Your first of many knife defence techniques should always be to avoid the situation.  Your first goal is to escape promptly and stay alive. But if this isn’t possible like there’s no way out, there’s a wall against you, or you’re protecting your family, then be prepared to fight and use your skills.

In this video, International Defensive Solutions and WAIMA founders, Renshi Phil and Shihan Graham, show a fundamental technique on how to protect yourself or family against a close attacker who is equipped with a knife.

Watch the video above to see this technique in motion.


Phil: Look, today’s technique we’re gonna be covering something that again, like we’ve been speaking about before about different sort of weapons and tools, that people use out there in the real world. The likelihood of it happening?

Well, you know, gun is probably the less likely to have happen in reality. Then you’ve got knives, bats, and all that sort of stuff, but you just have to have a look at the news or YouTube at the amount of knife attacks there are out there. To tell you the truth, most times if someone wants to stab you or hurt you with a knife, they won’t tell you. It’s gonna happen behind you. It’s gonna be quite quick, quite fast, and the next thing you know you’re on the floor.

So we gotta remember that when dealing with a weapon like a knife or a gun like that, it’s always evade, evade, evade. Give them what they want, whatever it may be. We do not want to go and tangle with a weapon like that, but in the event that there’s no way out, there’s a wall against you, you’re protecting your family, whatever it may be, they’ve shown signs of no mercy. And this is what they’re going to do to you. Well then we need to give you the tools or the abilities to be able to defend yourself and get out safely to your family.

So Graham got a knife. Now, there are so many different strikes and ways that this person can attack you, but the most common one we find is the sewing machine. So, down low, multiple strikes towards the tummy. It also happens quite a lot from behind because I might be talking to a friend. I’m might be getting stabbed from behind. There’s some different techniques we work from there, but let’s just work from the front.

So we’re in this position. We always like to talk about low ready which means your hands are up or high ready, whatever it may be. In the event that there is a weapon, our hands want to be sort of at the same level high as it. So if it’s a knife it’s down here. If it was up high, I want to be a bit higher. Same with a gun. The hands stay at the same level. So I’m here talking him up. I’m got him down telling him, “No, man. I’ll give you everything you want,” and he comes at me. ,

So I’m gonna, what we do, dive. Very similar to diving in a pool except instead of hands like that, we have hands like so. You want to keep this triangle shape. I’m gonna dive straight under the armpit. We don’t want to be worried and go to the side because that’s gonna compromise my balance and he’ll still be able to come back. So I need to commit to the technique. Dive straight under. Hopefully, more than likely, the knife will go past you because you’re coming in close.

Remember, the two places in a deep defence situation is being really far or really close. So we’re coming in really close here. We’re coming up, nice and high up under the shoulder, pulling down on our tricep. Coming up high on the elbow and again here. Now I don’t just want to hold this because as you can see Graham’s arm, if he tries to stab me, if I do it well, he can’t quite get me. If he does, well you know the saying, “If you go into a knife fight, expect to get cut.”

But what I want to do is limit where I get cut and the amount of times. So let’s just do that technique one more time. I’m defending, defending. He’s goes for it. I dive under the arm. Keep going. Sort of, breast stroke up over top of the shoulder on here and drop my weight. I want to drop my weight because I want him to feel like he has to carry me. Right now, I’m gonna…this is sort of like my life boat in a storm. This is my safety position because as much as he, sort of, struggles and tries to stab me, I just keep this position until I’m ready to sow suffering strikes where I’ll require my knee to the groin once, twice, as many times as it takes to control this person.

Once I feel this person give way a little bit and I’m in more control, I’m gonna remove the inner arm. Bring it up. I don’t bring it out. I rotate it through. I strike the neck and if you know about anything about pressure points, there are clusters of nerves and pressure points in here. By striking this neck, I’m coming down to control the wrist here. I’m gonna strike his neck as many times as it takes for this person to go to the ground and then feel this person once on the ground. I’m not gonna cover what’s next from here because reality is they’re on the ground, I want to run away.

There’s a lot of different options, but let’s just do that technique in its entirety just to show what it looks like. So technique comes in. Dive in. Weight drop, multiple knees to get control. Inner arm out. Strike, strike, strike, strike, strike to the ground. We can then disarm. We can do suffering strikes, but the reality is I’m gonna exit stage left. This technique is our basic knife defence.

As I said, there are many different multiple ways. Everything that we teach is tested. We teach the defence force. We teach Virgin Airlines. We teach all sorts of corporate government agencies. We know that this stuff works because it’s been tried and tested. So come down, check it out yourself. It’s International Defensive Solutions right here at WAIMA Wednesdays and Fridays. I can’t wait to see you there.