The best personal self-defense weapon is a firearm. For general walking around self-defense a handgun is best and within the home, perhaps a shotgun but the latter may be debatable. However, close up, I fear a knife more so than a handgun if I have to defend against it.
I’m guessing some of you may be asking why a knife more so than a handgun. Let me explain. A knife has at least one edge that can slice a body open and in some cases they have double edges. And of course, it has the pointed part of the blade also. At minimum, two serious threat areas and in some cases, three. And, importantly, a knife can be brushed against an arm, stomach or any part of human flesh with very little force and can open it up like a filet of fish ready for the grill.
Now, put passion or anger behind that slash or stab or worse yet, repeated stabbings and slashing and you have a nightmare on your hands.
And many of the good techniques taught to defend against a knife still leaves the very real possibility of the defender getting slashed or stabbed. As a military combat veteran and combat trainer friend once told me, “If I’m ever in a knife fight, I expect to get cut.” And that’s just the problem. Defending against an enraged knife wielding attacker means that if you survive and defeat him or her you are more than likely going to be sliced, diced and perhaps stabbed.
Before I go any further it must be said that the best defense against a knife attack is a gun. Like the old saying goes: “Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight”. And if one has any choice in how to defend against a knife attack the choice should be a gun. Which brings me to defending against guns, specifically, handguns.
A handgun has one area to be concerned of. The barrel. Specifically the end of the barrel where the cartridge comes out of. That’s it. Granted, that’s a big “that’s it” but the fact is that good handgun defense techniques work to get that business end of the barrel immediately away from the defender and then works to completely control it. And that is much easier to do with a gun than with a knife. Again, a knife has different areas of concerns and in addition a slight twist of an attackers hand while attempting control can open us up like a buzz saw.
The key to knife defense is learning strong and realistic techniques. Quick, simple and then immediate. No hesitation but more importantly, no fear. But how can someone not have fear against a knife attack? You and I would have to be crazy not to fear a knife wielding attacker coming at us! However, as a knife defense expert I know states that one must believe that their repetitive training and immediate action against a knife will defeat the attack; and fear should not be a part of that equation. Further explained, believing that we know what to do and that we’ll do it with hurricane speed and force, leaving fear out of that combination.
Easier said than done? Perhaps, but it makes much sense. Practice reality defenses against possible knife attacks—simple, to the point (no pun intended) no hesitation moves that can work and then MAKE it work. Serious stuff but it simply does not get much more serious than being attacked by an enraged knife wielding attacker.
Steve's a three-time survivor of violence in his youth and was an award winning police officer.
For several years, Steve also did radio political and current event commentary and taught college Criminal Justice. He is the former host of the long running 'The Kovacs Perspective' Internet radio talk show.
Presently, Steve is the owner and Managing Director of one of the oldest martial art schools in Ohio, 'The Mayfield Academy of Self-Defense'.
Latest posts by Steve Kovacs (see all)
- Black Lives Really Mattering and My Friend the Boxer - September 7, 2017
- Meaning—Makes the Man and Woman–Makes the Difference - August 28, 2017
- Bars, Demonstrations, and Getting Thumped… - August 14, 2017