The dangers of suicidal static blocking against sharp edged weapons

suicidal static blocking against sharp edged weapons suicidal static blocking against sharp edged weapons

Why would any instructor or student with practical knowledge of knife attacks teach or practice techniques that are nothing short of suicidal in regards to disarming sharp edged weapons for self-defence.

Blocking an enemy armed with an edged weapon forearm to forearm does not take into account that any formidable adversary will retract the thrusting weapon as fast as they extend it slicing the blocking arm in the process.

They also fail to take into account natural human autonomic reactions and responses when the blade is real, razor sharp and the aggressor is thrusting or slashing right through their blocking arms and at the targets of their torso or head.

Anyone bent on wounding or killing will not stop at a single thrust or slash and will adjust and change tact to make sure they cause grievous bodily harm.

They will be using an edged weapon because they know how effective it is in stopping their foes or out of fear of their foes in an unarmed actions on encounter.

Either way they will not want to have their knife taken from them and it is dangerous to think the blade will be static because of an unarmed block.

Rising arm blocking skills against ice pick attacks where the enemy’s dagger holding hand is static against the blocking arm show a lack of smarts and knowledge of how the forearm of the weapon holding hand when used with force and speed will find its target and if a blocking arm came into contact with the forearm of the knife holding hand the weapon will more than likely slice the blocking arm.

Human tendons arteries muscles and tissue simply do not stand a chance against sharp edged stainless steel and it would be very foolish to believe that the dagger armed enemy on contact with a blocking arm will immediately stop the travel of their dagger through down or across the target and how the enemy can keep thrusting or slashing.

Skills like the old traditional arts based self-defence X block or variations of it are extreme high risk of injury or death practices.

Although many with no better skills knowledge or real life disarming experience teach or practice this with safe training drones, I do not see them keen to practice this with a live blade against a formidable unpredictable ruthless knife wielding aggressor.

I have had individuals turn up on courses thinking such techniques would actually work only to find out against formidable enemy pers they end up bruised and grazed from metal training drones or covered in marks from marker drones.

When I ask them if they think they could disarm anyone on course brandishing a green role dagger reality hits home.

They are even reluctant to try their static unarmed skills against a shock knife and those that have ended up getting multiple shock treatment.

Surely instructors must have a duty of care when it comes to instructing potentially life-threatening techniques to ensure the tactics and skills they instruct provide the highest chances of safety in threat neutralisation.

It doesn’t take someone highly skilled to cause grievous bodily harm when you stay on the confrontation line and try and pit human flesh tendons and arteries against razor sharp stainless steel.

Out stretching extremities against an edged weapon increases the chances of being wounded and disabled and having lesser or no means of protection of major life support internal organs.

Military CQC disarming training packages are very clear and to the point in regards to the dangers that sharp edged weapons present in the fact that they are always loaded weapons.

Military CQB/CQC threat neutralisation against an edged weapon armed enemy primary threat neutralisation means under assault is by using a primary or back up weapon to neutralise the threat by shooting them. In non -primary weapon disarming situations the use of a hardened improvised weapon or issued non ballistic weapon as well as general implements that are longer than the edged weapon such as a star picket/Waratah machete or re-bar that provide a capability to disarm the enemy of a shorter edged weapon and threat neutralise hence them being instructed trade craft means of edged weapon armed enemy threat neutralisation.

They are also told that if you are not armed escape and evasion is advised if it is an available option.

The military CQC combatant is taught to never underestimate any edged weapon armed enemy and to combine offensive evasive disarming skills to clear the kill zone and maximise disarming safety.

In the event the combatant has no primary backup or improvised disarming weapon at their disposal, then their unarmed tradecraft practices in relation to disarming are clear and to the point.

Maintain a compact ready status for expedient evasive disarming actions on initiation. Always clear the kill zone by evasion when the enemy’s weapon is fully committed and beyond the point of no return incoming on its final travel at you its intended target.

Evasion should be diagonally forward and away from the travel of the incoming weapon causing a target miss by your armed enemy and putting you in a position where you can use unarmed threat neutralisation skills using the enemy’s body as cover against their weapon if at all possible.

Immediate post evasion disarming may be by targeting the enemy’s major life-support vitals or destroying the integrity of their knee joint and incapacitating them. Post evasion if the knife holding arm is exposed and the forearm of the knife holding hand can be aggressively struck to cause the hold on the weapon to be released or struck knocking the weapon holding arm down to where it can be safely seized and secured prior to threat neutralisation then these are required options based on threat specifics.

Staying on the confrontation line and using a blocking arm against an edged weapon loaded arm is not a primary option and maybe a fatal last option.

Surely to instruct static unarmed blocking techniques against edged weapon armed aggressors the instructor would want to have proven that this option has a high likelihood of being effective in disarming.

Equally anyone wanting to learn primary and the most safe and effective proven means of weapon disarming if avoidance escape and evasion is not possible, would want to know the truth about the odds of being wounded or killed as a result of being instructed in such suicidal techniques.

While no unarmed disarming tactics and skills against edged weapons are 100% guaranteed, there are battle proven principles and tradecraft practices that increase one’s chances of objective achievement and there are the others that are unwise unsafe and may be the biggest mistake anyone would ever make against a knife.

All it takes is to question the reality and insist on proof of safety and effectiveness of techniques that you would not be willing to try against a live blade.

Simply training with committed aggression at high speed with a training drone with unpredictable multiple slashes and thrusts will identify how easy it is to contact with a static blocking enemy per and add to that in real combat a dagger that will cause major wounding on contact and it will be blatantly obvious of the likely outcomes of static blocking techniques.

Think like the bad guy on how you would rapidly thrust and retract an edged weapon or use multiple tight forehand and backhand slashes targeting any human target in range.

Train the way you intend to disarm and always against an unpredictable formidable armed enemy per. This way you will quickly see how ineffective and suicidal static blocking skills are against formidable foes bent on causing grievous bodily harm with a razor sharp edged weapon.

The previous is based on real life disarming fact and battle proven outcomes including historic training wounds as a result of high risk historic traditional disarming techniques being tested.

Article written by Tank Todd

Special Operations CQB Master Chief Instructor. Over 30 years experience. The only instructor qualified descendent of Baldock, Nelson, and Applegate. Former instructors include Harry Baldock (unarmed combat instructor NZ Army WWII), Colonel Rex Applegate OSS WWII and Charles Nelson, US Marine Corps. Tank has passed his Special Forces combative instructor qualification course in Southeast Asia and is certified to instruct the Applegate, Baldock and Nelson systems. His school has been operating for over eighty years and he is currently an Army Special Operations Group CQB Master Chief Instructor. His lineage and qualifications from the evolutionary pioneers are equalled by no other military close combat instructor. His operation includes his New Zealand headquarters, and 30 depots worldwide as well as contracts to train the military elite, security forces, and close protection specialists. Annually he trains thousands of exponents and serious operators that travel down-under to learn from the direct descendant of the experts and pioneers of military close combat. Following in the footsteps of his former seniors, he has developed weapons, and training equipment exclusive to close combat and tactical applications. He has published military manuals and several civilian manuals and produced DVDs on urban self protection, tactical control and restraint, and close combat. He has racked up an impressive 100,000+ hours in close combat.