Great discussion so far!
In regards to scanning the hands for blades; it’s a good practice, but it’s no guarantee. We actually practice a “concealed” knife carry position where you can see both of our hands clearly, but are unable to see that we are holding a blade and you probably won’t see it until you are being cut by it (if you fail to maintain a safe distance or get a false sense of security and mentally underestimate me/us and “drop your guard”). Mr. Ryan shows this to LEO’s all the time and it tends to shatter their paradigm that "if you can see the hands and no weapon, they don’t have one at their immediate disposal.
Now, obviously Mr Ryan is one of the best and most knowledgeable knife/blade fighting instructors in the world (IMO #1) and has probably trained more hours with blades than most people have even thought about combative training (armed or otherwise) and so was able to come up with this method of carry, but that doesn’t mean some other bad guys haven’t figured the same thing out.
In regards to the original topic; I agree that it’s a crappy situation to find yourself in and that when fighting unarmed against an ambush knife attackthe odds are against you, but it still beats the alternative of embracing your execution/becoming a victim. Like Robert said, you must make up your mind that you will survive and you must fight with everything you can until you either:
- can escape
- incapacitate your attacker
I also am not a huge fan of trying to control the weapon arm right off the bat; protect your vitals with less potentially lethal parts of your body, attack the CNS or vital targets ASAP, then take advantage of the momentary pause in attacks and:
- gain control of the weapon arm/body
- make space and/or put an obstacle between the two of you so you can deploy your own weapon/escape/call for help
- continue to do damage until you can do 1 or 2.
I agree that you can conceal the fact that you are concealing a blade, BUT, the blade doesn’t just magically appear in your hand. There are signs that when searched for can be seen: The hand gravitating towards a pocket constantly in the heat of an altercation; a diagonal or vertical line created by a concealed knife in a pocket; the knifes pocket clip itself, hands behind the back, in a pocket, hanging on a belt; the posture of possible assailants shifting to hide the presence of the knife.
Even if you are wrong, you should be looking for an array of signs that indicate an attacker being armed and approach or escape the scenario appropriately.
The biggest problem with this is that you basically have to be a human attack radar. The issue already raised about us “switching off” at times is an understandable response we’ll have to certain environments. I mean, I preach constant awareness, but it is unrealistic to expect anyone to have such a high level of vigilance.
It’s more realistic to have a set of rules that you live by: Don’t go down dark alleys alone or in small groups, avoid dodgy pubs, avoid arguements, sit near an exit, etc etc that enhance your ability to either notice and escape or avoid completely any situation that results in a confrontation.
The carry position I am referring to would set off none of those alarm signals though, yet the blade is almost immediately accessible; which is why it is so unnerving to LEO’s when it’s shown to them.
The rest of your post I totally agree with though.
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