Knife Fighting: What You Need to Know

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Hand-to-hand combat techniques aren’t generally transferable to knife fights. Tournaments, centering on knife play aren’t a U.S. specialty. Combatants should develop footwork, a crouched stance, and the ability to maintain a healthy distance. While showy, tournament fighting for points aim at disabling the head, realistic, survival knife fighting aims at slashing your opponent’s hand, known as defanging the snake.

The subspecialty of edged weaponry is covered in Silat, a southeast Asian variant of martial arts. ‘Silat for the Street’ is one online venue for picking up realistic knife pointers from a master.

Key Takeaways:

  • The basis for knife fighting is in the footwork and maintaining a distance between your opponent.
  • It is important for you to be light on your feet and agile and avoid planting your feet on the ground.
  • Fighting outside of kicking range allows you to avoid be sliced and enables you to easily slice your opponent’s knife hand.

“Anyone who claims to be an expert with a knife and teaches blocking, empty-hand disarms and low horse stances might as well be teaching students to catch bullets in their teeth.”

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