Stopping The Committed Knife Attack


Stopping The Committed Knife Attack.

This interactive training session is written and designed for operators who are in the face of life threatening situations on a daily basis or those that find the need to be prepared for these situations. This session is targeted to what happens on the streets with an edged weapons attacker who is committed, has a volatile temper and great intent.

In any area of life that we plan to gain functional skill we must execute three key basic points.

1 Know what you’re up against.

2 Have some way to measure your progress.

3 Find what works and build on that skill set.

We found that after years of experience with Military, Law Enforcement and street combatives, there is a general held belief that a person armed with a knife is less dangerous than a person armed with a firearm. Unfortunately until the operator is properly trained, experiences first hand or has a partner / team member wounded / killed by a knife attacker does this belief change.


In photo A1 you can see Hank Hayes addressing questions and educating this Military command with the true dangers of an edged weapons attack, several different psychology and teaching methods are used to successfully achieve this. In photo A2 you can see students using a marking training knife to identify and remember the impact of their injuries. These marks can also be seen in several other photos. In photo A3 we can see the grim reality and aftermath of a committed knife attack. Notice the injury to the lower left abdomen. This officer had two children that will be growing up without their mom. To assist in this area of belief development I would suggest that you answer several questions. This will open the door to a stronger more correct belief about edged weapons defense.Third-picture

1 Have you ever been attacked by someone committed to killing you with a knife?

2 Have you ever been attacked by a committed predator hell bent on beating the snot out of you?

3 Have you seen first hand what a body looks like after being stabbed, hacked, and slashed multiple times?

4. Do you know how much blood you can lose before you lose hand and eye coordination, before you get dizzy and pass out, before you die?

Once you’ve answered these questions you’ll be on your way to achieving the necessary groundwork for developing a solid edged weapons skills program.


Now let’s look at what we’re up against.  In photo sequence B you can see that the student to the right, Cpl. Ramos is being drawn into the lead hand diversion and attack from Ssgt. McCarty. This is sometimes referred to as an invisible deployment. Let’s walk through each frame. In photo B1, Ssgt. McCarty has a sideways stance making it extremely difficult for Cpl. Ramos to see the knife on has attacker’s right rear side.

In photo B2 Ssgt. McCarty advances forward with an eye gouge/poke attack, these types of attacks when successful produces a visceral reaction that we as humans can not prevent.

In photo B3 Ssgt. McCarty takes advantage of Cpl. Ramos and attacks viciously the abdominal and spleen area while still applying the eye attack.

In photo B4 Ssgt. McCarty finishes his attack by ripping through everything in his path in one stroke. Notice the mark on the student’s body which clearly shows the damaged areas. The marking process is key to the learning phase.  It visually links the lethality component to direct action. Now that we’ve addressed knowing what your up against and have someway of measuring your progress. We’ll look at a few tactics that if used correctly can assist greatly in neutralizing the edged weapons attack.

In photo sequence C Hank Hayes is coaching two military combat instructors in neutralization exercises. In photo C1 the engagement starts, this time Cpl. Ramos on right knows better and in photo C2 immediately creates gap space, which equals TIME. In photos C3-5 you can see Cpl. Ramos still creating space while picking up his closest weapon of opportunity (WOO), dirt. Again using targets that when hit will cause a visceral response Cpl. Ramos uses his WOO to achieve this response as seen in photo C6&7.

One of the great benefits in training with a proven instructor or system is combat experience. We know that all people must react in some way to visceral reactive targets. In photo C8 Cpl. Ramos takes advantage of this window of time and rushes in trapping the blade arm and attacking the throat or eye region as seen in photo C9. In photo C10 the attacker is using his right arm so Cpl. Ramos tracks to outside range maintaining contact pressure with the knife possessing arm, raking the face while moving to the outside range as seen in C11. In photo C12 Cpl. Ramos maintains control of the knife possessing arm pulling the attacker off balance while still attacking the eyes. This attack will be completely neutralized when Cpl. Ramos puts attacker on his back or disengages and gets to his firearm.

In this short contextual training segment we covered the very important need to know what Ad-for-bottom-No-Lie-Blades-Hank-Hayes
you’re up against.  Not knowing would be like going on a blind date, what’s this person going to be like, what’s this person going to smell like and most important what’s this person going to look like? To many unknowns, these unknowns set fear, hesitation and so many other disempowering factors into motion. Which generally results in bad actions, and for our purposes can mean death – Not good.

We looked at having some way to monitor and measure your progress. With out it this would be like going to school and not getting grades. We must have some memorable way to measure our progress that accurately records information. In this case a marking tool of some sort..

Finding what works can be tricky, but if you don’t know what you’re up against and you don’t have a way to monitor your progress you will be too easily faked out. Go out and do your homework, walk that extra mile if you have to, to find it, then go get yourself a marking devise. Practice in a realistic training environment. Train, train and then train some more and when you’re not all marked up on the vitals your grades are going up…. Stay Safe.




  1. Tye Davis September 8, 2014 6:53 pm  Reply

    Too often I see tactics used that will get people killed…..this is a great article, I like the idea of being able to, as you say, “measure the progress”.

  2. rosemberg September 12, 2014 9:51 pm  Reply

    me parece muy interesante sobre las armas blancas y me gustaria tener mas informacion

    • superuser2014 September 18, 2014 12:08 am  Reply

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