Last year we did a lot of knife videos.
I was extremely proud of our Virtual Class on Knife Defense.

as well as the videos we did with Sage Dynamics on the subject – especially the reality of disarming a knife, as seen here where I attempt to disarm a knife from Chris’s hands.

I want you to watch both videos before you continue (if you’ve already seen them, you get a pass!).

After this, there were no more knife videos – there were no fancy knife disarm videos, high production value of me disarming knives, attacking with knives, or anything else. I had a lot of people ask why and the answer was simple, ‘What else is there to cover?’ A lot of people were offended by this answer, but I had to truly ask the question. If you have to pull the knife, attack the face. If you have to defend against the knife, the simplest method is to hang on, control the arm attacking, and try to flee or get the knife out of the fight. A lot of people felt like this was a dodge, or a cop-out, but it wasn’t. For those who pressed, I sent them this link:

Go ahead, click on it, and start looking at real life videos of knife attacks (I’d avoid the comments).

Now, go back to everything you ever learned about knife fighting and start applying it to the reality situations you’re seeing. You will find even rare advanced knife users in Asian and Europe in the hundreds of videos you will find on Liveleak do not use a knife like their trained to…because life doesn’t go the way you want it to go when you are driving down the road and someone swerves into your lane and you crash. So, if we can’t control that, and see it coming – how will we control a 4 inch piece of metal.  God forbid the machete’s you’ll see that are common (so if you’re going overseas, keep that in mind…you might even train it before going overseas).

That being said, on videos, I got ‘called out’ (read: trolled by morons) in the second video for grabbing the knife in the middle of a confrontation – because, no one would ever do that when they are trying to control the knife attacking them.  In reality, against a student who is my size and in Spartan Gear, which simulates someone high or drunk and less susceptible to pain compliance or painful hits and strikes, or someone on full adrenaline dump…the knife can end up being grabbed.   This is what happens when you gear up and fight full-out, not prance around dancing or doing things at 25% speed, or 100% speed against a compliant partner.  Sorry, but we don’t pull punches in our videos, and if I fight a student full out, which is common – you’ll see what actually happens. We end up on the ground and I had to drive the knife from a disadvantage up into his guts to get him off of me. When we talk about knife attacks, we go for the face, every time we can, 100% of the time 100% of the time, we work to the face…because that’s where we punch and strike, and if we put the knife in our hand and fist fight, the knife becomes part of our natural ability. Plus, there is nothing below the face, when using a knife, that will immediately incapacitate an attacker. In a knife fight, we don’t want a long fight.

Liveleak, and the internet, not Youtube instructionals that are edited and perfect, are where myths about combative fighting go to die.

If we are teaching sport, it’s different, but if we are teaching reality – we do reality…damage, space, time…that’s what you want in a real fight to win.

On the internet, if we look for real confrontations and not instructionals, we find that a lot of what we are told will work in fights won’t work. This is why, once we got through Pramek’s UOS videos (Screw, HEq, Lever, etc) we switched to reality based methods that were very scientific, very simple – the reason is: reality we have seen either through myself, instructors, or students experiencing them; available fight and LE data; things seen in classes and seminars; or what we are able to see based on sites like LiveLeak.  Strikes are based on what stops the fight or creates space, kicks are the same, grasps and holds are the same, chokes are the same (I have a choke video coming, so stay tuned). Everything is about reality, not the reality of what people say is reality with nothing to back it up.  If we are teaching sport, it’s different, but if we are teaching reality – we do reality…damage, space, time…that’s what you want in a real fight to win.

I talk about LiveLeak a lot, on podcasts and interviews, because I think it is important that people research the reality of what they will face and get a cognitive understanding under the CLM EPL. Once they have that, they work with their training partners to create and associative understanding of what they see, as the EPL states should be done.

So, take some time, don’t read the comments, and start looking up real fights on LiveLeak. Then, take what you see, go in with your training partners, and reenact it. You’ll destroy a lot of myths and you’ll be better for it…and if you grab the knife, it’s ok. Better to cut a tendon than lose your life…

And while we are at it, here is a video reinforcing what I always say – once the knife comes into play, you can take a step back to control your footing, but that’s it – everything else is holding your ground, because when you backpedal under stress, you trip, you die.  So all you firearms guys out there that think you are going to back-pedal to deploy the gun when the guy charges, I challenge you to find anyone who back-pedals in a real fight on LiveLeak and doesn’t end up at a disadvantage.

– Matt

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