From the Warrior Talk forum....
Originally Posted by Marc "Crafty Dog" Denny
2) Stick vs. Knife. CWS pressed me with true pressure on this and sometimes he killed me and sometimes we think I probably would have dropped him or deterred him on the way in. I think we agreed that stick vs knife is a question of four variables:
-- the knife
-- the stick
-- the men involved, their level of motiviation and their respective skills with their respective tools
-- the environment
I had completely forgotten about this little experiment, yet it was probably the most illuminating information I came away from WTS3 with.
Prior to this day in question, I had always been of the mindset that in stick/impact weapon versus knife, the person with the knife held a lopsided advantage. Personally I think I would still rather have a knife in most situations, however, my opinion of the whole affair dramatically changed after sparring it out with Crafty Dog. The reality I experienced was that the stick had the range advantage. Certainly against the 4 1/2" fixed blade trainer I was using. I am not sure of the length of the Flex Stick Crafty was using (by the way those Flex Sticks are awesome impact weapons training equipment and nobody training the impact weapons art should be without them, just as nobody training blades should be without a NOK full contact trainer). However during the bubble distance, sparring and closing action it was clear to me that Crafty was getting some significant whacks in on my knife wielding hand, and the elbow as well. I instinctively felt that strikes like these with an impact weapon of substance certainly had a good prospect for inducing major pain, and in the case of the hand probably risking the breaking of some metacarpal bones. I am not sure how well, in the real world, a knife attacker could sustain those kinds of hits. I believe, of course depending upon the size of the impact weapon, that shots to the forearm would be very "iffy" fight stoppers, although I certainly would not want to find out the hard way.
While working this out with Crafty, once I realized that he could get in these significant shots, I tried to work the problem from the perspective of being forced to respect the weapon. Thus I did not try to close willy nilly because it would not have been realistic since there was no penalty to pay as there would be in real life. What I sensed and discovered working this exercise was that because I had to maintain a respectable impact weapon bubble range, which I felt was a greater range than would be the case in knife versus knife, I was not able to close the distance most of the time without getting whacked in the hand and/or elbow multiple times. Because Crafty can move extremely well, and because he can strike from various positions, closing in on him was already very challenging. Add to that the fear of getting whacked and it made it very difficult to safely and realistically go at him with the knife most of the time. I got lucky a few times but not as many I was would have expected.
The weapons are a factor. If Crafty had a shorter impact weapon, then I would have been more comfortable closing the bubble distance, and perhaps that would have given me the range at which I could have closed hard and efficiently in one powerful step. If I had a longer blade, perhaps I could have touched him more than I did when I did try to strike him from that extended distance. I think the actual impact weapon itself would have been a very important factor. I have seen guys train with 26" rattan sticks that just do not look to me to be fight enders. I don't want to get cracked upside the head with one, don't get me wrong, but they just do not instill fear in me. Without that fear I believe I would be more likely to go for that all out closing lunge to run somebody through with a blade. Maybe I would get whacked but I would still give it a shot, and maybe I would get through, whereas if I feared getting hit by the impact weapon I might not even try. I tried to run this exercise as if I were up against an ASP (26" minimum) or a 30" Dog Brothers type rattan stick. I already know I do not want to get hit with either of those, so the fear level (that I think is all important in the real world) is already there. I am not so sure, with a blade in my hand (especially one in which the blade is 7" long) that I would have that same level of fear against a 21" ASP. I am not saying it could not mess me up. I am saying that the fear level is way reduced due to the smaller bubble colliding distance.
No matter which opponent you are, you MUST be able to move well. In my case I just could not easily get a "hold" of Crafty without sustaining significant whacks, and that was a major factor in his favor that kept me well at bay. Crafty's Kali false lead footwork was very effective in my opinion.
I highly recommend everybody spar this stick versus knife scenario out. I think it is an important piece to the combatives puzzle that everybody needs to have some familiarity with. And do so switching weapons because it may be you that winds up with an impact weapon in your hand against a knife. And vice versa. Practice redondos and around the head circling shots.
Your mileage may vary.....