Posts Tagged ‘military’

Does Running Away From A Knife Wielding Attacker Always Work?

        You hear an awful lot of people claim that learning to defend yourself against a knife in martial arts is useless and will never work. They have this belief that somehow the only viable method of self defense against a knife attacker is to run. Is this always true? I disagree.

Image result for getting stabbed with a knife

Learning to deal with weapons in martial arts is very important. That is why I train in and also teach Ensayo Kali which is a Filipino martial art that primarily focuses on bladed weapons. We also focus on sticks and empty hand techniques.

I do not believe that the only method of self defense against a knife is to run. I think that is for the weak minded and people who give up, as well as the arrogant people who love to discredit martial arts. I will list a few reasons why this view is for the ignorant people with no sense of self defense or fighting spirit. Many only do sport oriented martial arts or some urban soccer mom version of combatives. I think that if you are not learning to deal with a bladed weapon coming at you with intent to kill then you are doing yourself a disservice.

A very common weapon used by criminals to kill people is a knife. One of the most basic weapons used throughout the entire world’s history. Criminals use knives in armed robberies, rapes, muggings, random killing, planned murders, passionate crimes and more. If you have been in such a situation, or thin it is a possibility d you want your ONLY option to be to run away? How dumb!

Of course any good martial arts master will tell you to run. It is sound advice. I recommend that your first thought should be to back off and run if you know you can get away. If someone pulls out a knife and brandishes and shows you he has intention to fight you with it or attack you then you should run!!! How dumb it would be to walk up to him and try some Kung Fu move or something. You should run! But this is not the case of most criminal attacks! Most often you do not even see the weapon until it is too late. If you practice fast reactions and have drilled certain techniques and concepts thousands of times you have a much better chance at surviving and even ending the attackers life instead of your own. Most criminal who use knives are also not even trained in martial arts. It is obvious that a trained martial artist would have better skills than the attacker and have a better chance as winning a fight. A knife is a great equalizer, but not totally. I have seen video footage of lunatics and terrorists using bladed weapons to attack people on the streets and many times the people using the weapon are slow and predictable. The victims however have absolutely NO training in the combat arts and are utterly helpless. It is time the regular law abiding citizens stop being helpless! Learn a martial art that deals with blades like Kali!

A criminal usually pulls a knife out right before he stabs. You won’t be ready to run. You may not even know he will attack you. He might hide behind you and attack you. He might jump you from the side. He might be talking to you and then pull out a weapon and try to stab you immediately. How can you run away? You can’t! You must deflect!!!! An if possible disarm. You won’t be able to run until after he has stabbed you if you don’t have training. If you have training you have a high chance of making the situation be that yo deflected the knife and then were able to escape, or you deflected the knife and then disarmed him or used his own knife against him and killed him instead.
Image result for guro gerald pilapil

Also, even if you do decide to square up to a knife attacker if he as brandishing he knife it does not automatically mean you will get stabbed and lose. You could win possibly, but the chances of you getting cut are very high. Nothing is impossible though. I recommend not doing this unless there is no choice.

When would there be no choice? When you are surrounded or walls are behind you and there is only 1 exit door and he is standing there. You may have to square up and fight. No situation is impossible.

The best method of learning to defend against a knife is to learn how to use a knife first! That is why Kali emphasizes students to learn how to use a knife as a weapon. Not only to defend but also to be the attacker and learn how to use it as a deadly weapon of war. Once you learn how to use a knife to attack and how it can kill then you will know how you can defend and protect life.

Martial arts were created as methods of warfare and self defense for citizens. Only in our modern times have they been given the focus of sports first, or completely neglect the self defense side of martial arts. We really need to get back to the primal reasons we do combat arts.

So no, you should not always run away from a knife, you cannot always run away from a knife, and you may have to square up against a knife attacker. This is the real world we live in and only the ignorant people who want to be in their sport safe spaces think otherwise. If you get the right martial arts program and the right instructor you will have confidence that if it is necessary you can defend against a knife attack successfully, and you can also use a knife against a criminal effectively. Ensayo Kali Tactical System is a martial art from the Philippines based on ancient and modern Filipino techniques. Such techniques used by warriors of old, soldiers, and very tough men of the Philippines in history. It is a true martial art. EKT was founded by Guro Gerald Pilapil fro Malabon City.

Image result for ensayo kali

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Fighting Is Imperative To Taekwondo Training

       *Authored by White Dragon. 

        If you claim to be a Martial Artist and you don’t fight then you really know nothing of the Martial Arts. This holds true for Taekwondo. You will know nothing of Taekwondo unless you fight. Regardless of physical ability (possibly handicaps, injuries, mental challenges etc.) a student must train to fight the best he can. By fighting, it does not mean you must fight in a tournament, or in a cage fight, or some kickboxing event only. No, by fighting, it simply means at least sparring in your dojang and sometimes going hard on one another. Another way to fight is outside of the dojang. If someone attacks you then you fight them. If no one attacks you then you could provoke them into fighting you so you can try out your techniques, but that really is not a good goal to have, for the essence of self-defense is to only fight back when attacked. Going out looking for a fight is immoral and against the principles of Taekwondo’s martial philosophy. Nonetheless, a Taekwondoin must fight if he wants to prove he knows anything about Taekwondo. This can easily be done in a gym environment supervised by a qualified instructor.

        It is a myth that for one to prove he is black belt quality he has to fight in an MMA cage, or Kickboxing ring for sport fighting. You can still be a decent fighter without competing. An example of this reality is when author Sam Sheridan (2o10) paid a visit to Renzo Gracie’s (Brazilian Jiu Jitsu master) gym in New York and met John Danaher “New Zealand John.”  Danaher is Renzo Gracie’s top Professor (Instructor) and a Brazilian Jiu Jitsu genius (Sheridan, p. 235). He has never competed! He had a childhood surgery go wrong on his knee so he does not compete but is excellent in knowledge and physical abilities in the gym (Sheridan, p. 236). He is so respected that even Georges St. Pierre took private lessons from him and many other top names in MMA. The point being, even though he does not train to fight in competitions he is still a good fighter. You can be a fighter even if you do not compete.

        The meaning of being a fighter does not necessarily mean you practice combat sports and are a paid professional fighter. The word fighter simply means “a person with the will and disposition to fight, struggle, and resist.” A Taekwondo fighter is simply that same kind of person with such a will and disposition who trains in Taekwondo. It should be acknowledged that any true Taekwondo black belt should, thus, be a Taekwondo fighter whether or not they participate in combat sports. Also whether or not they are soldiers in the military. Sport fighters and soldiers are fighters, but not all fighters are sport competitors or in the military. All true Martial Artists train to be ready in case there is a need to fight; whether or not they plan to fight in the ring or in honorable duty calls to defend one’s family, friends, and personal interests. Hopefully, all Taekwondo fighters embrace the 5 tenets of Taekwondo and will fight for what is good and not selfish ambition.

        There is no excuse not to spar in your school. At first sparring can seem scary, but over time confidence can be built through contact training drills that build up over time to harder connecting techniques. This can be from defensive drills where you allow yourself to get hit either on your body or padded gear; and also within sparring you can start out light contact with realistic techniques and over time develop into a fearless full contact fighter. Every Taekwondo fighter should experience full contact sparring at some point in their training history, at least in a controlled environment in the dojang under the safety of instructors watching. Hopefully the Taekwondo fighter makes this a reoccurring practice throughout his training life in order to keep skills up. Gradually, the Taekwondoin soon enough will develop self confidence and be able to control his fear.

        Many dojangs today over emphasize self confidence for emotional security and self esteem while spending hardly any time on physical self confidence. If people are built up to believe in themselves without proving it physically they are going to be in a lot of trouble as they will have a false sense of security. Overconfidence destroys Martial Artists. Grandmaster Hee Il Cho explains that “physical confidence can only be gained by learning how to fight and knowing how to take care of yourself in a real situation” (p. 52). That means not simply doing sport sparring for a tournament rules format, but free sparring with a wide variety of target areas and self defense techniques. Cho also expresses, “Fighting is imperative in the martial arts. Without fighting, you’re not understanding total and complete martial arts, because until you get physically hit by someone, you won’t know if something works” (p. 52). In the Martial Arts it is expected you will get bumped and bruised and even bloodied. This is just a fact and it is something to expect and fight through. Your instructor should help you with mental strength and pain tolerance. This is not to say it’s okay to be injured, it is not. A real Taekwondo instructor watches for the safety of his students and helps them avoid real injuries. Safety gear is important to start off with and can gradually thin out over time, and if one chooses to spar without gear that is up to them with a partner of mutual understanding and common sense. But bumps and bruises and even blood should be expected! Students must learn to get over it and realize it only makes them stronger when they heal up.

        Training for tournament fighting is a good start for any Taekwondo student wanting a fight experience with some benefits of extra safety. But it should not be the main goal of the overall fighting technique that student will know in his Taekwondo life. Becoming a tournament champion and earning trophies and medals in a point fight system can bread unnecessary arrogance and embellished claims of skill if one is not careful, nor has an instructor there to make him check himself. The development of the W.T.F.  has been a blessing and a curse for the art of Taekwondo. On one hand it brought world-wide awareness of Taekwondo and has received acknowledgment in many countries and governments and within international organizations such as the IOC. This has been great for the spread of Taekwondo, but the curse in all of this is that the W.T.F. explicitly only represents sport sparring and sport poomsae competition. They exist solely to promote the tournament sport with all of its rules and regulations and all of its limitations for real world combat. They do not care about anything else. This has caused so many Taekwondo masters to only care about their students winning sport fighting, point tournaments and poomsae competitions. They have a total lack of focus for open rules competitions such as Kickboxing and MMA, as well as an unconcern for real world self defense.

        If Taekwondo is realistically going to keep up with the times and develop further in the Martial Arts world this overemphasis on sport has got to stop. Sport is great, but not an overemphasis on it. If the Kukkiwon is going to be the leader in Taekwondo development and advancement then they should start developing fighters for other modes of combat sports such as Kickboxing, Knockdown style, and MMA. Why not create a Kukkiwon Fight Team and train them for such events? Taekwondo is, first and foremost, a fighting art. Such competitions will only allow Taekwondo to prove itself in more combative avenues which will increase its credibility. This will only cause people to notice effective techniques that could transfer over to self defense.

        Taekwondo also is in general, a fighting art for self defense. The republic of Korea teaches it’s soldiers Taekwondo, and the Martial Art has been used in the Vietnam War to kill the enemies by ROK Marines. Morgan (1992) concurs,

“As anyone who has faced the army of the Republic of Korea can testify, Taekwondo can be a devastating method of unarmed fighting. But to learn true combat, students must practice without the constraints of tournament rules.” (p. 53)

        To understand fully the art of Taekwondo, the practitioner must spend quality time in sparring; not just for tournaments but also for real life situations targeting all over the body from leg kicks, face punches, knees, and elbows. This can be done in a safe environment and there is no excuse not to spend significant time training in such a way to help the Taekwondo fighter become adequate with the full range of Taekwondo techniques. You cannot simply practice for spin kick tricks, poomsae competitions and demonstrations, or board breaking. One especially should avoid wasting time on “Taekwondo-dance” and all of the other silly antics that people have created to impress ignorant masses of pop-culture followers who have no concern for the warrior way or self defense, and just enjoy showing off and dancing. The Taekwondo student must  practice using Taekwondo for what it was originally intended for, which is fighting.

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White Dragon is a 3rd dan Taekwondo Black Belt with over 19 years experience in the Martial Arts and head instructor of the White Dragon Dojang Martial Arts Training Program. 

Works Cited

        Cho, H.I. (1988). The Complete Black Belt Hyung W.T.F. Hee Il Cho: Los Angeles, CA.

        Morgan, F.E. (1992). Living The Martial Way. Barricade Books, Inc.: Fort Lee, NJ.

        Sheridan, S. (2010). A Fighter’s Mind. Atlantic Monthly Press: New York, NY.