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Re-thinking tactics.

Discussion in 'Personal Security Devices & Self-Defense' started by jackknife, Jan 13, 2010.

  1. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    Okay, its been 48 hours or so since the great showdown at the bagel store. In that time, there's been a lot going through my head.

    People are always saying a knife should be felt before seen. Maybe so, in some cases. But I've been thinking about that.

    Twice in the last year and a half I've been in a jam, and both times a knife in the open right there in my hand made the other people back off. The other day it was daddy the barbarian. Last year it was a couple of street punks who wanted my wallet and cell phone. Yelled at me to give it up. My blackthorn stick was in the car because I was picking up a Tiffiney lamp from a repair place, and knowing my hands would be full carrying Karen's antique lamp, I left the cane in the car. All I had was a Buck Hartsook. Yes, a tiny Buck Hartsook. I was so mad at myself for being caught like that flat footed, I got a bit irate and pulled out he Hartsook and used some very harsh language on the young punks. Told them on no uncertain terms I was going to cut their blankety blank throats if they didn't get out of my way. They hesitated, then ran off. maybe thought the old man was crazy.

    Now I wonder. Isn't the best fight to win, the one where there is no fight?

    If a fight can be avoided by showing that your ready to defend yourself, really ready, would that work most of the time? Kind of like the MAD principle that kept the USSR and us from attacking each other. It's betting on the fact that most people don't want a fight, they just want your money, to bully you, or something. But if they know it means getting cut or stabbed, how solid is their resolve?

    I also wonder if these kind of bully/strong arm incidents are more prevalent in non-ccw states, where the criminal can pretty safely presume that you are unarmed. Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Wisconsin, California, and a few other states don't permit ccw.

    I've always loved a nice piece of hardwood, but maybe my faith is a little shaken. At my current age, I know I'm no match for a much larger stronger attacker if I use a blunt force tool. But a really sharp knife doesn't need much to cut or stab deep. I remember a case where this little lady was being beat up by her husband when he came home form work. He was a big guy too. Well I guess she got tired of being beaten. The neighbors call the police one night to say they hear her screaming, and he's beating her again. Cops get there, and the guys laying on the floor with a cheap serrated bread knife shoved into his belly almost all the way to the handle. He lived, and she got off on justified self defense. She also left him. But this gal was all of 5 foot 2 or 3, and if she weighted in more than 115 to 120 soaking wet with a roll of quarters in each pocket, I'd be surprised.

    I know they say a knife should not be pulled out for intimidation, but I wonder. Yes, if I lived in a ccw state, I'd have a ccw handgun, but I don't. Neither do most other people around here. Or in 12 of the other states of the union. Even the street criminals do a lot of their mugging and robbery with strong arm or a cheap kitchen knife. And a cheap kitchen knife is just what one of the two punks last year had. One had a knife, the other was a lookout. They both backed off from a yelling old man with a tiny Buck Hartsook in his hand.

    So; if it stops a fight before it happens, whats wrong with showing a knife and letting him know your ready and willing to use it, just leave me alone. Go away.

    I'm thinking from a senior citizen standpoint. If you let him get too close, and all of a sudden you get rushed, you won't have time to get that knife out, let alone open it. They make a big deal about the 20 foot rule with a man armed with a knife can rush a cop with a holstered gun, and get him. Well then what does that say about not having any weapon out and ready? If the situation looks like something is going to happen, why not have your knife out before you need to grab it in your pocket? Take into account a senior citizen is a little slower on the move.

    I'm open to ideas, exploring options.
     
  2. tsacain

    tsacain Loaded Pockets

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    Where in Maryland do you live? I would just keep a fixed blade on your belt. I know Maryland is not too friendly with that depending on what part of the state you are in. I am just outside of Baltimore, but I am seeing things here from a 21 year olds perspective. With most criminals like those punks if you make noise they will get scared that someone else may come to help. Which is why they cowardly looked for what they thought would be an easy target, a senior citizen.
     
  3. straightpuke

    straightpuke Loaded Pockets

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    I live in Orange County, California. A couple months ago, I was riding my bike around at night with two other friends and a black Range Rover speeds by and the passenger throws a soda bottle at us, hitting one of my friends. We were obviously angry, wondering who those guys were. At the next red light, two guys got out of the car (there were three total) and demanded our bikes. One of them had a small knife, I'm pretty sure it was the Gerber Mini Paraframe. The guy with the knife yells, "Give us your (expletive deleted) bikes, or I'll cut ya!" Now, this is all happening at an intersection in the middle of the street when no one was around. I pulled out my Spyderco Police and told them to leave us alone. I'm pretty sure the sight of the large stainless steel knife gave them the shivers so they went back into their cars and sped away. We rode home safely and I have never seen them again.

    I believe that the sight of my knife got me out of this "fight."
     
  4. Narcosynthesis

    Narcosynthesis Loaded Pockets

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    The biggest problem I can see with pulling out a knife to intimidate is that it will either work perfectly, or *really* drop you in it...

    Flash a knife to a couple of big guy punks trying to harass you and a lot of the time when they realise you are serious and not going to just roll over and give in like most would they will just cut their losses and run. On the other hand if you pull a weapon on someone genuinely violent then that elevates the situation and prompts them to answer your move which will almost certainly result in somebody getting seriously hurt.

    I guess the old comment still stands - never pull out a weapon unless you are completely committed to using it and know how to handle it properly.
     
  5. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    In a way, you make my point exactly.

    I'm not going to pull a weapon unless I feel really really threatened. I deliberatly didn't open my Opinel untill the big guy verbally anounced I was in for an ":censored: kicking". At that point I pulled open my knife and made it clear to him he had a choice to make.

    If I pull a weapon on somebody as you say, genuinly violent, then they have already put me on the defensive enough that I think I may be defending my life. Like for some reason I have already found myself in their crosshairs. So at that point, what do I have to loose? May as well put all my cards on the table and tell them how it's going to go down, and if they don't like it, then leave me alone. I will always give them a choice.
     
  6. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    I guess I just like to be low key on things, and also aware of how something may look later. Aside from loving traditional folding knives, I love the way an Opinel cuts. I've had very expencive custon knives that didn't cut like them. Plus, I just love Opinels. Number 8's, 9's, even a 12. I use them for everything, and have been fooling around with them since 1982. Once I treat them my way, I have very little problem with wood swelling from moisture.
     
  7. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    jackknife,

    Have you ever had any experience with Spydercos or a Benchmade Griptilian? They can be modified with a zip-tie "wave" that, while not aesthetically pleasing, functions just as well as a wave hook but doesn't look "tactical". Actually there are a lot of knives that can be "waved" with this modification. You can also unscrew a thumbstud and put the zip-tie through the hole. If asked about it, you could dismiss the ziptie as a thumbstud replacement. If you can't carry a fixed blade, I would recommend a waved blade over an AO knife any day.
     
  8. Boy SureFire

    Boy SureFire May The Bridges I Burn Light The Way

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  9. shrap

    shrap Loaded Pockets

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    I don't think it's a good idea to start carrying around a fixed blade on your belt.

    Possibly the reason why showing the knife was so effective in previous situations was that it caused a disparity in who people thought you were (an easy target), but when confronted, you became a person willing to kill in self defense - even more dangerous than the aggressor. You escalated to a position that they were not comfortable with.

    If you openly carried a knife, rest assured that the people who confronted you - know you have a knife, and believe that they can deal with it (probably with a bigger knife or a gun). In that case, fewer people may harass you, but those who do are going to be very bad news.

    In both situations you were not "rushed"; they wanted something from you, not to kill you. If they wanted to kill you, you would be dead from someone stabbing you in the back or a gunshot from a far away position.

    No one starts fights that they think they'll lose.
     
  10. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    But you don't have 300 pounds of 'roid rage coming at you. Motor skills deteriorate rapidly in life-threatening situations. That's why so many people are recommending fixed blades. I recommended a wave opener because they work with no more conscience effort than drawing a fixed blade, but they are still a non-assisted folding knife.
     
  11. SALT

    SALT Loaded Pockets

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    While I will not discount the lethality of an edged weapon, will they stop a violent attack? I think the answer is often NO. You may gut the guy like a fish, but he may only discover the damage you caused after the attack. Knives are scary and may scare off an attack, but what if it doesn't. Are you prepared and capable of fighting with a knife? You know what they say about determining the winner of a knife fight, the guy who is bleeding less. There are many stories of beaten women and other who fought off attackers with knives, but also many stories of people whose knife was lost in the struggle and used against them.

    The fighting cane as you mentioned in you earlier post is a very effective tool with the proper training. It is not only capable of delivering powerful strikes, but can execute blocks and keep an offensive subject away. O/C Spray can also be a great defensive tool to keep you safe.

    I am not anti knife, I carry one or two at all times, I just tend to think of them as tools more then weapons. In a pinch would I use one to defend myself? In a heart beat, but I think there are better options available I would use first.
     
  12. solocanoe

    solocanoe Empty Pockets

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    jackknife - you have had some harrowing experiences lately and are to be commended for your actions and the results speak for themselves! O0 Furthermore, it speaks to who you are that you would want to explore other options, ways and means, etc.... again, kudos!

    There are probably quite a few things you could do / incorporate....and each has it's merits - if you look at your life and the law of averages...you may have already have your "bad times" behind you - lets hope so. ;D ;D

    My father is legally blind with macular degeneration, 72, several heart attacks, and he uses a cane with a short sword / long knife inside of it, the blade is prob. about 8-9 inches long...Now that may or may not be legal where you are - as i've said before...my father wouldn't care if it was legal or not, he's just that way, the man's a bit ornery what can I say :evilgrin:

    BUT several years ago we had a talk about something like your experience - his was walking to the store...to get his prescription filled...almost dusk...a couple of kids either having some fun or worse... came up to him, said they were gonna mug him (not their words) and they ran off at the "crazy old man who pulled a knife from his cane and started yelling"...

    we decided the "started yelling" was the key...he drew attention to himself. Now I carry whistles and like them a lot, but the solution we liked for him was a personal security alarm. His last heart attack resulted in a quad bypass and there are times he gets winded...too winded to blow the whistle effectively (maybe)

    a gun/stun gun/ pepper spray wouldn't work for him...he can't see much past his arm length and that's fuzzy...he's really about totally blind and gets around on heightened hearing and really a great memory....he lives by himself over 1000 miles from any of us kids...

    Anyway,the personal security alarm - there are some ear-peircing ones out there on the market...dad's just sounds like a bad car alarm...he wears it around his neck, right out in the open, hanging down his chest, on top of his clothes...on a cord...
    we decided it does a couple of things...
    it buys him a split second to draw the cane sword, something he prob. shouldn't do...but :shrug: :rolleyes:
    it draws attention to himself - attention is something most bad guys don't want,
    it may make others want to help - but it should at least make them "aware"...so they can be witnesses like your panera bread situation....

    whatever you choose - YOU are the ultimate reason you came out ok - we all carry within ourselves certain amounts of "grit" as my dad would say....and while I carry a gun, back up gun, at least one fixed knife on me, and other stuff, pretty much at all times...and even though I'm 6'4" and about 275 and ex-military and work out all the time...it's still how I react, how I carry myself, etc...that I know will determine the outcome of an altercation...

    I went to a gun training school last year - really cool force on force stuff - and they said something really smart....the "stuff" we carry are tools - "we" are the ultimate force/solution. Exactly as your smart moves showed.

    whatever additional "layers" you add to your protection, just make sure they work for you; are simple to use, deploy and carry; and you'll do fine- you already have! :highfive:
     
  13. jag-engr
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    jag-engr Semper Bufo!
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    The "Leave me alone" use of a knife is limited to rational opponents. Rational would include bullies (such as the man jackknife encountered), opportunistic criminals, and even career/serial criminals. Rational opponents may not care about the long-term consequences of their actions, but most are rather concerned about immediate self-preservation.
    Irrational opponents, on the other hand, may not respond to the pain and/or trauma being inflicted on them. Irrational opponents would include mentally deranged, drug addicts, and drunks. The normal sense of self-preservation takes back seat to some other concern, whether it be their injured pride (drunks), enough cash to buy their next fix (drug addicts), or a delusion that you're dangerous/out-to-get-them/the-king-of-England (mentally deranged).


    There are many stories of this, but how often is a knife actually taken away from someone? There are also stories of guns being taken away from someone. How often does that happen? How many of these stories do you personally know to be true?
     
  14. jehan60188

    jehan60188 Loaded Pockets

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    It's not just about intimidation. If you pull out a knife in self defense, but don't know how (or are unwilling) to use it, you will lack confidence. If you project confidence, and convince a mugger that he will get cut, then he might back off.
    Sharps don't intimidate by themselves, and the sound of a shotgun being loaded is not enough to stop a robber. Only the deep resolve to defend yourself, and what's yours is sufficient.
     
  15. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    I too have been wondering this because of the incident. Some impromto experimenting was done last night.

    Both my daughter and son-in-law are in corrections. Jessica is a parole agent, as is her husband John. Son-in-law John is a big guy, about 6 foot 2 or 3, and mid 250 range in weight. Not as big as my would be assailent though.


    We took a dry erase magic marker and I told John to see if he could get it away from me in a wrestling match. Mind you, he's a big guy and I'm the 69 year old arthritic vet witha bum wheel under him. We ended up going to the floor in the downstairs family room, and after a 30 second bout of rolling around struggling for control of the knife, John with his size and training in take downs and training in how to handle people got control of my right wrist and hand.

    But...

    He had bright blue magic marker trails in many places, including across the back of his right hand, across his right bicep, the inside of the right wrist, across his left thigh, and across his face going down his neck. In spite of his greater size, much greater strengh, hand to hand training, he got butchered. With the location of some of those slashing cuts, there is a quiestion if he could have continued fighting with damage like that to local tendons and nerves. In trying to get my hand under control, he suffered would be slashes to his right hand and wrist that may have been disabling.

    Then to make it more interesting, my granddaughter Christy, in her mid teens, was given the marker and her father tried to get control over the hand and weapon. Daddy John got embarrased. Christy, a slim athletic lacross and soccar star, wiggled and ducked and manouvered and slashed the heck out of her dad, nailing him in the face, throat, across the inside of the right forarm, and across the stomach. John got her pinned in a good hold, but in theroy, it was too late, and I think he may have been disabled before he got that hold on her if it had been for real.

    Unless you're name is Steven Sagal, it may well be much more difficult to pull of taking a knife away from a scared and slashing would be victim than is thought. The street is not a well lit dojo.

    Many years ago I was involved in the sport of fencing. In the club bouts we had, one thing the more expert fencers hated was having to take on a challange from a novice. The novice would do unexpected things out of panic when forced on the defensive by a more experinced swordsman, and they were very hard to deal with because of that "what the hell was that?" kind of moves they would pull that was from out in left field kind of thing.

    Food for thought.
     
  16. PocketWad

    PocketWad Loaded Pockets

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    Interesting observation, Jackknife. It seems your thinking is aligned with that of A. C. Cunningham, who, in 1912, penned the first known book in the United States on self-defense with a cane, titled "The Cane as a Weapon." Some years earlier, Cunningham, a naval officer with a long-time interest in fencing, wrote a manual titled "Sabre and Bayonet," which he hoped would be a practical text for the soldier. The manuscript contained the following passage:

    "In warfare there are no rules and limitations nor choice of adversaries, weapons or place, and it takes but little thought to see that fencing hall work does not alone fully fit one for the field.

    "Anyone who has carefully watched a fencing contest has noted that when hard pushed even the most accomplished fencers will resort to any movement that will defend themselves, and that an aggressive man with an unrecognized and apparently wild and irregular attack is harder to keep off than an expert. These irregular touches are easily healed in the fencing room with the balm that 'they are atrociously bad form;' when made with a bolo by a savage they need a surgeon."

    By the phrase "bolo by a savage" he meant a Filipino armed with a machete.

    In any case, food for thought.
     
  17. acropolis5

    acropolis5 Loaded Pockets

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    Jag, do you have any pictures or video of using a zip tie as a wave opener?
     
  18. straightpuke

    straightpuke Loaded Pockets

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    Here are two videos:
    First video
    Second video
     
  19. Mister Scribble

    Mister Scribble Loaded Pockets

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    Bought my first little Opinel recently, and am very pleased with the quality for the price.
    And I like the simple, ingenious ring lock. The Opinel is thin, light and carries well in a pocket.

    But for intimidating would-be muggers I suspect a big assisted opener would catch their attention.

    For myself, I'd be reluctant to draw a knife unless my life was in imminent danger.
     
  20. alfanator

    alfanator Loaded Pockets

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    If you pull a knife, isnt the other guy justified to pull a gun or a knife in self-defense?