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Knife Self Defense 101

Small arms, such as rifles and pistols, are the best means of defense. However, you may not always be able to have a firearm on you at all time. Also, there are situations where firearms are not even a recommended self defense tactic. For example, you are in close quarters, or if you were to shoot a weapon, innocent people could be hurt. Also, do you know what you would do if your gun were to malfunction? Could you properly use a combat knife to defend your live ones?

Because of this, you must learn to instinctively adapt to the current situation by using the correct tool for the situation at hand.

     However, a knife has many advantages.  For example, a properly used knife can elicit a frightening mental impact on your enemy.  This is especially true when a confident and well-trained prepper is holding it. Additionally, anyone skilled in using knives will be better able to defend themselves from larger opponents and can deal much more efficiently against multiple attackers. Basically, with proper training your chances of surviving as well as accomplishing any missions that you may have are increased exponentially by learning how to use a knife for self-defense.   

This article is a great introduction on self defense knifes and will tell you the proper way to dispatch you enemy with your trusty knife. So, pay attention as this could legitimately save your life.

Self Defense techniques

There are nine angles of attack that can be used in knife combat. These angles are shown above.

Here, is the written summary of the above image:

  1. No. 1 Angle of Attack: A downward and diagonal stab, slash or strike to the defender’s left side of the torso, head or neck.
  2. No.2 Angle of Attack: A downward and diagonal stab, slash or strike to the right side of the defender’s neck, head or torso.
  3. No. 3 Angle of Attack: A horizontal assault to the left part of the defender’s torso in the side, hip or rib region
  4. No. 4 Angle of Attack: Same as No. 3 but the assault is to the defender’s right side.
  5. No. 5 Angle of Attack: A lunging, jabbing or punching attack steered right to the front of the defendant.
  6. No. 6 Angle of Attack: An upward-facing diagonal assault delivered right upon the defender.
  7. No. 7 Angle of Attack: An upward-facing diagonal assault to the lower left side of the defender
  8. No. 8 Angle of Attack: An upward-facing diagonal attack to the lower-right side of the defender.
  9. No. 9 Angle of Attack: This is an attack that is directed straight up, for instance, to the groin of the defendant.


A straight or reverse grip are the two most common ways to hold your knife.

Straight Grip-hold the knife in your strong hand by forming a V and also by letting the knife fit naturally the way you would do when gripping for a firm handshake. The knife handle needs to lie diagonally across your palm. Next, have the blade pointed toward the enemy normally with cutting edge down. In addition, you can hold the cutting edge horizontally or vertically to the ground. When slashing and thrusting, make sure that you use the straight-edge grip.

Reverse Grip-Hold the knife with its blade parallel with your forearm and with the cutting edge facing to the outer side. With this grip, the knife is hidden from the view of the enemy. Moreover, the reverse grip gives you maximum power for a more dangerous puncture. This grip is best used for slashing, tearing and stabbing.


There are two types of stances: modified stance and the knife stance.

Knife Fighters Stance-under this kind of stance, you should stand with your feet roughly shoulder-width apart, and with your dominate foot forward. In this stance, around 70% of your weight is on front foot with 30% of the weight being on a fighter’s rear foot. The fighter stands on balls of both feet while holding the knife with straight grip. Meanwhile, the other hand remains close to a fighter’s body and is ready to use but protected at the same time.

Knife Fighter's Stance

Knife Fighter’s Stance


Modified Knife Fighters Stance-The main difference in modified stance is that you hold the knife near your body. Meanwhile, your other hand is next to the hand that holds the knife which is used to help hide you knife.


Modified Knife Fighter’s Stance

Fighting Ranges

Slashes and medium ranges is the two lengths that are you will encounter. In a long-range fighting encounter, attacks mainly comprise of figure-8 slashes along angles of attack of No. 1, No.2, No.7 and No.8. Horizontal slashes should be accomplished along No. 3 and No.4 angles of attack while applying a lunging thrust to vital areas along the lines of the No. 5 angle of attack.

Normally, a straight grip is used here.  On the other hand, medium-range fighting involves the use of reverse grip as it provides a much greater power. This range is used to slash, thrust a well as a tear along every angle of attack.


This a good introduction for using knifes for self-defense. As always, one of the best forms of self defense is for you to practice common sense and pay attention to your surroundings. Nevertheless, if you follow these steps and don’t look for trouble these techniques are a great self-defense tool.


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