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51  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: DBMA Knife and Anti Knife on: June 16, 2010, 04:39:07 AM
Yes, the 4 scenarios are all essentially a more aggressive and proactive defensive set-up.  One of the moral and ethical points we face in our life in more than just a knife situation is:  Where does proactivity end and being an aggressive bully begin?  It is a hard line to draw.  It's something that countries debate as well as people.  At the end of the day, the decision is going to come down to the person out on the sharp end of things and what he or she can determine at the time with less than ten seconds to determine the pattern of the rest of the life.  And the rest of us will likely debate it and second guess it later.  I know I have with most of the things I have done, both good and bad.

Outside of certain situations such as sentry-elimination, is there truly a reason to engage in an entirely offensive scenario other than for pure power purposes.  Even there, we get into crazy circles.  We don't eliminate a sentry because we want to.  But because we don't want the sentry to kill us or our friends.  It gets dangerous because most (not all) authoritarian view themselves as operating in a mindset of proactive defense.  Whenever we start playing games like that, we tend to get into chicken and egg spirals.

Which brings me to the next question:  Outside of a purely sporting situation, why teach offensive combatives at all?  One can very easily apply the same ethical question about offensive knife as offensive fist, foot, stick or handgun.  The knife merely brings the danger and ethics into, ahem, sharper focus, ahem.  *grin*  A twelve year old boy who gets his body weight behind a haymaker can shatter a jaw in a schoolyard fight without training.  That's thousands of dollars and many weeks of recovery time plus pain and suffering inflicted upon someone.

Fingers, fists, knees and other empty handed blows can be every bit as lethal as the knife.  We should never forget that, ethically, when we argue, fight or teach.    One of the reasons for the foundation of arts such as Aikido is so that someone could defend themselves  without mangling someone else for the rest of their life. 

I have come to feel that, as a teacher, one of the responsibilities is to provide a practical example of living correctly.  I do not mean espousing any particular dogma or belief.  I mean simply living and showing daily certain basic ideas such as not inflicting needless harm with deeds or words (which can be the same thing)  But I get way off topic and into other forum topics.  Enough for now. 

And I apologize if I ever go too far into classroom lecture mode.  I do that almost by default.

By the way, a very interesting discussion, all.
52  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: Guro Crafty's momentary ruminations on: June 11, 2010, 05:18:28 PM
Almost everyone I know who was in the US Army in the 80's and 90's learned to relax in this squat-sitting posture  or in the 'rice-paddy prone' variation.  We probably picked it up from all the Vietnam veterans that were still floating around.   that and because  it is a natural resting posture to adopt in situations where sitting is not feasible. 

Good point!

"Squat-sitting" is one of the primal human positions, yet has become completely alien to modern man.  Just watch modern man try to defecate in nature-- let alone hang out in this position the way normal people can and do. 

I can't tell you how "strange" and unfamiliar it looked when I saw a Vietnamese father and son who used to live near my in-laws constantly "squat sitting" when they were outside.... just hanging out there for long periods of time.  That 'position' alone culturally separated them in a somewhat intolerant neighborhood (intolerant if one was not extremely "white"). It is EXTREMELY alien to me.... sort of funny.
53  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: DBMA Knife and Anti Knife on: June 08, 2010, 03:52:55 PM
If it will help start a discussion, I will throw out some scenarios to help explain why we might be fighting offensively with a knife.  These scenarios are based on real events with the information changed a bit to protect the guilty and the stupid.  Do not get too caught up on the specific details.   The scenarios are meant as brainstorm exercises. In all scenarios, you have a clip folding knife or small fixed blade attached to your pocket or belt or wherever you like to keep it.

Scenario 1.  You are visiting a friend at his home in an isolated subdivision at night.  The lighting is not terrible but not great, either.  You knock on his door but there is no answer.  Deciding he is not home, you start back to your car.  Out of the darkness between your friend's house and the neighboring house, comes a figure.  When the light hits, you can tell that it is not your friend.  The man approaches, pointing a flashlight in your eyes.  Dazzled a bit, you do not see the pistol in his hand until he is within 10 feet and is still approaching.  The man begins to berate you, falsely accusing you of having run over one of his dogs.  He is furious, sweating and his eyes look a bit wild.  The pupils are dilated.    He steps towards you and begins brining the pistol up to you.

Scenario 2:  You are about to start pumping gas at a station.  You've just slid your credit car but have not started pumping  yet.  A reasonably clean man wearing jeans and a t-shirt approaches you with an unlit cigarette and starts to ask you for a light.  As you are about to respond, you catch a reflection off your car window and see someone approaching from the opposite direction with a piece of rebar raised over his head to caveman whack you. Your car is blocking one lateral and the pump is blocking the other lateral.

Scenario 3:  You are leaving the mall's movie theatre after watching a late movie with your date/spouse/child.  As you walk to your car, you have to pass a concrete island that contains one of the mall's electrical substations.   From around behind it comes a large, screaming man spraying ammonia at you from a cheap spray bottle before he makes a grab for your wife and her purse.  You are half blind and feel like you are hacking up a lung. 

Scenario 4:  You are walking along the street near a park where a bunch of pre-teenagers are playing soccer.  The ball comes bouncing roughly in your direction.  A few of the teenagers come to get the ball.  As the pick it up, they notice you.  And they begin to circle you, demanding money and cigarettes.  One of them pulls a knife and and threatens  you.

Think of these scenarios as reasons why you might need to go into an offensive tactical posture with a knife.  I would not be too concerned with specific techniques.  I would think about how you have to engage and why. 
54  Politics, Religion, Science, Culture and Humanities / Politics & Religion / Re: The War on Drugs on: June 07, 2010, 04:51:37 PM
Here is a simple point about the limitations of legalization and criminalization that avoids the stigma of drugs and alcohol.

Car Seatbelts.  99.999 percent of the time, adults are better off wearing them while driving.  It is now a crime to not wear a seatbelt.  Despite the laws and despite common sense, how often do many of us not wear our seatbelt?  How many thousands of people die per year because we do not remember to do the wise thing? 

To paraphrase Alan Watts:  We are going to accept the fact that there are always going to be people who do stupid things.
55  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: DBMA Knife and Anti Knife on: June 04, 2010, 04:24:25 PM
I apologize for the lack of coherence of the last post.  I was at work and made the mistake of rushing it instead of waiting until I had more time.  On to the offensive knife discussion.

Premise One:  We find ourselves in a deadly-force situation in which we are armed with a knife.  For one reason or another, retreat or avoidance is not an *immediate* option.

Premise Two:  We are attempting to establish a simplified model of a single knife's use and effectiveness so that we can begin laying out principles, theories, tactics and options.

Starting with those two baselines, let us first look at the knife.  One streamlined way of looking at a typical small knife (in the 2-4" range) is as a force modifier to the empty hand.  It adds slightly to the mass and length of the lever.  In an icepick grip, it can function much like a closed first.  In a  hammer grip, it can function much like a finger strike.  The knife's blade will take the energy found in the hand and focus it into a very small area.  This means that a given amount of energy will penetrate better than the empty hand but transfer less momentum to the target.  This reduced transfer is an important factor to remember when thinking about following strikes or when dealing with a stop-hit scenario such as a bull-rush charge.  It does one little good to neutralize the threat if the opponent's energy carries us out into the road in front of a speeding car.

Treating the knife as a particularly deadly hand, we can break down immediate options.  The starting point is the initial opening exchange. For simple illustrative purposes, we are starting with knife in right hand vs right handed opponent. After that, the variables grow exponentially.  In initiating our offensive action, do we wish to use the knife as an opener to clear the path to the vital targets or do we prefer to use the knife as a finisher?

Using the knife as an opener, we are probably attempting to disable one of the opponents limbs in order to both remove it from our attack line to more vital targets and reduce its ability to inflict damage upon us.  Example:  Cut to the lead hand followed by front thrust kick to groin/bladder.

Using the knife as a finisher leaves us with using one of our other limbs to to set up our attack with the knife.  Example:  The classic jab and grab followed by much stabbing and cutting.

Option Three: Use the knife as both opener and finisher in a rapid sequence.  Example:   cutting inside sweep to lead hand that becomes a stab to liver or kidneys.  Option Three is essentially a variation of Option 1: Knife as Opener because we are still using the knife primarily to remove a threat and open our attack line.

This is meant as a starting point to the model and deliberately leaves out considerations such as reach, oppenent's weapons and posture.  The point is to look at what the small knife can and cannot do.  When I started really thinking about this a couple of days ago, I realized that I did not have a real practical model for what truly happens when a dangerous opponent is cut.  One of the ideas I had for assembling the model is from bowhunting.  Assuming a hunting broadhead acts much like a small knife, there should be considerable of literature on what happens when a large predator is struck in the vitals.  For a human analog, possibly start with experiences of those who bowhunt wild pigs.

Something to start with, anyway.
56  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: DBMA Knife and Anti Knife on: June 04, 2010, 12:07:42 PM
I think the point is that we are supposed to be discussing potential offensive knife techniques as well as anti-knife.  In light of Guru Crafty's original post, I've been pondering the knife techniques I might use if I have to cripple or kill quickly, especially WRT the lack of immediate effect.  In some ways it reminds me of the problems that are run into with small, fast moving bullets.  The 5.56mm is lethal enough (avoiding that debate) but often not in an immediate fashion.  The same thing, especially with a pocket knife.  It is lethal but it takes time for someone's body to realize that they are dead.

I was thinking that it might require a combination of techniques.  A cut or stab, followed by an immediate shove, driving knee, kick, shoulder strike or sweep.  Get in the lethal blows with the knife and immediately drive  them away with some other technique to give them time to die.  Either that or immediately go into a grappling control position of some sort to give them time for the effects to occur.  I know in the US Army training guidelines, a kidney stab is suggested.  It takes longer for someone to die but the pain is usually intense enough to be incapacitating.   Having had 2 kidney stones, I do not immediately disagree with that statement but I've never known or seen anyone stabbed in the kidneys to get first hand evidence.
57  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: DBMA Knife and Anti Knife on: June 02, 2010, 10:49:05 AM
I would agree with G M.  The one person I have met face to face that I am 98 percent certain is a true sociopath is charming, friendly, glib and totally without any true empathy or remorse that I have ever seen.  I know what a liar the man is but  there is nothing in the fellow's body language to give it away.  I just have enough experience with this person to assume that if his mouth is uttering words, he is lying about something.
58  DBMA Martial Arts Forum / Martial Arts Topics / Re: DBMA Knife and Anti Knife on: June 01, 2010, 04:50:14 PM
Hello!  New Member Here!  I love the forum, so far.  I dislike my first post being in the nature of 'no crap, there I was'  As someone who teaches both the art and self-defense aspects of martial arts, I found myself recently coming to two realizations.  First, my students are increasingly more willing to take what I say at face value.  While I have teachers of my own, I am always looking for others who can help me sort through the BS of my own ego.  That is what I have come to DBMA looking for. Secondly, at at some point, a student or even someone I have had a casual conversation with is going to gamble their life on something I have said or demonstrated.  With those two factors combined, I feel obligated to search for new questions and answers.

During a discussion of knife work while testing out the material in DLO1 & 2, I realized that I could not remember the exact number of knife-play situations I had been involved in.  I think it is 4 or 5.  I have certainly witnessed  several more.  The details do not matter suffice it to say that 50 percent of the time, I was cut.  All of them that I have been involved in or witness to, save one, could have easily been avoided by not being stupid or insecure.

I will say that I am from 'The South' and have seen the redneck barfight escalate into a knife fight.  Alcohol is almost always involved.  Posturing.  An exhange of blows.  One side starts winning. The losing side gets scared and goes for a knife.  Most working men in the south have knives with them.  Suddenly, there are two knives out with people who are already engaged in a fight.  And no one is willing to back down.  And with small folding knives, people get cut a lot and don't stop or even die. 

One story that a friend of mine was involved in that I will tell, because I think it is relevant to offensive knife tactics. 

Man A is riding an ATV at a local recreation area.  He tries to take a  hill and flips.  He's banged up but mostly dazed.  Man B begins heckling Man A.  Man A says a few things he should not.  Man B comes charging over and hits Man A hard enough to drive him to the ground and break his jaw.  Man A's jaw had to be rebuilt.  Man A is now in a fight with Man B who is capable of crippling or killing him.  Man A pulls small pocket knife and commences going to work.  Man B is hospitalized.  Man B survives only because somewhere in the stabbing process, Man A's knife breaks.  Man A is arrested for attempted murder but the jury finds in his favor.

The points:  Deadly fights show up suddenly.  That scenario's opening could have easily been a rush hour traffic fender-bender of the kind that most people who live in a large city have been in.  Two, when someone is crippled in the opening salvo, they have to quickly equalize and neutralize.

Three: Directly to the point of the discussion:  Knives, especially small folders, break when applied violently against a hard object.  ie, a human skull or hip bone.  Or the pavement or a brick wall or a car hood.

Good luck and keep teaching!
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