Krav Maga Self Defence Penrith
,Knife defence training is probably the most difficult aspect of self defence that you are likely to encounter. So why are we making the solution appear easy? Why are we training it in a manner that doesn't do it a justice and why are we treating something we all know and believe to be of the utmost difficulty with a band aid approach?
When it comes to knife defence training the vast majority in the industry are literally and figuratively, missing the point. A knife isn’t a complicated tool, there’s a sharp end and a blunt end yet attackers in knife defence videos seem to forget that, they always miss the point! It’s a reoccurring theme, once attackers get a knife in their hand they lose all ability to be able to harm someone! A knife is a supposed to be a force multiplier not a tranquiliser for those in possession! Just the other day I stumbled across a video that people were singing its praises but the attacker barely even moved the blade in the direction of the ‘victim’ You could get the same training effect gaffa taping a knife to a punching bag! The individual demonstrating actually missed a block & the knife still missed him.......miraculous. C’mon people we are better than that! Although evidence suggests that we aren’t.
For every hundred videos on the topic I see, I can count on one hand the number that have something valid to offer. The one thing I hope you take away from this blog is not so much the technique, yet how to train and test it. I believe we do it better than anyone in this part of the world pretty much because we train it honestly, we have a low tolerance to bullshit and we can detect it pretty easily. We have a long way to go before I would make the claims that we are capable at defending against a knife, It’s still a work in progress. Primarily because it is so difficult, one error and you’re done. We have researched most of what’s out there & have found it ALL to be inadequate. Why do we know this? We take it to the level others are too scared to, a level that will likely show that what they are doing is ineffective, it will dispel many of their beliefs. They are more content to live in denial which sounds pretty unethical to me. Aside from this, the training actually hurts…….a lot!
Anyone who puts in the hours in exercises or drills that resemble reality knows that mistakes will be made & success is hard to come by. That’s not to say in reality that you will get cut, you may get lucky, the person attacking you may be intoxicated or uncoordinated (just like the attackers in your videos haha!) I often say the people with real knife experience are in gaol (jail) not in dojos, learn from them online in how they attacked their victims, theres so much footage at your disposal.
I like to compare knife defence & training in general this to baseball/teeball. Every time the instructor gives a directive you are essentially putting it on a tee, you are making it easier for them to succeed. I understand that you need to start slowly when in the skill acquisition stage however if your video has the agenda of showing how proficient you are at defending a knife then show that, without serving it on a platter. Every time the intensity decreases even by a small percentage its NOT reality. Every time you have prior knowledge of what the attack is going to be it’s NOT reality. Every time the attacker does not respond or react in a manner befitting someone trying to harm you, it’s NOT reality. Even lessening one of these equates to it sliding down the reality continuum. I used to watch Krav Maga videos of knife pick defence where the attackers are really swinging the knife hard at the attacker and I was impressed when they successfully defended it. Now I know they are not only putting it on a tee but telling fielders where to stand! Like old mate in the aforementioned video he knew which attack was coming, the attacker didn’t try to stab him in the slightest, there was no follow up and he still stuffed it up!
The video above is from about 5 years ago & this was a sequence in a class. I was filming it and I was amazed at how skilled the guys were for barely getting cut. I was right to feel proud due to the ability of my guys to improvise with viable responses to the variables within attacks. However, lets be honest for a moment, the attacks were slow. Slow it down by even 10% it becomes significantly easier, this was probably around 70% so thats a big reduction, that's certainly lowering the bar quite a bit. There was an element of sparring partner syndrome in the attackers too ie hit then wait to be hit and the attacks were predominantly blade only. So is this training for reality………. Not really.
The same thing could be said for the videos above, about 8 years ago this time, if viewed through an honest lens, its way off realism.
This video was from a last week where we had testing, the attacker has a marker. We called this the 'moderate' level not due to the intensity (more intense than what you're probably doing) but more because the attackers had limitations placed upon them. The limitations were that the attackers had to be fixated on the knife and were allowed to use the knife, clinch and grapple. Is this closer to realism? Maybe as the knife situations I have experienced and same with that of my team, all of us had tunnel vision on the blade. Would this more likely occur when confronted by your typical street thug? This is potentially a human condition that we may be kidding ourselves that we can bypass? Hopefully more exposure in training will limit this. However, due to the less options for the attacker a much higher percentage of success was experienced. That was great considering all of these guys have had less than a years training under their belts.
The above was the advanced session. Attackers could not only use the blade but kick, punch or whatever they wanted to make their attack successful. I made it a competition making their goal to stab unlike the attacker in video I keep referring to. There was an incentive to 'kill' your training partner & and instant win for drawing a dick on them! So you're probably watching this thinking these guys aren't that good, insert the my styles technique here ____________________ would work. But I promise you, unless you get super lucky and the stars align it won't. The people featured here & other clips not shown have a wide variety of backgrounds from differing arts & even professions where people assume they have the answer to violence. Some attempted to control the knife hand , some tried to do a version of a simultaneous block and strike, others tried to strike through the attack, some initiated takedowns with an effort to grapple and some went in with no strategy per se. The results were not pleasing, none of them addressed the issue in every scenario. What we found to work was the person with the ability to improvise and switch between all responses, (most that have often aren't covered in a structured system) as dictated by the attacker had more success. If it doesn't work here in this controlled environment then it most certainly won't be successful when its real. We found that a bigger stronger faster athlete (like in all combat) has a distinct advantage. We have given a lot of thought to whether this level of training is going above and beyond what may be required in a general real encounter and we have decided that we should be trying to deal with worst case scenario, its better to address it in training then to ignore it hoping it doesn't happen.
In summary I think the worst thing you can do in training drills is place limitations on the attackers. As soon as a skill becomes closed it becomes easier, an open skill is a lot tougher and what needs to be developed. If we take out the decision making element in training we are making drills ridiculously easy & far less useful again if you are at that stage in your training. Limiting responses limits growth, limits improvements and limits your chances of success if it is to happen for real. Processing skills in the moment, being able to decide upon the required response to a stimulus is vital in fighting. Fighting/self defence does not take place in a vacuum so we need to stop training it as if it does if we truly seek the truth.