Back to Back Issues Page
Defending Against a Knife
July 07, 2006
Hi ""

Here's your latest edition of the Warrior Concepts Self-Defense Newsletter.

From the Desk of
Jeffrey M. Miller
July 7th, 2006

This issue's feature articles are...

  • Defending Against a Knife

  • Self-Defense Modes

If you received this email from a friend and would like to subscribe, just click on this link. If the link doesn't work with your configuaration, simply cut and paste it into your browser to be taken to the subscription page:

Defending Against a Knife

by Shidoshi Jeffrey Miller

Some of the most frequently asked questions about what to do in a self-defense situation that I receive almost constantly, involves being attacked by an assailant armed with a knife or other edged, cutting-type weapon. And, although the scenarios, weapons, and the like are often different, the point remains clear...

..."what do I do to not die?"

Before I share a few secrets about this often misunderstood area of self-defense training, let me just say a something that you should really take to heart. I know this is going to sound, well, a little mean to some of you but, that's my job sometimes... get a little bit in your face to make sure that you're really listening.

I could, of course, cover everything up and tell you that this is going to be simple and easy to do. But, I'd be lying - and you'd be dead.

No. What's easy is freezing up or panicking in the face of danger so you make a great target for the attacker and his weapon. That's easy.

Defending against a knife-wielding attacker is NOT easy. In fact, it should be avoided at all costs, unless...

  • You're wearing some sort of armor (even a heavy leather jacket or winter parka will do)

  • You're armed with a gun, long pole, or other weapon that allows you to defend at long range, or...

  • You have absolutely NO CHOICE

Knife Defense Tactics should be seen as advanced training. After all, if you can't duck or avoid a determined attacker trying to hit or kick you, how in the world do you think you can do it against someone armed with a weapon that doesn't have to make hard impact to inflict damage?

If you really want to learn the most important elements for surviving a knife attack, you can get more information about the subject and my new video, "The Cutting-Edge: Surviving a Knife Attack" here...

That being said, here's a list of...

Strategies for Effectivelly Defending Against a Knife

  1. Know that YOUR GOING TO GET CUT! You're being attacked with a knife. Chances are that you're going to take some damage. It will be crucial to focus on what's important, like protecting your life-sustaining target areas and either disarming him or putting as much distance between the working-part of the weapon and your targets as possible.

    Which leads us to...

  2. Be Too-Far Away to get cut. This may sound logical and may indeed include the tactic of simply running away. However, even in those times when you must stay and fight, it can be very easy to forget about the extra reach the assailant has with the knife in his hand. Not being aware of this, or only focusing on obvious targets like our stomach or neck, can leave us exposed and dangerously in-range for slashes to our arms and legs.

    This is, of course, conditional on the fact that we have room to maneuver and maintain a safe distance. All too often, even trained individuals come to the realization too late that their assailant has managed to corner them or elliminate much-needed space. In that case, we must be prepared to adapt to the space we have. Which leads us to...

  3. Be Too-Close to be Cut Difficult, if not impossible to easily convey through the written word, what we must do when we don't have the room to create distance is to...

    ...position ourselves so that he cannot easily get at our targets.

    By strategically positioning our targets relative to his shoulders and elbows in just the right way, we can effectively use his own body as a shield against him.

    Again, to really understand this principle, you have to see it in action. I spend quiet a bit of time on this one powerful principle in "The Cutting-Edge" video. If you're serious about being able to handle this important aspect of self-defense, this video will be indispensable. You can buy it through the online store at this link:

  4. Maintain Good "Blade-Awareness". In addition to paying attention to the type of blade the assailant is using (i.e. blade length, whether its single or double-edged, and the overall type, like whether its a Marine K-Bar combat knife, a pocket-folder, boc-cutter or broken bottle, etc.), it is absolutely crucial that you know where the blade is, relative to your targets, at ALL times. This even includes when you have control of him.

    After all, the last thing we want to do is help our attacker to cut us through our own negligence.

This topic is such an important one that I'll be dedicating the next several issues to at least some part of the realm of knife-defense. In the meantime, you can get a free knife defense technique video clip, as-well-as a couple of unarmed defenses by going to this page:

Are You Registered for the Upcoming Emotion-Based Defensive Response Seminar?

This powerful training weekend will wake you up to a realm of self-defense that few people even know exists. It was designed based on over three decades, that's 30 years, of research and study in both the fields of defensive tactics AND human bio-physical response to danger.

Simply put... there's nothing like this program, anywhere!

Use the link below to get all the details and make arrangements now to be at the WCI Training Academy, Sunbury, Pennsylvania on Saturday and Sunday, July 29th & 30th for a Level 1 Certification Intensive.

Here's the link for details:

Can't Make It Here for A Seminar... Call to Find Out How You Can Bring This Powerful Program to You. Just call the Academy at (570) 988-2228.

The 4 Self-Defense Modes

Can you remember a time when you were scared or had at least been startled by a friend. How did you feel? What did you do in response to the incoming "attack?"

Believe it or not, this idea of the "feel" or "experience" associated with a self-defense response to attack is rarely, if ever, covered in conventional martial arts and self-defense schools. Instead, students are lead through step-by-step mechanical techniques by instructors who themselves have little to no real-world self-defense experience.

But, when you stop to think about your own experience with being startled or outright scared, you start to see that, not only did you have little-to-no control over certain aspects of your response (like the tightening of muscles as they reacted to the adrenaline, nepanephrine, and other chemicals hitting your bloodstream), but that you probably didn't react the same way all the time.

These two "realities" associated with human-response to danger are usually overlooked, ignored, or given only cursory attention by most and yet...

...they are at the core of not only "what" you will be able to do, but...

..."HOW" you will respond to your assailant's onslaught!

For our purposes here, I want to take a quick look at the basic, core emotional responses that may trigger you to move in one way or another as you try to deal with your attacker. It's very important to remember that no one response is to be seen as right or wrong (although certain martial arts and self-defense systems blindly adhere to one primary method as best), but rather as a possible response to specific threats and conditions, based on unique circumstances occurring in the moment.

The 4 Self-Defense Modes

  • Confidently Hold Your Ground Please note the word "confidently" - implying a relaxed calm in the face of a minimally-perceived threat. This is not about being stubborn or choosing to "not-back-down."

    In this state, we don't "feel" the need to move very much as the attacker himself is not seen as a threat worth fleeing from or anything else.

    You can get a much better idea about this and the other emotional modes in my books "The Karate-Myth" and "Controlling the Fight". Go here to get more information and order yours for immediate download right now:

  • Defensive Retreating We've all seen someone throw their arms up or out to repel or cover themselves against someone coming at that - either to startle a friend or as a real attack. That defensive response involves more than just the arms though, as the body works to actively cover itself against the possibility of damage coming in at the life-sustaining organs.

    Have you ever felt your body instinctively rocking back off your feet - that sick, burning feeling in the pit of your stomach - or that lump in your throat and the emotional overwhelm of wanto to "get away" from whatever was coming at you? That's a very different feeling from...

  • Aggressivelly Engaging Here you move directly in, without even thinking about your own safety. Often, people report being completey surprised as they watched themselves just jump on their attacker when only seconds before they were wandering what they were going to do. It's important to understand how our own "Triune" or triple-brain operates and how each "brain" processes things differently.

    We can literally be thinking about doing one thing, only to find ourselves doing something entirely different under stress. Hmmm...

    And, finally...

  • Evasive Avoidance Another response might simply be to reposition the body or the primary target to avoid the incoming threat. Here, we feel the need and drive to move, so we're not holding our ground. We are defensively responding to the attack or threat impulse but not in a way that covers and pulls us away - only off-line of the damage. And, we're certainly not charging in to shut down the threat.

    In this mode, we are drawn to "not confront" and to "not be a part" of what's going on.

Remember, each of these modes is a viable choice as a self-defense strategy but, at the base level of how we operate, it may be our body/mind's own prewired defense mechanisms, not our brain and accumulated knowledge that has more to say about "how" we actually defend than the philosophy of any martial art or self-defense style.

Something to think about, don't you "think?"


I am offering a $10 discount on the all new "The Cutting Edge: Surviving a Knife Attack" video

This powerful video will teach you the important key elements for quickly and effectively defending yourself against a knife (or other edged-weapon)-wielding assailant. Each point covered is accompanied by technique examples showing you the principle in action so you'll know what to do and how to go about it.

The video has just been released, and is priced at the ridiculously low cost of just $29.95. But, as a special bonus for my subscribers and members, you can get your copy for 30% off!

Order your copy today for just $19.95. I will only be taking orders for this video at this price for this week only though - so, if you want one at this price, you MUST order it now.

Learn how to really defend yourself against an assailant armed with a knife. Order your copy of "The Cutting Edge: Surviving a Knife Attack" Today!

Here's the link to the secure online store...

Order Yours Now!

Don't forget...

As a subscriber and member of my programs, you receive free access to the WCI Forums! This is the place where like-minded members can freely discuss the tactics, techniques, and strategies for being truly safe in the world.

Whether your interested in martial arts, warrior training, Traditional Japanese Ninjutsu, or non-martial arts self-defense training, the WCI Forums are a great place to get free ideas, hints and tips from other teachers and students, just like you.

If you're not already a subscriber to the Forums, here's the link:

See you there!

Want to send me something?

You may send questions, comments, or "what-if's" for inclusion in the newsletter using the CONTACT form on the web site - or cut and paste this link into your browser:

Just remember to keep your communications clear and to the point (limit each correspondence to ONE point, please). Any comments or questions received that are not easily understood or rife with spelling and grammar errors will be deleted. It's not that I don't want to answer but, if I can't understand your point or what you mean, I can't answer in a way that will be beneficial.

Until next time. Wishing you Peace, Happiness, and Safety...

Shidoshi Jeffrey M. Miller
Founder & Director
Warrior Concepts International
Self-Protection & Personal Development

362 Market Street
Sunbury, Pa. 17801

(570) 988-2228

"Master Your Self - Master Your Life!"

MailBag Submission to J. M. Miller

Back to Back Issues Page