The Viciousness of Assault and Resilience of Man

Are your knife defence techniques and tactics able to withstand a real world assault?
By Bob Kasper

According to most media reports violence is on a downward trend. What they fail to report is that violent attacks are more violent than ever. For whatever reason people who commit violent attacks today are more inclined to go "all the way" rather than just beat their victim. This is especially true in multiple attack situations that can turn into a vicious feeding frenzy once the victim is down. Knowing how vicious an assault can be, we must be sure that the tactics and techniques we employ are effective enough to stop this type of mad aggression. We probably think they are effective because we're hitting all the right spots with the right tools but what about the resilience of man and your attacker's determination to survive?

The following paragraph is a recent newspaper article showing just how vicious an assault can be and how resilient man can be when his life is in danger. (I have edited out the names of the gang members, victim and location for personal security concerns.) Real world attack. Authorities said the three gang members drove to the victim's home in a pickup truck at 10:15 P.M. that day and started, what first appeared to witnesses, to be a friendly conversation. But a struggle quickly ensued. "They hit him with an Ax handle, and he got back up to fight," reported the detective. "They stabbed the victim once in the chest and twice in the stomach, slashed his forehead and then his throat twice, once nearly ear-to-ear," the detective said. "They tried to shoot him three times but missed," he said. Investigators uncovered a .38-caliber slug from a tree near the scene. The victim needed 175 stitches before he could be released from a hospital a few days after the attack. The end. You're probably asking, "How the hell did they miss shooting him after beating him with an axe handle and stabbing and slashing him?"

Easy answer - he was running away from the scene when they shot at him. It was at night, with low visibility, a moving target, and everyone under extreme stress. He was hit so hard with an axe handle (and I'm sure more than once knowing the gang's mode of operation) that he was knocked to the ground. He got up to fight and was slashed and stabbed several times. Note the placement of the stabs and slashes. Believe me, these were not amateurs. I'm very familiar with their way of sending a message. They don't send punks to take care of business. After the knife attack he broke loose and ran from the scene under gunfire and made his escape and immediately retreated to a hospital for medical assistance. An excellent example of the resilience of man with a will to survive.

Real world training:

when we train we usually address different attack scenarios using different types of weapons. And this is usually done in a training area with plenty of room and normal lighting. The above real world assault is a great lesson on how complex an attack can be. Multi-assailants, surprise assault (friendly exchange turned violent), multiple weapons escalating from less to more lethal, confined space (doorway to a home), natural environment (steps, sidewalk, grass, scrubs, trees, etc.), confusion, fear, and life threatening injuries. Think carefully about this scenario. Put yourself in the victim's shoes. Would you survive? Will your techniques and tactics stop a determined attacker with a will to survive as big as yours? Will your "defanging the snake" and "veil of blood" techniques really stop someone hell-bent on destroying you? Are you sparring with knives and stopping after someone scores with what you perceive to be a "kill shot?" Are you training for the real world or just dancing in the dark? Knife defence is not a game used for titles and competition. It's not a fitness exercise. It's a deadly force used to counter real world violent assaults.

Conclusion: I've said this before and I'd like to re-emphasize it. When you draw out that knife to defend yourself it means you are in fear for your life and deem it necessary to use deadly force. Otherwise keep it out of play. But if you do draw it out, do so with all the violence and fury you can muster up because anything less may not be adequate to stop the violence perpetrated against you and/or your loved ones. And how violent should we get? The following paragraph is a recent news article about a woman who survived a rape attack.

A man has been charged with trying to rape a woman who castrated him during the alleged attack, police said. Erik Williams, 21, allegedly tried to force a 42-year-old woman to perform a sex act on him early Friday, and while the two struggled the woman bit off his testicles, police said. The woman went to police headquarters and turned the testicles over to officers, authorities said. Williams later arrived at Michael Reese Hospital and Medical Centre with injuries matching the woman's description, police said. Doctors were unable to reattach his testicles, hospital spokeswoman Sandra Wilks said. Williams remained in the hospital Saturday in police custody and was listed in stable condition.

As I asked before, "How violent should you get?" That violent.

Bob Kasper GHCA