Have you fought against a knife in real life? Israel is like a powder keg right now, and knife attacks are very common. Practicing Active Self Protection before and during an encounter can help you get out of knife attacks alive, though of course any attack with a knife is scary, bloody, and deadly.
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!
News story on the knife attacks and video of the first: https://get-asp.com/l78m
Video of the second of the two knife attacks: https://get-asp.com/xlth
How do I protect my family from knife attacks?
- Evil exists in our world, and no amount of wishing it away does so. Evil people do evil things, and good people must be ready and willing to stand between them and innocent people and do enough violence to stop them definitively. No amount of negotiation will make truly evil people change their ways; only those willing and able to stop them who use attitude, skills, and plan effectively can. While someone might argue that the first of the two knife attacks was akin to guerilla warfare (I wouldn’t), the second attack on three ultra-orthodox was clearly unconscionable.
- 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. Both of these knife attacks came from obscurity, and the second one shows how important that first response is. Notice that the first and second victim were really in trouble, but the third had enough presence of mind to be able to successfully mount some sort of defense. Surviving the ambush is a key to successful self-defense.
- To defend against knife attacks, 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 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.
- 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. Both of these knife attacks justified firearms use to end them, but neither of them provided the time to get to the gun initially. In the second video the man uses his back and feet to keep the attacker at bay, and if he had a firearm that would have been the time to get to it.
- As one of my martial arts mentors, Skip Hancock, is fond of saying, the ground must be your friend and not your enemy. You must know how to fight on the ground and not panic if the fight goes to the ground! You must have skills from bottom position, from top position, and in the scramble. You must be able to regain your feet and fight from wherever you find yourself. Too many fights require this skill to ignore it! Both of these knife attacks involved having skills on the ground, and having those skills is important.
- First aid skills are important. If you’re going to train and prepare to take a life to defend yourself, you should also have skills, training, and equipment to save life should you need to. (I carry this at a minimum: https://get-asp.com/IPOK) Often that will not involve defensive encounters, and in a defensive encounter your primary responsibility is to yourself and your loved ones. Both of these knife attacks involved innocent people taking significant wounds, and having first aid skills can be the difference between life and death.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.
(music in the intro and outro courtesy of Bensound)