Being the victim of a stabbing like this is one of the scariest self-defense situations I think that anyone can get into. Practicing Active Self Protection can certainly help, but these kinds of life-and-death encounters are no joke.
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Original video with scant details here: http://get-asp.com/14qz (WARNING: this site is very, very NSFW and filled with adult content…strongest warning possible)
How do I protect myself from a stabbing like this?
1. Knife attacks do not happen like you’ve seen in Hollywood. They are brutal, fast, and mean. Stabbing attacks do not generally come from slashes or from any notice whatsoever, but tend to come from concealment and repeatedly stab at a rate of 2-3 stabs per second. They tend to come with the leveraging arm as we see here, and they don’t provide opportunity to gather your feet under you.
2. In any territorial or predatorial violence, the attacker gets to set the time and circumstances of the attack. They will almost always launch that attack from ambush, or as we like to call it in Kenpo, from “obscurity.” Surviving that ambush is one of the most important keys to successfully defending yourself. This stabbing was clearly predatorial violence, where the attacker doesn’t want you to comply with him, he wants you dead.
3. Empty-handed skills are absolutely critical for self-defenders. First of all, more conflicts you will encounter as a self-defender will require empty-handed skills than will require firearms skills, simply because more self-defense encounters are physical than deadly. Second, since a firearm is a tool of last resort, self-defenders need to have non-lethal options that include empty-handed skills to protect themselves from likely incidents. Third, in the moment of the encounter you may not have the time to get to your gun before you can fight your way to it. Had this man had a firearm, it would not have saved his life until and unless he was able to protect himself from the stabbing he was being attacked with.
4. The Bystander Effect is real. There were lots of people around watching this stabbing take place, but no one stepped in. You cannot count on anyone breaking the Bystander Effect to help you, especially if the attacker is armed and any help would be at a force deficit from it. Usually the best way to break the Bystander Effect is to have a force multiplication advantage, which is a great reason to keep your force multiplier on you at all times.
5. Spiritual fitness is an important part of Active Self Protection. You don’t often get any advance notice of the last day of your life, but we see over and over that self-defense isn’t a guarantee of winning every fight you might be placed in. You want to be at peace with God, because you’ll need that peace on the day that you meet Him. Since you can’t guarantee advanced notice, make peace today. This man, I am sure, wasn’t anticipating a stabbing that day and wasn’t anticipating dying. Be ready in advance.
6. The Five Ds are a tool that we use at ASP to organize our training and preparation for defending ourselves against an armed attacker when we are not armed ourselves. (or if we are armed but outdrawn such that we must deal with the problem with our hands) Deflect, Dominate, Distract, Disarm, Disable. We pursue them from first to last, in order, to give us the best chance of successfully defending ourselves against an armed opponent. Deflect their force multiplier, Dominate as much as possible (best is the whole person, second is the arm with the tool, last is the tool itself), Distract the attacker (usually using pain, redirection, movement, etc.), Disarm the attacker, and Disable the attacker.
7. Many attackers use their support or guard side arm as a leveraging tool, holding their opponent with it either to guard their strong hand (with a force multiplier in it, often) or to put their intended victim at the preferred distance for their dominant hand to strike with maximum effect. It gives them leverage, which is why we call it a leveraging arm. You have to train repeatedly as a self-defender against the leveraging arm so that you can deal with it before the dominant arm comes into play.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of http://www.bensound.com)