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Author Topic: Trying to do job (military knife) centered training  (Read 2230 times)


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Trying to do job (military knife) centered training
« on: January 05, 2009, 11:13:50 PM »

My name is Dan and I am currently serving in the Army and have always been involved in the martial arts.  I am trying to do some knife work and wanted to post a few thoughts for feedback.  A bit of background I have been involved in martial arts as much as possible (sometimes a lot, sometimes not much) for the last fifteen years.  I have one  tour in Iraq as an 11C, where I spent most of my time riding on convoy missions as a turret gunner.  I have since changed MOS to something more demanding. 

Anyway:  1. Most knife training seems more or less oriented towards knife dueling but this is the last thing I think I will encounter in a military setting.  This alone puts a whole new spin on things from a training perspective

2.  If I am using a knife it is because i could not or did not want to use a gun.  There are only a couple of reasons I can think of where this could happen: A,  I suddenly crash into somebody (who probably has a gun, maybe a knife) during cqb and am instantly in grappling/trapping range.  B.  a knife is what I have in my hand, so I attack someone with that instead of taking time to switch to a rifle or pistol  C.  Some situation goes from zero (my rifle slung or absent, pistol holstered) to deadly (sudden appearance of grenade, pistol, etc) within my arm's reach, or lunging and tackling range  D.  there is a need for silence, and no supressed weapon.

Other than these situations, I do not see myself using a knife a a weapon.  However, these are all possible situations.  It seems to me that the main focus if in close is to control the bad guy so he can't get me with whatever he's got, then kill him.  If a step or two away, the idea is to close before he can bring his weapon into battery and then kill him.

Any helpful thoughts, tips, or suggested resources for training would be usefull.  Keating's drawpoint material seems like it could be adapted to this kind of thing, what else is good?  Which of Hock's materiels would be recomended?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2009, 04:46:07 PM by Hock »


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Re: Trying to do job (military) centered training
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2009, 06:58:16 AM »

7.62 welcome and semper fi  to a dogface  ;D
whitewolf (el lobo blanco)- i would giver you some info on knife fighting but not a expert by any means-there are some on the forum who are pretty good-stay  safe


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Re: Trying to do job (military) centered training
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2009, 07:14:37 AM »

I always use the big equation

                       Who, What, Where, When, How and Why

Answer them about your enemy and yourself before each mission. With good intell, you can best prepare the training and then the mission or job.

1) Yup on the duel. I have called that issue, the Myth of the Duel. Entirely to much martial arts training is overdone on this myth. Stick vs. stick, Knife vs knife. fists versus fist. Got to do some of it, but cannot waste time, or use time poorly, or train dispropotionately for events least likely to ocurr. You work to get the "edge" so to speak, get the advantage, get the trick. The myth of the duel is a quiet and deadly cancer in every martial art that needs constant vigilance. Further, the very mention of the word duel, brought into the martial art culture of today, suggest to these kids a sense of fairness that doesn't exist on the battlefield. Only the mission exists. Only the morality of the mission exists.

2) Yup. We call that the Weapons Continuum. The knife is a weapon in a chain of your weapons, versus his whole chain of weapons.

Two clearing points and foundations:
     a) All fighting is highly, highly situational with rules of engagement and use of force.
         In terms of the knife. A trained person studies the gamut from quick draw and
         all that entails from there, to the finish. That "finish"

                          1) scaring off the opponent
                          2) wounding and or incapacitating
                          3) taking him prisoner
                          4) killing him

      b) and lastly and most important which speaks to the very heart of your questions.
          We live and fight in a "Mixed weapon's" world.

              Hand                 Stick
              Stick                 Knife
              Knife     >vs<      Gun      >< and so on. Imagine the training combinations,
              Gun                   Hand         but there are simple methods to cover a lot
                                                      mixed-weapon, problem-solving

With this doctrine format you are consistanty aware of the mixed-weapons and working within that weapons continuum. AS you can see the continuum produces, in a rotation, SOME knife vs. knife dueling, which is good because it certainly can happen, but not to the extent almost all martial arts duel, or...over-duel and practice. In the knife-duel, practice we see, it is often treated like a game of tag - and the fight is over by touch - so much so now that people now have invented these stun knives, which, while letting you know you were touched, and ache in a shocking way, that is still not always a real reaction to real stab or real slash.

And If you don't have something in your empty hand to support that knife? This a mistake. If you are not constantly reminded to get something else in that hand? This is a training, doctrine  mistake. Read

While I have seperate courses on hand, stick, knife and gun. They are meant to blend together and that is why I have the blended Hand, Stick, Knife, Gun Training Mission Series. These four courses are indeed college-level courses on each subject. They are not quickies. You are more than welcome to get them individually. Or not, but just don't forget what I am saying here and on

I am currently working on book called: Military Knife Combat: A Research and History Course.  I have read and/or scanned over a thousand biographies and history books on combat since about 1900s, or the proliferation of firearms, (in particlular machine guns) at this point. There are not many military, knife-only vs. knife-only duels. Its knife versus unarmed or knife vs everything else. They have happened. They have to be trained for, but not at the expense of over mote possible encounters.

A lot of the knife courses out there are mystically over-complicated on purpose, just to be so. On purpose! Because...its Filipino! Or Silat! Others call themselves "Urban" this or that....

       ("Urban? what about the country-side?" "I live in the suburbs? What about me?")

But despite the attempt at the hip title and that they might be dressed in jeans and a polo shirt? Their whole knife course is Filipino Sumbarada. Its tough out there to find a comprehensive knife course. ENTIRE knife courses have no knife ground fighting. NONE! This is tanamount to a thinking disorder. Many over-estimate the damage of a slash and stab. Better to under-estimate the damage.  All of this has got very little to do with doing knife sumbrada. And, a lot of knife fighting is done outside of "Urban" areas. the desert has no "gutter."

The good news is the knife is simple and forgiving, and pretty easy to use as a tool if one has the mindset to do so.

« Last Edit: January 14, 2009, 11:47:28 AM by Hock »