June 28, 2011
By George Wehby
While forming a cooperative relationship with John Benner and his instructors at Tactical Defense Institute (TDI) for the show Personal Defense, I got to have some discussions on the use of folding knives for self-defense. I'll be completely honest in that my many years of martial arts training and professional gun carrying experience, I had very little formal training in the edged weapon department. My training mostly centered on dealing with an attacker using a knife against me or someone else. Funny enough, I always carried a knife with the idea that I might have to use it as a self-defense tool.
Though I always carried a knife and considered its use, training was definitely not a priority at the time. These discussions at TDI got me thinking and led to some self-reflection where I noticed some tactical hypocrisy on my part. Here I am, an avid preacher of training and I hadn't really trained with these knives I carry. I did have some opinions about knife training in that I thought Knife vs. Knife training was a little hokey--at least as a self-defense measure--but using a blade in certain context was definitely a personal defense option. I in no way dislike the knife fighting martial arts (they are quite neat and beautiful), I just felt self-defense training can be better spent somewhere else other than learning to use a knife against another guy with a knife.
In my forming opinion (I am open to influence), knife training should focus on fundamentals similar to that of firearms. Safety, stance, draw, proper effective deployment, target areas (whether they are vital "blood cuts" or wounding "mechanical cuts"), use-no-use situations (like shoot no-shoot) and most definitely legality.
Keep in mind, different jurisdictions view possessing knives and their use very differently. Just as with firearms, it is important to know your legal rights and the possible consequences of bringing a knife into a situation. In the end of the day, it's about protecting yourself, so be smart and train hard and consider the tactical folding knives if you do not already. Happy cutting.
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