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Top Analysis: Knife attack against a person armed with a Gun

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

In this article, we will try to analyze one of the most dangerous scenarios of assaulting a knife against a person armed with a gun. When this scenario is most common in Israel in attacks by terrorists against Israeli soldiers and police. When, our goal is to answer questions like what are the pros and cons of self-defense, knife against a gun? What is an unrealistic scenario of attacking a knife against a gun? What is a realistic solution to the problem of attacking a knife against a gun? What types of training knives and protective equipment are used in Self-Defense training? What types of real assault knives exist?

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 are the pros and cons of self-defense, knife vs. gun, and vice versa?

Knife or gun, which is better for self-defense? To answer this question we will look at the problem from two different directions when: the assailant is armed with a knife and the victim with a gun; The assailant is armed with a gun and the victim with a knife.

  • In the first scenario - the answer seems logical, i.e. what is the chance that the attacker with the knife will succeed in attacking armed with a gun? And the answer is unequivocal, when, it is a short distance between the two, the chances of the attacker with the knife are very high. An element of time in this type of attack is the most important! That is, there is a component of the recognition of the threat; the gun's pulling out time, and also, not everyone walks on the street with a loaded gun. That is, all of these components together create a victim's response time. In our previous articles, we have seen that a skilled person with a knife can approach in zero range without knowing that he intends to hit. But let's assume the attacker is not a professional, and he pulls out the knife from a distance, and here the victim recognizes the danger. So what exactly is the distance to react?

  • In the second scenario - where the attacker with the gun threatens from a distance, as a result, the victim cannot move. As the attacker with the gun approaches the victim until the range of the barrel touches the body, the chances of the victim increase significantly. We talked about gun protection in our previous articles. That is, a short range in the case of a knife attack is very dangerous, and in the case of a gun can be a good chance of survival.

Advantages of the knife:

A knife can do a better job in the short term than a gun, which is one of the reasons why a knife is a better option than a gun. Pistols are heavier, and take up more space than knives; The chance of missing the target with the knife is smaller than with the gun. Furthermore, a gun requires special preparation, and a license to use legally. Therefore, a knife is the best option. Knives are usually available in every home. The gun requires loading and aiming time to the target. These are just some of the reasons why a knife can be more effective in nearby places. While no one will argue that a gun is not a good weapon for security, holding a knife - and learning how to use it - gives you options in situations where protecting yourself is the most important goal. To create the best chance of survival, as explained above, is through practice until it becomes an animal instinct.

Advantages of the gun:

A pistol is a deadly weapon that can be quite effective. He can fire from a distance and can threaten and hold the opponent on target from a distance. If you aim a knife at a group of attackers, they probably will not be afraid, although a gun aimed at them will certainly be afraid. After taking official classes, a person can control the use of the gun and can use it for personal safety, family, and friends. Knives are not as scary as a gun. There are quite a few cases where the knives were taken from the original owner and used against him, which exacerbates the situation. If the gun is used correctly, it can be deadly. People with a strong hand and adequate training always expect to use hum. The answer to buying a knife or a gun, in fact, depends on the user. If you are willing to get proper training and licensing to use your weapon, then this is a great option for self-defense.

What is an unrealistic scenario of attacking a knife against a gun?

We will refer to the video above in general, and to a number of parameters in particular in the specified scenario: distance between the victim and the attacker; Awareness of the attack an optimal response time. As you can see the distance between the victim and the attacker is about three meters, which means it is short! Suppose the attacker is an expert, the question arises why does he run with a knife drawn? And why does he not approach quietly, when a knife is hidden? Suppose the attacker is not an expert, and he runs to the victim with a knife drawn, what is the chance that the victim hears that the attacker is approaching? That is, from the video it is a scenario in laboratory conditions - unrealistic when the non-expert attacker runs with a knife a short distance and the victim is enough to hear him approaching.

Let us analyze two solutions to this scenario:

  • Solution A -The victim somehow felt danger and rolled forward, later pulling out a gun and firing. As you can see from the analysis this is an unrealistic solution ... maybe good for Hollywood movies. The victim did not even recognize the attacker; his head at the beginning of the incident was pointed forward ... so how does he identify the attacker? Does he have eyes on his back? That is, the way the attacker approaches the victim and the response of the victim to roll without recognition of the danger are unrealistic.

  • Solution B - Refers to attacking a knife within the same range of three meters face to face. Again we assume the attacker is not an expert. It can even be attributed to suicide bombers pulling out a knife in front of a person armed with a gun. When this situation is psychologically impossible. Unless the attacker intends to live after that attack, otherwise, he would approach with a hidden knife and perform a banal slashing with the knife. But suppose the attacker is a suicide or a terrorist, who does not want to survive the attack. The goal is to kill at any cost, even at the cost of his life. Look what the victim is doing ... he lies on the floor, pulls out a gun, and shoots. And if the assailant had held the knife in the Reverse Knife Grip Technique: Edge Out (RGEO)? And maybe he would have jumped on the victim from above? Again an unrealistic solution to the problem... Maybe good for cheap Hollywood movies.

What is a realistic solution to the problem of attacking a knife against a gun?

To answer this question, we turned to Idan Abolnik, the founder of the Israeli KALAH Combat System. He tried to recreate this scenario together with his student, let's see what turned out. Idan first raised several professional questions of range and identification. He also emphasized the minimum period required for a response in a scenario A and B of the incidents from the previous section, i.e. pulling out the gun. When he and his student repeated this event and here are some interesting findings of the experiment:

  • Solution A - to the scenario from the previous section - it turned out that no matter how agile the victim is, the very fact that he turns towards an approaching attacker he (the victim) gives the attacker a chance to hit him, i.e. while the victim pulls out a gun he (the victim) is already dead.

  • Solution B - In the scenario from the previous section, Idan did not even want to discuss solving a problem using the roll on the floor. Unless, of course, you're in Hollywood movies and your life is not in immediate and real danger when you are attacked with a knife.

Expert opinion: According to Idan Abolnik, it is recommended to be realistic in such scenarios, in order to have some minimalist chance of surviving the event. According to him, it is better to turn face to face with the attacker with the knife and try to take control of the attacking hand, i.e. a method on the attacker's Arms control. Only after neutralizing his ability to perform periodic knife stabs can a gun be pulled out. That is if the attacker is still with the knife and is life-threatening the victim's reaction is clear! And if the attacker is neutralized then a civil arrest procedure can be performed, provided that a person performing this procedure after advanced courses in various types of self-defense courses is applicable like Krav Maga, KALAH, etc...


What types of training knives and protective equipment are used in Self-Defense training?

It is very important to practice Self-Defense 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 guard against receiving an unwanted blow. The following is a list of recommended equipment for knife defense studies: