Knives: The Universal Edged Weapon of all Human Kind
I am reading Hank Reinhardt's Book of Knives: A Practical and Illustrated Guide to Knife Fighting. Reinhardt describes the "quick and dirty business" of knife fighting and has chapters on "The Street Knife," "Knife Concealment", "Wounds" and "Using the Knife."
There is good information in each chapter, it seems, though I am certainly no expert. In the chapter on "Using the Knife," Reinhardt makes the point that some instructors have decided the best way to hold a knife is in the "icepick grip" with the blade lying flat along the underside of the forearm. He is not a fan of this hold. "The first thing it costs you is reach. When you try to close in on an opponent, and you're holding your knife in that way and he isn't, he will probably cut you first. That's the second thing it costs you." The author says it's important to hold the edge down and elaborates on why.
If you want to learn more about knives, basic skill and some history, this book seems like a good one. There are a number of instructions and illustrations that make it easy to understand what the author is telling you about how to master knife skills.