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Self Defense and Knives: Your View?

Discussion in 'Knives' started by robo-rabbit, Feb 22, 2014.

?

What is your view?

  1. Knives are tools, not to be used for self defense

    10.9%
  2. Knives are tools that can double for self defense

    37.4%
  3. Only used as a last-ditch thing

    35.6%
  4. Can be used to deter an attacker

    1.7%
  5. Only use the handle for blunt striking

    0.6%
  6. Forget it. You won't be able to grab it in time.

    5.2%
  7. Other (Please Explain)

    8.6%
  1. robo-rabbit

    robo-rabbit Loaded Pockets

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    I created this thread because everyone seems to have a different take on knives and their uses for self defense. Some say it is only a last ditch thing, others argue it is only a tool, etc. What is your view and why? Also, have you had some sort of martial arts/self defense training? If so, in what and how long? (I'm curious to see how this affects your answers, as I know several years of Hapkido have changed my view on this.)

    Please note that I am speaking of civilians using knives for self defense. Military, law enforcement, etc. we already know the answer to.
     
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  2. Nighted
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Nighted Loaded Pockets

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    Essential. I'd rather be tried by 12 than carried by 6.
     
  3. Samuel Sturm

    Samuel Sturm Loaded Pockets

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    If you're actually worried about self-defense, either carry a shotgun or leave town. I'd rather have a knife than my fingernails, though. I haven't seen a folding knife yet that could be deployed fast enough to matter in a fight, and if you have enough time to draw it before the fight, well, there was probably something better you could have been doing.

    A good blade, held by a person who knows what they're doing, is a powerful force. But don't be the guy that escalates the fight, and if you don't _know_ what you're doing, you're probably better off not pulling it at all.
     
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  4. znapschatz

    znapschatz Loaded Pockets

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    It has always seemed to me that while a knife might be a satisfactory murder weapon, it is not so good in defense, no matter how skillfully employed. I'm not even sure it's better than nothing because just having one might turn a critical situation deadly. Worse, the outcome is bad no matter who wins. One (or both) may be badly injured or dead, while the other (or both) will enter into a legal nightmare.

    My street experience is limited to only one confrontation with a nutjob wielding a chain, but in the end no blows were exchanged. Likewise, my knife training, such as it was, took place during army basic infantry. Some fundamentals were taught, but it was far from a deep education in knife fighting. Like pugil sticks, the point was more to instill a fighting spirit than fine tuned technique. Our platoon sergeant, who had actually engaged in hand to hand combat during the Korean war, didn't have a high opinion of martial arts training. "Forget the poses," he used to say. "When :censored: happens, it won't be anything like you expect or have been trained for. What you'll need then is the will to win." That made a deep impression on me, and based on experiences since then, it turned out to have been good advice.
     
  5. vegassprky
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner
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    vegassprky Loaded Circuits

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    If you have to pull a knife than it's really too late, give me a good walking stick instead.
     
  6. Blerv

    Blerv Loaded Pockets

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    Self-defense is the person's state of mind and training. Tools can amplify the success depending on the situation at expense of legal justification. Remember, killing in self defense is still admitting guilt...it just says "I had a reason, please go easy". In a war or even law enforcement jobs things are *less* complicated but that doesn't really work for us civilians.

    If you can learn to hit hard, knives, fist loads, etc are less vital. They sure close an age or weight-class bracket though. 9/10 I wouldn't have the time or justification to draw a knife; I'm slow and can still throw three strikes in a second from a casual stance. It's not legal to punch someone...but few people serve prison sentences for it.

    My 2 cents.
     
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  7. wrath0r
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    wrath0r EDC Junkie!!!

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    Unless you're trained in its use, don't bother.
     
  8. Nick4305
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Nick4305 EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Knife is a tool. Point.
    But I'm trained in the use as self defense weapon, so i cast my vote for "secondary" use.
    The question about the time to grab is common to every other weapon, i suppose...
    Estote parati.
     
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  9. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    All of the above, I suppose. Each answer is valid based on a given set of circumstances.

    The one argument I will say is that no "weapon" should ever be brandished unless you are absolutely willing to use it. Displaying a weapon can be taken as an escalating factor, rather than a de-escalation. Trying to use a knife, or any potential weapon, as a magical talisman against harm is naive at best, and profoundly stupid at worst.
     
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  10. Cobra 6 Actual

    Cobra 6 Actual Loaded Pockets

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    Having been a LEO and even now retired I still like to keep my options open, so the ol' force continuum still works for me. I have had many years of Tae Kwon Do and Hapkido (and, yes, Robo-Rabbit, I still go to the dojang four times a week). I also used to get in lots of fights when I was a younger man, both as part of the Job and as part of what was my nasty personality (now, I am trying to be a kindly, old grand dad ... Hellofa lot more fun!)

    Back to the 'force continuum' again: stopping an aggressor could involve any or all of the following (or any permutation of them): situational awareness, loud commands or 'ready' posture, leaving the scene, calling 911, techniques from my martial arts training (and, I still LOVE sparring at the dojang: full contact, too), using improvised nearby objects for self defense, my cane (and, yes, I can really "whomp" with that thang), folding knife, Glock with a spare mag.

    I have several watch words that frame my preparedness and response to aggression:

    1. Family first (if you mess with my family I WILL come at you).
    2. Better to be a live witness, than a dead hero (essentially, if it doesn't involve protecting my family or myself, I'll remain observant, but may or may not engage).
    3. If, for whatever reason, I do have to engage, it will be with explosive, but controlled, violence.
    4. I keep "proportionate response" in mind (if a guy makes 'dirty eyes' at me, it doesn't mean it's OK to shoot him -- although I may FEEL like I want to).
    5. In a street fight there are no rules, but there are consequences (so, I have an experienced lawyer on speed dial).
    6. As Nighted noted, above, it's better to be tried by twelve than carried by six.
    7. In the aftermath of an incident if law enforcement arrives: be polite, identify yourself, provide a very brief summary of what happened (I feared for my life, he attacked me ...), then politely refuse to answer further questions until your lawyer arrives.

    EDIT: Just reading this over again I realized I left a few things out: I'm in my late sixties now. The good news is that I no longer have any fears about dying young. Unfortunately, one change I've noticed is that, even with Hapkido, swimming, and other stuff I do to try to stay in shape my stamina ain't great. When I full contact spar now if I'm lucky I can do two minutes sparring then I'm worn out. Meanwhile, my younger counterpart 'combatants' are barely winded. So, if it does get down to mano a mano it is critical that I act quickly, whether that's to run, do a head butt, give'em a groin shot, bite off an ear, or whatever.
     
    Last edited by Cobra 6 Actual, Feb 23, 2014
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  11. Blerv

    Blerv Loaded Pockets

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    @Tmedina: for sure. Also, not sure what I think about using a bladed tool's blunt side to defend oneself. In general though it's sensationalized bunk for YouTube commandos. I would love to hear that testemony...

    "You used a knife on him?"
    "No, I mean...kinda."
    "How so?"
    "I hit him with the pommel."
    "What's a pommel??"
    "The part of the knife that acts as a bludgeon."
    "..."
     
  12. northwest

    northwest EDC Junkie!!!

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    If I were to use a knife against another person, the situation must be severe. Life or death.
    As long as my legs work, that would be the first choice. To get out of there.

    If my family was in harms way because of an attacker of any sort, the knife would be my first choice.

    I am against violence, but if push comes to shove, I would deal with it with every tool available to me.
     
  13. FenixArcher

    FenixArcher EDC Junkie!!!

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    I use it as a tool, but if I was in a life or death situation I could not get out of, I wouldn't hesitate to use it to defend myself.
     
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  14. tmedina

    tmedina EDC Junkie!!!!!

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    Yeah, in the harum-scarum chaos of a brawl, "using the blunt side" or pommel of a weapon is ridiculous. It looks great on paper, but in practice the idea is absurd.

    I think that rates right up there with "shooting to wound". Looks great on tv, but takes mad skill to accomplish and you're more likely to get yourself killed in the process while you're trying to pull off Hollywood tricks.
     
  15. T.H.Cone

    T.H.Cone I am senor Fluffy, hear me roar

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    I haven't been in any sort of physical confrontation since high school and I'm getting older and slower by the minute. It doesn't help that I have the upper body strength of a nine year old girl scout. I've never been, nor do I ever intend to be, in a knife fight. I carry an Endura every day. Could that be used as a last ditch defensive tool? Maybe, but it is nowhere near as good as avoidance.

    Violence is never the answer until it is the only answer, so, if for some strange reason avoidance didn't work, the plan is for five seconds of full on violence followed by my Road Runner impersonation. Thumb to eyes, fist to throat, knee to soft tissue, and maybe a stomp to toes. Then it's "Beep, Beep!, :censored:. Would I use the knife if the opportunity presented itself? Sure. I would use anything available to break contact, but in the time it takes to bring the knife in play, I plan on being gone.

    I think that in the end, there can be no winners in a knife fight, especially if you stick around because of your ego or machismo.

    99.99999% of the time I think that not doing stupid things, with stupid people, at stupid times of the day will make the knife fight question completely theoretical.
     
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  16. gdwtvb

    gdwtvb Loaded Pockets

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    I read something that has always stuck with me when thinking about using a knife for self defense. It suggested that if you are planning on using a knife, you should get practice. Fill up a super strong plastic bag with five pounds of hamburger, a couple rump roasts, a half gallon of urine, a quart of blood and hang it from a rope in your garage. Dress in normal street clothes, and go stab it ten or fifteen times while hugging the bag, that would be what it would be like to fight with a knife. I don't know if this is accurate but it is something to think about.

    Grizz
     
  17. Skipperbrown

    Skipperbrown Loaded Pockets

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    I'd rather pull a gun than a knife.
     
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  18. twogunmojo

    twogunmojo Banned

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    it would be impossible to trace the origin of the knife...suffice it to say that the purpose of any sharp bladed instrument is to cut..period...in combat you use a knife to cut the enemies throat...in surgery you use a knife to cut out organs gone bad...in the kitchen you use a knife to cut your food...i can say to a degree of certainty that the first time ancient man used a semi-sharp tool is was for the purpose of killing...it might have been to secure his dinner or it might have been to secure his life but it was not something he debated...

    i think that the liberal mind set has a lot to do with people viewing the knife as a last ditch effort or non viable solution to a situation...

    i have carried a knife or knives since i was in first grade...i practice pulling my knife out every day...i am slower in practice than reality because i am actually thinking about my motions..when i am at work or in a restaurant or anywhere someone needs a knife mine comes out almost as quickly as you or anyone can blink...this may sound like boasting but think of it this way...have you ever been around someone who carries and uses a zippo or similar lighter for smoking...they can retrieve that lighter with one hand while getting a smoke out with the other all before you can draw a breath...

    i may get killed in a fight but the average person has a 1 in 200 lifetime chance of being murdered anyway and i prefer my odds with a knife in a fight over the generosity of criminals and crack heads...

    i have no fear of seeing my own blood spilled..i certainly have no fear of watching the other guys spill...
     
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  19. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    As a civilian now, I hesitate to use a knife as a self defense tool because the methods that I learned several decades ago gravitate towards killing the individual that attacks me. I value the quality of the life that I have toiled quite fervently to develop to give it up because I terminated the life of a pinhead moron that went after me for some relentlessly obscure (and largely inane) reason.

    I generally use one VERY efficient self-defense item these days: REAL ESTATE! I place plenty of it between me and the trouble, and, guess what, no NEED to use any other method.
     
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  20. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    Waste of time!
    All you need is two cuts. First is a slash to both eyes; second to the jugular. If I feel that I cannot do that within two seconds, I avoid the fight altogether so that I can fight IF I absolutely need to another time. So far, as a civilian, that tactic has worked for me.
     
    Last edited by 0dBm, Feb 22, 2014
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