The thought of being stabbed or slashed with a blade fills us all with trepidation.
Throughout history criminals have always known that the knife creates more physical and psychological terror than any other weapon. This is why knives are often the preferred weapons of the armed robber and, as 9/11 showed us all, the use of edged weapons can create such terror and control over others that the end result can be so catastrophic it doesn’t bear thinking about. There are literally hundreds of knife fighting styles around the world, but whether they are Oriental or Occidental, the techniques of knife attacks fall into two main categories: slashes/cuts and stabs/thrusts Slashes/Cuts A slashing cut is the most often used strike in a knife attack and there are three types: the power slash, the snap cut and the hook cut. The power cut is a forceful blow using the shoulder and back muscles, similar to the forehand stroke of a tennis player. Although quite a large movement, this cut can be executed in a surprisingly small space. The snap cut involves a different body motion, resembling the strike of a cat’s claw. The knife is snapped out towards the target, wrist cocked back. When contact is made with the area to be cut the blade is simultaneously drawn sharply back. Although not as powerful as the power cut, it is much, much quicker. The hook cut is aimed to the rear of the area to be cut, and is ripped though the target with a powerful semi-circular hooking action. Stabs/thrusts As with slashes there are three kinds of stabs or thrusts: the standard stab, the snap thrust and the hook thrust. In the standard thrust, the knife travels in a straight line to the target. Power is critical if deep penetration is the goal. The snap thrust however, is jabbed at the target quickly and lightly without a pause, a bit like a piston. Power and deep penetration are not the objective of this type of attack. The hook thrust is exactly the same as a boxer’s hook punch and is usually aimed at the side of the body below the ribs. The hook thrust is a powerful, penetrating stab. Types of knife wounds A proficient and skilled knife fighter will have a practical knowledge of human anatomy in order to enable him to inflict as much damage as quickly as possible. However, if you are attacked and cut it makes no difference whatsoever whether your assailant was skilled or not, your wound will fall into one of three categories. It will be a bleeder, an immobiliser or an instant kill. Bleeder wounds result from the severing of an artery. They are often fatal if unattended. There are several arteries that if severed, will cause death in less than one minute. (This is not classified as an instant kill). A bleeder will almost always be caused by a slash, as an artery is very difficult to sever with a stab. Blood from a true bleeder will spurt with each heart beat as opposed to a superficial cut, which may bleed profusely at first but will clot and stop after a few minutes. Immobilising wounds are usually dealt to specific muscles and tendons of the limbs. A true immobiliser will cut to the bone, rendering the muscle group and limb useless, but even a small cut can have the same psychological effect. As with the bleeder, the immobiliser is usually achieved with a powerful slash. All knife wounds can be fatal; however wounds that cause death in ten seconds or less are called instant kills. All the targets are located on the head and torso. Most instant kill targets are partially protected by bone; some are totally covered by it. Therefore this type of attack requires skill, accuracy and an extremely powerful delivery.
So what’s the answer?….Awareness!!
Awareness of just what an edged weapon is capable of, even in unskilled hands. Awareness and an understanding that virtually anything can be, and has been used as an edged weapon. Being aware that the vast majority of people that are attacked with a knife will be cut, and that you are probably no exception. A penetration of only a few millimetres into the throat can be fatal, and a blade of less than two inches long can penetrate vital organs including the heart. Severing a major artery (a bleeder) can cause unconsciousness in seconds and death in a minute or so. You must understand that a small blade is just as deadly, if not more so, than a large one. Point being, you can see a large knife, but with a small or disguised knife you could be cut or stabbed twenty times before you’ve even realised he’s armed. The sudden realisation of even a small cut can have massive psychological and debilitating effect on some people. Shock, trauma, paralysis, hysterics, nausea and vomiting…and you don’t know how you will react until it happens. So don’t allow it to happen. Learn how to recognise disguised knives and be aware just how deadly a blade can be. Plus, never forget…If you carry a knife you are a potensual murder.
Read my post ”If you carry a knife you are a potential murder”
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