The Night of the Long Knives

Some of you who know me personally from my home area, will know that throughout my life as a 'career idiot', i was involved in knife violence, including being stabed in the chest & back myself. One such incident stands out among the rest, both in terms of frenzy, injuries, and taking 'responsibility' by all people involved. For various reasons there won't be a detailed journey of events, suffice to say it's important to set the appropriate scenario.

On that evening two groups of males were involved. One group had responded to cries of help by a 14 year old boy. The boy had claimed that some men had assaulted him. What developed next was an absolutely terrible event.

One or two members of a group produced weapons. A hammer & knife of some kind. They immediately began to attack the group whom had apparently attacked the young boy. In the middle of the street, in front of many on-lookers and passing traffic, hammer & knife were used as much as possible.

The person whom had the knife 'attention' had (to my knowledge) no relevant combat training. Yet his sheer survival instinct was used to great effect. The knife was used in a freenzied slashing motion, alternating to a stabbing thrust. The 'knife victim' began to place their hands out in front, whilst moving backwards, still facing the attacker. Always keeping distance between their body & the weapon. The person did recieve terrible injuries to their hands though this was by no means certain if it was the knife or the victims erratic destructive behaviour afterwards. They did however survive the incident, which could have been much, much worse.

This has got me thinking, over the last week or so about knife crime. Speaking purely about CPP, we find no use in using our time to train ourselves in a scenario in which we might come up against someone skilled in the fillipino knife arts, for example. We train to percentages. We are living in the west, and knife violence is enacted in a different way than in S.E. Asia. Granted, in those places it may be common to go against a skilled knife fighter. It's their indigenous art. It's not the UK's, for example. Generally, folks who train in martial arts, to a skilled level, receive discipline, and a life path. Of course, this isn't absolute, but generally this is the case. This lowers even more the percentage of risk. For CPP, we train & teach in the environment we will have conflict. I mean, in the UK we will work up to knives, sticks & guns. There are some universal truths in combat, then there are area specific ones. What is going to be experience in Northern Ireland, is not the same percenatage as what will be experienced in England, and vice-versa. What is experienced in the Middle East or the Phillipines, is not what will be experienced in France or Germany neccessarily.

Most people are knife experts. From an early age we have been used to cutting & slicing our food. I see no useful purpose in drilling in scenarios that look good on camera, or are more region/country specific.

Having been involved in knife violence for some time, i can honestly say that there are two most likely scenarios. The first is the knife attack you will never see coming. For that, situational awareness is your best offence. The second, is the attack you know is coming. Granted, it may be happening so fast you havn't got time to think, though combat rehearsals can help with this.

There has been much talk about certain ways knives are used on the street. I'm talking from a purely one time criminals perspective. I can tell you out of three primary ways of a street knife attack, one is the least likely. This is the ice-pick stab. For sure, it looks good in the movies, and many an expert will argue this point, but a criminal will not usually use this way of attack. This is because it leaves the criminal vulnerable. We have to remember, a criminal using a knife is experienced in a much different environment than a training hall. A criminal knows street violence is unpredictable, and heaven forbid the scenario in which they lose the knife advantage, as this generally can be very dangerous for the criminal who 'thought' they had the advantage with the knife. To use a knife in an over-head stab is to leave the whole mid-section of the knife attackers body open. Especially if the other person has a knife. A criminal just would not usually do this.

Instead, the knife attacker most likely will keep the blade in front of them. This creates a 'fence' (some of you are aware of). This fence is a physical, and psychological barrier against the opponent. Also, it is a physical/psychological boost to the knife attacker. Slicing motion will be employed to maim or 'warn' the other person. Often, slashing them is in fact a warning.This iwll also be used to psychologically defeat the opponent, often with no real immediate desire to 'escalate' it to a physical contact knife scenario.

The most life-threatening situation is the stabbing motion. Again, having had this done to me, and witness many such street encounters, the knife will usally stay somewhere in front of the person. As earlier implied, anyone whom has had any real street knife encounters, against capable opponents, will know what they don't want is that knife to be took off them, or to lose it. The kmife is an extension of the attacker. Both an offensive advantage, and a defensive one. Provided it stays relatively in front of them.

Train smart, train real. There's much stuff taught by many people with many titles. Ask them are they qualified in the arena they say they are teaching you to protect yourself from. Bear in mind, even all civilian violence isn't within the same arena. Look for a teacher, or system, that keeps things simple, and is born from the environment you are living in.

Stay Safe

Author's Bio: 

Personally trained by numerous noted martial artists, and trained to Senior Instructor level in another reality based system, Wayne's primary training is real world experience.

For thirteen years Wayne was a gang leader, heavily involved in crime in Northern Ireland. Having many life-threatening experiences, including numerous attacks by terrorist organisations, Wayne has first hand, real life knowledge of how criminals work, and of how terrorists operate on civilians.

Having paid his debts to society, Wayne began to slowly move away from that lifestyle. Embarking on an intense period of Hatha Yoga study, Wayne became a Yoga Teacher in 2001.

2005 saw Wayne learning Reiki level 1. Wayne became a Reiki Master in 2006. Having been mentored by one of the World's formost Reiki researchers, Wayne has founded a somewhat unique Reiki forum. He continues to daily give advice & support worldwide.

In 2010, Wayne became a Kuji-in teacher. Kuji-in is a spiritual practice uniting mudras (finger locks), mantras & visualization. An intensely profound spiritual experience.

Wayne is extremely passionate about assisting others acheive thier potential. His all encompassing system - Civilian Personal Protection, aims to stop people being victims of crime, to enable criminals to leave that path, and to create more health & happiness within oneself.