Wednesday, March 18, 2020

Social Distance in Martial Arts

I'm taking a little break from the knife fighting series for this [tongue in cheek] public service announcement.

Protocol for avoiding contamination by the Covid-19 virus requires that you keep social distance from others. So good to see judo practitioners at L'Ecole PolynĂ©sienne de BudĂ´  observing this protocol.

CLICK HERE

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

I Rethink Knife Fighting, 3

Continued from "I Rethink Knife Fighting, 2"

First Scenario: As the stranger approaches, he produces a knife and demands your wallet, watch, etc.

He means to gain  compliance through the threat of violence. "Gimme your wallet, m*****f*****, or I'll cut your ******* heart out."

Now, most self defense instructors will tell you that it's better to lose your stuff than to lose your life. Okay, true, but where do you find the written guarantee that if you hand over your stuff he will not kill you anyway? And the company of friends/family members increases the risk to you and to them.

It's a hard decision that you must make beforehand. If you opt to use your concealed knife, I will tell you where my present thinking takes me.

First, I would assume the non-aggressive defensive position, which gets my hands up in a position where I can thrust with the knife. Yes, the bag will hang from my hand, but if I practice wielding the knife this way, it will not distract me.

Then, I must do two things simultaneously. (1) I must thrust the knife into a vulnerable spot that will cause injury as I (2) pass his knife.

My objective is not to attack his knife, but merely to get past it long enough to inflict real damage on him. A distraction, such as throwing keys, coins or my wallet into his face may give me just the split second I need to move past his weapon as I stab.

I direct my knife to a place that will cause real damage (eyes or throat seem like likely targets). True injury will cause an involuntary reaction and allow me to continue my preemptive attack until an opening for escape appears.

DISCLAIMER: I've never encountered a situation like the one I just described. I have merely taken what I know about unarmed defense and applied it to a mugger armed with a knife. You must decide your own course of action, and then you must train for it until it becomes almost reflexive.

I intend to cover another scenario in the next post.


Monday, February 17, 2020

I Rethink Knife Fighting, 2

Continued from "I Rethink Knife Fighting"

Okay, now you & I have a way to carry a knife at the ready without attracting undue attention. Now, I think I should address the difference between knife fighting and fighting with a knife.



In the minds of many, a knife fight involves two guys squared off, and dueling like the 3 Musketeers, only with shorter blades. That's not how knife encounters happen in the real world.

  First of all, predators do not want a knife fight. They do not want a fight at all; they want to exert their power over easy prey. The predator wants to use the knife to kill or intimidate his victim.

If he intends to kill you, you won't see the knife until after the attack . . . if you see it at all. If he intends to intimidate you, he will brandish his blade as he demands your valuables. In this case, he may not hesitate to kill you if you do not comply, so your life is in jeopardy either way.

Your best defense against a knife is the same as your defense against any violence: avoidance. Use your inborn Distant Early Warning system. 

That said, I want to move on to the likely scenarios where you may have to use your camouflaged blade. I intend to do that in the next post. 

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

I Rethink Knife Fighting


I have not written a series in quite some time, but this topic will do better as a few posts of short to moderate length than one long post.

In recent years, I have shied away from the idea of training in knife fighting because:
  1. If attacked with a knife, you ordinarily do not have time to draw a weapon of any kind;
  2. In the rare case that you might have time to access a weapon, I prefer my .45 forl reasons.that should be obvious.
However, a recent email from Jason Hanson has caused me to rethink carrying and using a knife defensively. This would apply especially to those who find themselves in situations where legal prohibitions to firearms make it unwise to carry them.

Here is the relevant substance of the email:

Soon I’ll be heading overseas for work.
I won’t be bringing a gun or even a knife to the place I’m going.
But, I certainly want a knife on me while I’m there. (A gun is highly illegal and not worth the risk.)

So, how do I plan to get a knife?
Well, I’m not meeting someone in a back alley at 3am to get a fixed-blade knife that could’ve been used in a murder… that’s Hollywood stuff!

I’m getting a knife that I can “hide in plain sight.”
In other words, as soon as I get to this country, I’m going to the local grocery store.
I’m going to pick up a small knife used to cut fruit.

This knife will have around a 3-inch blade and I will buy one with a pink handle if there are any.
As I’m doing my shopping, I’ll also get something such as an apple, a pear and a few other food items.
I’ll carry these around in a paper or plastic bag, whatever is easiest to get my hands on.

The beauty of plastic bags is that you can have the knife in your hand and have the bag wrapped around your hand so that the knife can’t be seen.
If I were ever stopped by police, I could just let the knife in my hand go and it would fall into my bag. (The way the knife is carried, it’s already pointed down into the open bag.)

I don’t really expect any trouble where I’m going, but I do want to be prepared.
And, if I happened to get stopped by police, they’ll find a “dumb tourist American” who’s got his lunch on him with a pink-handled knife in it.

And, they won’t give it a second thought.
How do I know?

Well, let’s just say in my kitchen right now there’s a “souvenir” pink knife that’s sitting in my drawer.

So, if you’re traveling overseas at all, don’t worry if you can’t bring a gun or knife with you.
When you get there, all it takes is one stop to the local grocery store and you can usually get everything you need.

Just be creative and hide things in plain sight (email rec'd from thespy@spybriefing.com on 2/11/20)

I hope this opens up some possibilities in your mind as it did in mine. In the next post, I want to make some comments on this that involve application.

Thursday, January 9, 2020

A Man Who Stood in the Gap

An article on the Concealed Nation site relates the shooting which led to the death of Elvis Garcia. He was the father of two and known as a good neighbor and a protector. Perhaps the latter reputation made him the target of a gang shooting.

The article quotes the Chicago Tribune:

Around 3:45 p.m. Sunday, when he saw some neighbors outside his home in the 10000 block of Avenue M, it only made sense that he’d strike up a conversation.
A short time later, Chicago police said, two gunmen drove up and started shooting at the three men who’d gathered in the street. The other men, ages 20 and 27, also were shot, but Rocha says home surveillance video shows the attackers kept firing at Garcia.

Though mortally wounded, he had the determined heart of a sheepdog, as the Concealed Nation article reveals:

Garcia was shot twice and fell to the ground. Still, he found the strength to draw his handgun and fire back at the attackers.
He fired one round, shooting and killing one of the two suspects.

The other suspect fled in the vehicle but was later found and arrested.

I do not know Elvis Garcia's relationship to God, whether he followed Christ or not, but his final acts stand as a challenge that I remain true to my calling as one of my Lord's sheepdogs.

You may read the entire article at the link below.

Concealed Carrier Dies After Fighting Until The End During Gun Battle In Chicago

Monday, December 16, 2019

A Timeless Knife Design

You don't doodle on the Mona Lisa to improve it, and you don't paint flames on a Rolls Royce to make it cooler. A classics is a classic, and I hope it will encourage you to see a design that works as well now as it did before the middle of last century.

The London Daily Star carries this article: Soldier stabbed ISIS terrorist to death with WW2 fighting knife in Afghan ambush

A British special forces member found himself in hand-to-hand combat with two ISIS militants. He used his Fairbairn-Sykes fighting knife to kill one, and the other took off running.


Friday, December 13, 2019

A Near Tragedy of Errors.

"A Cautionary Tale for CCW Permit Carriers" describes an actual event in which an armed citizen could well have killed a plainclothes officer by mistake or been killed by a uniformed officer who arrived on the scene. 


Some good lessons here.