Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Knife for self-defense?

James links to a very good post on the subject of knife 'fighting', well worth reading. Especially the quote noted by James:
As far as your attacker is concerned this is not a fight, it is an assassination.
I'll throw in another quote I heard from someone years ago:
In a knife fight, the winner goes to the emergency room.

Way back when I was playing in the SCA, one day at a tournament there was a 'side-issue' of a trophy for knife-fighting. Basically dueling: two people in a ring with wood and/or foam knives, see who scored first. Very little to do with a serious "He's trying to KILL me!" fight, but it did point out a few useful things. Like the fact that it's almost impossible, facing off with another knife-armed somebody, to be able to cut them without getting cut yourself. And if you honesty assessed where you got cut, it was easy to see that even if you won you'd be looking at anywhere from stitches and blood loss to crippling injury. I managed to take out a guy who was ungodly fast and good, basically I surprised him; but I'd have been cut on both upper arms doing it, see the above noted injuries.

Would I carry a knife as a primary means of self-defense? Only if I had no other choice.


Home on the Range said...

I carry a knife, but for cutting string, or a pesky wrapper on a food item from the store. As self defense, I'd not count on it. If it was ALL I had. . . but thank heavens in my state I can carry.

Sigivald said...

This reminds me of a comment I recall hearing about being in a knife fight:

"You WILL get cut."

Anonymous said...

No way I'd rely on a knife to protect me. Even if the other person didn't have one...what if it were a man? I'd be getting hurt before I could deliver a nasty stab wound. Give me a gun any day of the week and a hundred times on Sunday.

Firehand said...

I never leave the house without a good pocketknife. It's just too useful a tool to be without. And it would definitely be better than nothing as a defense tool, but damn! I'd hate to have to.

ptg said...

Knives have enormous utility in everyday living, but are only truly effective as weapons if used for a first strike.

They can be used for self defense in what I like to call anticipatory self-defense. Prosecutors like to call it assault. The term preemptive strike has fallen from favor.

A firearm is always better than a knife for self-defense. This includes the anticipatory variety, except where noise is a factor.

Knife against knife fights are best left to condemned gladiators. Ordinary folks should always avoid a fair fight.