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Self-Defense Tip #104 — Cut-Resistant Fabrics and Knife Attacks

Most terrorist vehicle attacks were followed by knife attacks, because stabbing and slashing disarmed and shocked people with a knife is easy. Empty hands stand no chance against the knife of a determined attacker.

To knock out the knife-wielding attacker the defender’s limbs have to enter the knife’s cutting zone–well before being able to reach the knifer’s knock-out spots. In other words, a knifer can disable or even kill the defender with an easy cut to an arm or a leg, while the defender has to land a strong strike to a knifer’s head or throat. Good luck with that!

To knock the knife out of knifer’s hand the defender has to hit the knifer’s quickly moving hand hard. To grab and immobilize the knife hand the defender has to bring partially open hands (both of them–one won’t do) within knife’s cutting range–that means losing fingers. Even if the defender succeeds at grabbing the knife hand then that hand usually has enough mobility to cut the defender’s forearm, while the attacker’s other hand is free and may hold another knife…. So good luck with those ideas too!

Blocking a knife with your hand

A demonstration of how easy it is to lose fingers during a knife encounter

Now, it would seem that cut-resistant fabrics could offer enough protection to allow punching or grabbing the knife hand. Cut-resistant gloves and forearm protectors are available, and are not expensive, so let’s take a look how they do against knives.

First, normal-looking gloves with cut-resistant lining; the type of gloves police officers use for frisking to protect themselves from accidental cuts.


The above video shows gloves with with Kevlar® liner (level 2 cut resistance), Spectra® liner (level 3 cut resistance), and with Dyneema® liner (level 5 cut resistance).


A different glove with level 5 cut resistance


And now, two inexpensive cut-resistant sleeves.


Too inexpensive?


A cut-resistant sleeve that actually resists cuts (but not stabs, which are the most common moves in lethal knife attacks)


Conclusion: Don’t be empty-handed.

Most European governments made it illegal for civilians to carry weapons. European governments deny people their natural human right to means of self-defense — in Western Europe by keeping National Socialist (Hitlerian) weapon-control laws, and in Central and Eastern Europe by keeping Scientific Socialist (Soviet) laws restricting gun ownership.

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Ideal self-defense weapons are those that are legal to carry everywhere, do not attract attention, are simple to use, and do not require practice.

Self-defense tip from Thomas Kurz, co-author of Basic Instincts of Self-Defense and author of Science of Sports Training, Stretching Scientifically, and Flexibility Express.

Comments

One Response to Self-Defense Tip #104 — Cut-Resistant Fabrics and Knife Attacks

  1. Charles Richardson says:

    I saw a video a while back with a couple of Danny Inosanto’s students. One was “armed” with a magic marker as stand-in for a knife. These were trained fighters, and in less than a minute, the defender had marks up and down his arms and body that would have been killing cuts. The advice: if someone has a knife, get a chair or something else big. If that’s not possible, run. You can’t win, unarmed.

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