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Why Knives Scare Black Ops Soldiers More Than Guns

According to the FBI the two most common weapons carried by criminals are knives and guns. This is no big surprise to most people. However it is important to realize just how many criminal are carrying knives and guns.

Here are the stats according to the FBI:

  • Homicide: 80.5% of murder victims are killed using knives or guns.
  • Robbery: 50.3% of robbery victims are held up at knife or gun point.
  • Aggravated Assault: 39.6% of victims are attacked with either a knife or gun.

What these numbers reveal is that if you are a victim of a violent crime you will likely be facing a knife or gun.

*One clarification about the numbers above. A homicide is nothing more than an aggravated assault where someone died. This explains why it has the lowest percentage. If the attacker has a knife or gun you are much more likely to be killed (which is why the number for homicide is so high).

Anyways back to my main point. If you don’t know how to deal with an attacker who is carrying a knife or gun you are in big trouble.

The thing is there are proven ways to disarm and win a fight even if your attacker has a weapon and you don’t.

What does this have to do with the title of this post?

Well in the past 20 years of working with over a dozen highly respected Special Ops Soldiers (Navy Seals, Delta Force Commandos, Army Rangers, Green Berets, Dept. Of Defense, Black Bag Soldiers, and others who can’t even talk about half the stuff they’ve done) I learned that nearly all of them were more fearful of being cornered by a guy with a knife than a guy with a gun.

This strikes most people as pretty strange. A gun seems a lot scarier. Not to these guys.

They know that they can disarm a gun wielding attacker 9 times out of 10 without ever getting shot (not perfect but pretty good odds).

They also know that no matter how good they are they have little chance of disarming a guy with a knife without needing some serious stitches (No bueno when you are behind enemy lines and have to deal with blood loss).

Okay what does this mean for you? If they are scared of knives, you should be really scared of knives.

With several hours of serious training you can become pretty good at disarming a guy with a gun. If you want to learn how check out Bob Taylor’s Fighting Chance.

This is good news, if you do this you will be taking some serious strides toward protecting yourself.

The trickier thing is learning how to disarm a guy carrying a knife. What makes this particularly difficult is the variety of knives and knife fighting styles.

There are three distinct styles of knife fighting, and an endless variety of knives. Each different fighting style requires a different technique.

Guns are pretty simple. They will kill you in two main ways, damage to a vital organ (like the heart or brain) or blood loss. Even more important the gun must be held out in front of the person (making it easier to disarm). Yes a shot gun can be shot from the hip but the longer barrel gives you a great handle.

To disarm an opponent with a gun you just need to learn how to redirect the barrel (now you are safe for the time being) and then take control of the weapon (takes a little more practice but is straight forward).

Knives are a little different. One fighting style relies on inflicting dozens of small cuts that will slowly weaken you with pain and slow blood loss. Another style aims to cut large arteries on the undersides of the arms, insides of the leg, and around the stomach and chest. Finally the last style uses slashing to simply get you to open up for a fatal stab wound.

If you want to feel truly confident in your self defense skills you need to know some effective knife disarming techniques for each style.

The only way to learn these techniques is to get a dummy knife and practice slow with a partner. Then get faster and faster until you are going full speed.

Another important thing to do is put some fake blood or some other type of dye or marker on the blade of the knife. This will show you where you would have been cut.

It is real easy to disarm a foam knife because you aren’t afraid of it. When the dye shows you that you got cut on major arteries you will start taking the dummy knife (and these techniques) more seriously.

Proper technique will teach you to never expose the undersides of the lower and upper arms to the knife. These are the areas that will cause fatal wounds due to blood loss in a real knife fight.

You will always block using the outside or tops of your arms. If you are cut you will bleed and need stitches, but you won’t lose nearly as much blood.

Okay that’s it for the knife disarming intro. Later this week I’ll be posting a video showing you exactly how to disarm one particularly dangerous knife attack.

You will be one step closer to knowing how to disarm any knife attack.

Until then…

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2 thoughts on “Why Knives Scare Black Ops Soldiers More Than Guns”

  1. kali,sikaran, fma, arnis, escrima, eskrima, kali knife, ikaef, skalberg, federation, organization, punong, kombatan, knife fighting kali arnis,kali escrima arnis,martial arts instructor.
    Thank you for this informative post.

  2. This is a good article, and i realize it is written to teach newbies, but a couple of things kind of leap out at me.

    First, gangsta slime bags aside, someone well trained in CQB will not extend the gun. If you encounter someone who holds the gun close to their body, you are in more trouble than you realize because they know what they’re doing and the chances border on nil that you will ever disarm them.

    Second, the death of a thousand cuts may be accurate in some settings, but most people attacking with a knife will not go for the slow kill. They want to incapacitate you, get want they want, and get out of there. This is not the grand area.