Edged Weapon Defense for Police Officers

edged-weaponIt is one thing to defend yourself in an empty hand situation…but once a weapon is introduced, it is a totally different kind of game.  Check out this article written about knife defense in the Metro.

This line really jumped out at me:

They are silent, they require no skill, no training, they’re easily concealed,” he said. “If you have the ability to move your hand you can cause life-threatening, if not fatal, injuries

Why are knives so dangerous?

  • They are pretty legal
  • Easy to cancel
  • Most cultures grew up with knives
  • The can be a tool
  • Easy to use
  • When they enter the body, they can cause a lot of damage
  • A weapon can travel much faster then the empty hand and obviously cause more damage
  • Most people do not realize they have been stabbed until it is too late

In the article they talk about increasing the amount of verbal de-escalation training and use for police officers. If you are interested in verbal de-escalation training, here is a good introduction for this type of training:

I found the article to be an interesting read, however there are 3 views that one should consider when looking at edged weapon defense for law enforcement officers.

There is the corporation’s viewpoint. The upper management wants to make sure that the training that officers get fit within their budget. Secondly the techniques have to protect the subject. To mitigate law suits against the police. This usually means ineffective training programs for the officer. You pay for what you get, and sorry, there is no easy way to control a knife wielding attacker without hurting them.

Then there is the public’s viewpoint. They want to know why officers can’t kick or shoot the knife out of the bad guy’s hand or use some kind of Vulcan death grip touch. We can blame the entertainment industry for this. Want to try disarming a knife? Go home, turn your blender on the lowest power, and try sticking your hand in there and “disarming the blender”.

Just kidding. Don’t do this. But you get the point.

Finally the officer’s viewpoint. They want the best training, and the best equipment to do their job. And they should get it. However please note the corporation’s viewpoint detailed above. However I think the damage is done and it may take time to get the help officers need. In my limited time working with officers, there are few of them that have the time or energy to do the training, or are complacent or completely uneducated on how dangerous edged weapons are.

Now for us normal people out there, the best thing is to run away. Can’t run away? What improvised weapons should you use? No improvised weapons? Then ask yourself what are you willing to do to win this fight…and do it. If you are interested in the self defense aspect of martial arts, you definitely have to learn about edged weapon defense. What does this entail? Here is a short list:

  • How to identify pre attack indicators
  • Concealment methods
  • Angles of attack
  • Distance favors the defender
  • Sensitivity drills to deflect and redirect the attack
  • How to deal with different types of attackers; aggressive EDP and the “martial artist”
  • Deadly force techniques against an armed attacker
  • How to mitigate injuries; if you are going to get slashed, where are you going to get slashed?
  • Improvised weapons
  • Incidental disarms
  • Close quarter fighting
  • Ground fighting
  • First aid
  • Legal ramifications

If you are interested in edged weapon defense, come in for a FREE TWO WEEK TRIAL in the Filipino Martial Arts and Jeet Kune Do.