In Toronto, a series of recent stabbings has raised concerns about knife violence. One question that people often ask is how assailants conceal the knife – at least enough to get close to a victim. Knives, after all, are close to medium range weapons that require the attacker to close distance and, in many cases, surprise the victim.
Here are 6 ways an attacker might conceal his weapon.
1. Covered. A person can use a jacket, sweater, even a rolled newspaper magazine or newspaper to conceal a sharp weapon. It is very inconspicuous and allows the attacker to get close to victims without arousing suspicion.
2. Behind His Back. This is more conspicuous as it is a less natural position and usually happens when they are concealing something.
3. Behind his leg. Not as obvious as behind the back but seeing a man approach with a straight arm should around suspicion. People usually move their arms when they walk.
4. Arms are crossed. This can be difficult to detect as it is a natural position and can easily conceal a smaller weapon.
5. Knife in Palm. Hand on the side, fingers facing down, the back of their hand facing you so you cannot see what is in the palm of their hand. It is not a natural position and should evoke suspicion and caution.
6. Bag/backpack/pocket. He approaches, gym bag over his shoulder, reaches in and pulls out a knife. It takes him longer to access the weapon but since people are often carrying bags, he is not attracting attention. Reaching in his pocket is not in itself alarming but consider the context. What if he is walking quickly towards you?
It is worthwhile, and unsettling, to watch footage of assaults with sharp objects. Watch the attacker’s hands before the attack and note where they are. Also, when training, have your partner adapt some of these positions and learn to identify them quickly and to defend if they can close distance and deploy the weapon.