In your first few Knife Training Sessions, you will go over various knife grips and stabbing, slashing, poking motions to accustom your body in the correct optimal, most efficient sequences possible.
Then you will learn counter techniques to these knife attacks. In general you will deal with about five to seven types of attacks.
Withing few hours, of intensive training, you should be able to sufficiently command successful execution of your counters.
Then in the next hour you will have drills putting it all together. The objective is not to get hurt by an opponent armed with a knife through a modified drill with a training partner holding a rubber knife.
One helpful conditioning to your brain for this drill is reading this article!
There are varieties of ways to grip a knife for combat defense and attack purposes. They are named for the convenience of training purposes. Straight-stab-hold, slash-hold, top-down-hold, bottom-up-hold are just some of the terminology.
The connection between the training terminology and applied training or applied self defense is that they represent the most efficient way to hold the knife from a certain direction coupled with the tactical approach of using it.
There are also several tactical options to position the hand holding the knife prior to a lunge, poke or cut. A knife can be held in his front hand, in the cross hand, and hiding behind the back. The closest it is to the direction of the opponent the, faster you can use it. However, it can also become a target while it projects an obvious intent.
However, attackers might use a lesser efficient way of tactics with that same type of particular hold. Efficiency in this context means the fastest way to reach and damage the desired pressure point or controlling access to variety of pressure points. On the tactical level, the most efficient opportunities of any possible opponent should be taken in consideration as well.
To make the long point short, the type of hold, does not always indicate the attacker’s intention and direction of attacking. You need to watch for his whole body positioning and the locations of his arms and legs when he is on the edge of moving into the hotzone.
His body positioning will tell you also how fast and from how far he can bridge that distance and enter the hotzone. If he feints and switches before he enters the hotzone, use it to your advantage as he must have slowed down in his motion and refocusing his intention.
Generally you need to go with the original plan of attack and counter attack under the constraints of efficiency while he is still busy changing plans.
Take that! An attacker is getting close to the hotzone with a knife in a straight hold and instead of stabbing he is backing out his front hand and trying to reach you in a circle and poke your neck from the side. You should have already reached him before he had done that!
Although he stopped few inches short of the hotzone to enter a split second later, you should have adjusted for it noticing his speed of advance and sudden slowdown and used it to your advantage. Reaching his wrist few inches forward with a little step is not going to change much and should not retract from your ability to timely react and foil his attack…
Finally, let’s say he is holding a top down knife hold with his front hand, but is holding it in front of his chest and not over his shoulder. You should treat it as a straight stab and plan on executing a defense against a straight stab. Do not let your brains get stuck with your training definitions and try to match defense vs. top-down knife stab to an actual straight direction stab with a top-down knife hold!