In the video below, I’m illustrating the process of “making space” during a defense of a straight stab attack.

I use the reminder, “touch, turn, chop” in this procedure – with the “touch and turn” being the major movements that create the needed space. If you’re defending a straight stab attack and avoiding the blade by taking an orbital path around the threat, you need to see this video ASAP!

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  1. Van Neely

    Chief Kirk,

    How would you address the rapid straight (multiple) stab attack with and without a shirt grab?

    Van Neely

    • Chief Kirk

      Van – Essentially the same process…you’ll typically grab the knife hand/wrist sooner (perhaps before the chop evolves into a temporary pin) as your feel the knife hand moving and active. You may choose to put more weight on the knife hand after the grab – particularly if the shirt is being grabbed to facilitate control foe the attacker. As with all things, a powerful and quick counter attack (or series) is the key to dividing the attackers attention and saving your life.

  2. Michael O'Hearn

    Good morning. Michael here wondering why the threat of the knife is not eliminated? I like create the space, fill the space.
    Smash the face still leaves the attacker with the knife! I’ve only hit one person in the face, and it did not disable them.

    • CJK


      Yes, the tutorial was focused on the mantra (physical cues) that facilitate the defense. The knife take wasn’t discussed in the this specific forum – but it is obviously critical to the defense in virtually all cases.