Defense Combinations Analysis and immediate attack by the knife in Krav-Maga, Example A

What is immediate protection and attack using the knife? What is a technical analysis of immediate protection and attack using the knife? What are the starting position techniques, in the battle of knives, Example A? What types of training knives and protective equipment are used in Krav-Maga training? What types of real assault knives are there?

The concepts presented here are for illustrative purposes only. Before attempting any technique discussed or presented in this article, seek professional training from a reputable instructor.

What is immediate protection and attack using the knife?

In Israeli Krav-Maga, in the special forces when teaching the basics of knife protection, first of all, trainers take rubber knives and start stabbing the trainees with full force. Note: Mandatory protective equipment in this exercise! In this way, the trainees understand how difficult it is to defend against this attack. In the second stage when the attention of the trainees at the peak begins to teach basic movements of steps and combinations. For that matter a combination of self-defense against attacking the knife and immediate counter-attack back with the knife. This combination consists of two main elements. When first, a step back was made, with the back leg. When it is necessary to note that the knife in this case is on the same side of the hand that the back leg. That is, if the retreat is with the right leg backward, then the knife is in the right hand. Also, at the same time, you have to make a cutting (slashing) move using the knife from left to right down. It should be noted that the knife grip can be performed by one of the three Forward grips, see our previous article (Top Knife Techniques: Side and Straight, in Krav-Maga and other methods). Immediately afterward a step is made forward with the front leg (left leg), when the blow of the knife is directed towards the face or throat of the enemy, also known as ("leap of the serpent"). This combination has a defensive nature first of all in the first stage when in the second stage it is an immediate attack.

What is a technical analysis of immediate protection and attack using the knife?

To do this combination correctly the footwork is of great importance, see our previous article (Footwork Dynamics for Self-Defense: Movement During Knife-Attacks). To make the process easier to understand, we will divide the combination into two parts:

Part One - Retreat with a cutting blow using the knife

As a start to the exercise, the body weight should be placed on the front leg. As a result, it will be easier to take a step back with the hind leg. When naturally you will be able to put all the weight on the back leg, resulting in the retraction being faster. So with a step back, it is mandatory to perform a knife-cutting blow from top to bottom and sideways, all in a circular motion. By doing so, the attacking arm can be damaged with an enemy knife. This is a well-known self-defense strategy when the fighter in front of you is armed with a knife. That is, the goal is to avoid attacking him, and immediately attacking the opponent's arm. As a result, your enemy can be stabbed or severely cut. As a result, he may not be able to take further action against you. However, this tactic is not always effective in a real battle. Your enemy can wear thick clothes that will prevent him from severe cuts.

Part Two - Jumping forward "Jumping of the snake" with a direct knife blow

At this point, a fast forward was made with a direct knife blow. Note: The target of this attack is the final neutralization of the opponent. When, a person skilled in martial arts in terms of the law, will easily become the victim of the assault, a person accused of murder (it is clear that in war the rules are different than in the lives of civilians). When technically made a leap forward using the left leg, then in this technique the knife is in the right hand. Such knife blows have great power, through which the thick clothes can be easily pierced. Notice that your body weight goes over the back leg. As a result of this position, it will be easier to leap forward. As a result, the defensive position becomes the offensive one.

What are the starting position techniques, in the battle of knives, Example A?

Below we will review some advanced knife fighting tactics, which are based on our previous articles on knives such as:

Footwork dynamics for self-defense: movement during knife attacks in combat. When the premise is that both opponents are armed with a knife. The two opponents can be seen armed with knives. At first, they are facing each other in a waiting position. And the question is what can we say about their fighting standing (about standing before the battle)?

First, if we analyze the two positions of the fighters, we can say that the fighter from the right is in a more comfortable position to continue the attacking operations than the one on the left. When his body weight passes over his back leg, making it is easy for him to make a quick leap forward with his front leg.

Second, the fighter on the right holds his knife with a front grip - in the shape of a hammer or sword, see article (Top knife stabbing techniques: from the side and direct, in Israeli Krav-Maga and other methods) directly near the thigh. This position is easy to jump with the front leg and perform a stab from the bottom up. As a rule, this stab is fatal or leads to a serious wound. While the opponent on the left is in a position intended for defense. His body weight is on the front leg. As a result, it makes it difficult for him to progress and attack. Also, he (the left) holds his knife in such a way that allows for a defensive cut transfer with the knife only. Such a cut is not fatal at all.

Continue of Example A - Knife attack from below

Following Exercise A - the warrior on the right makes a big step with his left foot forward. At the same time performs a stab from the bottom up with the right hand (opposite to the foot). Note, we will divide the defensive exercise into two sub-exercises: with the first sub-exercise discussing, backward movement, and immediate attack; and the second sub-exercise, moving sideways and immediate attack.

So let's start with the first sub-exercise:

Once the attacker starts moving forward, the opponent (from the left) should take a step back. It is very important to capture the actions of the enemy and be able to respond to them (timing). The opponent on the left does not hesitate for a moment. In this scenario, should be done slashing blow with the knife into the attacking arms of the opponent (from the right). When the left opponent attacks with the right hand which is holding the knife. That is, it is a backward movement along with the attack of the knife.

If the incision hits the target, it may injure tendons or an artery of the arm. As a result, in the case of tendon injury, hand motor skills are weakened. When an injury to an artery of the arm can result in extensive blood loss, which is life-threatening and requires urgent surgery. However, one must not concentrate too much on the counter-attack and try to hit the target at all costs. This slashing blow with the knife is meant for protection. It is more important to dodge the knife blow and counter-attack later.

Important Note: When the left enemy slashes blow with the knife, there is a risk of getting stabbed by the right opponent. Therefore the main task of the left opponent is to avoid hitting the attacker and choose the right moment for the counter-attack (active defense).

The next step of a left-handed opponent is to move from active defense to active attack. When, his body weight (left opponent) on the hind leg, due to a retraction made before. The situation allows him to leap forward to the chest of the attacker (right). Notice the opponent's (left) arm performs a safety knock, using his left hand, in the arm of the (right) attacker who is holding the knife. Please note, on the type of knife attack from the bottom up (long), see our previous article (Top Discussion on Knife Stabbing: From the Bottom in an Israeli Krav-Maga). That is, he (left) does not let him perform further actions.

The second sub-exercise:

In the second scenario, the attacker (from the right side) performs the same actions, a long knife blow from the bottom up. Then, the opponent's defensive actions (from the left) are different. Instead of taking a step back, he steps aside with his left leg (when the attack is exactly the same as Exercise A). By doing so, the opponent on the left approaches his enemy and takes out a knife blow aimed at his heart or liver (to the opponent on the right). So what caused the shift backward and why to the side? Explanation of the opponent's footwork on the left. That is, in case A - the bodyweight of the left opponent was on the front leg, as a result, it was more comfortable to move backward. Although in the case of B - the bodyweight of the left opponent is scattered between his two legs, even leaning backward. As a result, it is easier for him to move aside.


What types of training knives and protective equipment are used in Krav-Maga training?

It is very important to practice Krav-Maga using rubber training knives and even more important during training to wear appropriate protective equipment: such as glasses designed to protect the eyes; a body protector; a head-shield against receiving an unwanted blow. The following is a list of recommended equipment for knife defense studies in Israeli Krav-Maga:

  • Rubber knife.

  • Crotch shield.

  • Foot protectors.

  • Forearm Protectors.

  • Body protector.

  • Protective glasses.

  • Head shield.

  • Mixed martial arts gloves.

What types of real assault knives exist?

Warning!: Real and dangerous combat knives have been attached below, do not use them for training purposes! Do not use them to intentionally hurt someone! They are for illustration only! That is, to recognize existing threats and be prepared for them! The following is a list of real attack knives for illustration only (there are dozens of different types of attack knives):

  • One size tactical knife.

  • Folding pocket knife.

  • Raptor Crabbit knife.

  • Damascus steel survival knife.


Summary: Defense Combinations Analysis and immediate attack by the knife in Krav-Maga, Example A

In this article, we have analyzed a knife attack exercise from below. When these are two main forms of protection which are mainly based on footwork. We tried to answer: What is immediate protection and attack with the knife? What is a technical analysis of immediate protection and attack using the knife? What are the starting position techniques, in the battle of knives, Example A? Also, we saw what training equipment is used in the subject of knives, and what are real assault knives?


Written by Gil Peleg.

Professional consultant in Krav-Maga Mark Fesler.

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