When you are confronted with someone threatening you with a knife there is a vital choice before you. Do you cooperate or do you fight?
There are innumerable variables at play and every situation is unique. Generally speaking, avoidance is the best self-defence. Escape is the next best option. We also warn of the dangers of trying to disarm someone with an edged weapon. Sometimes, unfortunately, these options are not available.
Here are some general factors to consider when threatened by a knife-wielding assailant.
1.Theft. He wants your watch, iPhone (I almost said Walkman!), cash…? Give it to him. You don’t want to risk getting stabbed for an object.
2. Distance. Is he far away demanding your wallet or purse? Give it to him. Did he sneak up to you and place the knife against your body? Here, escape might be more difficult. You might have to act quickly as even the slightest movement of his hand can lead to serious injury or death.
3. Escape Routes? Are you in a parking lot with numerous escape routes or trapped in an elevator? It is safer if you get to an exit without engaging too much with the attacker. If you are in an elevator and he wants more than property you might have to disable and disarm the attacker.
4. Are You Alone? If an assailant threatens you when you are with a friend or family member you obviously have more than yourself to consider. If you are walking with your kids, for example, techniques that involve striking then quickly escaping will likely not work.
5. Is He Alone? One assailant is challenging enough. Multiple attackers make the situation more dangerous.
6. Abduction? If he wants to bring you somewhere more private don’t go! History tells us that “leaving the first scene” usually has a tragic ending.
7. Intuition. Sometimes we have a “gut feeling”. Listen to your intuition. Can you appease him and get home safe or will you have to fight for your life?
Self-defence training must prepare you for as many situations as possible. Besides learning and refining effective techniques, you must learn to make decisions – quick decisions – appropriate for the situation. Such training teaches you to adapt and can save your life.
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