7 Tips to Defend Yourself Against a Knife-Wielding Attacker

A knife-wielding assailant in Japan killed 19 people and wounded another 26 in 2016. Although most of the victims were residents in a home for disabled people, I am sure many people read the headlines and wondered if they could possibly stop an attacker armed with a knife.

Two years ago, a team of 10 jihadist-terrorists attacked a train station in China. They were armed only with knives, yet they killed 29 and wounded another 130! If you are unarmed, is there any way to defend yourself from someone with a blade?

Before anyone writes, "I'll just pull out my concealed pistol and blow him away," remember the "21 Foot Rule." Long ago the FBI proved that trained police officers need a minimum of 21 feet between themselves and a knife-wielding attacker in order to successfully draw their gun and accurately fire.

Anything less than that distance, and the attacker can easily stab the victim before he/she can draw their pistol. Demonstrating that fact in the following video is world famous martial artist Dan Inosanto in unrehearsed scenes:

Please notice at the 1:48 mark that the police officer uses the correct gripping and striking techniques to control the knife hand and to disarm/disable the attacker. We'll come back to that in a minute.

I have said often that I would rather face someone armed with a baseball bat or club than someone armed with a knife. Why? Knives are small and concealable. If someone attacks you with a blade, you will probably get stabbed before you even see it.

Unlike some guns, knives don't jam. They don't run out of ammo. They don't make a sound. And even in the hands of an "amateur," the knife can travel at blinding speed as someone is trying to cut you to shreds. So what can you do? Here are some helpful training tips:

1. Run.

Always my first choice. Just like in many of my previous articles, I always start here. If you see someone brandishing a knife, get out of there as fast as you can. You'd better be practicing running.

If you can't run, if there is not already enough distance between you and the attacker, then you'll have to do something to fight. Watch this video to see how quickly someone can approach and stick a knife in someone:

Next Page: What if you can't run?