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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. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    sungame has hit the nail right on the head!!!

    Even if you are Steven Seagal, and you get in a knife fight, your going to be sliced and diced. It won't matter how good you are, because some druggie swinging a blade is going to connect, no matter what you do. You can take a hit from a fist and still go, but a hot from a knife is not going to be shrugged off. All you need is that one puncture wound in the wrong place, and your down and dying in the street. You run like hell from a knife, or at least put some solid object between you and it. Beer pitcher, bar stool, fire extinguisher, pool stick, walking stick, trashcan lid, jack handle, piece of broom handle, lamp, anything.

    I know I've told it here before, but in september of 1969, while stationed at Ft. Lenard Wood Missouri, I witnessed a knife fight between two young soldiers. One had sold a lid of pot to the other, and it was light. They got in an argument and one pulled a Buck knife. In those days, every swinging richard had the black pouch on the belt. Well the other guy pulled his and they set to it. When it was over, one had died, the other was in very critical condition, but lived after a month in the hospital. He was then court martialed and sent to Ft. Levenworth for a very long time. But what was the life altering event for me was, how they had to bring in a water truck to hose down the blood soaked pavement afterward. I never knew the human body had that much blood in it.

    I carry a small pocket knife because a cutting tool is sometimes needed. In January of 1991, I had to cut a seat belt of lady stuck in a her wrecked Datun 210 because the belt was jammed. A knife is just needed to cut things, sometimes. But I will never, never in this lifetime use a knife as a weapon after I saw one real knife fight. Using a knife in a fight is a loose-loose situation.
     
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  2. Lou_G

    Lou_G Banned

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    This thread seems to have all bases covered. I'll add my quick 2 cents. I voted last ditch, because if you're in a situation of defending yourself and a knife is your best option, boy have you made some blunders. I've never pulled a knife and the only 2 times a knife was pulled on me for intimidation, I had a Glock to encourage them to use their Nike defense. Also, someone stated a beer bottle to the head doesn't knock people out. I will say that a glass beer pitcher to the back of the head is pretty useful. I hate the plastic pitchers I see everywhere nowadays. :p

    My thoughts are that situational awareness and avoidance are the number one priority. If you have no choice but to get into a life or death self defense option, a pistol is better than a knife in most cases. Self-defense training is great, but the will to fully use force is more important. The worst fight of my life involved first 2 trained and armed opponents and then a third as backup. I walked away only due to immediate and extreme violence of action, and my luck that they hesitated to use deadly force against an unarmed person. I wish I could go back and be smart enough to use the first rule and not have been in that situation. As Reid Henrichs says, "The lessons that we learn, are written on the tombstones of others."

    Edit: Corrected Reid's last name.
     
    Last edited by Lou_G, Apr 12, 2014
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  3. T.H.Cone

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

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    Quick show off hands, who else knows who this chap is?:)
     
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  4. Jby2206

    Jby2206 Loaded Pockets

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    [​IMG]
     
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  5. CUTLERY_KID

    CUTLERY_KID Loaded Pockets

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    Situational awareness is always on my mind, and the most important ability to have in any problem you find yourself in. Chances are if you get into a knife fight, you're gonna get cut. I'm personally a fan of the old adage "don't bring a knife to a gunfight" but if its all you've got, give 'em hell. But seriously, if someone points a gun at you, it all comes down to your decision in that split second. What's worth more; your wallet, or your life?
     
  6. Izlom

    Izlom Loaded Pockets

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    Totally agree that it is only the "last-ditch" thing. Especially against the human. Pepper spray is undoubtedly more effective and safer for everyone. But I carry it mainly against dog fighting breeds because we have way too many of them in our locality without wearing any muzzle or dog's lead.
     
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  7. Daywalker
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Daywalker EDC Junkie!!!

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    :blink: Odd...this is the second thread I checked out and both from Feb, one in 2014, one in 2015..? Be right back, gonna do a search around the house...either Rod Serling or Alfred Hitchcock gotta be around here somewhere...:frantic:
     
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  8. moostapha

    moostapha Loaded Pockets

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    Weird necro thread....

    I've done empty hand knife and handgun defenses in KM, and it really lead me to wonder how effective either would be without training.

    So, I got some training. Most of it has been focused on competition and none of it with a knife.

    I have seen a decent number of demonstrations of "knife fighting", but the only ones that make sense are using the knife as a single, first strike (as in your first strike, not the action that starts a fight out of nowhere) with the goal of making enough distance or time to draw and fire a gun.

    There is no way to predict any situation, but in KM, we also literally trained sucker punches...too close, conflict already started, trying to talk your way out of it...something happens to flip your switch and you literally beat them to the punch.

    The difference between that and most of the fast first strikes using blades is that the blade is always slower.

    You have to draw it. If it's coming from a pocket, you WILL have to adjust your grip before you use it, no matter how it deploys.

    And even if it's something like a karambit with a retention ring, it will slow down clearing your cover garment to get to your pistol.

    If it's a de, pikal, or Clinch pick, then you pretty much need to drop it or clear and draw with one hand to keep from hurting yourself (a lesson learned with a trainer and a punching bag).

    I typically carry 3 knives on me. One is a legal OTF Auto for utility tasks because it's awesome and very convenient. One is a manual folder for food and things that would gunk up the auto. And one is incidental to carrying a multi-tool because MT designers don't understand that anyone who carries a multi-tool either also has a knife or doesn't want one.

    In order to use one for self defense, unarmed strikes and my gun would already have had to fail...I'd be losing badly and probably already be in need of a hospital.

    Anyone who trains properly has lost a simulated fight, and s/he can imagine a situation where a knife in their hands would change the outcome for the better....it's an appropriate addendum to the so-called ranger's prayer.

    But the fact is that, risks of the bloody aftermath aside, it's slower than unarmed strikes and less effective than a gun.
     
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  9. Daywalker
    • In Omnia Paratus

    Daywalker EDC Junkie!!!

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    Aloha moostapha,

    Some key points I enjoyed in bold.

    There was a drill I used to have some guys perform and ONE of them carried a drone knife. That person would then be "Peter Sellers as the Pink Panther" and the rest of us, his "Kato's". At ANY given time, carrier of the drone KNEW he'd be attacked, but by how many and how, he didn't know. Nor did he know how many times during training he would be attacked, or if there was going to be a weapon used against him. (Those swimming noodles make training real time back in the day with sticks pretty humbling, but safe!:D ) As you said, there is no way to predict any situation. Although anyone carrying the drone would try...it just does not work that way. There were times when we'd invite peers who carried folders, guys who bragged about what they'd "do" with their knives if they were in a SD situation. (I am SURE you've heard that song before.) So I'd make said peer the drone carrier, and one attacker, four attackers, etc...most never even tried for the drone. Even with just one "attacker", most got so overwhelmed by the attack, they went for "gross motor skills" and just started swinging. Sad though, because almost all of them afterwards would say something along the lines of, "Ahhhh, IF this was real, would've been different.":(
    Thanks for the great reply again moostapha.
    Be safe sir!
     
  10. Corgi

    Corgi EDC Junkie

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    Well, now that this thread is alive again...

    I say knives are tools that can double as weapons. I will not get a knife designed to hurt people though, if I want something like that I would carry pepper spray. When I buy knives, I think in terms of price and usability, not if it could be used to stab someone. I'm not gonna only carry backlocks because "Liner locks are weak and might fail in a fight."

    I don't see why people will buy a $100 half serrated 5 inch bladed tanto tipped back locked textured handled black colored tactical nightmare. It's not very usable for utility, and you might be less likely to get cut up and put in court for using pepper spray.

    Knives are not the most effective stoppers. Pepper spray blinds, and if someone is temporarily blinded, it's hard for them to hurt you. If I was was fighting for my life, I would employ a knife if there was no other option.

    As for handguns, I'm not opposed to carrying them. IMO, if you're going to carry lethal force you might as well do it right. Handguns could get you in legal trouble, but so can stabbing someone with a massive folder. And with a handgun you have a better chance of getting out alive.

    One would almost think the people who carry knives for self defense carry them because they think it's cool. Maybe it isn't macho enough to spray someone with a $10 can of pepper spray and walk away. Or they think that if someone attacks them they are "Gonna teach them a REAL lesson." I think that's kinda dumb.

    One last thing, it bugs me so much to see dumb comments about this online. I've seen a couple where people are saying that a folder with a short blade is a good "Less lethal" weapon because "It will hurt but not kill."

    There are a couple issues with that. One, you will get in law trouble for that, two, your attacker might kill you, three, if he is on drugs he might not feel the pain very much, four, if he is on adrenaline they might not feel the pain, and five, you might accidentally kill the person anyway.

    And have you ever howled in pain when you cut yourself? Probably not. You may have when you stubbed your toe, or as a kid getting soap in your eyes. Pepper spray/gun>knife.
     
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  11. JustinJ
    • GITD Manix 2XL Owner

    JustinJ Loaded Pockets

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    Thankfully, I have never been in a situation where i had to think about whether or not my knife was a weapon. the moments i have feared most for my personal safety were things going on outside my apartment while i was safely behind a locked door, ready to dial 911 if things got any scarier (creeps hanging out in the apartment parking lot area/ground floor porch),

    other self-defense threads have mentioned that blunt force is more effective at stopping someone than cutting/poking with a sharp object. at home, I have 10 pound dumbells, frying pans, a hammer, furniture, all manner of heavy blunt things.
     
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  12. Corgi

    Corgi EDC Junkie

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    Quite true. As I said, you may have yelped stubbing your toe, but not cutting yourself, even somewhat seriously.
     
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  13. Massen

    Massen Loaded Pockets

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    Since I voted "Other":

    Knives are tools, but can be used to attempt to deter an attacker, however unless you are highly trained in the use of a knife as a weapon you are likely to fall victim to the old saying "no one wins a knife fight"...
     
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  14. moostapha

    moostapha Loaded Pockets

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    Yeah...you might not have any clue an attack was coming instead of knowing one was coming but not exactly when and how many....which means you'd probably be fighting just the way you were except possibly with some other impairment.

    It's a giant pile of vulgar manure.

    Which is one reason I think training like KM (light strike but otherwise full contact sparring, under duress and fatigue with distractions) is valuable.

    I don't know HOW I would react to anything, but I know that the fight won't be over until he stops fighting or I can't move.

    As for OC spray...idk. I get all the scientific reasons it should work, but blowback and lethality are concerns. Plus...it's fairly common (though probably not common enough) to practice with a handgun several thousand times. People all have their own thresholds for carry, but for people who are serious...500 trouble free rounds and a lot more dry presentations from a holster before carrying it seems somewhat common.

    How many non-LEOs have fired live pepper spray, with the risk of blowback so you have to think about it, at a target, more than half a dozen times? How about even once? At a moving target? Under duress?

    I have at a static target once. The wind changed and I ran like a little kid.

    I can train to not flag myself with a muzzle. I am not confident in my ability to train myself to be aware of wind in a self defense encounter.

    I kinda feel the same way about tasers. They're basically contact distance weapons, carry an unpredictable risk of lethality, and mostly suck. A friend hit me with one in college, and all that happened was I broke his nose.

    Apparently he was trying to show his girlfriend that the particular model was useless. It worked.

    (Yes, we were cool afterwards. I drove him to the health center and only made 2 motions before I realized who it was....trapping his arm with a handgun defense and the punch that goes with it.)

    I don't call myself an expert, but I do have more training than most people. And while I get the idea of the force continuum, I think a lot of people overcomplicate it....

    1. Avoidance
    2. Escape
    3. Verbal Deescalation
    4. Violence

    And, yeah...if an unarmed 80lb kid attacks a Pro Football Center, a gentle shove might be too much...but that kind of thing doesn't happen often.

    Maybe I'm still naive, but I really feel like I just wouldn't fight at all unless I was legally and morally justified in using lethal force...in real life, once the fists start flying, all bets are off. It's uncommon, but you can die from tripping over your own feet and hitting your head wrong. You can die from a punch that connects to your throat too well.

    Maybe it's the KM. Maybe it's a bit too extreme for most people. But, I believe that you DO NOT throw a strike unless you're willing, able, and justified to end the fight however you have to...and have the training and presence of mind to actually stop when the fight ends.

    My friend that tased me...I genuinely regret that I committed to the strike before I identified him. But, he did commit a felony....

    So, yeah....I'd use one of my knives if I had to. But, it's pretty far off from plan A.
     
  15. Corgi

    Corgi EDC Junkie

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    I don't think OC is the end all of self defense. I'd rather carry a handgun. But OC IS a option if you can't carry firearms.

    And as for practice, Cold Steel has practice cans, that spray out stuff but don't have the pepper in them.
     
  16. jackknife

    jackknife Loaded Pockets

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    Corgi, your post was sooooo right on target, but this one paragraph hit the bullseye exactly dead center. The bulk of the so called tactical knife craze that I saw start with Lynn Thompson in the late 1980's is driven by ego and hype. It's an artificial market to sell highly hyped knives that are hevy in the "cool" factor to young men who are far more impressionable than world wise.

    I find it more than a little funny that in the days before reliable repeating firearms, the knives that people really did carry for self defense did not involve anything that looked like what is being pushed on a new generation of would be knife fighters. I grew up in an era where if a man was serious about defending himself, he carried a gun. Knives were looked down on as a "punk's weapon" and did not go over well in court. Things have not changed much.

    With far better weapons available, carrying a knife is just plain dumb. If for some reason you can't had a gun, then carry a blunt force trauma tool. In my youth, I was running with bunch of older guys who were less than stellar citizens. This was in the North East section of Washington D.C. of North Capital street and Rhode Island ave. One guy, about 40 was Ray, my main mentor, hjad served time in prison. He didn't carry any knife but a small pocket knife for cutting duty. BNut he was never without his brass heeded cane unless he was carrying his Irish knob handled blackthorn stick. I also noticed most of the older guys carried some sort of blunt tool. Blackjack, large crescent wrench, socket handle, padlock with a bandana through it.

    When I asked Ray about why he didn't carry a knife, he told me that if he had a "difficulty" with someone, he wanted an instant drop. A knife doesn't carry that ability, and in a fight, a lot of people who get stabbed think they got punched and keep on fighting. Ray did not approve of my budding knife nut way. He had me drop the Buck knife I was carrying for a regular pocket knife and drop a crescent wrench in my back pocket. I was taught that if a fight broke out, and somebody was dumb enough to pull a knife, just break hs hand bones or wrist, then brain him. Simple but it works. If you don't have a gun, or can't have a gun, then carry something to just smash your attackers bones. Less legal hassle than if you stab him, looks waaaay better in court, and you don't get blood bourne pathogens all over you.

    There's no win with a knife. Just a lose-lose situation. Use your head instead.
     
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  17. 0dBm

    0dBm Loaded Pockets

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    Ah, no. Haven't lost my "sense." That "sense" includes a common one: don't step on poo if you KNOW it's there. I'll leave it to YOU to do the "swimming" with the sharks. "Been there, done that; still don't prefer it." I'm quite content to swim in more pleasant waters.:p
     
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  18. Cobra 6 Actual

    Cobra 6 Actual Loaded Pockets

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    Um, I'm a little confused, jackknife : in this thread here http://www.edcforums.com/threads/cane-was-no-good.69480/ on January 12, 2010 you wrote this:

    "I now know what they mean by a layered defense. I'm not going to make that mistake again, and discount a knife so quick. From now on I will carry a knife for just in case a cane won't work.

    But the one thing that has been going through my mind in the last 24 hours thinking about it, has been how the sight of a knife in my hand stopped this huge guy cold. The knife had a whole differnt effect than a walking stick/cane would have had. Big as he was, he didn't want any part of it."

    Everyone is entitled to change their mind, sir, but; wow, this is a complete reversal. Please help me to understand what caused the switcheroo.

    As I wrote in this thread in Post #10 I believe in the force continuum and so I see everything from a gun to a knife to an ashtray as just another option. Whatever tools are available -- including knives -- MAY be used in an emergency situation. moostapha has the right idea I believe. And, yes, being retired federsl law enforcement I understand about possible 'consequences.'

    I also noted in Post #71 that I had been in an actual knife fight -- and although I agree that USUALLY in such events one has to accept that you will be cut -- in this particular instance that didn't happen. An anomaly perhaps.

    Anyway, earlier you indicated that it was essentially a knife -- an Opinel, no less -- that was clearly better than a cane for the incident with the 'big guy' and now it's a cane or a crescent wrench is better than a knife: what changed your mind, sir, about the need for a "layered defense" that included a knife option as you noted earlier?
     
    Last edited by Cobra 6 Actual, Oct 30, 2015
  19. smokingfish

    smokingfish Loaded Pockets

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    If I was being attacked by a weapon yielding person, yes I'll use my knife.

    If im being threatened, they won't see my knife.

    I'll save my life, but not going to jail over stupid decisions.
     
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  20. twoisone
    • In Omnia Paratus

    twoisone EDC Junkie!!!

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    I have zero experience in the matter of knives for defence but I watched in horror the YouTube videos of police training to create distance in the face of a knife attack. ( I think Dan Inosanto?) from what I can tell, using your knife in defence is wishful thinking and even getting your mind to tell your feet to move seems problematic.