Friday, July 11, 2008

Knife Fighting vs. Fighting with a Knife, 3

Continued from "Knife Fighting vs. Fighting with a Knife, 2"

A knife is a formidable weapon. It is fast and difficult to defend against. It is also silent and deadly.

But the knife imposes a great limitation on many who choose to use it. This is especially true of the less experienced fighters, but even some veteran knifers suffer from it. The same thing could be said of those who use sticks or clubs, as well.

I'm talking about the tendency of a person with a weapon in his hand to focus on that weapon alone for all his fighting moves. It's as though a knife in one hand makes him forget about his other hand & two feet.

If you have a knife, don't limit your total focus to the weapon. Chances are your opponent will be so focused on your knife (and his) that he won't even see that kick to the knee coming. Just a thought.

Oh, and I wrote to Keith Pascal regarding the comment I made in the last post about how the slash/thrust drill reminded me of chi sao. Here's my inquiry:

The first exercise in 10 Days to Better Knife Fighting looks to me vaguely like chi sao. Did you intend it that way? Or was it, perhaps, an unconscious adaptation? Or am I way off base?

I'm interested because when I trained in jujitsu, my instructor said that someone who wasn't good with his hands wouldn't be good with weapons, either." The idea was that we should learn to be good with our hands, first. Since then, I've had the idea that one's knife fighting should be an extension of his empty hand technique rather than a separate discipline.

What do you think?

Keith's reply was prompt. Here it is:

I like your idea of knife being an extension of ...

But as far as the slash and thrust resembling chi sao ... I can see
how it would "look"
that way, but it's not the same feeling.

Think of constant contact in chi sao -- not so in slash and thrust.

Both are in close ... OK, come to think of it, there is a similarity ...
both take advantage of an opening to the centerline.

I hope this doesn't confuse it all more

Thanks to Keith Pascal for clarifying that point, and for his usual keen insight into the fighting arts.

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