Active Defenses Require Active Control of the Danger. Making a Strong Defense Means Keeping Your Defending Hand Active.
The danger and brutality of a knife attack cannot be overstated, and the flexibility and capacity the knife (or edged weapon) offers its wielder is significant.
When I teach the 360 drill and/or Outside Defenses, I try to impress upon my students the very real need to make a powerful defense at 90 degrees (at the attacking arm, near the wrist) to stop the knife attack (in conjunction with a powerful counterattack) – while also stressing the concept that the defending hand must remain active in arresting control of the knife hand.
Specifically, I’m asking for the defending hand to stop the attack (a reactive movement) and to also initiate the movement of the knife hand away from the body (and intended channel of attack) by remaining active in the defense. This active rerouting of the knife hand just after the block (proactive) must be done before the attacker can recognize the initial attack has failed and re-initiate a successive attack. While a counterattack is vital in this process, the focus in this context, is teaching the student to how to optimize his/her defending hand (while remaining vigilant in the counterattack).
Check out the video below for a visual.