Author Topic: Unarmed Knife Defense  (Read 31541 times)


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Unarmed Knife Defense
« on: June 26, 2006, 11:31:02 PM »
Hi everybody

I recently found this curious little film on the net and wondered if it or its makers are already known here.



  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 19
    • View Profile
Another film I found
« Reply #1 on: July 03, 2006, 04:09:31 AM »


  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 53339
    • View Profile
Unarmed Knife Defense
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2006, 07:07:58 AM »
Concerning the clip in the first post:  A lot of material there from other sources that seems poorly credited or not credited at all.

Piece of trivia concerning the footage from the mid 1980s of Paul Vunak cutting a hanging piece of meat:  At the time I trained with Paul we were business partners.  The idea to hang some meat and cut it to show people how dangerous knives were was mine.  The meat used was pork.  The knife was a Spyderco Police Model.


  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 53339
    • View Profile
Re: Unarmed Knife Defense
« Reply #4 on: August 25, 2006, 07:45:52 AM »

Fri, August 25, 2006

'I knew the knife was in me'

Teen stabbing victim writes an open letter to the judge who allowed his assailant to return to live across the street

(Fred Thornhill, Sun)

I wrote yesterday of the unprovoked and nearly fatal stabbing of Markham teen Nicolas Lastoria.
Neighbour Peter Galanos, 32, was found "not criminally responsible" by Justice William Gorewich last week and sent home. Take your paranoia-schizophrenia meds, the man was told.
This, little more than three months after the attack.
Neither York Regional cops nor Nicolas' mom, paramedic Elsa Ferraro, 45, were forewarned that a ruling was nigh.
"There was some kind of breakdown," says police Chief Armand LaBarge, who is trying to wrest a remedy from the Crown's office.

"The matter was disposed of without any contact with York Regional Police," LaBarge tells me.
"We're extremely concerned about this individual being back in the community, in immediate proximity to the victim."
Galanos, by the by, was "known to police," as they say, before the knifing.
The sudden ruling also deprived young Nicolas of his right to submit a victim's impact statement to court.
So, I meet him at his mom's near McCowan and Hwy. 7 and we sit at a laptop for an hour.
Over to you, Nicolas ...
Dear Justice Gorewich:

I am writing this at my mom's kitchen table, across the street from the man who stabbed me.
I just turned 16. I was 15 when I was attacked while I was working on my pocket bike (that's a miniature motorcycle) in our garage.
When Peter Galanos came home last week, I saw him once, getting into his car, before my mom sent me out of town to stay with my dad.
I am going back there after I write this.
I would like to tell you how my life and my family have been affected since April 22 around 1:30 in the afternoon.
You probably know most of what happened. I could show you the five scars on my back, side and arm.
He never said a single word, just crossed the street and started stabbing.
I was confused and a little pissed off. I didn't know what was happening.
The thing I remember most was looking down once and seeing the knife go into my ribs.
I can't really explain to you what that was like. It didn't really hurt, but I knew the knife was in me.
I got away and ran up the street for help. I didn't want him to follow me into my house. My mom and two sisters were inside.
The air from my lung was leaking out of one of the holes from the knife.


I don't remember much about the first two days in hospital, but I know I nearly died and for two months after, I could hear my lung gurgling when I breathed.
Now it has stopped doing that. But I am still angry and afraid.
It's fear of not knowing what might come across the street and to the door.
A policeman came and told us he was back. I was so angry I paced the house. I didn't want to leave. I was afraid for my mother and sisters, but my mom said I had to go away for now. I will have to come back before school starts.
She's still the same mom, but much more anxious.
My sisters, too.
My mother is a paramedic and she says my lung is weak and more likely to collapse again, but she is mostly worried about emotional scars.
I have started going to counselling with a psychologist she knows through work.
My friends all think it's crazy that Peter is home so soon.
I think it was the wrong decision. Peter should be the one to go away. I don't want to move.
I like this house and this area and I want to stay at the same school. I'm going into Grade 11.
Before this, I used to think no one would hurt me.
I'm not the same kid I was.
Now, in my mind, I don't trust anyone. I get suspicious of people I meet walking and think of how I will defend myself if I have to.
I don't think we should have to live like this.

Nicolas Lastoria

P.S. I want my jeans and my shoes back from that day. They took them for evidence. They were my favourite jeans and shoes. They probably still have blood all over them, but I want them back.

Man questioned after knife attack on three teenage girls

Steven Morris
Friday August 25, 2006
The Guardian

Police were last night questioning a man over a "sustained and frenzied attack" in which three teenage girls were repeatedly stabbed with a long-bladed knife after being followed off a bus after an argument in Bridport, Dorset.
One of the girls, Charlotte Teague, 14, suffered "life-threatening" wounds to her chest and stomach and was treated in intensive care.
Her friend, Sophie Hyne, 15, was stabbed in the face and upper body, while Kirsty Edwards, 17, was wounded in her back and stomach. The three were later said to be stable in the Dorset County hospital in Dorchester.

The girls had spent Wednesday in Weymouth before taking the bus back to Bridport. Charlotte and Sophie live in Bridport, and Kirsty is from Staffordshire.
It is thought that they were laughing and joking during the journey and were told to shut up by a man who was sitting in front of them.
Chief Inspector Nick Maton said: "The bus arrived in Bridport shortly before 6pm and the three girls left the bus.
"What happened next can only be described as a sustained and frenzied attack on three friends who received serious stab wounds. The girls felt like they had been punched, then saw the puncture wounds and noticed that there was blood and realised they had actually been stabbed."
The girls will be interviewed once they are well enough.

Helen Choudhury, who works at the Taj Mahal restaurant near the scene of the attack, said the episode was like something out of a horror movie.
Alan McNamee, 39, who saw the aftermath, said: "One of the girls was saying they had been sat behind a man on the bus and were laughing and joking. The man turned round and told them to shut up."
Kay Taylor, the headteacher of Sir John Colfox school in Bridport, where Sophie and Charlotte are pupils, said: "The whole school is shocked by the attack on Charlie, Sophie and their friend. Both girls are loyal to their friends and caring towards others. It's terrible that this could happen in a small town like Bridport."

Police asked other passengers who were on the bus to come forward. They were also studying footage from CCTV cameras in Bridport.
The assault is the latest in a series of high-profile knife attacks. It follows the end of a national knife amnesty, during which 90,000 knives and other bladed weapons were handed in across the country. 
A 20-year-old man from Bridport was arrested yesterday afternoon.

C-Kumu Dog

  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 576
    • View Profile
Re: Unarmed Knife Defense
« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2006, 02:26:11 PM »
I wasnt sure if this should go into the "Die Less Often: Interface of Gun, Knife and Emtpy Hand" thread or not.

I was browsing? James A. Keating's site when I found the following link.

Edged Weapon Defense: Is or was the 21-foot rule valid? (Part 1)
Part 1 of a 2-Part Series

For more than 20 years now, a concept called the 21-Foot Rule has been a core component in training officers to defend themselves against edged weapons.

Originating from research by Salt Lake City trainer Dennis Tueller and popularized by the Street Survival Seminar and the seminal instructional video "Surviving Edged Weapons," the "rule" states that in the time it takes the average officer to recognize a threat, draw his sidearm and fire 2 rounds at center mass, an average subject charging at the officer with a knife or other cutting or stabbing weapon can cover a distance of 21 feet.

The implication, therefore, is that when dealing with an edged-weapon wielder at anything less than 21 feet an officer had better have his gun out and ready to shoot before the offender starts rushing him or else he risks being set upon and injured or killed before he can draw his sidearm and effectively defeat the attack.

Recently a Force Science News member, a deputy sheriff from Texas, suggested that "it's time for a fresh look" at the underlying principles of edged-weapon defense, to see if they are "upheld by fresh research." He observed that "the knife culture is growing, not shrinking," with many people, including the homeless, "carrying significant blades on the street." He noted that compared to scientific findings, "anecdotal evidence is not good enough when an officer is in court defending against a wrongful death claim because he felt he had to shoot some[body] with a knife at 0-dark:30 a.m."

As a prelude to more extensive studies of edged-weapon-related issues, the Force Science Research Center at Minnesota State University-Mankato has responded by reexamining the 21-Foot Rule, arguably the most widely taught and commonly remembered element of edged-weapon defense.

After testing the Rule against FSRC's landmark findings on action-reaction times and conferring with selected members of its National and Technical Advisory Boards, the Center has reached these conclusions, according to Executive Director Dr. Bill Lewinski:

1. Because of a prevalent misinterpretation, the 21-Foot Rule has been dangerously corrupted.

2. When properly understood, the 21-Foot Rule is still valid in certain limited circumstances.

3. For many officers and situations, a 21-foot reactionary gap is not sufficient.

4. The weapon that officers often think they can depend on to defeat knife attacks can't be relied upon to protect them in many cases.

5. Training in edged-weapon defense should by no means be abandoned.

In this installment of our 2-part series, we'll examine the first two points. The others will be explained in Part 2.


"Unfortunately, some officers and apparently some trainers as well have 'streamlined' the 21-Foot Rule in a way that gravely distorts its meaning and exposes them to highly undesirable legal consequences," Lewinski says. Namely, they have come to believe that the Rule means that a subject brandishing an edged weapon when positioned at any distance less than 21 feet from an officer can justifiably be shot.

For example, an article on the 21-Foot Rule in a highly respected LE magazine states in its opening sentence that "a suspect armed with an edged weapon and within twenty-one feet of a police officer presents a deadly threat." The "common knowledge" that "deadly force against him is justified" has long been "accepted in police and court circles," the article continues.

Statements like that, Lewinski says, "have led officers to believe that no matter what position they're in, even with their gun on target and their finger on the trigger, they are in extreme danger at 21 feet. They believe they don't have a chance of surviving unless they preempt the suspect by shooting.

"However widespread that contaminated interpretation may be, it is NOT accurate. A suspect with a knife within 21 feet of an officer is POTENTIALLY a deadly threat. He does warrant getting your gun out and ready. But he cannot be considered an actual threat justifying deadly force until he takes the first overt action in furtherance of intention--like starting to rush or lunge toward the officer with intent to do harm. Even then there may be factors besides distance that influence a force decision.

"So long as a subject is stationary or moving around but not advancing or giving any indication he's about to charge, it clearly is not legally justified to use lethal force against him. Officers who do shoot in those circumstances may find themselves subject to disciplinary action, civil suits or even criminal charges."

Lewinski believes the misconception of the 21-Foot Rule has become so common that some academies and in-service training programs now are reluctant to include the Rule as part of their edged-weapon defense instruction for fear of non-righteous shootings resulting.

"When you talk about the 21-Foot Rule, you have to understand what it really means when fully articulated correctly in order to judge its value as a law enforcement concept," Lewinski says. "And it does not mean 'less than 21 feet automatically equals shoot.'"


 In real-world encounters, many variables affect time, which is the key component of the 21-Foot Rule. What is the training skill and stress level of the officer? How fast and agile is he? How alert is he to preliminary cues to aggressive movement? How agile and fast is the suspect? Is he drunk and stumbling, or a young guy in a ninja outfit ready to rock and roll? How adept is the officer at drawing his holstered weapon? What kind of holster does he have? What's the terrain? If it's outdoors, is the ground bumpy or pocked with holes? Is the suspect running on concrete, or on grass, or through snow and across ice? Is the officer uphill and the suspect downhill, or vice versa? If it's indoors, is the officer at the foot of stairs and the suspect above him, or vice versa? Are there obstacles between them? And so on.

These factors and others can impact the validity of the 21-Foot Rule because they affect an attacking suspect's speed in reaching the officer, and the officer's speed in reacting to the threatening charge.

The 21-Foot Rule was formulated by timing subjects beginning their headlong run from a dead stop on a flat surface offering good traction and officers standing stationary on the same plane, sidearm holstered and snapped in. The FSRC has extensively measured action and reaction times under these same conditions. Among other things, the Center has documented the time it takes officers to make 20 different actions that are common in deadly force encounters. Here are some of the relevant findings that the FSRC applied in reevaluating the 21-Foot Rule:

? Once he perceives a signal to do so, the AVERAGE officer requires 1.5 seconds to draw from a snapped Level II holster and fire one unsighted round at center mass. Add 1/4 of a second for firing a second round, and another 1/10 of a second for obtaining a flash sight picture for the average officer.?

? The fastest officer tested required 1.31 seconds to draw from a Level II holster and get off his first unsighted round.The slowest officer tested required 2.25 seconds.?

? ?For the average officer to draw and fire an unsighted round from a snapped Level III holster, which is becoming increasingly popular in LE because of its extra security features, takes 1.7 seconds.?

 Meanwhile, the AVERAGE suspect with an edged weapon raised in the traditional "ice-pick" position can go from a dead stop to level, unobstructed surface offering good traction in 1.5-1.7 seconds.?

The "fastest, most skillful, most powerful" subject FSRC tested "easily" covered that distance in 1.27 seconds. Intense rage, high agitation and/or the influence of stimulants may even shorten that time, Lewinski observes.

Even the slowest subject "lumbered" through this distance in just 2.5 seconds.

Bottom line: Within a 21-foot perimeter, most officers dealing with most edged-weapon suspects are at a decided - perhaps fatal - disadvantage if the suspect launches a sudden charge intent on harming them. "Certainly it is not safe to have your gun in your holster at this distance," Lewinski says, and firing in hopes of stopping an activated attack within this range may well be justified.

But many unpredictable variables that are inevitable in the field prevent a precise, all-encompassing truism from being fashioned from controlled "laboratory" research.

"If you shoot an edged-weapon offender before he is actually on you or at least within reaching distance, you need to anticipate being challenged on your decision by people both in and out of law enforcement who do not understand the sobering facts of action and reaction times," says FSRC National Advisory Board member Bill Everett, an attorney, use-of-force trainer and former cop. "Someone is bound to say, 'Hey, this guy was 10 feet away when he dropped and died. Why'd you have to shoot him when he was so far away from you?'"

Be able to articulate why you felt yourself or other innocent party to be in "imminent or immediate life-threatening jeopardy and why the threat would have been substantially accentuated if you had delayed," Everett advises. You need specifically to mention the first articulable motion that indicated the subject was about to attack and was beyond your ability to influence verbally."

And remember: No single 'rule' can arbitrarily be used to determine when a particular level of force is lawful. The 21-Foot Rule has value as a rough guideline, illustrating the reactionary curve, but it is by no means an absolute.

"The Supreme Court's landmark use-of-force decision, in Graham v. Connor, established a 'reasonableness' standard," Everett reminds. "You'll be judged ultimately according to what a 'reasonable' officer would have done. All of the facts and circumstances that make up the dynamics between you and the subject will be evaluated."

Of course, some important facts may be subtle and now widely known or understood. That's where FSRC's unique findings on lethal-force dynamics fit in. Explains Lewinski: "The FSRC's research will add to your ability to articulate and explain the facts and circumstances and how they influenced your decision to use force."

Follow the link to the Part 2
"You see, it's not the blood you spill that gets you what you want, it's the blood you share. Your family, your friendships, your community, these are the most valuable things a man can have." Before Dishonor - Hatebreed

Chili Pepper

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
    • View Profile
Re: Unarmed Knife Defense
« Reply #6 on: September 14, 2006, 09:33:05 AM »
Piece of trivia concerning the footage from the mid 1980s of Paul Vunak cutting a hanging piece of meat:  At the time I trained with Paul we were business partners.  The idea to hang some meat and cut it to show people how dangerous knives were was mine.  The meat used was pork.  The knife was a Spyderco Police Model.

I always loved that clip - one of the first things I mention to students when they first start working knife.


  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 84
    • View Profile
    • Sayoc Kali
Re: Unarmed Knife Defense
« Reply #7 on: September 20, 2006, 07:51:49 AM »
First time I saw a living "piece of meat" hung and cut apart by a knife was during the mid 1960's,? - I watched a large dog strung up on a tree and then zipper cut open with a knife. Opened like butter.
This was in the Philippines and the villagers then cooked and ate the dog.
What I remember even more vividly was the sounds.
Sobering experience.

The next image I have of what a knife can do was watching my older cousin show me the ten stab wounds he acquired when a couple of thugs attacked him in Manila. Lucky for him they were not skilled with the knife, and he survived.

Other experiences came from tales my family told of what happened to one family member or what they saw during WW2. How a pitchfork was used to take apart two Japanese soldiers caught by villagers. How a family member was decapitated by a bolo.

All this happened a good decade or so before I even started training in FMA.

By then it didn't take much to convince me what a edged weapon would do to flesh.

Sayoc Kali
« Last Edit: September 20, 2006, 07:59:22 AM by Sun_Helmet »
"..awaken your consciousness of our past, already effaced from our memory, and to rectify what has been falsified and slandered."
Jose Rizal, from his 1889 essay, ' To The Filipinos '


  • Administrator
  • Power User
  • *****
  • Posts: 53339
    • View Profile
Victim kills with attacker's knife
« Reply #8 on: February 23, 2009, 05:01:16 PM »

BART holdup victim grabs knife, kills robber
Henry K. Lee, Chronicle Staff Writer
Saturday, February 21, 2009

(02-20) 11:29 PST OAKLAND -- A 23-year-old visitor from the East Coast had just gotten money from an ATM when he told his friend on a cell phone that he had a bad feeling about two men approaching him at the Fruitvale BART Station in Oakland.

His worst fears were realized when one suspect, Victor Veliz, 18, held a folding knife with a 5-inch blade to his neck and the other, Christopher Gonzalez, 18, threatened to shoot him Thursday night, authorities said. In a blind panic, he lashed out at his attackers, grabbing the knife from one of them and punching the other as his friend listened in horror on the phone.

Without realizing it, authorities say, the man stabbed Gonzalez in the chest. Gonzalez stumbled to his family's home around the corner, collapsed into his father's arms and died.

Veliz, who is affiliated with a gang, was arrested at Gonzalez's home after police allegedly found him with the East Coast visitor's cell phone. He will be charged with murder in the death of his accomplice, along with a robbery count, prosecutors said.

The robbery victim suffered only cuts in fighting off his assailants. He ran from the station, flagged down an Oakland police officer on Fruitvale Avenue and turned over the bloody knife. His name was not released.

The man was "scared senseless" when he was attacked about 9:30 p.m. Thursday, said Allison Danzig, an Alameda County deputy district attorney. He acted in self-defense and will not be charged, she said. When police told him that Gonzalez had died, "he was very saddened and very upset," Danzig said.

Gonzalez's father, Javier Gonzalez, said Friday that his son had cried out for his parents and sister when he burst into his home on San Leandro Street. He died there.

Javier Gonzalez sobbed at the loss of his son, who worked with him in his roofing business and at Oakland Raiders games. "I'm angry at both of them," he said of the robbery victim and Veliz. "They took my son away from me. He was a hard-working kid." He added, "My son is dead. I want somebody to pay for this."

The incident wasn't the only violence near a BART station Thursday night. In Daly City, police said, a triple shooting outside the BART station that left one man dead and two others wounded may have resulted from a mistaken belief that the victims were gang members.

Two of the four men who were in a 1995 Buick Regal when the car was sprayed with bullets were wearing red baseball caps, and the color red is associated with a Latino gang, said Daly City police Lt. Jay Morena. But the victims were not gang members, Morena said. The dead man, a 21-year-old from San Francisco, has not been identified, and no arrests have been made.


  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 34
    • View Profile
    • Total Kombat Arts
Re: Unarmed Knife Defense
« Reply #9 on: March 25, 2009, 10:33:27 AM »
the two video links at the start of the threrad apear to no longer be available :(
I am here to chew bubble gum and kick some ass and I'm all out of bubblegum


  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 299
    • View Profile
Re: Unarmed Knife Defense
« Reply #10 on: June 10, 2009, 03:00:34 PM »
Not sure where to put this ...but here seemed as good a place as any  :-)
Stab vests:
It will seem difficult at first, but everything is difficult at first.
Miyamoto Musashi.


  • Power User
  • ***
  • Posts: 2004
    • View Profile
Re: Unarmed Knife Defense
« Reply #11 on: June 10, 2009, 06:14:27 PM »
So are these vests going to be allowed at the gatherings during the knife fights?


  • Frequent Poster
  • **
  • Posts: 74
    • View Profile
Re: Unarmed Knife Defense
« Reply #12 on: June 26, 2009, 08:41:43 PM »
hey guys i just found this vid of a knife defence chek the "weird" in the titel but hey it worked  :lol:    i dont think tha guy with the knife realy wanted to do any damag bou you be the juges.

Hi From mex
guau desde mex ^^

woof from mex ^^