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Defensive knives

Discussion in 'Non-Firearm Weapons' started by bikerdoc, Oct 23, 2013.

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  1. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    A recent thread I closed was supposed to be a discussion on defensive knives, especially small ones.

    A knife is not an ideal defense weapon yet I have seen serious injuries and even death when they are use. Both sides get cut in a knife fight.
    Why do I carry one?
    It is another tool, just like my side arm, my cane, and the modicum of martial arts training I have had.
    These layers make feel that I can handle any problem I cannot avoid, and avoidance is my goal at my age and in my condition.
    I have seen knife wounds in the ER and as a jail nurse, some resulted in death. I was the first officer on scene when a drunk kid attacked his disabled dad, and dad used an old buck to hit his carotid - he was no billed by a grand jury. I have a scar on my left hand from a perp with a knife when I was a cop, he met Mr Baton.
    So if ADEE fails and you have to deploy a knife get some training.
    Better yet sharpen your situation awareness.
     
  2. rbernie
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    rbernie Member

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    I think that the closed thread seemed to suffer from a lack of direction, at least to me.

    It started out reading as a question about the viability of using a small knife for defense ("What's the thinking behind using a short blade for self defense?") and subsequently veered back and forth between those that feel it has a place in a SD role and those that want to exclusively discount the idea of using a small blade for defense so as to focus on more capable or more dramatic options. But the question wasn't posed as 'what is best for bladed SD'; it was posed as 'are small knives potentially useful'.

    And, of course, the answer is 'Yes,they are'. They are useful from the standpoint that they are easy to conceal and easy to carry and therefore likely to be at hand when needed, whereas larger options may not be immediately at hand due to environmental factors.

    I dunno crap about fighting in general, much less fighting with a knife. But it does seem reasonable to assert that small knives have a place in the SD continuum.....
     
  3. glistam

    glistam Member

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    Agreed. While there are limitations, they do have a place and can work in certain circumstances. Circumstances can include those were firearms and many other weapons are prohibited. I wrote this this thread (with pics) a while back specifically on sub-2.5" folders: http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=683640
     
  4. readyeddy

    readyeddy Member

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    I just read the other thread. The OP wanted to know if anyone knew of an example where a knife was successfully used in a defensive situation.

    I remember a news story years back about a fisherman who used his bait knife in self defense when he was attacked at night. The fisherman was shore casting at Ala Moana Beach Park, and some trouble makers tried to make him a victim. The fisherman was successful in protecting himself, I think one of the perps may have died, and the fisherman was not charged with any crime where the prosecuting attorney determined it to be justifiable self defense.
     
  5. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    I've read of people using knives as small as a Spyderco Ladybug to defend themselves successfully. A young woman was attacked while coming out of a local mall several Christmases ago. Grabbed from behind and being dragged towards a van with her bags she opened the Ladybug on her keys and stabbed the guy in the thigh and twisted. He let her go and "ran" off. She flagged down a mall cop who called for the Sheriff and they found the guy with a lovely wound in his thigh.

    If a Ladybug can be used successfully, knives with 2 or 3 inch blades can as well.
     
    Last edited: Oct 23, 2013
  6. glistam

    glistam Member

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    I know quite a few RL examples actually. In all these cases the person with the knife was not prosecuted or they were but were acquitted after a very short trial.

    One forum member here told the story of his wife being grabbed from behind while leaving a late night meeting. Cut his arm open with retractable utility knife. He let go and ran off, and was arrested later at an ER trying to say he accidentally hurt himself.

    Another was a news story I read was a bartender who was assaulted by a drunk patron. He was knocked on his back and the patron was on top trying to strangle him, at which point he pulled out a swiss army knife and stabbed him in the throat, which ultimately proved fatal.

    Note these last two cases had unarmed attackers, yet it was still justifiable force.

    Third one was a rare case of knife-on-knife, and happened in Canada which makes it all the more interesting given the nation's negative view of defensive knives. Two men got into an argument late at night outside an convenience store. One man was clearly an assailant in this case because he waited for the other outside specifically with the intention of confronting him, and was hiding a opened folder on one hand. During the argument, the assailant initiated an attack with his knife but the defender shoved him backwards, buying himself just enough time to pull out his own folder and open it. The ensuing struggle resulted in dozens of stab wounds in both men, with the assailant being killed and the defender in the ICU. The defender was charged with murder 2 but acquitted by reason of self-defense.

    As you can see, there is ample evidence a small knife can be used in SD in the right circumstances.
     
  7. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Thanks Glisam.
    Good insight and it reinforces the mindset, skillset, toolset that comes into play when ADEE is no longer an option.
     
  8. Sentryau2

    Sentryau2 Member

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    If its not long enough to hit vitals, I dont want it and wont carry it with the intent of using it for self defense. Id rather have a thick stick or large rock then a tiny knife. 3 1/2inch blade minimum. Reason being, if I have to pull out a knife there is a 95% chance someone is going to die. If I have to pull out a knife it means all other options have failed and they are intent on killing or badly hurting me or someone very dear to me.

    Edit-

    Serrated knives and knives with a blade that had multiple curves are more likely to cause someone to bleed out (especially if you twist) because it does not allow the wound to close like a normal stab wound would.
     
  9. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Where do you get that? Since I know a lot of LE and EMT and emergency room folks I've never heard anything like that quoted. Plenty of people being cut and patched up, but not anywhere have I heard anyone claim that 95% of the time a knife is used do people die.

    A female acquaintance of mine used a large knife (seax) to defend herself when attacked in Atlanta. The cops wouldn't let her keep the ear and attached portion of scalp she hacked off the first guy as a trophy won in battle (bloodthirsty little SCA member). My wife carries a Spyderco clipped inside her bra, just in case.
     
  10. Sentryau2

    Sentryau2 Member

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    Because I've exhausted all other means of escape or self defense. Yelling, running, improvised object. If its at the point I have to draw a weapon I'm already hurt and they are determined. Knives are like firearms, always aim center mass.
     
  11. dayhiker

    dayhiker Member

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    No they are not like firearms and you do not need to hit center mass. A deep slice to a major muscle or joint might just give you the break you need to get out of dodge.
     
  12. Bix

    Bix Member

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    I posted links to news accounts of six different defensive knife uses - from just my particular area in the last couple years - in Post #71 of the other thread. :) Several of them were against unarmed attackers. It happens in real life regularly.

    One of the frustrating things about studying defensive knife use is that we don't really have any sort of current generally-accepted material that describes knife wounding mechanics withing the defensive context (I'm familiar with the Fairbairn work). In the handgun world, we've got all the FBI / IWBA material; and that makes getting your head around that stuff so much easier.

    Janich provides a nice overview of concepts in this article:

    http://www.personaldefensenetwork.com/knife-stopping-power/

    I'd also recommend Greg Ellifritz of TDI for this stuff. He's got an interesting take on blade stopping power.

    Another place where the defensive blade really shines is in an entanglement problem. The Shivworks guys have been preaching this for a long time. A knife - especially a small fixed blade carried near the centerline - is a tremendously effective tool in a standing or grounded grapple. Particularly when combined with some wrestling / bjj / muay thai skillsets. This has proven true for me in training with noncompliant partners.
     
  13. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    That makes the use of a knife a rather one-trick pony...whereas a knife can be so much more versatile without exposing yourself to a much danger.

    While a firearm has the advantage of range and penetration through intervening parts of the body, knives don't usually share these. It make more sense to work the edge to disarm or disable your attacker, so that you can make your escape.

    If your attacker is disarmed because he can no longer grasp his weapon or he can no longer pursue or even stand, it isn't reasonable to then strike a fatal blow to the center mass. You'd suffer the same legal liabilities as a shooter firing a coup de grace shot
     
  14. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    The stats I saw while in college:
    12% of people shot die as a result
    2% of people stabbed or cut die as a result


    John
     
  15. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Hmmm.... I've seen similar figures in a PM textbook but I think they were suicide inclusive.
     
  16. hso

    hso Moderator Staff Member

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    Sentryau2,

    Making up numbers that you can't provide citations for discredits your position in any environment.

    Making statements like the center mass one does the same.

    I'm going to save us all some time and just come out and say you don't know enough about this topic and defensive/offensive knife use in general and you need to read the threads here and learn more by reading on the internet about Fencing, Silat, Andalusian Navaja, and Kali. Even better would be if you actually took the training so critical in truly understanding what is and isn't real. In all the uses of a knife, even European, cuts to the arms and hands are taught to reduce the threat from your attacker by disabling their guard or weapon hand/arm. If needed, that can lead to much easier thrusts or cuts to the body/neck that can incapacitate or kill. Even some thrusts and cuts to the upper arm can incapacitate or kill. While I've studied fencing, kali, Chinese Tai Chi sword, as well as training with an FMA practitioner that was a max block corrections officer who incorporated prison techniques with Chinese and kali elements they all included disabling/incapacitating attacks on the hands and arms as well as body/neck attacks.
     
    Last edited: Oct 24, 2013
  17. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Keep it on track people. I dont have the patience or kindness of the other guys.
     
  18. JN01

    JN01 Member

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  19. Sentryau2

    Sentryau2 Member

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    Due to my other post being deleted I'll keep this one short and simple. To stop a determined attacker and end the encounter as soon as possible we know it is critical to shut down the Central nervous system or the heart. Another option is to cause them to bleed out. Disembowlment, jugular, up the inside of the thigh, (dont know the name for this one, someone help me out?), large liver wound. The very large arteries cause someone to bleed out in 20-30 seconds. Few places in the extremities will cause someone to bleed out that quickly, figure 45-120seconds You can hit tendons and large muscle groups to slow down an attacker but I believe in some states maiming someone can carry a longer sentence then murder (I'm not a lawyer, use google) not to mention taking more time to do successfully all the while you can be bleeding out or his friends can be on their way over.

    Different situations, no two scenarios are the same.

    A few questions in what I was taught are order of importance. What does the attacker want. What is he prepared to do to get it. Is he under the influence of any substance. Can you run away. Is there something you can use to put distance in between you and your attacker. Does he have back up. What is he armed with.
     
  20. Sam Cade

    Sam Cade Member

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    Sentryau2, I deleted your previous post to keep this thread from being derailed by dog-pile refutation of the inanities contained therein.

    Since you have decided to reiterate, I'm going to let it stand and release the hounds.
    :uhoh:

    The line starts behind me.

    Well, no. In order to stop an assault, you must remove the ability of the attacker to leverage force against you. The purpose of this thread is to discuss the tools and techniques for doing this in an efficacious manner.

    Do you have any input based on training or experience?
     
  21. 9mmepiphany

    9mmepiphany Moderator

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    Well, I guess we're now in a free fire zone

    You seem to be confused or just misunderstand defensive use of a small blade....also the unban CQB qualities. Perhaps you're trying to apply firearm tactics to an edged weapon. It is likely a product of the experiences you've been exposed to.

    There is a huge difference between stopping and attack and killing your aggressor. Knowing the difference is critical in a multitude of ways

    This is generally incorrect if you are talking about legal exposure. I think the term you are referring to is "mayhem"
     
  22. JShirley

    JShirley Administrator Staff Member

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    "Critical"? No.

    ASAP= attacking the weapon/delivery system, NOT "shut(ting) down the Central nervous system". That seems ridiculously obvious to me, but we see YMMV, depending on intelligence and experience. You obviously have none of at least one of those. I'm going to hope and believe it's experience.

    John
     
  23. MICHAEL T

    MICHAEL T Member

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    My folding pocket knife has a 6"blade have carried for nearly 30 years . All over America. NYC included . If I have to use a knife I want my large knife That extra reach reduces my chance of getting cut and makes a more damaging wound . Sorry I don't like 3 ' blades
    I prefer a fix blade knife over a folder But some cops get up set a site of a large sheath knife. in big cities. Don't pay attention to folder clipped to pocket
    Was a trucker and you almost never find you delivery in a nice part of town or in day light hours. Just the opening was good enough in Newark NJ to back off some people looking for trouble. .
     
  24. bikerdoc

    bikerdoc Moderator Staff Member

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    Blood lust, chest thumping, and rambo syndrome aside, The main reason to deploy any weapon is to STOP the attack.
    No matter the tool, if you cant avoid it, the goal is to stop being in fear of bodily harm.
    Training and experience along with practice, and thinking will give you the skill set, to employ the tool set, provided you have the mind set.
     
  25. Sentryau2

    Sentryau2 Member

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    I personally have no blood lust, I dont even like verbal altercations. Bath salts and meth are both highly prominent in my small southern town of 2000. I live out in the middle of no where so I dont have to worry about it, atleast at home. I've seen plenty of things that defy logic as to what people should be able to do. I would rather be mauled by a bear or pack of dogs then face an angry meth head. Every situation is different.

    We know we can cripple someone with a knife but cutting a tendon will almost always have permanent crippling effects. It may not go that far, but what if it does. Criminal sentence? Civil suit?
    Doesn't this fall into the whole shooting to wound kinda thing?

    Just to kind of give you an idea. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4ah_0gia4A0
    Stoping that without killing your attacker is going to prove nothing short of a miracle.

    This is a really wonderful place, http://www.nononsenseselfdefense.com/knifelies.html

    A few pieces from one of the articles that I love.

    "Shortly before his death, I was sitting at the NRA convention in Phoenix with Col. Rex Applegate, the father of American military knife work. We were discussing the fad of "knife fighting" that we, as old timers in the subject, were both amused and bemused with. He summed up the problem with what was being promoted as knife work as "They're teaching dueling." By this he meant standing there toe-to-toe, with the same weapons and trying to kill each other like civilized gentlemen."

    Personally one of the things that I really respect the Dog Brothers for doing is experimenting with mismatched weapon contests. *That* is a reality. You pull a knife and he gets a club. You pull a club and he pulls a gun. There is no fighting involved, you use the superior weapon to disable your opponent. And you do it before he does it to you.

    As far as your attacker is concerned this is not a fight, it is an assassination. He is not going to want to stand there with you and hack it out. Unfortunately, this is exactly the fantasy that many so-called knife fighting instructors promote. The absolute last thing you want to do is to try to "fight."

    Another reason that you need to chase the idea of "knife fighting" out of your head is that in many states there is this attitude that "consensual fights" are best resolved by throwing both of the morons who participated in jail. It is true, you have the right to defend yourself against attack, but if you decide to fight someone, it isn't self-defense anymore, and if you use a lethal weapon on someone in a "knife fight" that you could have avoided, then you have yourself a gang of problems ahead of you. That is unless you like being gang raped in a prison shower.


    If my signature gives the wrong message I do apologize, it is talking about my feeling that we have an obligation to come to the defense of another person even when it puts our own body at risk.
     
    Last edited: Oct 26, 2013
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