Empty-hand defenses against knife attacks
Most terrorist vehicle attacks are 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 need 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 an attacker’s hand, the defender needs 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 the knife’s cutting range — and that means losing fingers. Even if the defender succeeds at grabbing the knife hand, 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
Cut-resistant fabrics in self-defense against knife attacks
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 at 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.
This video shows gloves with Kevlar® liner (level 2 cut resistance), Spectra® liner (level 3 cut resistance), and Dyneema® liner (level 5 cut resistance).
A different glove with level 5 cut resistance
And now, two inexpensive cut-resistant sleeves.
A cut-resistant sleeve that actually resists cuts (but not stabs, which are the most common moves in lethal knife attacks)
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.
You may find of interest our Self-Defense Tip #59 — Bulletproof Umbrella?.
To learn how your natural reactions can instantly defeat any unarmed attack, see the video Basic Instincts of Self-Defense.
Defend Against Weapons
To learn how the typical street weapons (club, knife, razor) are used by an experienced streetfighter and how to practice with them, see the video Self-Defense: Tools of Attack — Club, Hatchet, Blackjack, Knife, Straight Razor.
To learn mental techniques that let you calmly face any threat and act rationally in the heat of a fight, click here.
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