Nobody wants to face a knife-wielding assailant, especially if you're unarmed, but these five tips might help you defend yourself long enough to escape. Photo by Michael Saechang.
Knives are scary because anyone can get their hands on one and they're pretty to easy to hide. Chad McBroom, owner of Comprehensive Fighting Systems, has been teaching self-defence against edged and impact weapons for several years. If you're ever confronted by an attacker wielding a knife or any kind of edged weapon, here's what he suggests you do:
- Stay mobile. Distance is your best ally against any contact weapon, so use your footwork to stay as far away as possible. Run if you can.
- Place barriers between you and the attacker. A barrier is anything your threat has to avoid or move around to get to you. This can be done by moving behind a stationary or moving object, such as a park bench or a car, or by physically placing an object between you and the attacker, such as a chair or shopping cart.
- If contact is made, do your best to protect your vital organs and arteries. Keep your hands up and guard your center-line, which encompasses your throat, neck, lungs, heart and arteries.
- Don't get fixated on the weapon. Like the tip of a whip, the blade is the fastest moving piece of the attack. Train your eyes on the attacker's sternum, because any movement of the arm will originate with the upper torso. Allow your motion-sensitive peripheral vision to pick up the movement of the blade.
- Stay in the fight. There's a good chance you'll get cut; don't focus on it. No matter what, fight through to the end. You're not dead until the coroner says so.
Hopefully you never have to defend against a knife attack, but it's always good to know the basics of survival just in case. Remember, always run if you have the chance. If you'd like to learn more about defending against knife attacks, check out the link below.