K4S SYSTEM by Wmpyr 5-1-2013 www.youtube.com/wmpyr www.k4s.i8.com K4S SYSTEM "Learn the rare art of knife combat" CHAPTER 1: Knife Choosing CHAPTER 2: Grips And Stances CHAPTER 3: Knifeboxing CHAPTER 4: The 5 Points CHAPTER 5: Knife Defense CHAPTER 6: Stick Fighting CHAPTER 7: Knife Training CHAPTER 8: Special Weapons CHAPTER 9: Knife Grappling BONUS CHAPTER: Pen Combat INTRODUCTION I see a whole lot of people claiming to know the truth about knife combat. A person who has a very positive opinion on the subject, has no sense of reality. A person who has very negative opinions, means that they are closed minded. Both of these kinds of people do not have a good grasp of the art. A good person to listen to, is someone who has broken down the methodology into understandable steps that follow a logical path. When you do this, you realize that the art of knife combat is far from easy, and that the other styles out there have merits that can be made beneficial, but the bottom line is that it's going to take a whole lot of dedicated practice. CHAPTER 1: Knife Choosing Training Knives The very first knife you should get is a training knife. Training knives come in various forms. An aluminum training knife is good for hitting an actual practice target. A rubber training knife is good for partner training. The rubber training knife should bend but not be so soft that it's squishy. The softer training knives made of soft rubber or foam are used for full contact. Some training knives can also be used effectively as a self-defense impact tool. MTK (Monster Training Knife) RW from Mountain Storm Works has been kind enough to work with my designs and produce the state of the art training knife, the MTK to the public. Made from clear acrylic, the MTK has double purpose, training knife and self-defense impact tool. MTKs are large because they are specifically designed to help you transfer your stick fighting skills to the knife. I have found most other training knives to be way too small to be able to do this. The MTK bridges the gap between stick and knife. If your thinking about using a knife for self-defense, chances are, the knife that you will carry for self-defense is going to be on the smaller side for legal reasons, going from a standard size Escrima stick to a utility folder EDC knife is quite a big jump. So instead, transfer your stick fighting skills to the MTK, then you go from the MTK to the knife. Cheap Knives Cheap no name brand knives can be found at flea markets. These cheap knives can be useful for beginners getting into training and for those learning how to sharpen knives. However keep in mind that the quality of these knives are generally so low that they are absolutely not reliable for a real life situation. Experiencing cheap knives will make you appreciate quality knives. Knowing what kind of weapons the enemy uses can be very important, because many punks and drug dealers I came across carried a cheap knife. An easy way to identify a cheap knife on a catalog other than the price, is to see what kind of steel it is made with. If the description is only stainless steel, then this is a cheap knife. A higher quality knife would mention the steel such as 440C, AUS8, etc. Combat/Tactical For self-defense I think it is a must to study combat/tactical knives. However for legal reasons, I do not recommend that you carry them for self-defense. For home defense, I do not see a problem in having a combat knife ready to go. Self-Defense Knives I recommend a utility knife for self-defense. And if you are serious about self-defense, then you will carry this knife every time you go out. Your self-defense knife is your EDC (Every Day Carry) knife. An example of a good EDC self-defense knife is the Spyderco Delica. I also recommend neck knives. Neck knives are small fixed blades, that are generally carried under the shirt as a necklace, for a last ditch weapon. A good example is the SNAGette neck knife, which can actually be used as a non lethal impact tool, when the sheath is on. Fixed Blades Many modern fixed blades have a Kydex sheath that allows for extremely fast deployment. A good example is the TDI Law Enforcement Knife made by KA-BAR. Knives like this are generally faster to deploy than just about any folding knife. Tactical Folder There are many tactical folding knives in the market today. Many of these tactical folders are obsessed with fast deployment. I am personally more interested in, tactical folders designed to be used in the closed position, as a non lethal impact tool, simply because I prefer the prevention game, over the fast draw game. A non lethal tool is used to prevent violence early on, compared to a lethal tool that is used as a last resort. Waiting until the last second and relying on a fast deployment, sounds way too risky to me. The SNAG Live Blade Folder made by Krudo Knives is a good example of a tactical folding knife that is designed to be used in the closed position. It is easily one of my favorite knives. Fast Draw I have to mention here that most people have this fantasy idea, that the bad guy is going to be rushing at them, and you need to quickly pull out your knife to save the day like a gun fighter in the old west. In a real life self-defense situation, you should avoid a situation like this as much as possible. Your speed versus their speed is a bad idea. This is what I call gambling because it relies so heavily on the outcome, and who knows which way it will go. So if you are in a situation like this, you should take the Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu approach and always defend against the immediate threat first. If they come rushing at you, you need to defend against the rush, instead of pulling out your knife, this is why it's important to know empty hand martial arts. Your blade should be drawn only when you get a safe chance to do so. A non skilled grappler will trade a leg lock with a leg lock. A skilled Brazilian Jiu-jitsu practitioner will always protect their own leg first. CHAPTER 2: Knife Grips And Stances Standard Grip VS Reverse Grip People like to argue about which knife grip is the best. I believe that every knife grip has it's place, you just need to know the pros and cons of each and use them at the right time. The simple rule I teach is that the knife held in the standard grip is good when your at a distance from your opponent, because it gives you reach, and the reverse grip is good when your fighting in close, because it is safer for you to hold the knife this way in close range combat. Knife Grips The Standard and Ripper grips are both held in with the tip pointed upwards. Tip upwards position is good when you have some distance between you and your opponent. The Standard grip is offensive while the Ripper grip is defensive. The Reverse and Mantis grips are both held with the tip pointed downwards. Tip downwards position is good for close range combat. The Reverse grip is offensive while the Mantis grip is defensive. 4 MAJOR GRIPS 1. Standard 2. Reverse/Ice Pick 3. Ripper 4. Mantis Other Grips There are many grips in knife combat. Just moving a finger to a different place can mean a whole new grip. There are even some really unusual grips that are used as transitionary grips, meaning it links one grip to the next. I recommend that you specialize in a particular grip, but I also think it's a good idea to be comfortable with many other grips. Grip Switching The people who believe that only gross motor skill can be done in real life combat, severely limit themselves, and do not believe that techniques such as grip switching is a good idea. If you practice enough, fine motor skill techniques can be pulled off in combat. If you have the ability, then grip switching is one more thing you can use against your opponent. When switching grips, you are vulnerable to an attack, my secret is that I stab/cut as I switch grips, minimizing vulnerability. Stealthy Stance If there are people around watching you, or there is a surveillance camera near by, you may want to adopt a stance that conceals your knife. You can hold the knife right next to your upper thigh with the blade tip pointing towards the bad guy. Even if you are caught by surprised and they came rushing straight in, as long as you hold your stance, they will stab themselves. You always want to point the the tip and edge towards them, so that you are safe, and they must figure out a way to get around your knife. Lead Versus Back In stick fighting the weapon is in the lead hand, if you are worried that the bad guy is going to take away your knife, then like a police officer you should have the weapon hand to the rear. Generally speaking, if you want to be offensive then your knife side should be to the front, if you want to be defensive, then your knife side should be to the back. There are exceptions, for instance if your opponent has a bladed weapon, you may need to have your knife in the lead hand, acting as a small shield. But the most important thing about your stance, is to keep the tip and edge of your knife pointed away from yourself, but towards your opponent. CHAPTER 3: Knifeboxing Fighting Stance The Knifeboxing fighting stance is very similar to a boxing stance. The main idea is to have one side to the front and the other to the back. In boxing the weak side is your lead side, and the strong side is to the back, if your a righty this is called orthodox and if your a lefty this is called south paw. In Boxing you understand that your opponent is tough and that you won't be able to immediately knock them out, so use the lead hand as a jab, to wear them down, set them up, gage distance, and frustrate them, all the while your power hand is ready to be launched at any given notice. Exploiting Weakness Blade Awareness applied to combat means that you are constantly keeping check of where your knife tip and edge is pointing. Mastering this skill means that you can identify when others are not doing so, thus you will be able to capitalize on such mistakes made by your opponent. Such tactics include, shoving their free arm on to their knife and shoving their knife arm into their body. Reverse Grip The reverse grip is a very natural grip when Knifeboxing, because you can almost just ignore the knife in your hand and throw punches comfortably as if the knife wasn't there. The first step is to ignore the knife in your hand as you shadowbox. The second step is to incorporate the knife's tip and edge as you shadowbox. The third step is to include knife specific techniques into your shadowboxing. Breathing Often times you will hear a boxer make a shh sound every time they punch. This is not the most efficient way of breathing, and every boxer wants to breath naturally during a fight as if they were sitting down and just watching some TV. Maybe this is possible when a boxer is "in the zone", but you cannot always expect such a high performance. In reality, stepping into a boxing ring takes some nerve, fighting in front of a live audience can be scary, and the match itself can be so intense that you may not even remember half of it. In such a situation, even breathing can become very difficult. And if you forget to breathe you will wear yourself out that much faster. The shh sound is how a boxer breathes under pressure. Jumping Though not the most efficient, jumping is the fastest way for a person to move. That is why people and animals jump when they are startled. Boxers understand this, so they use the jump rope to blend in jumping with their footwork. Through the jump rope they learn to make their jumps minimal and efficient as possible. Then they learn how to make small controlled jumps for their techniques. The jumps now, almost looks like small twitches as it occurs when they throw punches, evade, duck and cover, making their motions incredibly fast. Circular Combos Everyone has heard that the fastest and closest way to go from point A to point B is a straight line. This is true, however when you do combos, circular motions are the fastest most economical way to do so. This is why boxers spend so much time on the tear drop shaped speed bag. Snapping Snapping at the wrist gives you extra power when punching. This is difficult to do when holding a knife. In fact most people do not snap correctly while holding a knife. I highly recommend that you practice with a small coin bag, or a key ring with a few set of keys on it. Doing this will enable you to snap while holding something in your hand. Ippon Ken Knifeboxing in the standard grip is not as natural as Knifeboxing in the reverse grip. To overcome this, I borrow a Karate technique called the Ippon Ken. Shadowboxing with the Ippon Ken will prepare you for Knifeboxing with the standard grip. Boxing Strategies 1. Using the jab to weaken your opponent. 2. Hit the body when they think your a head hunter. 3. Use combos to get passed their defense. 4. Use feints to create openings. 5. Vary punching speed to throw off their timing. 6. Be aggressive to keep them off balance. 7. Make them punch themselves out. CQC Even though knifeboxing is boxing based, do not restrict yourself only to the moves legal in boxing, because knifeboxing is for no rules, life and death. After you develop a base from boxing, then you should sprinkle it with a collection of cheap shots and illegal moves. However bewarned that if you only have cheap shots and illegal moves without a solid base like Boxing, then you will always be just a bag of tricks without any kind of substantial fighting skills. The bag of tricks can only take you so far, and against a true warrior you will be dead meat. Eye Gouging Defense The proper way to defend against an eye gouge is to close your eyes and turn your head away, in addition your arms need to neutralize their arms to stop them from continuing. The Eye Jab Bruce Lee taught the eye jab as a straight in, spear with the finger tips. A modified eye jab I do, is to throw a jab with the thumb sticking out. The first two knuckles would make contact to the face, but the thumb would be aimed at the eye. The second modified eye jab that I do, is much more similar to Bruce Lee's version. With all your fingers lined up against each other, I rake across the eyes. By going sideways I have less of a chance of jamming my fingers if I accidentally strike bone, and it also increases my chance to slip under the eyelids if they blink. Biting The proper way to bite comes from knowing the different types of teeth. Incisors and canines are used for light work, piercing and cutting. Premolars and molars are used for gnawing and grinding. If you bite too deeply with the incisors and canines, can result in lost teeth, when your opponent yanks away. Trying to bite and chomp with your premolars and molars, can result in damage to your jaw structure, and the skin of your mouth. To defend against a bite, you need to cause enough pain to make them open their mouth. This is a good time to go for the eyes. Headbutt The main way to headbutt is by using the frontal bone, just above your hairline, to smash a person's nose and eye area. The ear region is another possible target, but I would avoid the mouth because it can cut you. Chin Jab The Chin Jab is a technique I learned from an old military hand to hand combat manual. It had spade techniques so it could have been WWI. The Chin Jab is a palm strike to the chin coming from the bottom, and turning into an eye gouge as you step forward and trip them into a take down technique. The eye gouge can be substituted with a face clawing technique. Shin Stomp This is the second technique that I learned from the old military hand to hand combat manual. To execute the Shin Stomp, Kick the person in the knee, then proceed to slide down their shin scraping the skin off with your boot, and then landing into a foot stomp. CHAPTER 4: The 5 Points The Five Points When using the knife for self-defense, I developed the Five Points as a step by step method for you to follow. The great thing about the Five Points method is that all the way up to point four it is designed to be used everyday whether you get attacked or not. As you use it everyday, you get to practice it out in the real world, with real people. You want to make these steps a habit, and you want to practice them discretely so that you develop concealment and stealth skills. The Five Points 1. Knife Retention 2. Monkey Grip 3. Palming 4. Palm Stick 5. Deployment Awareness In the street, awareness is your first line of defense. Before the fighting starts, you should be picking out potential threats. When you see a suspicious individual you should practice what police officers do, and look at their hands, see if they are holding any potential weapons, and then look at their waste area to see if they are carrying. Animal Instinct Once you have identified the potential threat, and for whatever reason you cannot avoid them, the next step is to psychologically get ready which will help you get physically ready. I do not want to have a killer mindset because that is not psychologically healthy and it can encourage me to take a life. Unlike killer instinct, animal instinct is a natural social behavior and not evil. It's circumstantial and not personal. It is about survival. Triggers I use three mental triggers to help me activate the animal instinct. I expect a fight because I will resist their attack. I refuse to be a victim. First trigger for me personally is to mentally picture a lion chasing down a gazelle. Second trigger is more up close, a great white shark chomping down on some bait. Third trigger has to do with my breathing. I begin to hyper ventilate so that I can acclimatize myself to the intense situation that might occur. There are three triggers because I want to get into combat mode through three steps. If there is only one step, then either my combat mode is not intense enough, or I am always amped up which is not psychologically healthy. The three triggers wake me up for combat, they make me feel like a predator rather than prey. Animal instinct sends off the vibe to my attackers that I am a predator. Animal Instinct is what makes The Five Points come alive. Five Points Part 1: Knife Retention Five Points Part 2: Monkey Grip Five Points Part 3: Palming Five Points Part 4: Palm Stick The Battering Ram This technique is a combination of the Muay Thai stance and an arm raising technique from Aikido. In this technique your hands are quite versatile, you can do a double chop, a fortified palm strike, but the main idea is to use the angle of your forearms as a wedge to deflect attacks off of you as you enter their attack. Imagine a boat cutting through ice. Five Points Part 5: Deployment You are vulnerable when deploying the blade, so I developed the F6 (Fast 6) which borrows a major concept from Iaido, cut as you deploy the blade. Iaido is the traditional Japanese martial art of the live blade sword. Day in and day out Iaido practitioners practice various ways to draw the sword while simultaneously attacking or defending. With a fixed blade knife, the main idea is to link the drawing motion and the striking motion, rather than draw then strike. With a folding knife it is important to keep the edge towards the opponent as much as you can at all times, it is also important to start cutting before the blade becomes locked, in fact the cutting motion should lock the blade. CHAPTER 5: Knife Defense High and Low Percentage Moves People highly criticize what is normally taught for knife defense in traditional martial arts. Usually they attack the techniques, and this is wrong because techniques can be divided up into high percentage and low percentage. Both high and low percentage techniques are necessary for the bigger picture of combat. Imagine a boxer who decides to box using only the jab because it is a high percentage move. It is obvious that such a boxer will do very poorly, he will need hooks, uppercuts, over hand rights, and other techniques even if they are lower percentage. More Realistic There are some instructors out there who feel that their methods are better than others because they have taken a more realistic approach. More realistic is not necessarily better. In fact there is no short cuts, to gain quality training, you have to train for the long run. And this includes developmental exercises which are often criticized and removed in realistic approach martial arts. Negating developmental exercises for more realistic techniques will only give you a short sighted approach that will stint your growth in the martial arts. That Will Get You Killed Many instructors also try to gain students by making them fearful of learning bad habits, "That will get you killed on the streets!" they say. But in reality nobody starts off good, everybody has bad habits, but through long term diligent training, you discover that martial arts is a self correcting path, and learning how to over come your bad habits is all part of the correct path and these small mistakes should not be avoided or feared. Big mistakes need to be avoided, big mistakes are those choices that will cripple your life permanently. Demo VS Real Sadly many people are brainwashed from Hollywood and cannot tell the difference between real and fake. Often times when a martial arts teacher demonstrates a technique in class people think that is exactly the way it will happen in real life. Even some instructors believe that their demo is the way it's going to be. The main difference between a demo and real life, is that in a real situation, you will have to fight for everything that you do. It doesn't matter how fast the student attacks the instructor, how realistic the demo looks, or how unpredictable they say the attack is, if there is no fighting (struggle), then it is a demo. A demo is for show which can be used for teaching or entertaining, either way a demo is not real. BJJ Knife Defense The concept for knife defense comes from the same school of thought as how a BJJ stylist deals with a striker. A) Learn Striking This is where we learn the art of knife combat. B) Distance Management Keep a safe distance, get your opponent to move backwards so they cannot hit you hard, and at the right time, close the distance and enter the clinch, establish control. For knife combat, we need to keep the distance and on top of that have some sort of shield to protect ourselves from the blade because if a punch grazes you it's not a big deal compared to a blade. We also want the opponent to move backwards, to lose power, but we also need to know the difference between high damage attacks and low damage attacks, and how to deal with each one. High damage attacks involve full commitment, so you can rapidly enter right as they attack or right after their attack. B 2.0) The Swat C) Control the Knife Once your in close, in BJJ you control your opponent by taking them to the ground, in knife combat, your priority is to control the knife, because the knife can defeat a person who is in a better position. So unless your absolutely certain that you can knock them out instantly, control the knife, with whatever means necessary. C 2.0) Securing the Arm D) Ultimate Goal In BJJ the ultimate goal is expressed through submission. In knife combat it is expressed through disarming your opponent. Kickboxing Knife Defense The Kickboxing Knife Defense is compatible to the BJJ Knife Defense Concept. In Kickboxing sometimes you have to face an opponent who has a devastating KO technique. It can be their left hook, or right high kick, whatever the case they have brutally knocked out many opponents with this move. You have to stay away from that technique as if it were poisonous. If your opponent has a knife, technically you are doing the same thing, trying not to get hit by the knife. Even though they say in Boxing you are going to get hit, they also say the sweet science of Boxing is to hit your opponent while not getting tagged yourself. The same can be said for knife combat. CHAPTER 6: Stick Fighting FMA 90% of my stick fighting comes from FMA (Filipino Martial Arts). FMA is one of those styles that is very compatible to other styles by nature. So you can easily add FMA to whatever style that you practice. I have met Aikido, Kung Fu, Tae Kwon Do, and Kenpo Practitioners that added FMA to their training. Arnis, Kali, and Eskrima are similar styles, often times considered to be relatively the same, all three can be categorized under FMA. FMA has historical roots in ancient and modern wars, deadly duel matches by experts, and it was also used on the streets of the Philippines in violent gang fights. What Is FMA? FMA is known for using sticks, also known as the best knife style. FMA uses various bladed weapons, because the Philippines is a blade culture. FMA is also an improvised weapons style, where you transfer your stick fighting skills to your other weapons such as; empty hands, flashlight, belt, shoe, baseball cap, umbrella, wrench, pen, screw driver, and box cutter. Reasons To Train In Stick Fighting Stick fighting is a beginner friendly style because fitness is not that big of a necessity to get started. In fact I have seen many highly skilled out of shape instructors on Youtube. Stick fighting is also a great style for training by yourself at home. All you need is a stick or two and some space. Over the years I have found the forms and techniques to present themselves as never ending puzzles for me to unlock and solve, over and over again. Each time I unlock a puzzle, I evolve my craft just a little bit more. Evil Glare In FMA I was taught to look at my opponent's eyes. Remember that FMA has been influenced by street culture. Upholding your reputation by intimidation is a common street mentality. The tactic is to win the stare down and mentally defeat the opponent before the fight. However glaring at people can expend a lot of energy, especially if you face someone that looks scarier than you. Instead I use peripheral vision and conserve my energy. If they think I am scared then I've successfully deceived them. Hand or Eye My Kuk Sool Won/Arnis instructor taught me that the hand is faster than the eye. The hand is deceptively fast the eye simply cannot keep up with it, so do not look at the hands, instead, look at their collar bones to read your opponent's body, if the right side moves forward, it means that the right arm is attacking, if the left side moves forward the left hand is attacking, if the right side dips down then the left leg is attacking, if the left side dips down, then the right leg is attacking. Magnifying Glass Concept I train in stick fighting mainly for developing my knife combat skills. Many people may not understand this, but the knife is harder to learn than the sticks because it's so compact. The long reach of the sticks exaggerate the moves making the more intricate and complex motions easier to learn. Training with the sticks is like looking through a magnifying glass. V and A Chain Punch The Chain Punch is an aggressive punching technique from Wing Chun Kung Fu. It is use to mow down your opponent and completely overwhelm them. In stick fighting we have a similar technique except for the fact that we are holding weapons. Like the Chain Punch low line kicks are added to confuse, overwhelm, and distract your opponent. The V Chain Punch is done when holding your weapons in the standard grip. The A Chain Punch is done when holding your weapons in the reverse grip. Angles of Attack There are many different Angles of Attack forms in stick fighting. I recommend that you learn multiple ones so that you have a little variety. Angles of Attack not only teach you a variety of attacks and body mechanics, each form also contains unique multiple combos within the form. So they teach you combos. The form can also be modified and evolved as you progress. So you should never out grow a form, and that's why they say that a single form takes a lifetime to master. Blending Compared to a reckless stab with all your might, starting the technique with a stab then converting it to a slash is a good idea to prevent your blade from getting stuck in your opponent. This kind of tactic is called blending and you can also do the reverse where you slash first and stab immediately afterwards to keep the pressure on your opponent. For a beginner in stick fighting, most techniques are just slashing, but for the pro, a slash and a stab can look exactly the same and can be switched at the last second to adjust to the opponent. Improvised weapons In order to get started with improvised weapons training, you should practice with various types of sticks so that you get use to using a variety of shapes and sizes. The sticks can be made of different material, various types of wood, PVC, and other man made materials. The density, length, weight, thickness, and even shape can be different. Examples include long and short sticks, axe handles, Bokuto, and hollow PVC pipes. Nunchaku Swinging your stick around like a nunchaku is not only great exercise, it will help your stick fighting skills, and also come in handy with flexible improvised weapons. Weaving Arm weaving is a double arm motion pattern that allows you to wield two weapons simultaneously and relentlessly without getting your arms tangled up or hurting yourself. For training, Weaving becomes a generator so that you can put in other techniques and practice making them flow together. In combat Weaving is multi-purpose (slashing, stabbing, parrying, blocking, counter striking, etc.), like a Swiss Army Knife, it is a handy tool that can be used for many things. As you get better with Weaving, you will naturally develop deceptive arm movements as a by product. Standard Grip Weaving Weaving moves can be done in the standard grip and the reverse grip. In the standard grip slashing is the primary attack method, however students progress to the point where a slash is a stab and a stab is a slash. The techniques become versatile and able to adapt to the opponent. Reverse Grip Weaving The reverse grip Weaving is primarily for stabbing attacks, however defensively they are slashes with the blade retracted to your own forearm for added protection. Keep in mind that the offense and defense are done simultaneously as your arms continue to move rapidly like a blender. Violence Factory No matter how badass the latest knife combat program is, the way they attack still consists of slashes and stabs. The Violence Factory is the most advanced knife combat program because it transforms your slashes into carving, and transforms your stabs into twisting. Simply put, the Violence Factory is all about increasing the amount of damage that you inflict with the blade. Carving and twisting is learned from the intricate and complex circular motions developed from stick fighting. Circles When a circular slash is done on the target area, you will cover more cutting distance onto the target, compared to a straight line cut. Circular slashes can also be converted to double slashes if your not able to continue a long cut. Circular slash also leads to carving. Figure 8 Mastering the figure 8 motions are vital to being able to open up a larger wound. Unlike a punch, where you extend your arm to hit and then retract the arm, the figure 8 motion allows for you to incorporate two attacks in one complete motion. Straight stabbing motions can be done in a warped figure 8 pattern that involves wrist twisting, which increase the wound size by ripping out chunks. The Violence Factory Shank Rush, is a brutal technique where you charge at someone while repeatedly stabbing them in the figure 8 pattern, it is one of the most brutal techniques ever. Carving In normal slashing, the amount of damage is determined not only by where you are cutting, but also how long and deep the cut is. With carving, the amount of damage is determined more so by length and how much your able to split open the wound, and less about deepness and where. The strategy is to make the wound large enough so that they bleed out. Carving comes from circular movements that require you to change angles when you attack. These circular movements allow you to remove chunks of flesh making the wound channel much larger than one made by a regular cut. Pistol Grip To do the pistol grip, make a pistol gesture with your hand, your thumb is up, and your index finger is pointing straight, while the rest of your fingers are curled up holding the knife. This is an advanced but temporary grip because you are holding the knife with only the last three fingers. The pistol grip gives you a larger room for snapping the knife, and rolling it around the rim of your thumb and index finger. Project Overkill PO is the double knife skill, using two knives simultaneously, and then passing the knife to the other hand, so that you have two knives in a single hand. Double Knife If you are serious about self-defense with the knife, it is wise to carry more than one knife. There are many reasons why learning how to wield two knives is a good idea. ✓ Cause double the damage ✓ If you disarm them grab it, don't leave it not the floor ✓ Carry on two spots, so if you can't get to one, access the other ✓ Arm a buddy next to you ✓ Extra knife to throw Developing the Devil Hand Once you are comfortable wielding two knives simultaneously, we go back to single knife and work on knife passing, which is the skill of passing the knife from your left to right hand and vice versa. Then we practice the basic forms while holding two sticks in one hand. We further this skill by passing one stick to the other hand which results in two sticks in one hand or a single stick in each hand. Then we do the same thing but with a stick and knife. And finally we continue this skill while holding two knives. The Devil Hand Having two sticks in one hand idea comes from the butterfly swords used in Wing Chun Kung Fu. Two knives in one hand is called the Devil Hand and it is my most devastating skill because every single attack you make is automatically double the damage. Naturally, some pairs are much more comfortable than others, so the key is to find two knives that work well when placed together side by side. They need to be able to lay flat together, be secure and comfy in your hand. Devil Hand Grips CHAPTER 7: Knife Training Kung Fu Sword I have incorporated a very interesting Kung Fu sword training into knife training. Take out your knife and point it towards an imaginary opponent in front of you, now start to draw big circles over and over again, then gradually make them smaller and smaller. This is not only for developing focus and control, it teaches you how to use your body as the source of your attacks. Ledging This is a solo training home exercise that I invented based off of the Mook Jong (Wooden Dummy) training used in Wing Chun Kung Fu. All you need is the ledge of a door and a rubber training knife. You can just simply stand there and slash at the door ledge, but to make it much more interactive, you can stake a step forward, and block the ledge with your forearm, as you incorporate slashes and stabs. Stepping in and blocking conditions your forearm, prepares you for force collision, and trains you to attack around your arm. Blade Awareness Blade etiquette and blade awareness are closely related. You should never point the tip of the blade or edge towards someone in a casual setting. In a fight or during training, you want to make sure to point the tip and edge towards your opponent and not yourself at all times. This requires a lot of discipline and self checking. However if you take the time to do this you will notice when other people do not have good blade awareness, and in a combat situation you can exploit this. For example if a person carries a knife too close to their body you can jam it against them by attacking their knife arm, you can swipe with a jacket, shove or kick their arm. If the empty hand is in front of their knife hand you can jam that hand into the knife using similar means. Trailing Another way to develop blade awareness is by an exercise called trailing, which is the act of getting the knife and just rubbing it all over your body like a bar of soap. At some time during the exercise you may actually be rolling the knife on your body using the back of your hand, wrist and forearms, without the use of your fingers. Obviously this is a very dangerous exercise and should be practiced with a training knife first for a very long time before even considering going to a live blade. Tameshigiri In Iaido Tameshigiri refers to cutting targets with a real blade. In order to truly understand the blade you have to practice cutting various targets. Material, and texture can hinder your cut, which is good information for you to know offensively and defensively. Different blade types have different pros and cons which you should be familiar with. To become extra familiar with your knife I recommend using it everyday for daily tasks such as cutting open letters and packages. I also recommend that you go the extra mile and use your knife for cooking, although special attention must be taken to keep the knife sanitary. After usage, learning how to maintain and sharpen your knife is just as important as cutting. Cardboard A closed door can hold up a piece of cardboard for some targeting practice. This is also good for punching practice too, similar to the speed bag used by a Boxer but much easier. Water Bottles Filling up containers with water for practice cutting is excellent practice. You can go the extra mile and imagine that the water is blood. Try not to get splashed by the water as you cut, because in real life you most definitely do not want to get blood on you, because you can catch diseases. Demo Cut Often times when practice cutting, people want to see a dynamic effect so they swing full force. This move is the knife equivalent of the haymaker punch. It is powerful, and very natural. If you look at Boxers they actually throw haymakers, but at the right time. And most professional Boxers do not give that kind of opening so easily unless they are hurt or tired. Even though you do need to practice the demo cut, you have to separate demo cutting from practice cutting. The goal in practice cutting is to test how well the blade cuts. If you throw your whole body into it, then your doing all the work instead of the knife. Once you are able to control and tone down the amount of force you throw into a cut, then you can allow for precision cuts. CHAPTER 8: Special Weapons Specialized Weapons I frequently get asked to teach the Karambit knife. What people do not understand is that all specialized weapons such as the Balisong, Karambit, and Tomahawk are treated as improvised weapons. Therefore, the Balisong, Karambit, and Tomahawk, are used in the same way as we use a stick. Improvised Weapons Training All improvised weapons training is done in the following manner. First, learn the sticks, then, learn the knife, and then learn the machete. After this, you then practice with weapons/objects that are similar in size and shape as the stick, knife, and machete. Then you practice with weapons/objects that are not so similar in size and shape, and the objective is to see how much of your stick fighting skills can you transfer to the thing you have in your hand. Balisong At more advanced stages, after you are able to apply your stick fighting skills to the Balisong, there are three areas of we specifically work on. 1. Fast but secure deployment 2. Striking with the handle while holding the other handle. 3. Cutting while holding one handle and having the other handle loose. This cutting motion is practiced by doing the angles of attack. Karambit At more advanced stages, the Karambit is flipped in a figure 8 pattern as a flail to keep attackers at bay. The angles of attack are also the foundation as you add a flipping motion with the Karambit while still cutting. Tomahawk At more advanced stages, you learn techniques that incorporate the various features of the blade on a Tomahawk, such as hammering with the top and side, chopping and hooking techniques, swatting with the side of the blade, as well as using the spike if there is one. Reverse grip and throwing is also something we practice. CHAPTER 9: Grappling Forced Grappling Most of my grappling skills and martial arts concepts come from BJJ (Brazilian Jiu-jitsu). The ground is a terrible place to be during a street fight. So if I ever find myself forced to ground fight, I will be glad that I learned BJJ. There are many times where I can be forced to ground fight. If I am taken down, if I trip and fall, if I get knocked down by a strike, if my opponent is a better stand up striker than me. Self-defense Some people feel that "Ground and pound" from the mount position is too brutal for self-defense. I have been in situations where I needed to get the mount for my own protection, because I could not effectively control and neutralize my opponent in any other position, it was just too dangerous for me. And if they had resulted in trying to bite, eye gouge, hair pull, or use a weapon, believe me, I would have had to ground and pound them. Keep in mind that hitting a person on the chin when they are on the ground, underneath your mount, does not result in a KO. It is better if you punch the eye, the nose, the temple and ear region. Knife Ground I have seen videos of knifers stab themselves when they get taken to the ground by Police. When you have a knife and you have to engage the ground, wall, or person, remember that the standard grip is the worst grip, because it is the most dangerous to yourself. Reverse grip is better, but a closed folding knife used as a palm stick is the best. A closed folding knife can be used to sprawl and brawl, or ground and pound with great effect, it can also be used to enhance various submissions used in MMA competitions. Ground Training Number One Exercise number one, I had my students that were seasoned grapplers spar on the ground as if they were having a normal grappling match. At any point in time I would toss a training knife onto the mat, and the students would be allowed to use it to their advantage. There were a few times where the knife went unnoticed. Most of the time somebody got the knife. The defender had to neutralize the knife or the attacker would cut up the defender. The number one killer was passing the knife to the free arm. Ground Training Number Two Once again grappling sparring, except this time, one of my students hid a training knife on their body, and they were allowed to take it out at any time and use it, my students became so good at this drill, that they began searching the knife as they grappled, and would successfully find the knife and neutralize it before it was deployed. In some cases they were able to detect the location of the knife, take it away to use it on the carrier, before the carrier could even reach for it! BONUS CHAPTER: Pen Combat Tactical Pen Fortunately today we have something called tactical pens. Not to be confused with blades that look like pens, these are actual pens that are built like a tank made to be used as a non lethal impact tool for self-defense. I do like tactical pens, however they can still be illegal to have in certain locations. Best Pen The ultimate pen to me is one that you can find in just about any general supermarket. Not all pens are built equally, so when you are at the stationary section, you will need to know how to pick out a good pen specifically for self-defense. The average pen is simply not strong enough to withstand the forces involved during an altercation. If the pen has a removable part such as a cap, this can randomly come off and be distracting to you. Although, keep in mind that you can use the cap to launch it at their eyes. If you have something like a marker, not only does it provide a nice meaty grip, you can also directly write onto the assailant's eyes as a blinding agent. Ideally you want a pen that is all metal construction. If it is only partially metal or the body has a plastic area, chances are it will snap, making it unreliable. I have demonstrated this in a video, even though the pen tore up the cardboard target, it still instantly snapped in two becoming virtually useless. With an all metal pen, you will not only be able to use it as a shank for stabbing, but you can also use it to scrape. The slashing techniques from your FMA skills can be translated into scraping techniques. CONCLUSION Knife Combat can be used in basically three types of scenarios. Criminally assaulting someone, to protect yourself or others, or in a knife fight. As you are training it is wise for you to categorize the material you are learning so that you know what it is for. 1. The Assaulting Skill 2. The Surviving Skill 3. The Fighting Skill The Assaulting Skill Criminals hone their craft, because taking advantage of another human being is a necessity in their lifestyle. They learn to assault someone effectively and efficiently. Assaulting is the lowest level because, attacking an unsuspecting/scared/confused/weak opponent is the easiest to do out of the three. You must have the mindset of a predator out to kill prey. You must be aggressive and accurately attack the right anatomical targets. The Surviving Skill In self-defense your priority is about survival and not about defeating your opponent, or proving yourself. You may take a beating, but if you survive, then from the self-defense perspective you have won. Self-defense is harder than assaulting because defending means that you have allowed your opponent to attack, and now in a split second you must correctly identify their attack, and successfully choose the right defense for that move. Stalling is another under looked and excellent tactic if you know how. If you cannot physically defend against their move, then you must use distance as a means of protection. If you can do neither then you have to use awareness and avoidance as a means of protection. The Fighting Skill Many people think that knife fighting is an outdated ritual in today's society, quite frankly because it is illegal to duel. The only venue left these days is to enter some type of sport competition. From a self-defense perspective people think that training for a match is irrelevant, but they fail to see that a dueling scenario, where two people going toe to toe, can happen after an assault has failed. And sometimes defending alone is just not good enough. Fighting requires the most skill because you are training to go up against and defeat someone that is formidable and ready for you. Fighting has it's own set of unique skills that you must learn, but it also requires the assaulting skill and the survival skill, because during the match, chances are you will have to use all three types of skills. During a fight the assaulting skill can be used as a finisher, and the survival skill can be used for stalling to recover your wind. Don't forget that the fighting skill has it's own set of skills too, because attacking a person who is ready for you is different from attacking a person who is not.