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In the following video, we see several techniques for disarming a knife-wielding assailant.

Are the techniques effective and realistic?

Are there other techniques? Is there a way to get close to the other side of the assailant and to control the knife?

  • My training is predominantly in unarmed combat, so I don't feel qualified to give an answer, but FWIW what he suggests seems very reasonable to me: getting the head deep into the crook of the elbow should prevent the knife being drawn across the neck. More generally, if you care about this stuff, you'd be better off learning several arts that specialise in it, rather than always asking on here if the krav-maga techniques are good. In other words, why not take up escrima, kali, silat etc. as well? – Tony D Feb 14 at 11:16
  • Pedro Sauer has many BJJ based knife defense techniques. They're worth looking into if you're interested in that kind of thing. But you should know the best knife defense is running away. You WILL get stabbed. – coinbird Feb 15 at 16:47
  • Thanks @coinbird , Can you tell me where can I find it? – Avi Feb 16 at 16:49
  • @Avi Probably part of some DVD series for sale. Though most of it is on youtube and whatever for free. I'm lucky enough to train with him in person so I've never had to use the videos. – coinbird Feb 19 at 15:47
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My problem with these internet demonstration videos is that they always feature at least semi-willing accomplices, who know that the purpose of the video is to demonstrate how effective the technique being used actually is.

That being said, the techniques shown can be effective, but they assume a couple of things:

  1. Proximity - The technique presumes that you are allowed to get into a position close enough to be able to actually do the technique.
  2. Grip and strength - The technique also assumes that your strength and surprise is enough to overcome his strength and tension, as well as your grip being strong enough to control the arm.

What happens if the knife holder is significantly stronger than you? What happens if your grip slips off during the grab? (Hint, the reflexive tightening of the forearm will drive the knife back up towards the throat, you do the math). What happens if you can't get close enough, or the knife holder moves away as you approach? What if it's raining and/or the guy is wearing thick clothing? There are too many variables to simply say "Yeah, that's effective".

For your other question, yes, there are myriad ways to approach someone, move around them, grab/control the knife hand, disarms, etc. Almost every art out there has some form of blade related defense. I'm trained in the Human Factors Research Group variants, PPCT, gun disarms, etc. The system is great (IMHO), but am I good enough to apply them in a stress situation? I don't know, never had to use it yet, thankfully.

So yes, the techniques could be effective depending on the conditions and skill of the practitioner, but like everything, it could also go horribly wrong.

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    I like this - I have trained for years and still wouldn't like to take on a knife - watch some videos do a little bit of practice and be safe? never going to happen - and I wouldn't want people to feel that way - the consequences of getting this wrong are life changing/ending. – Collett89 Feb 14 at 15:04
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    @Collett89 - Yes. The one guarantee is that if you have to defend against anyone that even remotely knows how to use a knife, you will get cut. How bad? Dunno, but it will happen. – JohnP Feb 14 at 16:04
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    Best way to test knife defense still is with a shock knife and a merciless attacker without you knowing who attacks when. This way you realise how realistic all these videos are... If someone has a knife, just give him whatever he wants. If it's your life anyway, some techniques may help. But third parties? Really? – Philip Klöcking Feb 15 at 0:24

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