Five Tips That Might Save Your Life In A Knife Attack

Five Tips That Might Save Your Life In A Knife Attack

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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

On the Cutting Edge: Counter-Blade Tactics for Real World Survival [ITS Tactical]


  • and if you must block a blade from hitting a vital part turn your hand towards your face/body – showing the attacker the outside of your forearm, where there are no major arteries just under the skin. sure you’ll still bleed, you might just avoid bleeding out though.

    • this is exactly what i was thinking. I think this should maybe included or mentioned in the article as most of us aren’t to confident in any kind of fight. ie. we are probably going to get cut if so where’s the best place to minimize the damage and maybe get away

  • how about pull out your concealed carry pistol and shoot the Criminal…..oh wait this is Australia Land of the victim.

    In all honesty if your against a knife wielding criminal your best chance full stop is to run away. Even an inexperienced knife user is going to cut you

    • Fortunately we live in Australia, which funnily enough has a rate of death and injury from firearms a fraction of America’s. The statistics indicate that America is more aptly named the Land of the Victim, where the chances of being a victim of gun violence is among the highest in the world.

      • It’s actually not among the highest in the world, it is literally the highest in the 1st world for gun crime. The per capita rates of murder, attempted murder, gun crime, gun ownership, serious assaults etc are astronomical by comparison.

        • You perhaps mean, highest except for Honduras, Venezuela, Swaziland, Guatemala, Jamaica, El Salvador, Colombia, Brazil, Panama, South Africa and Uruguay?

          My list is based on reliable studies from from 72 countries. Clearly I can’t comment on other countries too anarchic to collect statistics…

          • Honduras, Venezuela, Swaziland, Guatemala, Jamaica, El Salvador, Colombia, Brazil, Panama, South Africa and Uruguay
            Correct me if i’m wrong, but those are not ‘1st world’ countries (which screwball was referring to), the phrasing could have been better though.

          • Point taken, although the term ‘1st world’ has included South Africa since the term’s inception during the cold war.

          • I’m hardly one qualified to comment on geopolitics but SA doesn’t exactly give off 1st worldlyness.


            mentions SA at the top but leaves it off the ‘full’ list.

            So who knows.

            Although i learnt that it originally was more about allegiances rather than development levels that is generally how its used these days. So perhaps it was 1st back tehn but in the current meanings they are not.

          • I concur with your determination that the term ‘1st world’ is confusing and arbitrary.

            It’s a little concerning that SA never had decent per-capita GDP, and always had a serious violence problem, but never saw its 1st world recognition undermined until its government became controlled by people who don’t need sun-block.

          • @bringerofmuffins

            Its not the lack of need of sunblock, there are just as many people that do need sunblock that would screw up the country just as well. Its incompetent, moronic, phsycopathically racist and downright evil (If Tony Abbott was dictator here we would be in the shitter too, especially if he was in power during the GFC)

          • We were discussing what disqualifies a country as 1st world, and you threw in “incompetent, moronic, phsycopathically racist and downright evil” as criteria.
            You jumped the shark tank 🙂

      • you mean fortunately we live in Australia which has a rate of death and injury from firearms a fraction of Chicago, Detroit & New York? if you remove the 3 cities that have the highest amount of gun control, the death by firearms rate drops significantly.

    • If it was that easy to have a pistol then wouldn’t this article be about defending from a pistol attack?

      In which case your solution equates to “reach for my concealed weapon and get shot in the face.”

      Also literally the first point says “run if you can” so you didn’t even read the article you came to troll in, nice work.

      • it is that easy to get a pistol if your a criminal, you can walk into a few places on the Gold Coast and walk out with a Glock for about $600. Maybe you should read the news about all the armed robberies and shootings happening recently with illegal firearms. Why should we be stopping law abiding people from defending themselves? evidently the gun laws didn’t stop this from happening did it?

        if the attacker had a gun don’t you think he would be using that instead of a knife?

        point 1 shouldn’t be run if you can. point 1 should be “Don’t put yourself in a situation where someone can get you with a knife”

    • Why doesn’t your attacker pull out their concealed carry pistol and…. yea. That’s right.

    • Yep, just how concealed arms have prevented so many school shootings in America. Ooops, I meant “caused”.

  • Was interested in this topic a short while back and had a peek at youtube, I know zip about knife defense. This video (on youtube) shows something interesting; To me what was interesting is the ferocity of the simulated attack in the first half of the video. Some swearing in the video. Its about knife defense.

  • I would highly reccomend that, if at any time you have a moment, you wrap one of your hands/forearms with your shirt/jumper/jacket. Then use it to block any attack possible while trying to run away or fight back with quick jabs.

    p.s. i have never been attacked with a knife.

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