Thursday, April 14, 2011

Knife Fighting Redux

Another discussion on another site, and the will-you-or-won't-you-get-cut? argument popped up again, so I thought here would be get a good place to speak to it ...

I've mentioned this before, but it bears restatement: After a long run of classes wherein we spent the entire sessions going back and forth with practice knives, bare against the blade and knife v knife, the conclusion I reached was that any kind of a knife fight was a bad idea for anybody allergic to the ER.

That against somebody who knows more about a knife than which end to hold and which end to poke with, such encounters are almost certainly going to result in cuts or stab wounds.

That would be the default position, and a contingency for which plans would have to be laid. If I get cut -- when I do -- then what? 

You can't stop because your arm is bleeding and say, "Time out! King's X!"

Not to say that you couldn't get stabbed and survive. Most people who are stabbed do survive. Not even to say that being cut or stabbed means you would lose. But given the numbers of practice encounters I've had with trained players on both sides of a blade, getting sliced somewhere was almost certainly going to be part of the deal–and we were stopping it down. Real lines, but not full speed nor killing intent. 

A trained knife guy who goes bugfuck on you with a knife is going to cut you if you stay there. Period.

If I have a knife and you don't and we engage, I like my chances better than I like yours, no matter who you are. I might not win, but you will bleed unless you are light years ahead of me in skill.

So when I get into the discussion about such encounters, those folks who say that they don't think that's gonna happen, based on their actual experiences, I don't find them completely convincing. 

Hey, I had an actual experience, too. And I didn't get cut. But I know it was a fluke, the guy was probably stoned to the gills, and I was lucky. You don't base a self-defense system on luck, nor on the other guy being inept. (Though that might make for a fun fantasy story.)

Sure, the street guys might have danced with attackers who were waving knives, but if I had to guess, I'd make it that those attackers weren't any kind of adepts with steel. Because if they were, steel beats flesh, else we'd still be fighting wars barehanded.

So if I think I'm gonna get cut, I have to see no other good option if I am going go there. If I don't get cut, then hooray! that's gravy. If I think I won't get cut and I do? Not so good.

That's what my experience tells me. Your mileage may vary. 

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