How much do you work on defending yourself from a close-quarters knife attack like this? We see a lot of ambush attacks at Active Self Protection, and those attacks don’t look like Hollywood and don’t end like Hollywood either!
Original video: http://get-asp.com/y1w8 (WARNING: the site all three videos comes from is very, very NSFW and filled with adult content…strongest warning possible…I get videos from it when I can’t find it anywhere else but do NOT endorse anything about it)
What does this knife attack teach us about protecting ourselves against an attack?
- 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 Umas, from “obscurity.” Surviving that ambush is one of the most important keys to successfully defending yourself. This knife attack was not easily avoidable, because the attacker waited to get behind her victim and none of us is so aware that we can routinely stop this kind of ambush. It’s the follow-up, then, that determines if we live or die!
- The Bystander Effect is real. There were lots of people around here, but no one stepped in until the attack was well underway. 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.
- There is a significant difference between territorial and predatorial violence. (I learned these terms from Marc MacYoung) Territorial violence occurs when an aggressor wants something from you; they put a line in the sand and tell you that you will give it to them, or they will hurt you. Muggings and rapes fall in this category among others. Predatorial violence occurs when the attacker wants you dead and there is no ability to comply with demands to live. In territorial violence compliance might get you out alive, but a predatory attacker will not be stopped short of your death or you having the attitude, skills, and plan to stop them.
- The root word of gunfight is “fight,” not “gun.” Whether you carry a firearm or not, recognize that you need to know how to fight and protect yourself against an attacker! Even if you do carry a firearm, you need empty-handed skills to be able to fight your way to your gun or defend yourself before you get the opportunity to draw. To think otherwise is madness. Even if this woman was carrying a firearm, there was no time to get it into the fight to stop the knife attack.
- 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.
- 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.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.