I was watching the last episode of the 2021 BBC TV series Vigil. See 10:16. I can't find the whole clip — if you do, please add it to this post.

Lieutenant Commander Mark Prentice on the bottom gets knived many times by Chief Petty Officer Downard on top. How could've Prentice protected himself, beaten Downard, and come out on top?

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  • Assuming the aggressor is on full mount, I would try to deflect the knife to one of my none vital organs (say, left shoulder) and gauge his eye with right. Nov 28, 2021 at 7:35
  • @AlaychemgoestoCodidact Eye gouge from an inferior position on the ground makes about as much sense as a push kick when running backwards. Nov 28, 2021 at 12:46
  • Yell "You're killin' me, Smalls!" in a funny voice, and when he stops stabbing you to laugh, make your escape. Nov 29, 2021 at 17:43

1 Answer 1


In this situation, Downard is kneeling beside Prentice, not even putting weight on his body. Prentice should try to rotate his body to his right, scoot his body away from Downard and push Downard's hand to the right, deflecting the thrust of the knife past him (in BJJ, this is known as "shrimping" or "elbow-knee escape"); then, either get up and run away, or keep control of the knife hand, and get his legs between himself and Downard's body, maybe securing an armbar (juji-gatame, in judo terminology) on the arm holding the knife.

Obviously, all that is easier said than done in real life. As long as the attacker doesn't bother to control the defender's body and just pushes down, it can probably be pulled off, but as soon as the attacker does something different, all bets are off. When someone attacks you with a knife, expect to get hurt or die.

  • whats the jujitsu/judo name for this tactic?
    – mattsmith5
    Nov 28, 2021 at 11:14
  • 1
    @mattsmith5 It is a shrimp. I'd add blocking the hip in addition to wrist control. The arm bar would be a juji gatame in Judo. As there is no control exerted by the offender, this should be quite easy to pull off if you're trained in ground fight. Nov 28, 2021 at 12:49

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