Smaller Knives vs Heavy Clothing- Slash vs Thrust

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Dr. Snubnose
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Smaller Knives vs Heavy Clothing- Slash vs Thrust

Postby Dr. Snubnose » Mon Dec 06, 2010 2:54 am

Slashing with a small knife in a Defensive situation,no matter how good an idea it is, the idea can become unrealistic if you don't take the environment into consideration. The Philippine Islands are a tropical environment. So, what is really effective there might not be so effective in another environment where people wear more clothes, or heavier clothes - like winter clothing, padded jackets, coats and multiple layers of clothing. All of which inhibit (to some degree) the lightning-fast slashing movements that we all admire from some of the most popular Filipino Martial Arts. This is why thrusting with a small knife is generally preferred. This is important to think about as Winter sets in for most of us, and the temperatures start dropping and people start wearing heavier garments and layered clothing. This includes the bad guys as well.
So, if you don't take this reality into consideration, you might be surprised then that the art of slashing can become..well... not as effective as one would hope for. This is not merely my opinion, go make a "training dummy" and put real clothes on it (not old dry-rotted, torn clothes you were going to discard anyway, that's cheating̷) and slash at it. Slashing, cutting and hacking into the target are all distinctly different methods of using the knife, just as thrusting is. People that discount this are either not paying attention or they are not test cutting on realistic targets. Yes it would be more effective to thrust with a larger blade but if all you have is a smaller blade, and unclothed exposed targets on an individual do not present themselves, don't underestimate the thrusting power and penetration ability of a smaller blade to stop an unprovoked attack from the criminal element...Just something to think about.....There is a natural human reaction to retract from anything this is going to puncture the human body, be it a tack you might step on, a pin prick, a thorn from a rose bush or even the point of a knife...you must think how you can use that natural human response to your advantage, especially during the Winter season.... Doc :D
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Postby 224477 » Mon Dec 06, 2010 4:20 am

You have to choose targets more properly in winter, due heavier upper clothing.
Palms, legs, knee tendons, face, neck.. Depends on how serious the 'communication' needs to be.
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Postby Donut » Mon Dec 06, 2010 6:58 am

Bad guys around here typically wear only speedo's, especially in the debt of winter. They are easy to spot. :D

No, but really:

What do you think the worst case scenario is for modeling a person, several layers of canvas or leather, with padding?
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Postby Lost Jaguar » Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:15 am

Hence the need for a waved Resilience.
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Postby Michael Cook » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:44 am

:spyder: when I practice MBC (bout 3 times a week, I'm a slacker) I do train myself and my girlfriend to stress leg mobility kills much more in the wintertime because of the heavy clothing up here in Wisconsin. :spyder:
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Postby Dr. Snubnose » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:27 pm

Donut wrote:Bad guys around here typically wear only speedo's, especially in the debt of winter. They are easy to spot. :D

No, but really:

What do you think the worst case scenario is for modeling a person, several layers of canvas or leather, with padding?
I like to layer my test dummies...Undershirt, (sometimes thermal shirt)
Two Overshirts, or one overshrit and a sweatshirt...then either leather or thick down jackets....Walmart loves me cause I buy about 7 down jackets each winter....I don't wear down BTW don't like the smell when they get wet....I love Walmart cause they only cost me about $29 each....but at least my test dummies are warm.....Doc :D
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Postby Dr. Snubnose » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:29 pm

Donut wrote:Bad guys around here typically wear only speedo's, especially in the debt of winter. They are easy to spot. :D

No, but really:

What do you think the worst case scenario is for modeling a person, several layers of canvas or leather, with padding?
I like to layer my test dummies...Undershirt, (sometimes thermal shirt)
Two over-shirts, or one over-shirt and a sweatshirt...then either leather or thick down jackets....Walmart loves me cause I buy about 7 down jackets each winter....I don't wear down BTW don't like the smell when they get wet....I love Walmart cause they only cost me about $29 each....but at least my test dummies are warm.....Doc :D
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Postby SolidState » Mon Dec 06, 2010 5:53 pm

"Tis the season to get stabby!"

I will state that it really surprised me that wool felt is as hard to cut through as it is. It made a lot more sense to me why WWI trench knives had triangular-stabbing blades after trying to cut thick wool with a sharp knife.

I always look at people in felt pea coats as more armored than the nylon crew these days. I should probably get a felt pea coat.
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Postby psychophipps » Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:11 pm

The method I was trained in is more point-oriented anyway. Not too much of an issue with me as long as the knife has a good point on it and I can get in to start the sewing machine.

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Postby Nonprophet » Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:52 pm

Ok... my 2 cents: I train in several styles of FMA that are incorporated in what I would call "my system" and as such we learn that the slash is, in our teminology, incidental in the beginning. What that means is that the blade is used as would your hand and we would use the edge of the knife to block an incoming attack and as we move past the block to our next block or attack the motion causes a slash. Now while this may or may not penetrate the clothing only matters in that we get some damage if it does but aren't counting on that specifically at the moment. The slashing/blocking movement usually is followed by a slash or jab purposed for attack and damage. On heavy clothes this would be a jab and would target general specific areas that may still have some immediate mechanical effects on his movement. For instance a jab into a joint area targets the nerves and arteries that normally gather there. Again depending on the situation this can be followed up with a slash to a leg for damaging mobility or a to the face for damaging his ability to see or deterring him further. At this point the situation will determine the targets of attack depending on the needs of the defender. Training like Mr. Janich says to target specific areas for their immiediate effectiveness is the key cause a person can ake a long time to lose motivation or to bleed to a point where shock stops them.
As for the flinch aspect of a blade, well I know from hard experience that such things are highly situational and dependant on several factors. If the person doesn't see the knife (if your drawing art is such that the attacker doesn't know a knife is in play until you've cut them up a little) then they may not know they're being cut and as such won't react the same. Even if they know what is going on some people will fight through the initial reaction of being cut and if we're talking true self defense here then by definition you are dealing with someone who has made a living by violence and may not react like you or I would. I just witnessed an incident like this where a guy attacked another guy with a chisel and when we got there to separate them, they were still fighting even though one guy was cut to ribbons. He almost died from loss of blood and yet was actively resisting until he bled to the point where he was losing consciousness. He had DEEP holes in both sides of his neck, his back, abdomen and his head. Something like 10 to 15 wounds altogether in very vital places and he wasn't backing up. My point being that if you are at a point where a bladed weapon is your only option, you had better follow Mr. Janich's point of attacking areas that are inportant to mobility and continued aggression as the only certainty is when you cut a muscle, tendon or nerve, that limb will cease to function properly. Everything else is normally a gamble.
I know from the names and resumes of the people I'm in this conversation with that I'm a clownfish swimming with sharks but there you have my half a nickel worth of insight. Hope it makes sense :cool:
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Postby Nonprophet » Mon Dec 06, 2010 8:56 pm

By the way... I love these conversations but wasn't sure if they were appropriate for a knife forum....but there's so much knowledge and experience here... I may not be able to help myself at times :o
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Postby 2edgesword » Mon Dec 06, 2010 9:50 pm

Stab through the clothing, twist and slash.
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Postby Nonprophet » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:28 pm

Another thing to consider....if your intention is to use a knife violently on a person, the return of a jab or stab should not happen on the same angle it went in. Twisting is dangerous because if the knife is in, it could hang up on something but drawing or slashing out is not unknown to the world of bladecraft.
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Postby Dr. Snubnose » Tue Dec 07, 2010 6:32 pm

Ok...lets step it up a notch a bit....What grip will you be using for your thrusts....Forward Grip for power....Reverse Grip Blade Facing Out, which gives you a weak slashing ability as you kinda push your opponent away from you using this type of slash.....Blade facing in...where you get a good depth on the stab and slash your way out, drawing your opponent into you...but you have to be much closer to your opponent for it to be effective...and lets ask the question...which is right for a folder?....when you stab in normal reverse grip, the angle at which your arm moves, no matter what angle of attack you are using, is an arcing motion... and the way this hits the target, it puts a TON of pressure on the back of the blade, which can cause even the best lock to fail, now flip the knife over, and all that pressure is being put onto the stop pin, and against the edge... safer , and makes a better wound. Wth a fixed blade, the same is true, except the fixed blade cant fold up on you, but you can still get better wounds with a simple in/out stab, because of that arcing movement pressing the edge against the side of the wound, widening it....So what do you think?.....Doc :D
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Postby chuck_roxas45 » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:24 pm

Dr. Snubnose wrote:...when you stab in normal reverse grip, the angle at which your arm moves, no matter what angle of attack you are using, is an arcing motion... and the way this hits the target, it puts a TON of pressure on the back of the blade, which can cause even the best lock to fail, now flip the knife over, and all that pressure is being put onto the stop pin, and against the edge... safer , and makes a better wound. Wth a fixed blade, the same is true, except the fixed blade cant fold up on you, but you can still get better wounds with a simple in/out stab, because of that arcing movement pressing the edge against the side of the wound, widening it....So what do you think?.....Doc :D
I never thought of it that way Doc. :D

As always, thanks a lot for your insights. :)

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Postby SolidState » Tue Dec 07, 2010 8:47 pm

@Doc,

I buy longer push daggers and hit the speed bags more. I also do a lot more low-level heavy bag.
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Postby 2edgesword » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:27 pm

Filipino grip defending against an angle 1 attack - angle 1 slash through the attackers forearm followed by checking the attacking arm with the back of the forearm of your live hand. Immediate angle 4 thrust into the attackers armpit followed by a twist and slash through the bicep. The mechanics is a little more difficult but this can also be done in reverse grip, blade facing out.

The slash through the bicep can be followed by a slash to the tricep, then using your live hand to lift the attackers arm a stab to the quad, twisting and follow through slash across the quad (comma cut) for a mobility kill.
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Postby Nonprophet » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:56 pm

Well Doc... I also never thought of the pressure on a folder. Good point! For me personally, I have training and some skill in all four basic knife positions but if we're talking about true self defense application then the grip will be whatever the knife comes out of the pocket and opened in. Usually if there's time to change a grip or even to think of such a thing, then there's time to run like hell! Most fixed blades are worn and drawn either tip up blade out or, in the same holster position grabbed differently, point down blade in. Since I use a knife often for other things most of my consideration is on point up blade out since that's the way my folders come out of my pocket and my fixed blades draw and how they are used everyday anyway. Now, I'll use a different grip for certain things and if I had to choose one for this situation that would be best I would probably go with tip down blade out as a martial artist but all in all I would use the old faithful tip up blade out just for familiarity sake. While this doesn't do any one thing exceptionally, it's an all around good position that allows for slashing and jabbing with some speed, accuracy and power. It is also pretty well known that outward motions, tricep induced, are normally faster than inward motions and are more economical for speed and non telegraphic purposes and I think that grip lends itself to those uses best. It also allows for a person to "slash out" of a jab or thrust in whatever direction they want to go and alter the direction the blade points for just such purposes. As for power, a person can get a lot of power behind a thrust by throwing it like a boxers cross or jab (obviously with some setup so as to not be telegraphed) and a person can lock their body weight into any downward motion for a slash or a cut once a thrust has been effected. This works well for dropping, with all your weight on an arm locked to your center, onto a quadricep cut or driving the point into something and pushing down. Personally I'm not a fan of twisting a knife. Too many things can happen, like breaking the blade by putting torque on it in a way it isn't built for, hand slipping off the knife or it getting hung up and stuck on something. I have seen people bend very heavy metal objects inside something as nonresistive as an abdominal cavity. I am, however hugely in favor of slashing out of a jab or thrust that penetrates at all.
One other thing I just thought of, when you push out from your center, especially on a high line towards a persons upper quadrants, the movement is harder to pick up than an arcing motion. The human eye has a harder time picking up movement directly at or away from it than it does side to side motions. Again, if given a choice I might consider the tip down positions because they offer me the ability to hook and pull, use the knife hand as a fist and still do some terrific stabbing and slashing but I'm fairly sure that presented with the situation in the moment, I'm going to fall back to what I'm most familiar with.
How's that for a short answer?
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Postby Nonprophet » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:59 pm

Oh yeah, and you forgot the old tip up blade in position. Looks kinda foolish like you don't know which side is the business side but it thrust like the other way and allows for some interesting slashing on the hook and pulls as well as the return of a jab. Strange sensation when a person is working a blade on your on their return movements. Takes some getting used to, though if it were a live blade I suppose once would be all you'd get right?
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Postby Dr. Snubnose » Wed Dec 08, 2010 12:21 am

Nonprophet wrote:Oh yeah, and you forgot the old tip up blade in position. Looks kinda foolish like you don't know which side is the business side but it thrust like the other way and allows for some interesting slashing on the hook and pulls as well as the return of a jab. Strange sensation when a person is working a blade on your on their return movements. Takes some getting used to, though if it were a live blade I suppose once would be all you'd get right?
Yep forgot this one for sure...

when you push out from your center, especially on a high line towards a persons upper quadrants, the movement is harder to pick up than an arcing motion. The human eye has a harder time picking up movement directly at or away from it than it does side to side motions.

Are you talking about a Mexican Feed? Or am I missing the point....Cause those Mexican feeds are real fast and they have a arcing motion as well....

I agree with most of your points from the previous post, your honesty is most refreshing....Doc :D
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