The old adage about bringing a knife to a gunfight is true, but at Active Self Protection we say that videos like this show that you’ve got to win the knife fight before you can make it into a gunfight!
Original video of the knife-wielding attacker being shot: https://get-asp.com/3pv7
How do I protect myself from a knife attack?
- Everyone likes to say, “Don’t bring a knife to a gunfight.” But it’s equally true that you can’t bring a GUN to a knife fight! This attack shows that you have to win the knife fight before your firearm can come into play effectively. Trying to draw a firearm when someone is stabbing you with a knife is a great way to die, so work on your empty-handed skills to win the fight you’re in so that you can earn the right to draw your firearm and end the fight.
- 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!
- It is unrealistic to think that you can escape a knife attack unscathed; the old adage says that the loser of a knife fight dies at the scene while the winner dies on the way to the hospital. Rather, you should expect to be cut and expect to be hurt defending yourself against a knife attack. If you get to the hospital with a pulse there’s over a 92% chance you’ll live through the encounter, so keep fighting even when you’re hurt!
- 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.
- 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.
- It takes great training to do successfully, but it’s worth noting that moving backwards should be our least preferred method of gaining distance in a gunfight. When you’re moving backward with a threat in front of you it is very easy to hit an obstacle and lose your footing, which allows the threat to close the distance while you’re off balance. If possible, move diagonally or laterally to get “off the line” of attack and still engage the threat with your firearm.
Attitude. Skills. Plan.