Given recent pre-occupations, we spent a lot of time on knife work last night. Groups of 3, 2 guys sparring, third party comes in with aggressive knife attack on one of them, mostly grabbing and stabbing but always with aggressive pumping action recoil and intent to kill.

We’ve been doing this for years, but I guess recent events here in London have made people a little more focussed. As ever the main lessons that people came away with were:

it’s going be close in with a very aggressive attacker and a shock, even as part of a drill;

all that block and strike stuff is irrelevant and tough to do anyway given the distance;

focus has to be on stopping what you can and gaining the under-hook on the striking arm to stop/impede the recoil, step back and pull on the elbow to take the guy’s balance, break something if you can and take the knife quickly or make him drop it; if the worst that happens to you in this situation is a cut hand, you’re doing pretty good.

you do not survive by thinking yourself the defender, you become the attacker and nobody in the confrontation is going to be more aggressive than you, any block you throw is a strike, any technique breaks or destroys.

if the guy is swinging the blade around quickly and aggressively, don’t go in on the same level, you may as well put your face into a propellor; drop, single leg takedown designed to destroy the knee and then either get up and run or control the guy if you have to, brief clip below.

when someone grabs and stabs, running is not an option.

there is a good chance you will take a stab, the majority of knife attacks are some form of ambush, keep fighting, minimise the damage by stopping the recoil and destroy.

I recommend the drill strongly.