Krav Maga Knife Control Self-Defense Essentials

Over the years, I’ve seen my share of knife defenses, and while the combative associated with a knife (or more precisely an edged weapon) defense is the very lubrication that facilitates a successful technique, one of the most critical issues with edged weapon defenses – specifically gaining control – is how the defender moves the attacking hand and arm from (in this case) a stabbing motion into a control position. For these purposes, consider an ice pick stabbing motion from above.

As students, the defensive process begins initially in the first month of training during the 360 drills. Position numbers one and two are prime examples. Once we’ve made a strong, “weight-forward” defense at or near the attacking wrist with a 90 degree angle in our defending arm (and 90 degrees to the attack), the process of moving into a control position is fairly simple yet highly critical. Approach this process in error, and the attacking knife (edged weapon) hand will likely come free.

Here are three essential ingredients for a successful transition into controlling the attacking knife hand:

  1. Once the defending hand/arm meets the attacking knife hand/arm, the motion to arrest control of the attacking knife hand/arm is continuous if at all possible. Using the weight and momentum of the body moving forward in defense creates an opportunity to gain control.
  2. When moving the defending arm from the initial defense to a control position, pay special attention to the point of the elbow. During an ice pick defense, the elbow will start pointing outwards and generally to the defenders left (as the left hand/am make the defense). As the motion from defense to control begins the elbow will move slightly right and down generally – with the point of the elbow facing the floor.
  3. Learn to utilize a small snapping motion to turn the palm down and away in capturing the attacking knife hand – grabbing in “motor cycle grip” style. Drive the attacking knife arm down and back as far as you can without compromising the head control your right arm has gained (at this point in the defense) or as you feel the attacker’s shoulder lose range of motion.

Look for these three key essentials in the video provided. Adopt these concepts into your edged weapons training, and you’ll love the results!

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