I gotta be honest, a knife attack is far, far scarier than a shooting in my opinion. We see how fast and frightening a knife attack can be in this video, and that’s why we talk about knife attacks so often at Active Self Protection.
This video is sponsored by CCWSafe, who I use to help me win the fight after the fight: https://get-asp.com/ccwsafe. I am a member and I recommend them highly; please go check them out and thank them for being a sponsor of our daily lessons!
Original, unedited video of the knife attack: https://get-asp.com/50ys
How do I protect myself from a knife attack?
- Situational awareness is your best friend. I don’t know that the first victim could have completely avoided the knife attack, but the others might have! It doesn’t mean that you always are paranoid or living in “condition orange,” but it does mean that you know Col. Cooper’s color code of awareness and you live by it. Pay attention to your surroundings, and recognize that when you’re in public places you need to be more aware of your surroundings than when you’re in private.
- Transitional spaces are places where we MUST be more careful of potential attack. A transitional space is any location that (1) allows attackers to prey on potential victims with an element of surprise and (2) provides ready escape for the attackers. This knife attack happened in a transitional space, and when in transitional spaces it pays to be a bit more on guard.
- 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.” This knife attack came out of that kind of obscurity, and that’s a common tactic. Surviving that ambush is one of the most important keys to successfully defending yourself.
- To defend against this kind of knife attack, you need emotional fitness. Emotional fitness is defined as the ability to internally represent a situation or predicament to yourself in such a way as to make you strong and able to successfully defend yourself against it. Repeated practice and thousands of reps of sparring and self-defense absolutely build your emotional fitness to be able to handle whatever comes your way. Knife attacks in particular are emotionally difficult, so repeated training and practice are necessary to defend against them.
- If you run from an attack (whether a knife attack or a gunman), don’t just run AWAY from danger. Run TO something. Run TO the corner where you can fight one at a time. Run TO a store where a guard can help you. Run TO your house where you can lock the door. Run TO a place where you can better defend yourself from attack. Running FROM danger is great, but running TO safety is better!
- A Knife attack does not happen like you’ve seen in Hollywood. It is 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. This kind of “sewing machine” is what we need to defend against, so make sure it’s what you train against.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound at http://www.bensound.com)