Are you ready to protect yourself against a knife attack like this? This officer shows us that the “stand and deliver” method of shooting someone in a knife attack isn’t great Active Self Protection. He shows us instead a better method!
Original video of the knife attack on the officer: https://get-asp.com/ydmd
News story on the knife attack: https://get-asp.com/4aei
What does this video teach us about defending ourselves against a knife attack?
- It’s important to be trained and ready to protect yourself against a knife attack as it is against an attack with a firearm. FBI homicide data says that about 4 times the number of people are killed with handguns as with knives, but since gunshots are about four times more fatal than knife wounds, it means the number of attacks are probably similar! (if you look at the FBI data, hands and feet kill a lot of people, too!) This leads us to the principle that we must be ready for knife attacks that begin at close distance, and have the empty-handed skills to defend ourselves.
- The Tueller Drill is a widely known standard for gun carriers against a knife attack, which states that an attacker can cover 21 feet in 1.5 seconds to get to their target. If the gun carrier doesn’t have their gun out and ready, they will get stabbed trying to get their gun in a fight. This has led to the “21 foot rule”, though it has been revisited by Sgt. Tueller and found to be more of a guide and principle than a rule. At any rate, in a knife attack, recognize that a knife-wielding attacker can be a deadly threat from a significant range, and recognize that they can close that distance very quickly. Get your firearm out and on target as soon as you recognize a threat! The key for the officer here was that even though the knife attack came from 21+ feet, he had to have his firearm up and on target already to be successful.
- If you have a firearm out, distance is your friend (especially against a knife attack). A firearm has a functionally infinite range in a deadly force encounter. (yes, I know, that’s not 100% true…for the purposes of a self-defense fight, it is functionally true) If you are at contact distance to someone you have a firearm aimed at, you give them the ability to fight you for your firearm and negate the advantage you have, or as here to come at you with a knife. Therefore, if you have a gun on someone, stay out of range of their knife attack if at all possible!
- Marksmanship is critical in a gunfight, because you are responsible for every round that leaves the muzzle of your firearm. You must recognize that you are accountable for any errant rounds that leave your gun and the damage they cause. This knife attack shows how important it is to put your shots into the attacker, because behind him is a lot of innocent people.
- The rules of firearm safety apply whether you’re training or fighting for your life. One of the most difficult to follow in a real life gunfight is Colonel Cooper’s Rule #4: be sure of your target and what lies beyond it. It is exceedingly difficult to do during a knife attack, but self-defenders must stay aware of what is behind their threat so that they take minimal risks to innocents when defending themselves.
- The human body is designed to take a ridiculous amount of punishment and still function. You can shoot someone multiple times and they can still pose a deadly threat! That’s certainly what happened in this knife attack. Even mortally wounded people can continue to pose a threat for several seconds to even minutes after being shot, so don’t think for a moment that shooting someone will necessarily immediately incapacitate them. That is Hollywood myth.
- In a gunfight or a knife attack, movement is your friend. You must be ready not only to draw and fire, but to draw and fire while moving laterally, back, and diagonally while the knife attack is coming at you. You simply will not stand still in a gunfight because it is against every instinct you have when in mortal danger! People who focus too much on stance or isosceles vs. Weaver forget this fact, but as self-defenders we must know that we will be moving. So practice and train movement on the draw and fire. This is a great reason to have airsoft trainers and practice draw and move in your dry-fire regimen as well.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
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