The Surprise/Sudden Blade What is it and what are the
proper ways of dealing with it? (BTW – Thats Rory, teaching at SummerFest!)
What are the possible indicators and tell-tales that someone is ready to deploy a blade or worse, that they already have it in hand though hidden?
How do people reading here train for it?
RA Miller Replied. . .
Mike- You won’t get a lot of responses to this for two reasons: the available experience is low and the stakes are high.
I’ve had five knife encounters. Sort of. Two were surprises. One of those was a flat-out ambush and I’m only alive because of a reflection and reflexes. So the real answer is to be very lucky and very fast.
The actual techniques from those two encounters probably won’t help, but for the sake of history: 1) Threat lunging at my lower back as fast and hard as she could with a steak knife. Spin leftwards, slap hands together over knife and yank to the outside of my left hip and throw the hardest right roundhouse kick I could into the abdomen.
| Rory Teaching at S.Fest!
–Break down: I’ve seen the slapping hands together and pulling to the hip in a karate kata somewhere. It did use the threat’s momentum, turn out the wrist to a lock, pull it off my canter line and she did drop the weapon. It also turned her body in such a way that the kick landed full into her anatomical centerline instead of the flank.
–Analysis: Luck, luck luck. This just happened. I don’t think that there is a hope in hell I ever could have done this consciously
2) Searching a new arrestee on the counter and he suddenly spun, reaching for something in the back of his belt. I honestly didn’t know if it was a knife or a gun. I jumped on it, keeping that hand pinned against his body and slammed his head in to the wall, the stainless steel counter and the floor with my other hand and body weight.
Turns out it wasn’t a weapon. The dude was a little drunk and very stupid and just realized I was going to find the cigarette lighter he was trying to smuggle in. He decided that showing would be better and showing me really fast would be best of all. So, it wasn’t a knife encounter but I didn’t know it and I learned a lot from it.
— Breakdown: I started behind the threat, he turned to his right to face me reaching behind him and under his shirt with his right hand. With my left hand I lunged forward grabbed his wrist and held it aginst his body. The same momentum was behind a right forearm to his neck under the chin which lifted him off his feet and slammed his head into the wall, the right hand entered (I don’t know if there is an equivalent Uechi term) basically pressed in until I could grab the back of his head, then I pivoted hard to my right, dropping weight slamming his face off the counter and continued until he hit the floor.
–Analysis- not much to analyze. Fast, hard, good body mechanics. You don’t have to wait until you are stabbed to act.
Bill Glasheen added. . .
If I didn’t already know you and like you, you could really piss me off. Anyhow, glad you’re in one piece and around to take care of that wonderful wife of yours.
Rory’s a lot better than he’s making out here. If there is a “secret” here, it’s in-between the lines of what he wrote. Luck counts. But like my motorcycle accident I walked away from, it wasn’t all luck.
I had an “interesting” encounter. If I and others add their “I survived” anecdotes, perhaps a tapestry can be constructed.
Years ago in Charlottesville I had gotten out of my car near Wilson Hall on Hospital Drive, and stepped into Cobb Hall to pick something up.
Unfortunately one of the cardiology fellows was there working late, and a greeting turned into a 15-minute conversation. By the time I got back, I noted someone was in the front seat of my car removing my stereo.
I didn’t “think” this one out. This is just what I did.
I noted two women walking by. I asked them would they please watch me, and call the police on the “blue phone” nearby.
I slowly walked up to my car. When I got right up to the door, I shouted ” WHAT ARE YOU DOING!!!! ” After first being startled and disoriented, he started up with a story about Joe doing him wrong, and asking me if I was Joe. Blah, blah, blah… Nice try, but… Another large gentleman walked forward. He turned out to be on University Watch, and was watching this man vandalize my car and take out the stereo.
By then the police were coming. So I asked the big fellow would he please lean against the passenger door, and I’d lean against the driver side. Well the perp decided to roll my window down and crawl out. Big mistake. I had him in a full nelson the second his head popped out, and dragged him the rest of the way out. The other fellow came around, and we made a “people sandwich” with him.
The guy could barely breathe; we had him immobilized in a standing position. All he could do was jaw me, and try to pull the race card with the other fellow helping me who happened to be the same race. It didn’t work.
When the police came, we passed him over to them. THEN he got violent. They slammed him against the cruiser, etc. They searched him, and found a six-inch blade in his coat. Oops! They found a few more stolen stereos in his backpack. They threw him in the back of the police car. He promptly pissed all over the seat of the cruiser.
It is what it is.
The strangest thing about the whole experience was a physiological phenomenon. This perp had his bladder issues. However the second the big guy and I passed him on to the police and they started doing their thing, the both of us started to shake almost uncontrollably. It started in both of us at the exact same time, and not a second before. It happened when we passed him over and it was “time to exhale.” Weird!
MikeK Continued the discussion. . .
“Always assume they have a weapon especially if you cant see there hands . If they are aggressive and have hidden hands I will pre empt”
Same response that I’m trying to train. We have the luxury at the farm to deploy or introduce a knife, stick or gun into sparring or scenario work at anytime and that’s been an eye opener.
I’ve learned that a folder can be deployed easily and without much notice during grappling if you take too much time, someone experienced can hide a pretty darn big knife behind their arm, there are a couple of very good ways to hide a deployed blade and have it ready to use and finally dueling with knives is a fool’s game for both parties. Recently the new guy also learned not to reach back to answer his cell phone during scenario sparring.
Probably a good real world lesson too.
Rory, Are you defining luck as good training, not letting thinking get in the way of responding and then a good dose of genuine luck? If so how have you helped yourself and others get to that point? This may be a strange question but I’m just wondering if you remember what your state of mind was right before things started to happen?
BTW I learned somethings from your entries Again and Threat is in Control. Thanks for posting some of your thoughts where we can see them.
RA Miller Replied. . .
“Rory, Are you defining luck as good training, not letting thinking get in the way of responding and then a good dose of genuine luck? If so how have you helped yourself and others get to that point? This may be a strange question but I’m just wondering if you remember what your state of mind was right before things started to happen?”
Mike, I’m defining luck pretty much as luck. The first scenario was before I’d had any formal martial arts training (beyond some fencing from my mom and boxing from my dad). My mindset? I was drying dishes and had just snapped my sister with a towel and turned my back on her- I was feeling pretty teenager smug. The reflection I saw was in the plate I’d just dried and was turning to put in the cupboard.
I call it luck because there was nothing predictable about my survival. It couldn’t have been training, because I wasn’t trained. It couldn’t have been some kind of natural fighting instinct because I was a very shy and non-aggressive teenager. It couldn’t have been hesitation on her part because she hit with every ounce of speed and power she could. I’m alive. I’ll learn what I can from that, but I won’t make it into something it wasn’t.
Bill was on the same page with the “pissed off” comment. Some people humbly disavow training or mindset and falsely ascribe things to luck, and this is what Bill assumed I was doing here (I also get pissed off when someone trains for years and years and when they win try to turn aside attention by saying they were just lucky. The harder you train, the luckier you get.) But this one was just luck.
The other one (and other encounters) were different. Training and will had a huge amount to do with it.
There is a clue here- I know two other people who have survived close range knife assaults without a scratch. In every case what they (we) did violated the action-reaction gap, the law that says that action is always faster than reaction.
As Bill posted elsewhere, it’s physically impossible for the human eye to perceive a major-league speedball in flight. It was ‘impossible’ to catch that knife, but the batter hits the fast ball and I did catch the knife hand. I think it is possible, but not if you are doing conscious (verbal cognition) decision making.
So the crux of training, IMO, is to get people to trust that their bodies and subconscious mind are well trained enough to let them off the leash.
Ugly fights, especially with multiple threats are too fast for the conscious mind to keep up with. Which doesn’t mean you can’t or won’t make good decisions- you will. You’ll just have to consciously figure out the “whys” when it’s all over.
Rory. The part about getting people to trust that their bodies and subconscious mind are trained, sounds very much like my instructor. I’m starting to stay in that place more and more, but to me it’s still a little strange.
Another question, how do you personally train that?
I’ll toss out what we do at the farm. My instructor will get my mind somewhere else, (ie talking about my kids, work, walking in the woods, whatever) and without warning launch an attack. Right from the start my responses while not perfect were pretty good, and definitely much better than if I had time to think about what I would do if he did X. It’s also his way of spot checking what is really in my toolbox.
Van Canna comments:
“I was drying dishes and had just snapped my sister with a towel and turned my back on her- I was feeling pretty teenager smug. The reflection I saw was in the plate I’d just dried and was turning to put in the cupboard. lunging at my lower back as fast and hard as she could with a steak knife…she hit with every ounce of speed and power she could.”
Rory, I have read this description before on your page. Question I have is _ did you at any time think that something like this could happen with your sister?
There must have been something ‘cooking’ for her to snap mentally to the point of trying to kill you with a knife.
In other words, could you have foreseen such an attack?
I investigated a similar attack when some guy who had just broken up with his girl, while going to the movies by himself_ thought that the young cashier resembled his ex girl friend_ pulled a blade, opened the back door of the booth and stabbed her in the liver, slicing it in two pieces.
Dave Young promises “more to come”. . .
MikeK..will be glad to post for you when I get back in Jan Unfortnately I have had a few knife attacks and responded to a few knife encounters with the scars to remind me….I will touch base with you in mid Jan when I return.
Thanks and Merry Christmas…