Thursday, January 28, 2010

Defending against a Knife Attack

In a comment on Keith Pascal's "Knife Defense Tips" article, Stephen writes:

Very interesting, and it confirms my earlier ideas. For some time I have been of the opinion that knives are rarely practical for self defense. If I were in a self defense situation, I would much rather have a cane or some object longer than a knife to battle an assailant with.

Of course, a CCW would be the best choice in a knife fight.

I agree wholeheartedly with the first part of the comment, but I have reservations about the second part, so I'll address that first. I want to speak to the assumption that a firearm is the best choice in a knife fight.

The Tueller Drill demonstrates that, in an edged-weapon attack, a trained officer needs 21 feet of distance to draw his/her weapon and fire two shots before the assailant reaches him with the knife. Here is a discussion of the 21-foot rule from the Force Science Institute.

One brief quote from the article:

For many officers and situations, a 21-foot reactionary gap is not sufficient.

The average police officer has an open-carry holster which is somewhat more accessible than  a concealed-carry weapon. Clearing your clothing out of the way can eat up precious tenths of a second.

I do agree that a firearm is best in a knife fight ONLY IF your weapon is in your hand before the attack begins. Other than that, you would need either empty-hand skills against a knife wielder, or an improvised weapon already in your hand.

To be continued


The Warrior said...

Good points, I will need to think one these as well. I have something to do when I go to bed tonight! As always, thank you for always being relevant and of immense use to all of us.

Stephen Boyd said...

I think I understand what you are saying. I made the comment about the CCW because I've recently become inspired by a training video (by Rob Pincus, of I.C.E Training) in which he teaches how to use a handgun against an attacker when his body is touching your body.
Although some hand to hand combatives were necessary, the gun ultimatly eliminated the threat.

Thence the background for my statement...

Gravelbelly said...


Thanks for clarifying. In that context, your comment makes perfect sense.

Again, training to deal with that specific situation makes the difference.