~Chapter on FAST DRAW~
I'm going to describe an overly simplified self-defense scenario. There is an attacker 10 feet away from you, he has made it clear that he is going to murder you. You realize that you cannot runaway and that you have to use deadly force to protect yourself. Luckily, you have a weapon on you. The madman starts charging at you. At this point, it seems like everyone thinks that this is a fast draw situation.
So there are many folding knives today that cater to this thought. We have out the front automatic knives, switch blades, gravity knives, assisted openers, and manual knives with the wave feature. Fixed blades are generally thought to be fast in deployment already, but some knives are even faster now with the modern invention of kydex sheaths.
If you play the game of speed, you have to understand that there are 3 outcomes just like any other game you play, win, lose, and draw. And that can happen on any given day, because it's really like a dice roll. I'm not a gambling man, so my method is not about speed. From Brazilian Jiu-jitsu, I learned that in a street fight one of the most important things is distance management. In the early UFC, BJJ dominated, not because their practitioners trained harder than others, but because they understood distance management more than anyone else at the time.
So this is my method based on BJJ. If you have enough distance, then you will be able to safely draw your weapon. If you don't, then you need to make more distance so that you can. If you are in a situation where you cannot create more distance, then you need to control/neutralize your attacker before using your weapon, that is based off of a saying in BJJ, "position over submission".
The methodology can be broken down into steps.
1) Defend the immediate threat (example. they are striking at you, charging, or choking you)
2) Neutralize their attacks, (example. tie them up, pin them against a wall, get far away from them)
3) Escape to a better position (example. get in your car, go to a crowded area, go up a hill)
And just for curiosity sakes, here are the remaining steps
4) Wear them down
5) Be active to force them to make a mistake
6) Capitalize on their mistakes
Personally my favorite type of folding knives are the ones where I can use in the closed position as an impact tool. I can use this to help me seize and control my attacker, and if things worsen, the knife is already in my hand ready for the blade to be deployed. Also, if I had miscalculated the severity of the situation, I won't accidentally go lethal, because even though the knife is drawn, the blade is not. For a fixed blade my thought patterns are similar, and I like the knives that will allow me to use the knife as an impact tool when the sheath is still on.
In my opinion, people who rely on the knife have to deploy their knife ASAP in order to defend themselves. But people who understand that the knife is just another tool, already begin their self-defense well before the knife is drawn. This is one of the reasons why I believe that if your serious about self-defense, it is important to train in martial arts even if it is an empty handed system.