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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:55 am 
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I posted this on another forum, but I figured it is good food for thought:


The cliche of "bringing a knife to a gunfight is one I hear a lot", but it has had me thinking lately that a knife is much more dangerous than people give credit too.

A few things to consider:

It is usually stated that around 90% of all gunfights occur within 21 feet, about half of which occur within 5 feet.

Even if the heart stops beating you have about 5-10 seconds left of consciousness and the brain has four minutes worth of oxygen.

So given the Tueller Drill where one tries to cover 21 feet as quickly as possible (the creator demonstrated that it could be done in 1.5 seconds), even if you get a fatal shot at a vital organ besides the CNC, that in no way means the threat is neutralized. You could shoot them in the heart and they could still have enough time and momentum to plunge a knife into your chest. This all assumes that you have your gun drawn and are ready for the attack. How many of you shooters who carry have practiced drawing and shooting under stress when adrenaline reduces your acute motor functions? Even when IDPA people practice, they are ready for the drill at the range and not caught unaware during their daily routine.

Also if you are carrying make sure to have a good knife handy. You may have less time to clear a jam (FTE/FTF) than you think.


I hope some of this puts things into perspective.

PS. I am no expert, I just play one on gun forums. This was just a thought experiment to shake things up.

edit: Simulated knife fight

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jue1WbjvJDk&feature=related


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:22 am 
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I think this is why a lot of pistol shooters teach you to step off the line with your draw. IMHO the arnis female triangle is ideal for this. Most of the time the rush will be entirely linear so you can theoretically avoid it entirely.

I also think there is some value to a no wind up side kick to a rushing attacker. A low kick, at shin level, will disrupt the rush, maybe trip up your attacker, and allow you to get inside his decision cycle. However you are exposting your femoral artery to a cut if you try it.

I also think that not enough people are aware of their alive hand. Even if you get a couple of hits on him during the rush, you may still have to fend off a couple of blows. Block-Check-Counter with a firearm is something I've always wanted to see added to the IMAF curriculum. :mrgreen:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:50 am 
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In my mind I agree with the kick idea, the risk of getting cut is worth the reward of disrupting the attack or even knocking him off his attack, giving yourself time to flee or finish drawing and ending the threat.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:54 am 
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The answer is simple: all you can really do is MOVE! Getting off the X and firing are your best defenses against something like this- even if you stand your ground and fire, you will most likely get cut anyway.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:29 am 
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by-the-throat wrote:
I also think there is some value to a no wind up side kick to a rushing attacker. A low kick, at shin level, will disrupt the rush, maybe trip up your attacker, and allow you to get inside his decision cycle. However you are exposting your femoral artery to a cut if you try it.
I think your best bet is to kick the knee rather than shin. It would have more effect from any angle, and has a good chance of dissabling your attacker to a degree. Stepping to either side and pivotting to face your attacker's flank puts you in a position to grab the knife hand and snap a front kick into his lead knee while you draw and fire. This is a kata you may want to practice with an uke just as a samurai would. Samurai had an art based upon "killing with the draw of the sword" that was an art in its own right, as well as the beginning of many higher level katas. One would do well to find a friend to practice with, and learn the art of "killing with the draw of the pistol."
AKFTW wrote:
The answer is simple: all you can really do is MOVE! Getting off the X and firing are your best defenses against something like this- even if you stand your ground and fire, you will most likely get cut anyway.
I've always tried to embrace the saying "Everyone in a knife fight is going to get cut." As unappealling as that notion may be, don't fear the knife, just keep it out of your vital bits...

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:14 am 
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I usually hear Tueller drill stuff from melee afficionados, or people who are too badass to be bothered by a couple rounds of .45ACP to the ribcage (their opinion.) While I understand the idea, and I agree that a fast, workable draw is a great thing to practice, I've never seen a statistic that shows how often a charging ninja with a knife "wins" a fight against a holstered gun. I say "wins" because nobody wins a gun or knife-fight, one of them just survives (usually) with less blood loss.

I've always thought that trying to win a Tueller drill is all well and good, but I'd rather focus on not beginning one. I've been practicing a few things that I think will help.

1. Get in better shape.
2. Situational Awareness/Paranoia
3. Unarmed combat. It amazes my how quickly 1-ton of applied force to the ribs takes the fight out of a charging opponent. Another tactic I saw the other day was dodging the charging attacker. Someone coming fast enough to beat a draw is usually moving too fast to stop or change directions quickly. The instructor in question side-stepped, turned to face the off-balance attacker, and calmly drew and yelled "BANG MOTHERFUCKER!"

There is no right answer, but I would love to see a statistic about how often the knife wins.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 8:51 am 
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Doc Torr wrote:
There is no right answer, but I would love to see a statistic about how often the knife wins.

Short answer: Enough that LEO academies teach you to shoot aggressors w/i 21 feet who have a knife.

Long answer: The Deadly Force Triangle is 1) Weapon, 2) Opportunity, and 3) Action, meaning that if someone has a weapon, you are in range of that weapon, and they make an attempt to target you with that weapon, you kill them first. For knives, 21 feet has been established as "within range" by higher authorities, and officers who win are determined to have been justified in shooting. Officers that lose are evidence of the effective range of knives, and the need for LEO's to train more...

Numbers I don't have, just the results of those numbers, per my training.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:24 am 
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If you don't want to get the shit stabbed out of you, you have to control the attacker's knife.

The only way I know of to do control the knife, is practicing good hand to hand knife defense techniques.

Stepping off line won't stop you from getting stabbed, punching and kick won't stop you from getting stabbed, stabbing back won't stop you from getting stabbed, shooting back won't stop you from getting stabbed.

What's that leave? Controlling the fucking knife.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 11:40 am 
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Doc Torr wrote:
There is no right answer, but I would love to see a statistic about how often the knife wins.


I haven't seen the stats either, but if the knife can can get on you and wrap you up while stabbing, you have to solve that problem before you can get the gun out. You personally are more capable of dealing with that problem that most everyone who chants the mantra about not bringing a knife to a gun fight.

quick edit: "win" means survive in this case.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 12:26 pm 
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The tough guys may not like this, but why not run away? In my mind it would only have to be a short run anyway. If they pursue to closely you can then use your firearm. I think running will also help when the police get there/you're in court. This won't work for everybody but if you're a good runner I don't see a problem.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 1:34 pm 
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Niblick wrote:
The tough guys may not like this, but why not run away? In my mind it would only have to be a short run anyway. If they pursue to closely you can then use your firearm. I think running will also help when the police get there/you're in court. This won't work for everybody but if you're a good runner I don't see a problem.


Doesn't have a damn thing to do with being a tough guy, but I'm pretty sure about the worse thing you could possibly do when being attacked by a knife is turn your back to them to run away.

Grabbed this from the Personal Defense Network. Combat Focus Shooting developer Rob Pincus does a pretty good job of explaining his response in this situation.

Having taken his Combat Focus Shooting class, I have done this drill, and really do like the principals.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:09 pm 
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Doc Torr wrote:
I usually hear Tueller drill stuff from melee afficionados, or people who are too badass to be bothered by a couple rounds of .45ACP to the ribcage (their opinion.) While I understand the idea, and I agree that a fast, workable draw is a great thing to practice, I've never seen a statistic that shows how often a charging ninja with a knife "wins" a fight against a holstered gun. I say "wins" because nobody wins a gun or knife-fight, one of them just survives (usually) with less blood loss.

I've always thought that trying to win a Tueller drill is all well and good, but I'd rather focus on not beginning one. I've been practicing a few things that I think will help.

1. Get in better shape.
2. Situational Awareness/Paranoia
3. Unarmed combat. It amazes my how quickly 1-ton of applied force to the ribs takes the fight out of a charging opponent. Another tactic I saw the other day was dodging the charging attacker. Someone coming fast enough to beat a draw is usually moving too fast to stop or change directions quickly. The instructor in question side-stepped, turned to face the off-balance attacker, and calmly drew and yelled "BANG MOTHERFUCKER!"

There is no right answer, but I would love to see a statistic about how often the knife wins.


I mention the tueller drill simply because things can happen a lot faster then we expect, and simply having a pistol (CC or OC) is by no means insurance that you are any safer than an unarmed individual. If someone can rush you 21 feet in a tueller drill when you are prepared for it, then you are definitely screwed if you are not completely situationally aware. People with knives are not always going to display them before they are in range to stab you, and you are going to have to make the internal decision to use deadly force not knowing whether they are armed or not.

Even if you are one of those people practicing your quick draw, you have to take a lot of things into consideration. such as trying to draw your sidearm when someone is already within grappling distance, drawing from unusual positions like being down on the ground wrestling. You are unlikely to have a perfectly lined up shot at 21 feet with your gun already out in any defensive shooting. More then likely they will be in gas station convenience store ranges. If you are caught unaware, your brain is likely to take just as much time to register what is going on before you can even react as it would take someone to lunge 10 feet to kill you. The only way to stop a threat dead in its tracks is to sever the CNC, 5 shots of 10mm in their ribcage may be a mortal wound, but they may still have enough life left in them to sever your artery.

Do not lull yourself into a false sense of security just because you are carrying a firearm, or because someone else "only has a knife". I am not a knife aficionado, I am a gun guy, and I have to remind myself of these facts often.


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 2:59 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:02 pm 
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Great video series, agreed. The "Dogcatcher" framework is the most successful response I've ever trained to knife attacks.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:08 pm 
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:12 pm 
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So...

My take away from this entire thread so far is that if a person with a knife decides to ambush you from close range you're going to get sliced to ribbons and there's pretty much not a damn thing you can do to stop it and survival will be a matter of blind luck or providence (if the person really, really wants to kill you, that is, which they must, or they wouldn't have just ambushed you at close range with a knife).

Pretty much cover it?

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:18 pm 
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There is a similar thread in cp&p on this as well. Just cant link with my phone!


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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:26 pm 
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Gelgoog makes some great points above; here's my modest contribution.

Krav maga motherfucker.


First, try this with your gun holstered with somebody running at you full speed at that 21 feet. I've done it; you might be surprised that most of the time you won't have your gun out by the time they get there. I'm not shitting you, iwb or owb, try this. That 1.5 seconds mentioned above is not out of the realm of possibility. Have you timed how long it takes to draw, aim, shoot? With a screaming knife wielding crazy bastard hauling ass at you? (all this is rhetorical btw and not directed at any commenter above). I've done it quite a bit, and I've come to learn that my gun ain't my best defense in that situation, at least initially. YMMV as always, just putting in my two cents.

Either be running the fuck away or learn and train HARD on some knife defenses that will give you the time/space necessary to draw and use your weapon/escape. People tend to attack with a knife (initiate combat) in really just a few ways (after that it's sewing machine/prison shiv shitfest and you are in trouble). If a person hasn't trained in realistic knife defense/then to the gun/to escape/to incapacitate/disarm whatever, I'm thinking lateral movement is your best bet (providing you can make yourself move and not just stand there shitting yourself :lol: ) Find some training with shock knives; good stuff. And by good stuff I mean scary and shitty. You know, kind of how it might feel to be really attacked with something you REALLY don't want to be touched with.


Gun out already is a diff situation that I have not really dealt with, but I'm guessing again, like mentioned above, that lateral movement is probably a very good idea.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:27 pm 
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DannusMaximus wrote:
So...

My take away from this entire thread so far is that if a person with a knife decides to ambush you from close range you're going to get sliced to ribbons and there's pretty much not a damn thing you can do to stop it and survival will be a matter of blind luck or providence (if the person really, really wants to kill you, that is, which they must, or they wouldn't have just ambushed you at close range with a knife).

Pretty much cover it?


Not at all. The point is you need to deal with the knife attack first. Your counter attack might be shooting, but you have to get control of the knife and so that it stops making holes in you. If you put holes in him while he's putting holes in you, you aren't going to survive the fight either. Mutually Assured Destruction, as we said back in the Cold War days.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:28 pm 
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TheLastOne wrote:
First, try this with your gun holstered with somebody running at you full speed at that 21 feet.


21 feet is the outside distance. Do your drills starting at 3-4 feet, which is where fights start.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:29 pm 
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the_alias wrote:
There is a similar thread in cp&p on this as well. Just cant link with my phone!


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Dealing with a knife threat
viewtopic.php?f=6&t=91085

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:32 pm 
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phil_in_cs wrote:
TheLastOne wrote:
First, try this with your gun holstered with somebody running at you full speed at that 21 feet.


21 feet is the outside distance. Do your drills starting at 3-4 feet, which is where fights start.



Correct, the point of the 21 foot is to destroy the notion that you are safe from a knife attack even with your sidearm at that (perceived) long distance, which is what I was gathering most of this thread was about. I train knife defense a whole heck of a lot closer than 3-4 feet too :wink:

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 3:33 pm 
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phil_in_cs wrote:
DannusMaximus wrote:
So...

My take away from this entire thread so far is that if a person with a knife decides to ambush you from close range you're going to get sliced to ribbons and there's pretty much not a damn thing you can do to stop it and survival will be a matter of blind luck or providence (if the person really, really wants to kill you, that is, which they must, or they wouldn't have just ambushed you at close range with a knife).

Pretty much cover it?


Not at all. The point is you need to deal with the knife attack first. Your counter attack might be shooting, but you have to get control of the knife and so that it stops making holes in you. If you put holes in him while he's putting holes in you, you aren't going to survive the fight either. Mutually Assured Destruction, as we said back in the Cold War days.



Exactly. Trying to get a gun out when someone is attacking you rightnowrightnow with a knife is a shooting solution to a combatives problem. Square peg in a round hole, it won't work too well.

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PostPosted: Sat Mar 10, 2012 4:20 pm 
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DannusMaximus wrote:
So...

My take away from this entire thread so far is that if a person with a knife decides to ambush you from close range you're going to get sliced to ribbons and there's pretty much not a damn thing you can do to stop it and survival will be a matter of blind luck or providence (if the person really, really wants to kill you, that is, which they must, or they wouldn't have just ambushed you at close range with a knife).

Pretty much cover it?


In POST they teach you a drill where you do a controlled backwards fall while drawing your gun. Feet up in the air pointed towards the bad guy so that you can shoot between your legs while keeping your vital organs as far away as possible. In MMA fights a guy on his back does a similar move and it is difficult for your opponent to jump on top of you with your feet extended out. Your legs can take a lot more abuse than the rest of your body so it buys you vital time. Wrestling with a knife wielding opponent (especially one with any kind of training) is going to end up badly for you.

If they are coming at you from distance, keep diagonal movement and try to keep creating as much distance as possible while you engage them. Also never stop shooting until the threat is either dead or fleeing. You are not going to knock your opponent down with incoming fire unless you destroy his CNC or immobilize him by blowing out his joints.


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