Keenan Cornelius and Miha Perhavec are two elite grapplers with years of experience and probably a hundred thousand hours of mat time between them and yet, even they aren’t all that good at knife defense. It’s something that’s been a catchy phrase thrown around in many martial arts circles for decades, but does “knife defense” actually exist? In the sense that, is there any method or tactic to defend yourself unarmed against a knife-wielding opponent that actually has a very high percentage chance of success?
The 80’s and 90’s were a wild time and there were genuinely martial arts schools claiming to teach methods of disarming and overcoming knife-wielding opponents, multiple attackers, and in some cases even those with guns. The modern evolution in martial arts and an increasing focus on practicality over dogma has led to the pretty widely accepted notion that if your opponent has a gun, you do what he says and wait until he leaves. Engaging in a physical altercation will almost certainly get you shot and you’ve got almost no chance of actually winning that battle unarmed.
But for some reason, knife defense still prevails. There are still people out there teaching ways of disarming opponents that will get you stabbed pretty fast. As Keenan Cornelius and Miha Perhavec have shown above, even the best Jiu-Jitsu in the world isn’t going to stop you getting cut to ribbons. This should be common sense really given that the armed attacker only has to land one shot to incapacitate you, and maybe not even a direct shot, even a grazing blow in the right place would be enough to put you down, potentially for good.
As he says, “If you don’t control the knife instantly, you just die!”
So in short, if someone pulls a knife out, run.
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