folks just need to know "right now" how to use a tool.
It does not matter the name, make or model of locks used to change out locks, hell all she knew was "that blue car, is gassed up, here is the key, it is a automatic trans and while we distract, you haul butt and one of our folks will be with you.

Re: Defensive use of knife.

Kershaw Leek, shoved into door frame to slow down someone prying to get to the lock, after I /we changed locks.
I busted that blade on purpose and hammered it in. A Buck 110 was busted, for the bedroom door.
Just break a blade, hammer it in, to assist with slowing down with other things like wedges to keep that gal and baby safe.

Don't ask me the make or model of Baby Monitor, but there is a old trick with these, and she could hear what was outside her door, without giving herself away at the peephole.

I think one of the gals gave her a SAK knife of some kind, to assist with having something to deal with baby stuff, and a SAK Classic for scissors, to cut thread if she needed to sew something, like a button.

The gun, the boy friend had left for her, which was stolen, had had the firing pin filed down, so the gun would not fire.
My guess, a set up, so if the gal was in fear of life and pointed that gun at the boy friend, or his buddies, in a courtroom with some razzle dazzle the boy friend/ buddies, would be cleared ( or lesser charges) for shooting back and killing her.

Revolvers , with hammers, are preferred by a lot of gals, that are in fear of a gun being disabled by an abusive party.

Make of note of that, I go back personally over 4 decades with this concern by those that have a legit fear of being hurt or worse.
With a revolver, with a hammer, they can "see" the hammer mounted firing pin.

These gals and others, could care less about the make, model caliber, gauge, or brand of knife or car.
The car is blue, the knife is red, the yellow shells go into the shotgun this way, the stuff for the gun that go in that way and ...

How did I know a buddy of this boyfriend was stalking?
He was not a smoker.
He did not have "smoker mannerisms", I picked him up a good 40 steps away and "Oh heck! I forgot something, we have to head back".

By this time, this gal had quit questioning me on some of what I do, she carrying the baby, turned around and we left, to buy baby food, diapers and all elsewhere.

They had two folks at a store waiting for her to show up. Later I found out, they had been around for about 5 hours, waiting for her.

Re: Beer Bottles.

The worst "cutting" I ever saw in the OR was from a 40 oz beer bottle.
These youths thought a car was that of a rival gang member.
Youths fired as the fellow got out of his car, and he yelled for her to leave!
She slid behind the wheel and took off to call for help.

This guy gets hit with a load of 00 buck, trying to get to cover then takes a hit from a .40 cal.

He broke the beer bottle he found, correctly. Holding the bottom, he busted the neck.
When the youth came to finish him off, he went in fast and hard!
Blood everywhere, and youth number two took off!

Victim survived the 00 buck and .40 cal hit.
Youth had to have over 300 stitches, plus staples, along with a amputation.
Victim was under age 21, but his uncle was a Marine, and thank goodness had passed onto this nephew some street savvy.

My role is summed up pretty good by:

Focus on the target - not the equipment - Will Fennell

You get a person, especially a mom, in fear of her child's life, and she will use the dullest K Mart special knife to defend her and kids.
She will use a spoon, a spatula, flower vase, picture on the wall, Hi-Chair, portable telephone, lamp...

Tom Givens is correct -Wear the damn gun!

I have folks 17 years old, that a parent sometimes has to work until 11 pm.
They wear a damn gun in the house.

They and parents have ADEE instilled. Locks, lights and other measures, including communications, with passwords and codewords.

When that 17 year old is out and about, they might have a $10 drug store cane.
"I stepped off the porch funny"
"I cut my ankle shaving my legs"

They can "say" if out with mom , parent, grandparent at 9pm at the grocery store, or wherever.

We have folks that cannot wear a gun, have a knife, that have to carry on in activities of daily living (ADLs).

I cannot carry a knife, nail clippers , much less a gun, in a Courthouse, and I have to get from parking area to courthouse and back.
Kids go to school.
Parents work in restrictive buildings, and campuses.

Knives have to be under 3" closed length, non-locking, non one hand opening.
Right here in the good old USA, we have restrictions, like they do in the UK.

My role, and that of others, is to not focus on physical objects to stay safe.
That said, we do share the difference in "improvised" and "expedient" tools to stay safe.

I busted off a car antenna, leaving a NPE (non protective environment) to defend myself against multiple youths, with guns and knives.

Though I was armed in another setting, I evaded, with guns being fired and pointed at me, from the hood of my truck.

Another time, I evaded after shots fired and I was scooting and moving throwing anything I could get my hands on from napkin dispensers, pitchers of beer, drink glasses, and heading toward a exit.

Problem 2 is real. Folks make fun of El Tejon, still Problem 2 is real.

Oh it sounded pretty good in the beginning when a person used a base ball bat to defend.
The nails hammered into the damn bat sure did not set well with the jury.

Now when the gal used a rear view mirror, to defend herself, that was acceptable to a jury.
The criminal was a ex boyfriend that had a key to her car, and was hidden int the back seat.
If he could not have her, nobody was going to haver her.
She worked in a NPE.
His first deal, was to wait for her to leave the work setting, less folks, and witnesses.
Then he popped up, arm around her neck and sliced her breast with a Buck 110.
He wanted to disfigure her before he raped and killed her.

She fought like a wildcat, and she suffered numerous cuts, but she got an eye with the rear-view mirror she ripped off the windshield.
Mirror broke, and she cut his fore head and with his eye and all that blood, she left her vehicle, running and ran.

She screwed up, she missed a number of "signals".
She survived, and plastic surgery fixed her up.

19 years old, working in a NPE and the only thing she could have for a knife was SAK Classic or similar.

OP asked about defensive use of knives and is in the UK.
I am fed up with folks making fun of our folks in the UK and elsewhere.
We have the same restrictions in the USA.

We continue to fight for rights, including knives, but knives are not the holy grail , nor are they the evil Tyranny makes them out to be.

Hell, I carried a loaded gun concealed when I was 8 years old.
I even took it to school for Show-n-Tell with a Mentor sharing about it with me.

We kids could take knives to school.

Kids cannot take knives to school, or even draw a picture of a gun now.

Not everyone can carry a "weapon" be it a knife or gun.

Run what you brung. First thing you "brung" was your mindset, and ability to think.
Now what else do you have?

Got a patch cord? Great. Grab both ends drop a stapler onto it and swing that puppy as hard as you can.

You were in fear in that upstairs room where the servers are, and someone came in and expressed verbal intent and had a knife against company policy.
So you hit them, and ran out.

The goal is go home at night, with all your parts intact.

July 16, 2008, 03:12 PM
I will say this, and I don't speak of this often, do not expect to cause someone to stop fighting because of a knife wound. I've been cut twice, once a thrust to the sternum in which the blade actually snapped off, the other, 3 stabs to the abdomen. Both times I was unaware of the wounds until after the fight. I love sharp pointy things, but the thought of having to use one for self defence is scary indeed.

July 16, 2008, 03:15 PM
I was taught that, once the blade made contact, to keep cutting and not stop. I've seen people worked over by my style of knife fighting who have cuts originating at their right kidney, going over their left shoulder, and terminating at their left knee.

Keep that edge in contact and keep going.

The Tourist
July 16, 2008, 05:22 PM
I do have to go with sm on the academic aspects of this topic.

To save as many of the THR members as we can, we should be getting professional information out to them to save their lives.

In a very real sense, there's only one big difference between a knife fight and a knife attack. If you're lucky enough or skilled enough to stop the attack you are now in a knife fight.

To my way of thinking, we need professional info to blunt those attacks.

July 16, 2008, 05:55 PM

With all due respect, I've cut and I've been cut.

I've clubbed and I've been clubbed.

Unless I'm in a small room, I'll take my Louisville Slugger or a 15" Crescent wrench over a knife. It stops things now.

A man immediately stops all anti-social behavior right after receiving a broken forearm or collar bone. There is no waiting period.


July 16, 2008, 08:23 PM
To save as many of the THR members as we can, we should be getting professional information out to them to save their lives.

I am just a dumb southern boy , that has never attended any kind of formal training facility.
So what I share plus $8 might get one a cup of Fru-Fru coffee.

-Mindset, paying attention, and raw gut will to survive, is what folks should be focusing on instead of some of the physical items they pay money for.

-Do not telegraph anything, other than you are paying attention.

You start doing some funky move, and the street thug, knows exactly what you are doing before you finish and he/she owns you.

-These "gangs" ain't all droopy britches, with .380 in a Nine with a Chinese Knock off knife.
Oh no.
Some of these "gangs" dress in dress casual, wear .40 cal Glocks, carry Benchmades and when a gun fight erupts, it looks like a damn IDPA/ISPC match , complete with using cover to reload and the mag changes are fast and smooth.

Folks stand next to them in a diner, department store, or anywhere, and never even know that person is a criminal.
That criminal knows you have a Glock 26 at appendix carry and the knife on left pocket is a Benchmade and the one on the left is a Emerson.

They own you, just you got lucky as they had other targets, better targets, with bigger pay offs than you .

You think just because you have a gun, two knives and 6 people with you, going to the Mini-Van in a parking lot, you are safe?
That nice looking gal or guy dressed like they are in IT, with a cane will have your feet out from under you in a heartbeat, and they can draw and get the first shot on target in less than 1.2 seconds.

1.2 seconds because the Internet gun forums "say" 1.5.

Now they have your van, from that parking lot, and your guns as you just left a shooting range, facility.

-Give me a 50 year old Biker with a baseball bat, or Buck 110 he/she scraped gaskets with, and is dull to watch my six.

-That 70 year old man with a well worn Case pocket knife, and Colt Detective Special in his pocket.
He will use his drug store cane, and transition.

-Folks want to be TEEM SEEL, or RangerRick.

Hey, these folks can have and do get any damn thing they want.
Guns,ammo, knives, whetstones, fancy sharpeners, and all sorts of gear.

They dump parts of various guns into a box, shake 'em up, and then sort 'em out to put back and do so in a hurry.

Same folks will be in areas and Blending In. They are not using the fancy guns, or knives.
They have trained to use the local guns, like a single shot shotgun, and to use the local knife.

They may do what the set out to do, and in leaving, drop guns and gear into rivers, lakes, wherever as where they are going they can have nothing.

When they arrive someplace, they get the first stick, and cheesy knife they can get, to blend in and have.

They blend in, and they do not advertise TEEM SEEL or RangerRick.

-Gals, find a UC cop working a street deal with the homeless.

No makeup, don't take a bath, leave the nice gun and knife at home, and get some clothes from the Thrift Store, and do some yard work to get nice and sweaty, being as it is summer, and it hot and humid.

Tip with caveat: get a fake "pregnant tummy" under your clothes, sometimes it means you get a little extra food at the Rescue Mission.

It also means, since you are pregnant , you can't get pregnant, and you might be targeted for rape.
Or, be one targeted for a "doll" and you can trade sex for wine, smokes, dope, gift certs for McDonald's, etc.

Oh yeah baby, you want to see how savvy the streets are, get on the streets.

-Guys, don't shave, and you too get nice and sweaty working in the yard with Thrift Store clothes.
Leave the $2000 custom guns and $300 knives at home.

Tip: Learn how to hand roll a cigarette, and have some papers and tobacco, and matches. Not new, not full, just about half, to share and "get in the loop".
Half a pint of cheap booze is not a bad idea, and get a couple of $5 Gift Certs from McDonalds.

Pay attention and listen to you UC, and I do mean pay attention.

Can you stand at a intersection with a sign begging for money?
How about the "pregnant" gal with you , to really pull heart strings of motorists?

I've done it.
I have been on the streets for up to 2 weeks, living in cardboard boxes, getting a shower in a Rescue Mission, sleeping under a bridge up high....hopped a train, to head to next town and back again.

Some I did for staying safe, defensive reasons if you will.
Other times, for Sociology reasons.
It was about reading people, places and things.
That black man was not a hobo, he had a PhD in Sociology and I wanted to learn from him, some things.

Me and mine could have taken down 4 gals in a diner one night.
All 4 had on gun logo gear, and vests of some type.
Advertising like crazy about "gun".
Keys to the mini van left on the table, and they all went to the bathroom.

Hell, if I and mine had been crooks, wanting to arm rob the joint, we would have shot all 4 of them first in the corner , as we come into the door.

Now I am with UC cops, one a rookie, learning. We looked like disgruntled war Vets.

Now I placed my screwdriver under that bathroom door, meaning these four with guns and knives could not exit.
Seasoned Cop, snagged the key, and went out to the van, made a note of name, address, of the owner of the van.

He came back in, I removed screwdriver and later...
We informed this hot shot gal that was "the gift to women and guns" what we did.

We knew her, and she was flat dangerous, and actually got some gals hurt with her instructing.
She had about 3 years total experience with firearms.

She said I and mine could never take her, or surprise her.
I am 6', with a mustache, and she was "looking" for a guy.
Rain and dark are great friends of mine.
Wearing a ladies raincoat, and umbrella, I used lipstick to slit her throat.

She likes pink and purple, so I used a pink and purple dog leash.
Just slipped over her head, and cinched up, so her arms could not move, slit , took her purse, and ran.

My folks watching and she just stood there with red lipstick across her throat.
She could not reach her "guns" or "knives" (training ones).

These street thugs, are not all dumb.
Some are better trained than those that take training classes.
Crooks do not care about "laws" or "regulations", and they know the law better than many law abiding.

YOU say the thug had a weapon and being in fear, drew and fired.
In the excitement that screwdriver he/she went for, got lost, like he /she threw it in a gutter, a dumpster, the bed of a pickup truck going by, or wherever.

Problem 2.
You drew a knife, or gun and used it to defend.
Where is the weapon the thug was supposed to have?

They know the law better than you do.
IF this happens in a no weapon zone, you are screwed blue and tattooed.
You had a knife in a no weapon area, and dressed as you are is not going to look good, to first responders.

"Hey officer, man I don't know what the lady/fella was thinking, I was just minding my business and she/he knifed me..."

..."no man, I did not have a weapon, my radiator hose is leaking and the screwdriver I used to tighten it, maybe they freaked when I asked if they had some extra anti-freeze or something..."

First Responders are going to see what they see, and hear first what they hear first.

I have been in a courtroom, and trust me, the person in trouble cringed when the weapon and the picture of how they were dressed was tossed on the table.
Dressed in casuals, but the night of the deal they were not.
That stuff on the table, knife, gun, and other stuff sure did raise some eyebrows.

An attorney will ask umpteen times "anything I need to know" and you had better tell the attorney.
For an attorney will cringe seeing them pictures of how dressed and the stuff on the table too.

What am I going to do about it?

Do what I have been for decades, sharing what I know from experiences and observations, and then suggesting folks get to the next level for what they need.

I am over 50 years old, and I know about battered ladies, abused kids, elderly, and physically limited.
We did not have fancy training places, guns, or knives.

WE had evil, and we dealt with folks staying safe from evil.

Folks want "professional input" - go sit in a courtroom . Pay attention and learn.

That courtroom will educate one about what is going on, how it is being done, and the legal aspects for their jurisdictions.

You will not have a gun , knife, nail clippers or anything in that courthouse.
Pay attention as to how law abiding , family and friends of criminals, carry themselves.
The playing field is leveled for you, as the metal detectors and subject to search at the entrance entering the courthouse will do so.

Where else are you going to get the latest updates on what is going on in your area, and how it went down the results in a leveled playing field setting?

So you have a neat knife and gun.
If evil wants them and you, he already owns them, just a matter if it is your turn to be taken down.

The keys told me what kind of car that fella had, the knife clipped to pocket had me watch hands and he is left handed, so I looked while he bent down.
He has a gun on hip

His mother, looks to be about 65 years old and was sitting in the car, with the A/C on.

1. One could take that lady down and steal that car.
2. Get the license and registration and know where this guy lives , as he had a vanity plate that screams "guns"
3. All sorts of options with this guy, I mean use his mom to force him to open a safe full of guns...

Don't look like prey - think like a criminal.

The Tourist
July 16, 2008, 08:26 PM
Tourist...With all due respect

During my most *ahem* social period, I was more in the haunts of saloons and beer tents. Most people had the implements they would have carried normally in their pockets, and Wisconsin has never had the CCW privilege.

In this setting, any aggression was aimed more at your group than at you personally. In fact, I think the townies actually counted noses before they decided if they were collectively brave enough to do anything.

A townie entering our bar with a bat would have been crushed under a wave of patches before the thing got out of hand. But it never happened.

If I had to characterize those years, I would say "fun," not "fear."

July 16, 2008, 10:15 PM
Heh heh...which is why I carry a 15" crescent wrench in my saddlebags.

I'm more of a...4%er these days. Old, tired and re-tired, but I made it.

Glad you did, Bro.


The Tourist
July 17, 2008, 12:38 AM

I am retired from my "adult" job, but now own a little business. It allows me to sleep late, hit the gym late, eat lunch late...

I am an inactive member of a local non-franchising club. My active years were 1969 through 1974. I was never an office holder, but I was the club's official jokester and skirt-catcher. I believe some of my records still stand.

I see the guys irregularly. We just buried another two weeks ago. The good news is that we our having our 40th Anniversary in a few weeks.

This is my current bike, "Black Betty." She's a cammed 95-inch 2004 Dyna Glide with a CVO front end and a 21-inch front wheel. She has a slight bit of chrome, and she has been known to take an on-ramp in a spirited fashion.

July 17, 2008, 06:56 AM
Biker and Tourist,
My chapter allows us old guys, to be awarded an ELDER patch, the council of elders, settles disputes, mentors probies, and such. Have to act like a 0 % er But the old rules still apply "when in doubt knock em out", take care of business, and a 15 inch wrench is a good solution, as is a bar stool or what ever else is handy, get creative.

July 17, 2008, 10:16 AM

Tourist, BikerDoc, this is my Baby. Built her mostly myself. 1949 bottom, '75 top. Bored, stroked, cammed...I even customized my crescent wrench with skateboard tape - to keep it from slippin' due to airborne body fluids doncha know.:evil:

The consummate tacticool crescent wrench.


July 17, 2008, 10:37 AM
all you folks reading this who don't want to read SM's posts because they're too long or you don't like the writing style: go back and read them.

I ride too. I'm just not a biker. More of a motorcyclist. But, I ride whether it rain or shine, 15 or 115F.

Nice bikes.
I keep an extra kubotan in my jacket and a Gerber multitool.

The Tourist
July 17, 2008, 11:49 AM
Bikerdoc, we have a similar office for older members. After ten years you get a set of rockers in a different color. You are a "Patriarch," and you have the same duties as in your club.

Biker, yikes, you look like the twin brother of the best man at my wedding! It even looks like you built a similar bike! If that truck behind you is your 250 or 350, you have good taste. My truck is a 1997 F-150. It's my "office."

Now that I know you guys are out there, I also know you'll come to my aid when I'm being trounced in a debate...

July 17, 2008, 12:35 PM
Nice bikes.

The Tourist
July 17, 2008, 12:43 PM
Nice bikes

The one issue about being an old biker is the debate about "road bling." And I am one of the worst. You have no idea how much it cost to do my handlebars.

July 17, 2008, 12:51 PM
I know I'm encouraging thread drift, but doesn't chrome add strength and increase visibility? Considering how likely bikers are to get hit by cars, this sounds like a good idea, to me.


The Tourist
July 17, 2008, 01:10 PM
Knife related information: I think knives are an ill choice for SD, but in some confines, better than harsh language.

increase visibility

Yes, it does increase visibility.

Any biker babe knows the cost of things for a Harley. A guy who pays +1,300 bucks to bling his handlebars is broke or he has used up large chunks of his credit card.

Thus, he has no money to party, buy drinks and take a lady to dinner, and she can see that.

Increased visibility.

July 17, 2008, 01:46 PM
biker, tourist, wheelgunner,
got your six in a flame war. nobody verbally trounces a brother.
thread related - carry a old= but pristine- schrade LB7 on the handlebar of black heritage softtail
also have a custom of sorts a honda ace 750, black, that has been lowered, and aped. fun project as i got it cheap
raked, jetted, straightpiped, corbin seat and chromed to within a inch of my budget, old lady rides a purple bagger with lots of fufu pinstipping. the most obnoxious pipes i have ever heard, and a real snakeskin tank bib. Her handle bar sport a no name folding hunter. but her favorite trick is
was to hit you with a bottle or chair. More mellow now that we are older

July 17, 2008, 01:49 PM
You're a wise Man with a fine Ol' Lady, Tourist.

Wish I could afford your chrome.

I always have a knife with me, but I much prefer using it for whittlin' - which I'm not much good at either. Sure can make a pile of wood chips though.


July 17, 2008, 01:51 PM
Mellow is good these days BikerDoc.

I got a 4th degree black belt in mellow.


July 17, 2008, 02:02 PM
Screw the knives.

I wanna Harley.

I also want a 125cc "yammer-jammer" (Suzki dirt bike).
These things are downright obnoxious, unless one is riding one.

In a work I am familiar with, bikes are very useful tool for defense.

Bikes can go where a land yacht cannot, meaning one can leave on a Harley and never be picked up as the criminal element were thinking that person would leave in a sedan.

Yammer Jammer will distract the hell out of criminal elements, and other innocent bystanders when being a decoy.
[Forget the minor detail about these not being street legal, I was being a decoy].

Trust me, folks will watch you, and not what is really going on, and the people and mdse that needs to ease out, safe and sound , can do so.

While a deaf blue hair in a Buick may not see or hear a Harley, they can sure "notice" a yammer jammer.

Some folks just need irritatin'

I recommend one be really good with left hand, and I have had excellent results wearing both weak side a gun and fixed blade - and - shoulder holster under strong side, with a gun and fixed blade.
Meaning I carried two guns, and two knives.
I always thought Jackass[tm] shoulder holsters and bikes just sounded like they were made for each other.

Bike knife for me: Custom fixed blade, 3" blade made of 01, and Rosewood handles.

Small Skinner by Valkman will give one an idea how these were made.

Oh , one has to have a Harley, left-handed screw driver and crescent wrench.

A person might have to throttle while screwing and wrenching...

The Tourist
July 17, 2008, 02:08 PM
Knife related information: I do not carry a knife of any type solely for SD.

Wish I could afford your chrome.

I wish I could afford the chrome on Betty.

She was built in "installments." The bigger engine was done before delivery simply because they had a winter sale, labor included.

The little bar and pad were done one Sunday after a "suggestion" from my wife.

The handlebar bling was done one winter when I foolishly didn't ask for the cost.

The CVO front end, cams, lifters and pushrods were done this past winter. The engine was broken in enough to let the tuner push full throttle on the dynamometer using my racer tuner. Betty accelerates like a scalded cat.

So why didn't I buy a CVO? Several reasons. This is my bike, it should look like my bike. Second, there are parts of a CVO I don't like, I didn't put those parts on. Third, I wanted the "grunt" where I needed it, not some R/D department's opinion.

Finally, even with the bling, I saved between five and six thousand dollars over a complete CVO Dyna.

More for knives (and stories with knife content) here on THR.

July 17, 2008, 07:38 PM
I just got back home from looking at bikes when I found out my wife was cooking this....
Needless to say I ain't got that bike yet.

(John, who can't remember what the original post was:confused:)

Green Lantern
July 17, 2008, 08:05 PM
[A Cane is the] Best everyday SD weapon you can have short of a gun. Unoffensive to the "P.C." crowd, and has the length to keep an attacker at a distance. If I weren't so young I'd probably carry one. Just don't want to get confused for a pimp (anyone see that episode of Seinfeld?). If I were in my fifties or better, I'd have one.

I'm only 26, but of late have suffered some SERIOUS pain in the ball of my right foot.

Apparently my feet don't appreciate the past 9 years where I've spent 40+ hours a week standing on a hard surface at work...;)

Hopefully I'll get it licked with proper footwear and judicious use of NSAIDs, but the above post will offer me a measure of comfort, "don't think problem think opportunity" if it don't! ;)

My dad wanted a S&W pocketknife from BudK and I ordered their white wax wood walking cane at the same time. Eh...I'm about 6 feet tall and I think I need something a little longer than about 41 inches (for use AS a cane). Either that or my technique is no good. ;)

Anyhow, besides giving me a bum foot, my job also won't let me CCW. They "technically" ban all weapons but several of us openly carry pocketknives as we have legitimate use for them as tools in the course of work.

Currently have a CRKT M16 with the 'flipper' - love it!

One advantage I can see with this knife would be the option of using it closed as an "impact tool," namely aiming to hit with the flipper stud. I bet that would smart...

Anyway, with no guns, I figure if a robbery were to go sour I would try to control the BGs gun and use my knife (if I were the one he accosted and was able to get close enough)...

I was planning to go for the face or neck. The lungs SOUND like a good target, but I figure the ribs would get in the way. Then again, I hadn't thought about getting to the lungs via the abdomen...:what:

(Which I guess helps illustrate the idea that even when you've firmly decided to SHOOT someone to defend your own life or those of loved ones, the notion of carving up someone until he stops trying to kill you is NOT something fun to think about).

Then again, maybe trying to shred something important on the wrist of the hand holding the weapon might be a better idea (provided the BG isn't wearing leather or something)...

I also carry OC at work, but unless I KNEW I'd have some "backup" I don't think I'd want to substitute it for the knife if I was at contact distance. I've not had the guts to spray myself directly, but what small doses I HAVE had of it has been...VERY unpleasant...

Anyhow, good topic *goes back to read more*

July 17, 2008, 08:22 PM
think cane with distance and inpact

July 17, 2008, 08:29 PM
In my nightstand are two weapons.

One a Glock 22, should 15 rounds fail to stop the BG...

The US Navy Mk3 Mod 0 dive knife will. Held with the butt end at the thumb, and the blade facing forward, two things occur.

The butt will break a jaw or cranium, a stunning or killing blow. The knife edge forward will cut on it's way by. It's not going to be easy, it will definately be messy. And once a BG is down, well, then you have some time to consider things.

Knife fighting is up close and personal, it requires an active involvement, you must train and practice and determine your limitations

July 17, 2008, 08:59 PM
Too bad I didn't know you in the mid 90's.

I worked at a plating company, and could have helped you out decking out your bike(s).

Oh yeah, lots of chrome. Essentially, chrome is just another finish to nickel. First, an item would be nickel finished. Chrome is an addition to nickel, basically a finishing touch. It would have a silvery appearance, as opposed to a more yellowish look, if not chromed.

Later, my friend!


July 17, 2008, 09:15 PM
On topic, I'd have to say that I'm more likely to use the prison style, myself.
I've heard too many stories from ex-cons and seen too much footage to not use it, if it works for that situation.
Otherwise, I'd go for a near instantly fatal strike with whatever blade I had. I'd opt out of bleeding and opt in for CNS shock.
I am, however, looking forward to taking some seminars from Brownie so I can up my knowledge base. I'm sure I don't know anything about it when it comes down to it. I've been cut, but never cut anyone.

We might have started the first virtual M/C club. The High Roaders. :p :)

I carry my 357 on my left side when I'm riding. I'm not really eager to start blasting at someone who's giving me trouble, but the bike I'm riding at the moment isn't exactly a powerhouse or a great handler. So, I can't just zip away anymore.

I do have an acquaintance who duct tapes rocks to the frame of his superglide and actually throws them at people who give him trouble. :scrutiny:

July 17, 2008, 09:37 PM
Virtual m/c I'm in Bottom rocker could say CYBERSPACE Hows that for claiming territory!:D
Ride with a guy mamed Drool- yes he does:barf:who puts lug nuts and ball bearings in his vest to launch at errant cagers:cuss:
On topic his sis:evil:sy bar is a detachable fantasy knife

The Tourist
July 17, 2008, 09:42 PM
We might have started the first virtual M/C club.

Ouch. I got into trouble one time over this very thing. There actually is a cyber cycle club.

July 18, 2008, 04:35 AM
:banghead:What would you do if you didn't have a knife? Well, do that, but with a knife in your hand. Anything is better than nothing, and while a "knife fight" sounds undesireable, a knife can definitely turn the tide of a "fight". At the very least a knife can be a pressure weapon, just like a car key. If someone without a weapon gets in close to you, just one or more random stabs in their torso could easily turn the tide into your favor. While pulling a knife on a possible attacker would probably NEVER be a good idea, it sure can be nice to have. The best possible idea is to cut them, then run the eff away! That's the point, right?

July 18, 2008, 08:12 AM
The most effective knife for SD is a sword. ;)

I imagine that the single best way to use a knife in SD is to literally tear the attacker into pieces using the knife as a tool to help you achieve that aim, but having said that who can honestly say that they are capable of being violent enough whilst using a knife for SD?

I am starting to think that the single biggest reason knives are generally not the best for SD is because of what one would actually have to do with the thing to get it's full potential.

Which probably explains how come they are so effective for murder.

Not really a very nice thing to think about really.

The Tourist
July 18, 2008, 11:24 AM
Which probably explains how come they are so effective for murder.

Many times when we debate 'Knife fights' we are actually referring to "knife attacks." Those are two very differing incidents.

You could be attacked and never have known it was coming.

Then again, James Keating and Jerry Vancook teach knife fighting.

I must admit, I'm sort of in a third category. For lack of a better explanation, let's call it a "preemptive tool."

My formative years of young adulthood were spent on a college campus in flames and in a bike club. You would be amazed at how alert you become when there is a very real chance everyone could be dangerous.

You watch everyone's hands, you sit with your back to the wall. Even at a campus' McDonalds.

But I have no training in edged fighting. To give myself a chance, I would often muse how I should react if fighting began. How would I make the best use of the only weapon I had.

Because of TV champion poker we call decisive nuances "tells." Is a hinkie guy predominately left or right handed. Does he have a long coat or an inappropriate package. Have I seen him before.

(Did you know that in every serious SDS riot the same student with bright, long red hair was always in the front of the mob, egging everyone on.)

Was this important? I believe it was. I got caught with my guard down once. I was on State Street with another biker friend and we noticed things getting tense. But we stayed out of curiosity and "to finish our beers."

Instantly a large European style water cannon "strafed" State Street with the strongest, dense tear gas I have ever seen. Students blocks away later complained that this gas seeped into their closed up apartment buildings.

I saw the signs. I sat on my butt. I paid the price. However, it did change my perspective.

July 18, 2008, 02:04 PM
Honestly I don't think I would attempt to use a knife for SD. If it comes to that we're talking very up close and personel. I have no training with a knife, no experience. With my bare hands I have no training, but I have, shall we say, previous knowledge. I think a knife would actually be more of a hinderance, tying up one hand that I need to use.

The Tourist
July 18, 2008, 02:07 PM
I use my hands for work, as well. However, I live in The Peoples' Republik of Wisconsin. No CCW provision.

I may cut my hand in a fight, but I'm not much good as tinker if I'm dead.

July 18, 2008, 02:29 PM
using it closed as an "impact tool,"

Yup. You don't have to use the flipper, either. A piece of aluminum (your handle) will work just fine.

Tourist is right. Generally, there are few fights, just knifings. The best time to use a knife is when you've somehow been taking by surprise, and the BG is literally on top of you- and can't see your blade coming.

In general, as the defender, distance is your friend.


July 23, 2008, 11:06 AM
I'd go for a near instantly fatal strike with whatever blade I had.

No such thing. Nothing is 100%.

Medical Miracles
Mike lived after being stabbed with a knife in his skull.
Largest Object Removed
The largest object to be removed from the human skull was a 20.32 cm (8 inch) survival knife from the head of 41 year-old Michael Hill. In April of 1998, Michael answered the door to his friend's place and had a knife plunged into his skull. He then walked down the street to another friend's house. Four hours later the knife was removed. Michael didn't even have an infection and was well enough to leave the hospital a week later. Since his close brush with death, Michael's memory isn't the same and he needs medication to prevent seizures.

The Tourist
July 23, 2008, 11:13 AM
...if we believe that the only concept of winning is the death of the aggressor...

My intention is to simply slice the wrist on the hand that has grabbed me.

If he wants to press another attack 'unarmed' with only one hand against a stronger man with two good arms and a knife, so be it.

Now, here's a dirty little secret. Sometimes amongst knowledgeable hunters they remark, "Know the characteristics of your prey."

After all of these decades, I still can't figure out drunken townies. Considering my state's lack of a CCW provision, about the only thing I can assume is that I will standing between my wife and safety against a besotted man with only my knife. I'm just going to make that tool razor sharp.

July 23, 2008, 11:35 AM
if we believe that the only concept of winning is the death of the aggressor

This is something that was hammered home to me many times in training, and more while studying military history.

In fact, despite the many fictional exploits attributed to them, the nin in ninja indicates one who endures humiliation. In other words, losing face could be a win, if you get to go home, or get to get your family home safely.

I could even see telling an aggressor "There's no way I could beat you in a fight. I'm just not worth it, so why don't you let me go."

If he feels that he's won, and I get to leave safely and without any legal trouble, I've won, too.

Now, whether this might be a good strategy might depend on whether I lived or had to work in the area in dispute. If I have to go there every day, I'd have to carefully evaluate such a statement. If this is just some insecure type needing to feel masculine/capable, maybe this could be used. OTOH, if I think I will then be subject to continual abuse, this would not be a win.


July 23, 2008, 02:00 PM
Well said, John - the "continual abuse" part. There's a time and place for everything.


The Tourist
July 23, 2008, 02:11 PM
This is why I used the idea of an "aggressor" and being with my wife.

And as Biker said, there is a time and place.

If you would divide my life in half, you would find more adrenaline on the first half of my life than on the second.

That does not signify a change to pacifism or a lack of the necessary experience. I simply have learned that only fools rush in.

Oh, and my knives are of better quality and sharper now.:D

July 23, 2008, 02:20 PM
To add to the "time and place" perspective, I don't get in fights, but I've defended myself 3 times on the street. First and last left people injured and in need of medical care. The second ended with no one hurt. While I was set to break his wrist and elbow, my inspired words calmed my attacker (large drunk weightlifter sort who'd grabbed me by the throat late one night while I was visiting NYC). Not every situation requires the use of nuclear weapons.

July 23, 2008, 05:44 PM
...if we believe that the only concept of winning is the death of the aggressor...

....and we're back to the "stopping power vs. killing power" debate argued time and again in the firearms sections......

Maybe we'd better define what we mean by "self-defense" here......

The Tourist
July 23, 2008, 06:21 PM
Maybe we'd better define what we mean by "self-defense" here......

I would simply mean it to be "the defense of one's self."

For example, I could use an early 20th century Howdah pistol and blow your atoms clean into the next decade.

Or I could inform you that my cousin Alan is in the mafia and you would run screaming into the night.

In both cases I have "defended one's self," but your body (for the moment) is in two distinctly differing states of being.

However, unless I missed a memo, the use of force for defense has never demanded a life be taken. It has always meant the cessation of the attack.

The problem included in that debate is that many of the best options for stopping an aggressive attack end in the attacker's death.

July 23, 2008, 06:44 PM
Knife fight I agree is a loaded term. Even when multiple knives are involved its usaully a group affair or as stated an ATTACK where someone got there own blade into play as well.

OBJECTIVE, Get me and mine home alive, no matter what.

Be first and fastest in all things, commit fully and compleatly winning and surviving, be it killing,need it be dying, to using foot jitsu or nike foo and running like a a multiple felon from the cops.

distance, angles, objects, enviroment, superiour mindset, superiour skills, the will to win and LIVE above all things

"But I have no training in edged fighting. To give myself a chance, I would often muse how I should react if fighting began. How would I make the best use of the only weapon I had."

Some relative minded people, some rubber knives coated in bright red lipstick, even soft tipped dark colored high lighters, white sweats, white t.

Learned alot from that when my friends and I were younger, I found.

One lesson was that aginst someone else with a "blade", trying there damndest as well to "kill" you that is commited and not a total noob.

"one goes to the mourge, one goes to the ER" as the saying goes

This became apperant when group scenarios were applied to trying to disarm someone. One guy could cut and stick two of three guys pretty good if he was fas before they could do much unarmed.

The third often recieved no wounds or relativley superficial ones if he pressed hard into action after the intitial surge of "violence".

Just some of my rambling thoughts

July 24, 2008, 12:11 AM
Interesting thoughts, thanks.

Does the Ken in your name refer to fist, sword, or a name?


July 24, 2008, 12:23 AM
My objective would be the same as if I had a gun.

Bury the blade in vital points as deep as possible until the attacker is on the ground and not moving. (4mb)
That is a PDF of some good simple knife fighting and defense techniques. A word of caution though, this was written 20 years ago so some of the things he mentions are a bit outdated. The martial arts stuff for example was before many of the more effective martial arts styles gained popularity in America.
The knife techniques are good and solid though.

July 24, 2008, 03:45 AM
its my name

July 24, 2008, 04:16 AM

Smoky Mtn. Knife Works (

The Ka-Bar TDI is IMHO the best defensive platform for a knife you can get. It was designed for an officer to carry behind his duty belt/on his pants belt for weak side carry. If someone tries to grab your weapon you can fend them off with this.

On-the-Street ($34777)

So my objective would be "fire and maneuver" the relationship between space and time; get space between me and my attacker so I can

1. Re-engage effectively to stop the threat. :evil:

2. Retreat to diminish the threat. :cuss:

3. Having stopped the threat - call for aid. :fire:

July 24, 2008, 04:20 AM
dont much like it myself but apples and oranges right?? ^

July 24, 2008, 09:27 AM
Yeah, the TDI is another weapon designed so even those without training can use it intuitively. Cost effective, too.

The small version ( is even less obvious and expensive...

The Tourist
July 24, 2008, 10:45 AM
In a little over an hour, I will be sitting in a theater watching "The Dark Knight."

In a very real sense, this touches on all of our worst scenarios and our minimalist tendencies.

First, Wisconsin has no CCW provision. That means nothing to the bad guys. In a packed multi-plex showing the top movies, you know there's a perp with a gun in there somewhere.

I'll be with my wife and SIL. The things I might do in a saloon I might not attempt now. I may have to settle for serious defense instead of an offensive move I so dearly want to end the danger quickly. And even then--knowing letting an idiot attack--could I quickly herd the women into a necessary safer distance in a screaming crowd?

And lastly is 'myself' and my own admitted compromises. Do I really want to sit so +2 hours of coming attractions, features, egress and tight seating with a full sized Razel jammed smack into my thigh?

How would you like those conditions for "objectives"?

July 24, 2008, 01:55 PM

Just take your BatBelt . . . no, wait, you're the Tinker . . . damn . . . that would make it . . . the TinkerBelt.




Never mind.


Brian Dale
July 24, 2008, 02:15 PM

That had to smart a bit. :D

July 24, 2008, 03:34 PM
Just take your BatBelt . . . no, wait, you're the Tinker . . . damn . . . that would make it . . . the TinkerBelt.

If attacked, use your Magic Pixie Dust and fly away..... :D

The Tourist
July 24, 2008, 10:00 PM
LOL, I just found that after spending a wonderful afternoon away from you guys. I'm sorry I didn't think of the idea before.

If I could figure out a way to cash in on that idea without incurring the wrath of Disney attornies, I'd market the idea, myself.

Just remember what Liberace said, "I cry all of the way to the bank."

Thanks for the free idea, guys. I'll call you from the Bahamas after my first franchise check.

Edit: BTW, this new Joker is a bigger knife freak than I am.

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