What Are You Missing in Your Edged Weapons Training?

Like knives and training for Self Defense?  Then check out this new KOMBAT ARTS article (part 1 of 3) on some areas you just might be missing in your edged weapons training.

First Things First

I’m not advocating that you carry a edged weapon, nor am I an authority on the law.  Do yourself a favor and be responsible by knowing the law of the area you reside in or traveling to.

This information is for educational purposes and for those that seek higher level training for self defense. Again be responsible and know the law.

Always try and escape safely.  That should be your priority.  If possible, avoid an altercation.

Ok, now that’s out of the way here we go.

After training for self defense and working with executive protection teams, law enforcement, military personnel and those that need self defense training because of the hostile areas they live in, here are some areas that I feel should be covered for edged weapon training, outside of the regular training that is covered in most classes.

Identifying Pre-Attack Indicators

Most training sessions begin with the knife already out in play.   And because of that, there is minimal if any training done on how to read an attackers body language as they:

  1. Reach for a weapon to deploy it.
  2. Or maybe the weapon is already drawn and it’s somehow hidden.

One simple rule that I teach those involved in the security and law enforcement is “palms kill”.  As much as possible make sure you can see their hands.  If they have their hands hidden behind them, or in their pockets, I would consider being more vigilant as there is a possibility that they are hiding a weapon.

Sometimes by watching their hands, you may naturally look at their belt or front pockets, and be surprised that they are carrying a knife on their person.

To read more about pre-attack indicators, check out this older article that we wrote: How Being Complacent Can Get You Killed

Drawing the Knife Under Stress

If you carry a knife, especially a folding blade and hope to use it for an improvised tool for self defense, or a weapon of opportunity for self defense, then you need to learn how to deploy that tool under stress.

Again please read the intro of this article about the legal aspect of carrying a knife.

When people are under stress, whether physical stress resulting in an increase of heart rate, or basically experiencing FEAR, most people start to lose their fine motor skills.

An example of fine motor skill would be using the keypad on your phone.  Or in this case, drawing and manipulating a folding blade.

So you need to work on drawing drills.  What are they? They are pretty much up to your imagination.  Remember, you are trying to develop that fine motor skill, even while you are under stress.

Here are a few that I work on.  For these drills I am using a training blade; the folding knife is  dull.  DO NOT use a live blade.

I prefer the Spyderco Inc Endura 4 Trainer Knife, Red training blade.

Drawing a Knife, General Drill

In this example I pick any exercise that is a gross motor skill, and when there is a stimuli, I have to quickly get into a stance and draw my weapon.  In this example I’m doing push ups, and when my Gymboss Interval Timer and Stopwatch – TEAL / BLUE METALLIC GLOSS
goes off (which is on an interval timer) I explode up and deploy my folding knife.

You can make this more challenging by having someone yell “go” or “draw” and you have to react to it.  Or even have someone step towards you with a training weapon, and use that as the training  stimuli.

Train for Failure

Did you watch the first video?  If you did, you should notice that I actually fail on getting the blade out.  In this case I recover and use the training knife as a blunt weapon of opportunity, like a small flashlight or a Kubotan.  Have to train for failure…just in case.

Drawing a Knife, Specific Drill

In this drill I am shadowboxing and again when my GymBoss goes off (which is on an interval timer) I try to quickly deploy my folding knife.
You can make this more challenging by having someone yell “go” or “draw” and you have to react to it.  Or even have someone step towards you with a training weapon, and use that as the training  stimuli.
Or better yet get two friends to put on gloves and you put a mouthpiece in.  Have one of them attack you, and the second guy can jump in anytime.  Try blocking, counter attacking, but if it gets too overwhelming and you can not escape, try to deploy your training knife to keep these multiple attackers at bay.

Here is another example that I like to use.  Here I’m transitioning from a grappling position to a stand up position and deploying my training blade.

There you have it! A few areas that I feel that are missing in edged weapons training.  I will be covering more in future articles.