The Knife as a Defensive Weapon

Dear Fellow Survivalist;

I’m a strong believer and defender of our Second Amendment rights. As such, I’ve carried a handgun, concealed for a number of years. Since I first received my Concealed Carry License, it has been a rare day when I wasn’t walking around armed, even for my daughter’s wedding.

But I’m also a law-abiding citizen, and as such, I recognize that not all states have the same gun-friendly laws that mine does. Nor am I totally convinced that those on the political left will never succeed in eliminating my rights, so I don’t limit my thinking just to guns. While a gun is my first choice, if I am forced to leave it home, I won’t allow myself to be defenseless.

Hence, I carry a knife as well as my gun; actually I carry two of them. One is a rather typical folding knife, which is clipped to the edge of my pocket, redneck style. That knife gets plenty of use, for all of the typical needs. I’ve carried a pocket knife for most of my life and feel extremely odd without one.

The other is a small spear-point dagger and it’s concealed. The laws in my state allow me to do that, although they don’t in all states. If I had to use my folding knife as a defensive weapon, I suppose I could, but I’d rather not. Not only is there the risk of the blade folding on my fingers (even though it has a good lock), it takes longer than I like to draw the knife and flip it open.

The concealed dagger is my defensive knife. As with a concealed handgun, carrying it concealed gives me the element of surprise, something that anyone with an understanding of tactics will tell you is extremely important. Should I have to draw it, an assailant won’t know I have it until I do.

The knife also does something else for me, it gives me an option. Even though a knife is just as deadly as a gun, it is not perceived that way. So, should I ever be forced to defend myself and I use the knife, instead of my gun, my lawyer could argue in court that I had not used the most deadly weapon available to me; but rather, I had used “considerable restraint in using a less-lethal weapon.” It’s hogwash, but effective hogwash.

Of course, the problem with using a knife as a defensive weapon is that few of us are trained in fighting with a knife. Learning real knife fighting isn’t easy and requires a considerable amount of strength and dexterity. So you might be thinking that it’s really not worth carrying around.

That’s what I used to think, before developing the right tactics to use with a knife. I didn’t have time to learn knife fighting and don’t consider myself to be all that great a fighter anyways. If I dared to show up at some dojo for martial arts classes, they’d probably laugh me right out the door. So I needed some other strategy for using a knife, if I was going to carry one.

Here it is – when fighting with a knife, don’t fight the person, just fight their knife arm.

Let me explain that. In normal knife fighting, the idea is to stab or cut the person’s body, creating a debilitating would and/or causing them to lose enough blood to weaken them. That’s great if you’re trying to kill them, but is also much harder to do. Stabbing someone in the body requires getting close to them, which makes you vulnerable too.

However, in order to fight, they have to present their knife arm in front of their body. Many people actually hold their knife well in front of their body, making that arm a good two feet closer to you, than their body is. So, you don’t have to get as close to them, with the associated vulnerability that it causes for you.

Fighting their knife arm means finding ways of cutting that arm, without getting cut in the process. You have an advantage here, in that they will probably be trying to reach your body, so won’t retaliate against your arm. That means you are at least somewhat out of their reach, while their arm is within your reach. That subtle difference makes all the difference in the world.

As you cut their arm repeatedly you accomplish two things. One is to weaken them, by the loss of blood. The other is that you could cause enough damage to the arm, so as to generate enough pain that they can’t use their arm as they want. So you beat them by making them ineffective in the fight. You might even cause them to drop their knife.

Remember, your goal isn’t to kill them, but rather to keep them from killing or harming you. Inflicting harm on them in this way can very easily take the fight out of them, without being forced to kill them, with all that that entails.

So, you might just want to consider adding a good knife to your EDC, to go along with your gun. Just one more step to helping you survive, like keeping your powder dry and your survival gear close at hand.

Chris and Dr. Rich

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