The Realities of Gun and Knife Defense

The Realities of Gun and Knife Defense

Joined: February 4th, 2004, 8:13 pm

July 14th, 2011, 4:13 pm #1

I posted the article about "Time - The Fourth Dimension" and I appreciate the responses I've gotten. This has prompted me to share another article I wrote a little while back titled "The Realities of Gun and Knife Defense."

Please note that I do not claim to be an expert in knife and firearms, but I have trained and continue to train with both. This article is another one to get you to think. I hope it raises good discussion and those of you who happen to know more than I about this subject, please share your insight. Here goes:


The Realities of Gun and Knife Defense

Most martial arts schools in the world, no matter what style, will teach some form of self-defense against a gun and a knife. The problem is a lot of what is being taught is fantasy based, meaning that its not realistic. In other words, it wont work unless you got really lucky. I dont know about you, but I dont want to gamble with my life.


One reality is how can you learn to defend against a gun or a knife if you dont know everything possible about each particular weapon? For instance, for a gun: how to grip it, how to load it, how to fire it, what it sounds like being fired off without wearing ear protection, what it feels like, how to draw it while under pressure, how to fire it from seated positions and all other positions, the time it takes to draw it, the possible things that could go wrong with it (jamming, backfiring, etc), and what you would do in those situations, and more.


If you dont know everything you can about a pistol, the odds of you defending against it are slim to none. And defending against a pistol is not the same as defending against a shotgun. If you are not taught about the pistol, and you dont go out and consistently fire it at different targets from different positions, then learning how to defend against it is going to be a fantasy. Many instructors will attempt to fool you, so beware. For instance, if your instructor is against the carrying of firearms its safe to say do not listen to a word he says if he is teaching you how to defend against one.


As for a knife, there are different lengths of blades, different shapes, one sided and two sided blades, different grips, different ways to draw it, etc. If youve ever had your instructor teach you about defending against a knife did that instructor warn you that anybody who is good with a knife will slice you on the draw? Did your instructor tell you that anybody that knows what she is doing uses the knife for only one thing KILLING, and that the person probably wont show you the knife? Did your instructor tell you that you should never attempt defending against a knife if you are empty handed unless the person was coming at you trying to kill you giving you the only option of fighting back attempting to get out of there alive? Probably not. She probably taught you some fancy kick or fancy disarm shes never used.


You will NEVER be able to defend someone who knows how to use a knife attacking you if you are empty handed. I know how to use a knife. I'm no expert, but I have trained with it quite a bit and will continue to do so. I know that in a matter of 2 seconds I can slice you multiple times in multiple places. I also work with firearms. And knowing what I know about both, I would much rather be attacked by a firearm than a knife. The only problem with being attacked with a firearm is distance. The enemy doesnt have to be right in front of you to shoot you. With a knife he has to be right up within arms reach of you. Some say, Yea, but he could throw it at you. He could, but probably wont because he doesnt want to risk missing you and you picking up the the knife.


The smart thing for you to do is have a weapon on you at all times. The smarter thing is to also have a back up weapon or two on you. If you have ever read "A Book of Five Rings" you may remember that Musashi mentioned that they always carry two swords at their belt: the sword and a companion sword. There are several reasons why you should have a weapon and back-up weapons. In the martial arts world people fantasize about learning a traditional move that was taught thousands of years ago, used in numerous movies, and are told by their instructors that the move will work every time. So they take the instructors word for it and think that because they are black belts they can take on anybody, anywhere, anytime, no matter what weapon the attacker has. That is completely ludicrous. The sad thing is so many people believe that trash.


The reality is that even if you are a great black belt (and in my opinion many black belts arent), if you are empty handed and the attacker has a weapon, the attacker will ALWAYS have the advantage. If you have a weapon and the attacker has a weapon you are now on an equal playing field. Know the laws, and when you can and cant use the weapons and abide by them, but if you are empty handed and cant find an environmental weapon (car door, keys, sticks, rocks, etc.) in time, youre doomed.


Keep in mind, if you dont learn how to use a knife effectively and a gun effectively learning to defend against them is an oxymoron. You can still learn the moves and play around in the Dojo and feel like you are Jackie Chan, but in a real world weapon attack, you wont be able to make those moves work.


Lets say the moves were practical. Maybe your instructor is one of those experienced people who has been training in realistic knife and gun methods for several years. Maybe he's been a Marine for years and actually did a lot of killing in battle. If hes teaching you how to defend against a knife or gun, but you never learn to use them, his experience, knowledge and skills will not matter for you. It would be like teaching you how to surf without first teaching you how to swim. You may think you can surf, but once youre put in the water you are screwed.


Lets say you did learn how to use the knife and firearms, and your instructor does have that knowledge and experience of how to teach you to defend against them. Everything is in your favor now. You know how to use the weapons and you were taught practical disarms of the weapons. That is good, but still not where you need to be. You must also have realistic training methods where you are put under pressure. You should do mock scenarios of situations you may find yourself in. You should do 100 push-ups as fast as you can then shoot your pistol at a moving target. Put your body in a state that isnt so calm and train from there. Thats realistic. Axe kicks to disarm a knife is not realistic. Just because you saw Chuck Norris do it on Walker Texas Ranger doesnt mean it will work. Thats a television show. Thats acting. And remember, the square root of Chuck Norris is pain. Do not try to square Chuck Norris, the result is death.


This article is not intended to put any instructors or styles of martial arts down. Its intended to challenge you to think realistically. You dont learn how to be the next NBA star from someone who didnt make the high school basketball team during tryouts. Its obvious that wouldnt be practical. Always analyze, dissect, question, and research all that is being taught to you. If it doesnt make sense to you realistically take it for what it is worth and go from there.



I hope you enjoyed the article.

Respectfully,

Michael Miller, CKF
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Joined: May 7th, 2009, 2:29 am

July 14th, 2011, 10:15 pm #2

Fraudulent martial arts teachers are aplenty in traditional and modern martial arts. If a person is interested in training a martial art they should become familiar with the principles, tactics and overall strategy of the method they pursue. Just like some Doctors are good doctors and some paid for an internet degree and are just hustlers. Dont be afraid to question things that seem impractical to you, good teachers enjoy questions. Not all personalities are going to be compatible so you can have a skilled instructor who is unable to pass on the lesson because the personalities clash and in such a case it may seem like that teacher is teaching something impractical to the student but it is not always the case. For example, an instructor is always smiling and very relaxed, he speaks with a soft voice and takes his time with each student often spending what seems like forever on a single step while a student who came to learn practical self-defense to survive the mean streets of his neighborhood, is looking for more of a kill! Kill! Kill! Type of personality who is going to show him the lethal stuff Well, in such a case you can see how the student may simply miss the treasure.


Some techniques look fake to the untrained but in fact serve the purposes which they are being trained for well. For example, you may see a martial artist training some staff techniques that seem very impractical but come to find out they are working on an advanced method of issuing force, the staff being used as a training tool. You may see a martial artist doing what looks like a graceful dance with a sword and jump to the conclusion that they have been taught an unrealistic martial art but in fact they were using the sword as a tool for moving meditation. There are a lot of ways to train to develop different elements of a martial art that may look silly or crazy but in fact produce very real results when all the elements are combined. A good technique has a pattern that is applicable in many different situations with very little adjustments. If a teacher shows you one application for a technique it does not mean that it is the only application for that pattern. If the body mechanics are sound they can be used to address numerous variations.


When some people talk about unrealistic techniques they can have this vision in their minds of a particular situation, maybe one they have seen or experienced directly and they use that as the frame of reference to form the conclusion that the technique is unrealistic. For example they watched a boxing match where the opponents were throwing short, fast combinations while darting in and out of each others punching range. Upon seeing a martial artist apply a lock in response to a single punch they conclude that this technique is fantasy as it would never work on a skilled boxer. What they do not seem to grasp is that if the opponent changes so does the martial artist. That one technique is not designed to be an answer to every possible attack, it is not even designed to be applied in a real self-defense situation; rather it was designed as a stepping stone in the learning process.


No technique can stand alone in the face of all possibilities however good training will help you change efficiently enough to improve your ability to survive. My advice is to keep training as best you can and while you may never attain immortality with a given technique, you can still attain a deep level and constantly improve yourself and enrich your life. When it comes to knife and/or gun you do not have to know everything about them or obsess and worry about if your teacher has killed enough people to be worthy of teaching you the subject. In the end it will depend more on how good your body mechanics are and how awake you are lol. Knowledge of weapons is worthwhile but knowledge is not going to move your body for you.
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Joined: May 7th, 2004, 11:02 am

July 15th, 2011, 12:02 pm #3

"For instance, if your instructor is against the carrying of firearms its safe to say do not listen to a word he says if he is teaching you how to defend against one."

Do you favor rape and pedophilia too to be able to learn people how to defend against those??

Even though I agree with most of what you wrote, the quote above is ridiculous.

I am against the carrying of firearms, but that does not mean I cannot train with them. As long as the training is done in a controlled environment I have nothing against that and I too tell my students that to really learn something about knives or guns they should learn to use those weapons too. However I am strongly against carrying firearms in public by anyone else then military or law enforcement.

To get back to the metaphore used above: I do investigate the means of rapists and pedophiles whenever I can to learn more about their ways, so that I can better teach my students about defending against those, but that of course doesn't mean I have to favor them.

BTW I don't train with guns, for several reasons, two of which are:
1. Here in the Netherlands, not many guns are around to defend against, which In my opinion is the result of the fact that they are illegal. I'm not saying there aren't any, but they're not common. I guess the guns that are around are mostly used in gang-environments, where I don't go.

I recently read a statement of someone somewhere in favor of legal guns that said: "It is unrealistic to expect people who don't respect the law against theft or rape, to do respect the law that says you can't have a gun." In itself that is a true statement. But because guns are illegal here, there aren't that many around. Fact is that way less inocent people get hurt by gunfire in countries where guns are prohibited, then in countries where they are allowed.

2. One can spend his time only once. I prefer, influenced by previous statement, to become as skilled as I can in unarmed combat, and that takes all the time I have to spend on training.

As I result of the above, I don't claim to be a qualified intructor if it comes to defending against guns. All we do is the 4 standard EPAK techniques so that our students realise themselves that guns exist. Every time I teach these techs to people I too tell them that if they really want to know about guns, they'll have to go and find a specialist. (Of which I don't even know one in the Netherlands. Internationally I'd point my students to mr. Pick and his crew if they wanted to learn about this.)

***************************************
Marcel de Jong, 4th Black from the Netherlands

http://www.katsudokenpo.nl
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Joined: May 7th, 2009, 2:29 am

July 15th, 2011, 3:35 pm #4

I posted the article about "Time - The Fourth Dimension" and I appreciate the responses I've gotten. This has prompted me to share another article I wrote a little while back titled "The Realities of Gun and Knife Defense."

Please note that I do not claim to be an expert in knife and firearms, but I have trained and continue to train with both. This article is another one to get you to think. I hope it raises good discussion and those of you who happen to know more than I about this subject, please share your insight. Here goes:


The Realities of Gun and Knife Defense

Most martial arts schools in the world, no matter what style, will teach some form of self-defense against a gun and a knife. The problem is a lot of what is being taught is fantasy based, meaning that its not realistic. In other words, it wont work unless you got really lucky. I dont know about you, but I dont want to gamble with my life.


One reality is how can you learn to defend against a gun or a knife if you dont know everything possible about each particular weapon? For instance, for a gun: how to grip it, how to load it, how to fire it, what it sounds like being fired off without wearing ear protection, what it feels like, how to draw it while under pressure, how to fire it from seated positions and all other positions, the time it takes to draw it, the possible things that could go wrong with it (jamming, backfiring, etc), and what you would do in those situations, and more.


If you dont know everything you can about a pistol, the odds of you defending against it are slim to none. And defending against a pistol is not the same as defending against a shotgun. If you are not taught about the pistol, and you dont go out and consistently fire it at different targets from different positions, then learning how to defend against it is going to be a fantasy. Many instructors will attempt to fool you, so beware. For instance, if your instructor is against the carrying of firearms its safe to say do not listen to a word he says if he is teaching you how to defend against one.


As for a knife, there are different lengths of blades, different shapes, one sided and two sided blades, different grips, different ways to draw it, etc. If youve ever had your instructor teach you about defending against a knife did that instructor warn you that anybody who is good with a knife will slice you on the draw? Did your instructor tell you that anybody that knows what she is doing uses the knife for only one thing KILLING, and that the person probably wont show you the knife? Did your instructor tell you that you should never attempt defending against a knife if you are empty handed unless the person was coming at you trying to kill you giving you the only option of fighting back attempting to get out of there alive? Probably not. She probably taught you some fancy kick or fancy disarm shes never used.


You will NEVER be able to defend someone who knows how to use a knife attacking you if you are empty handed. I know how to use a knife. I'm no expert, but I have trained with it quite a bit and will continue to do so. I know that in a matter of 2 seconds I can slice you multiple times in multiple places. I also work with firearms. And knowing what I know about both, I would much rather be attacked by a firearm than a knife. The only problem with being attacked with a firearm is distance. The enemy doesnt have to be right in front of you to shoot you. With a knife he has to be right up within arms reach of you. Some say, Yea, but he could throw it at you. He could, but probably wont because he doesnt want to risk missing you and you picking up the the knife.


The smart thing for you to do is have a weapon on you at all times. The smarter thing is to also have a back up weapon or two on you. If you have ever read "A Book of Five Rings" you may remember that Musashi mentioned that they always carry two swords at their belt: the sword and a companion sword. There are several reasons why you should have a weapon and back-up weapons. In the martial arts world people fantasize about learning a traditional move that was taught thousands of years ago, used in numerous movies, and are told by their instructors that the move will work every time. So they take the instructors word for it and think that because they are black belts they can take on anybody, anywhere, anytime, no matter what weapon the attacker has. That is completely ludicrous. The sad thing is so many people believe that trash.


The reality is that even if you are a great black belt (and in my opinion many black belts arent), if you are empty handed and the attacker has a weapon, the attacker will ALWAYS have the advantage. If you have a weapon and the attacker has a weapon you are now on an equal playing field. Know the laws, and when you can and cant use the weapons and abide by them, but if you are empty handed and cant find an environmental weapon (car door, keys, sticks, rocks, etc.) in time, youre doomed.


Keep in mind, if you dont learn how to use a knife effectively and a gun effectively learning to defend against them is an oxymoron. You can still learn the moves and play around in the Dojo and feel like you are Jackie Chan, but in a real world weapon attack, you wont be able to make those moves work.


Lets say the moves were practical. Maybe your instructor is one of those experienced people who has been training in realistic knife and gun methods for several years. Maybe he's been a Marine for years and actually did a lot of killing in battle. If hes teaching you how to defend against a knife or gun, but you never learn to use them, his experience, knowledge and skills will not matter for you. It would be like teaching you how to surf without first teaching you how to swim. You may think you can surf, but once youre put in the water you are screwed.


Lets say you did learn how to use the knife and firearms, and your instructor does have that knowledge and experience of how to teach you to defend against them. Everything is in your favor now. You know how to use the weapons and you were taught practical disarms of the weapons. That is good, but still not where you need to be. You must also have realistic training methods where you are put under pressure. You should do mock scenarios of situations you may find yourself in. You should do 100 push-ups as fast as you can then shoot your pistol at a moving target. Put your body in a state that isnt so calm and train from there. Thats realistic. Axe kicks to disarm a knife is not realistic. Just because you saw Chuck Norris do it on Walker Texas Ranger doesnt mean it will work. Thats a television show. Thats acting. And remember, the square root of Chuck Norris is pain. Do not try to square Chuck Norris, the result is death.


This article is not intended to put any instructors or styles of martial arts down. Its intended to challenge you to think realistically. You dont learn how to be the next NBA star from someone who didnt make the high school basketball team during tryouts. Its obvious that wouldnt be practical. Always analyze, dissect, question, and research all that is being taught to you. If it doesnt make sense to you realistically take it for what it is worth and go from there.



I hope you enjoyed the article.

Respectfully,

Michael Miller, CKF
Humans are creatures of habit. Take a look at your day to day activities and try to plot your own demise. At what points in your day are you most vulnerable to knife and gun attacks? For example if you go have a few drinks after work at the same restaurant, bar or club would that provide an opportunity for an opportunist? Do you go to a rundown strip joint every Saturday night or visit your bank at the first of each month? A predator looks for easy prey and plans the kill based on our habits.


This does not mean that random killing does not occur or that you cannot get caught in the cross fire no matter how many precautions you take but if youre interested in minimizing the risk factor then study your day to day habits. Where you park, what you eat, what you wear and when you speak what you reveal can peg you as a target. If you want to talk about real gun and knife defense versus professional killers you cannot fixate on martial arts methods. It is so easy to kill a person these days no matter how tough they are, as long as the killer is willing to make that choice, it becomes a matter of picking a method they are comfortable with. The guy is not going to pull a shotgun on you and stand there within arms reach waiting for you to pull your own knife and live out some hero fantasy. Youre more likely to be getting out of your car at work, early in the morning with a coffee in your hand and TPS reports on your mind when some guy you cut off in traffic rolls down his window and opens fire. So the lesson here is pretty clear dont cut people off early in the morning, nobody is in the mood for that crap.

I dont see too many martial arts instructors teaching take cover drills in response to the sound of gun fire but those same jokers want to nitpick the details of a gun disarm being done at point blank range. They want to work on counterattacking knife versus knife but they dont spend any time teaching how to use the environment to limit the opportunity to be shanked from behind. They are willing to put on gear and beat each other with clubs while they smile and laugh but they refuse to spend time training the mind to maintain clarity or teach the required mindset to inflict true violence on an enemy. Do not misunderstand me, I am not anti gun or knife training I just feel like it becomes a marketing tool and students are allowed to play at it when they cant even muster an effective reflexive response to an unarmed surprise attack. Then those same students go around with this mindset that they are ready for gun and knife defense, when in fact it if it does happen to them it will probably be because of the very attitudes they carry.

The truth is if youre up against a skilled gun or knife using killer, youre probably going to die no matter how many thousands of hours you spent drilling because they will catch you when youre not ready. If you are always ready, they will create a situation where you will be occupied or otherwise weakened and thats when you will get it. Be humble, live a full life, try not to take needless risks with your life, train well and take your time, slow down and smell the flowers because in the end, anyone can take your life but only you can live it to the fullest. Oh and try not to piss off any professional killers no matter how good you are with a gun or knife.
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Joined: February 4th, 2004, 8:13 pm

July 15th, 2011, 3:40 pm #5

"For instance, if your instructor is against the carrying of firearms its safe to say do not listen to a word he says if he is teaching you how to defend against one."

Do you favor rape and pedophilia too to be able to learn people how to defend against those??

Even though I agree with most of what you wrote, the quote above is ridiculous.

I am against the carrying of firearms, but that does not mean I cannot train with them. As long as the training is done in a controlled environment I have nothing against that and I too tell my students that to really learn something about knives or guns they should learn to use those weapons too. However I am strongly against carrying firearms in public by anyone else then military or law enforcement.

To get back to the metaphore used above: I do investigate the means of rapists and pedophiles whenever I can to learn more about their ways, so that I can better teach my students about defending against those, but that of course doesn't mean I have to favor them.

BTW I don't train with guns, for several reasons, two of which are:
1. Here in the Netherlands, not many guns are around to defend against, which In my opinion is the result of the fact that they are illegal. I'm not saying there aren't any, but they're not common. I guess the guns that are around are mostly used in gang-environments, where I don't go.

I recently read a statement of someone somewhere in favor of legal guns that said: "It is unrealistic to expect people who don't respect the law against theft or rape, to do respect the law that says you can't have a gun." In itself that is a true statement. But because guns are illegal here, there aren't that many around. Fact is that way less inocent people get hurt by gunfire in countries where guns are prohibited, then in countries where they are allowed.

2. One can spend his time only once. I prefer, influenced by previous statement, to become as skilled as I can in unarmed combat, and that takes all the time I have to spend on training.

As I result of the above, I don't claim to be a qualified intructor if it comes to defending against guns. All we do is the 4 standard EPAK techniques so that our students realise themselves that guns exist. Every time I teach these techs to people I too tell them that if they really want to know about guns, they'll have to go and find a specialist. (Of which I don't even know one in the Netherlands. Internationally I'd point my students to mr. Pick and his crew if they wanted to learn about this.)

***************************************
Marcel de Jong, 4th Black from the Netherlands

http://www.katsudokenpo.nl
Buy the book "Meditations on Violence" by Rory Miller (no relation). It's the best book I've read about reality vs. martial arts. It is an eye opener.

I respect you, Marcel, and I do value your opinion. I've been on the floor with you a few times and partnered with you a couple times, as you know. I hope to do that again in the future.

"For instance, if your instructor is against the carrying of firearms its safe to say do not listen to a word he says if he is teaching you how to defend against one."

After looking this over, I can see how it can be interpreted several ways. It leaves too much to think about. It left out information. I do not mean that if he trains in firearms and actually shoots them on a regular basis and learns them, but STILL is against the carrying of them. In that instance he may be against carrying them, but he does know about them and has handled them. The problem with being against carrying is that you will be empty handed if someone comes at you with a weapon, giving that person the upper hand. It doesn't matter how good one is empty handed if an assailant slashes at you with a knife. If you have a weapon as well it puts you on level playing field. Those who don't carry rely on luck and hope that they will never be attacked with a weapon. I'm not saying you couldn't defend against a weapon empty handed, I'm just saying it's much easier if you also have a weapon. And, you should have back up weapons.

What I meant by the above quote is someone who is completely against firearms. I should have made that more clear. I apologize for that. Also, I agree with you as far as environment. I'm not in the Netherlands so I'm not familiar with what goes on there. I'm in the U.S. and if you don't carry, I feel, you are making yourself vulnerable.

"Do you favor rape and pedophilia too to be able to learn people how to defend against those??"

Of course not. This is a different scenario all together. But I do favor realistic training. If you teach a woman how to defend against rape, but you never have her on the ground in a vulnerable position while training her, it's unrealistic. I am also in favor of learning all you can about predators. Basically, if you learn to think like a predator you can teach and defend much better for real world hard core attacks. Just my view.




"Fact is that way less inocent people get hurt by gunfire in countries where guns are prohibited, then in countries where they are allowed."

I haven't investigated that fact, but I will take your word for it. But, those who were hurt may not have been had they been carrying. I guarantee most of those statistics were of thugs who were carrying illegally and they shot those who weren't carrying.



I will leave you with this nice piece of literature:



The Munchkin Wrangler

Human beings only have two ways to deal with one another: reason and force. If you want me to do something for you, you have a choice of either convincing me via argument, or force me to do your bidding under threat of force. Every human interaction falls into one of those two categories, without exception. Reason or force, thats it.

In a truly moral and civilized society, people exclusively interact through persuasion. Force has no place as a valid method of social interaction, and the only thing that removes force from the menu is the personal firearm, as paradoxical as it may sound to some.

When I carry a gun, you cannot deal with me by force. You have to use reason and try to persuade me, because I have a way to negate your threat or employment of force.

The gun is the only personal weapon that puts a 100-pound woman on equal footing with a 220-pound mugger, a 75-year old retiree on equal footing with a 19-year old gang banger, and a single guy on equal footing with a carload of drunk guys with baseball bats. The gun removes the disparity in physical strength, size, or numbers between a potential attacker and a defender.

There are plenty of people who consider the gun as the source of bad force equations. These are the people who think that wed be more civilized if all guns were removed from society, because a firearm makes it easier for a [armed] mugger to do his job. That, of course, is only true if the muggers potential victims are mostly disarmed either by choice or by legislative fiatit has no validity when most of a muggers potential marks are armed.

People who argue for the banning of arms ask for automatic rule by the young, the strong, and the many, and thats the exact opposite of a civilized society. A mugger, even an armed one, can only make a successful living in a society where the state has granted him a force monopoly.

Then theres the argument that the gun makes confrontations lethal that otherwise would only result in injury. This argument is fallacious in several ways. Without guns involved, confrontations are won by the physically superior party inflicting overwhelming injury on the loser. People who think that fists, bats, sticks, or stones dont constitute lethal force watch too much TV, where people take beatings and come out of it with a bloody lip at worst. The fact that the gun makes lethal force easier works solely in favor of the weaker defender, not the stronger attacker. If both are armed, the field is level.

The gun is the only weapon thats as lethal in the hands of an octogenarian as it is in the hands of a weight lifter. It simply wouldnt work as well as a force equalizer if it wasnt both lethal and easily employable.

When I carry a gun, I dont do so because I am looking for a fight, but because Im looking to be left alone. The gun at my side means that I cannot be forced, only persuaded. I dont carry it because Im afraid, but because it enables me to be unafraid. It doesnt limit the actions of those who would interact with me through reason, only the actions of those who would do so by force. It removes force from the equation and thats why carrying a gun is a civilized act.
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Joined: January 19th, 2004, 2:11 am

July 15th, 2011, 9:31 pm #6

I posted the article about "Time - The Fourth Dimension" and I appreciate the responses I've gotten. This has prompted me to share another article I wrote a little while back titled "The Realities of Gun and Knife Defense."

Please note that I do not claim to be an expert in knife and firearms, but I have trained and continue to train with both. This article is another one to get you to think. I hope it raises good discussion and those of you who happen to know more than I about this subject, please share your insight. Here goes:


The Realities of Gun and Knife Defense

Most martial arts schools in the world, no matter what style, will teach some form of self-defense against a gun and a knife. The problem is a lot of what is being taught is fantasy based, meaning that its not realistic. In other words, it wont work unless you got really lucky. I dont know about you, but I dont want to gamble with my life.


One reality is how can you learn to defend against a gun or a knife if you dont know everything possible about each particular weapon? For instance, for a gun: how to grip it, how to load it, how to fire it, what it sounds like being fired off without wearing ear protection, what it feels like, how to draw it while under pressure, how to fire it from seated positions and all other positions, the time it takes to draw it, the possible things that could go wrong with it (jamming, backfiring, etc), and what you would do in those situations, and more.


If you dont know everything you can about a pistol, the odds of you defending against it are slim to none. And defending against a pistol is not the same as defending against a shotgun. If you are not taught about the pistol, and you dont go out and consistently fire it at different targets from different positions, then learning how to defend against it is going to be a fantasy. Many instructors will attempt to fool you, so beware. For instance, if your instructor is against the carrying of firearms its safe to say do not listen to a word he says if he is teaching you how to defend against one.


As for a knife, there are different lengths of blades, different shapes, one sided and two sided blades, different grips, different ways to draw it, etc. If youve ever had your instructor teach you about defending against a knife did that instructor warn you that anybody who is good with a knife will slice you on the draw? Did your instructor tell you that anybody that knows what she is doing uses the knife for only one thing KILLING, and that the person probably wont show you the knife? Did your instructor tell you that you should never attempt defending against a knife if you are empty handed unless the person was coming at you trying to kill you giving you the only option of fighting back attempting to get out of there alive? Probably not. She probably taught you some fancy kick or fancy disarm shes never used.


You will NEVER be able to defend someone who knows how to use a knife attacking you if you are empty handed. I know how to use a knife. I'm no expert, but I have trained with it quite a bit and will continue to do so. I know that in a matter of 2 seconds I can slice you multiple times in multiple places. I also work with firearms. And knowing what I know about both, I would much rather be attacked by a firearm than a knife. The only problem with being attacked with a firearm is distance. The enemy doesnt have to be right in front of you to shoot you. With a knife he has to be right up within arms reach of you. Some say, Yea, but he could throw it at you. He could, but probably wont because he doesnt want to risk missing you and you picking up the the knife.


The smart thing for you to do is have a weapon on you at all times. The smarter thing is to also have a back up weapon or two on you. If you have ever read "A Book of Five Rings" you may remember that Musashi mentioned that they always carry two swords at their belt: the sword and a companion sword. There are several reasons why you should have a weapon and back-up weapons. In the martial arts world people fantasize about learning a traditional move that was taught thousands of years ago, used in numerous movies, and are told by their instructors that the move will work every time. So they take the instructors word for it and think that because they are black belts they can take on anybody, anywhere, anytime, no matter what weapon the attacker has. That is completely ludicrous. The sad thing is so many people believe that trash.


The reality is that even if you are a great black belt (and in my opinion many black belts arent), if you are empty handed and the attacker has a weapon, the attacker will ALWAYS have the advantage. If you have a weapon and the attacker has a weapon you are now on an equal playing field. Know the laws, and when you can and cant use the weapons and abide by them, but if you are empty handed and cant find an environmental weapon (car door, keys, sticks, rocks, etc.) in time, youre doomed.


Keep in mind, if you dont learn how to use a knife effectively and a gun effectively learning to defend against them is an oxymoron. You can still learn the moves and play around in the Dojo and feel like you are Jackie Chan, but in a real world weapon attack, you wont be able to make those moves work.


Lets say the moves were practical. Maybe your instructor is one of those experienced people who has been training in realistic knife and gun methods for several years. Maybe he's been a Marine for years and actually did a lot of killing in battle. If hes teaching you how to defend against a knife or gun, but you never learn to use them, his experience, knowledge and skills will not matter for you. It would be like teaching you how to surf without first teaching you how to swim. You may think you can surf, but once youre put in the water you are screwed.


Lets say you did learn how to use the knife and firearms, and your instructor does have that knowledge and experience of how to teach you to defend against them. Everything is in your favor now. You know how to use the weapons and you were taught practical disarms of the weapons. That is good, but still not where you need to be. You must also have realistic training methods where you are put under pressure. You should do mock scenarios of situations you may find yourself in. You should do 100 push-ups as fast as you can then shoot your pistol at a moving target. Put your body in a state that isnt so calm and train from there. Thats realistic. Axe kicks to disarm a knife is not realistic. Just because you saw Chuck Norris do it on Walker Texas Ranger doesnt mean it will work. Thats a television show. Thats acting. And remember, the square root of Chuck Norris is pain. Do not try to square Chuck Norris, the result is death.


This article is not intended to put any instructors or styles of martial arts down. Its intended to challenge you to think realistically. You dont learn how to be the next NBA star from someone who didnt make the high school basketball team during tryouts. Its obvious that wouldnt be practical. Always analyze, dissect, question, and research all that is being taught to you. If it doesnt make sense to you realistically take it for what it is worth and go from there.



I hope you enjoyed the article.

Respectfully,

Michael Miller, CKF
Most don't have the mentality to defend themselves with any sort of external weapon, much less gun, knife, club, or anything else. The idea that you may get bloody and cause serious wounds or even death to your opponent doesn't register with the general population. Most people do not have the inclination to cause these injuries, it has to be something you push yourself to do.

There are predators and there are prey, and those predators won't think twice about doing you or your family harm, sometimes simply for the joy they get doing so. I tell people all the time, I have a demon in me, it's a very well guarded demon that I let out sometimes to play and do my dirty work with no remorse. I keep it on a very tight leash, well controlled, not through anger, but pragmatically, and to do only what I wish it to do to survive and thrive. If that means using a gun or knife (that I have 99% of the time), so be it, there's no need to get emotional about it.

Carrying a weapon involves great responsibility, and that include keeping your weapon during combat. Most people think because they have a weapon, they have the upper hand, until they lose it. I focus as much on weapon retention techniques as I do disarms.


Have a great gun carryin' Kenpo day

Clyde


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Joined: February 25th, 2009, 8:54 am

July 16th, 2011, 12:50 am #7

I posted the article about "Time - The Fourth Dimension" and I appreciate the responses I've gotten. This has prompted me to share another article I wrote a little while back titled "The Realities of Gun and Knife Defense."

Please note that I do not claim to be an expert in knife and firearms, but I have trained and continue to train with both. This article is another one to get you to think. I hope it raises good discussion and those of you who happen to know more than I about this subject, please share your insight. Here goes:


The Realities of Gun and Knife Defense

Most martial arts schools in the world, no matter what style, will teach some form of self-defense against a gun and a knife. The problem is a lot of what is being taught is fantasy based, meaning that its not realistic. In other words, it wont work unless you got really lucky. I dont know about you, but I dont want to gamble with my life.


One reality is how can you learn to defend against a gun or a knife if you dont know everything possible about each particular weapon? For instance, for a gun: how to grip it, how to load it, how to fire it, what it sounds like being fired off without wearing ear protection, what it feels like, how to draw it while under pressure, how to fire it from seated positions and all other positions, the time it takes to draw it, the possible things that could go wrong with it (jamming, backfiring, etc), and what you would do in those situations, and more.


If you dont know everything you can about a pistol, the odds of you defending against it are slim to none. And defending against a pistol is not the same as defending against a shotgun. If you are not taught about the pistol, and you dont go out and consistently fire it at different targets from different positions, then learning how to defend against it is going to be a fantasy. Many instructors will attempt to fool you, so beware. For instance, if your instructor is against the carrying of firearms its safe to say do not listen to a word he says if he is teaching you how to defend against one.


As for a knife, there are different lengths of blades, different shapes, one sided and two sided blades, different grips, different ways to draw it, etc. If youve ever had your instructor teach you about defending against a knife did that instructor warn you that anybody who is good with a knife will slice you on the draw? Did your instructor tell you that anybody that knows what she is doing uses the knife for only one thing KILLING, and that the person probably wont show you the knife? Did your instructor tell you that you should never attempt defending against a knife if you are empty handed unless the person was coming at you trying to kill you giving you the only option of fighting back attempting to get out of there alive? Probably not. She probably taught you some fancy kick or fancy disarm shes never used.


You will NEVER be able to defend someone who knows how to use a knife attacking you if you are empty handed. I know how to use a knife. I'm no expert, but I have trained with it quite a bit and will continue to do so. I know that in a matter of 2 seconds I can slice you multiple times in multiple places. I also work with firearms. And knowing what I know about both, I would much rather be attacked by a firearm than a knife. The only problem with being attacked with a firearm is distance. The enemy doesnt have to be right in front of you to shoot you. With a knife he has to be right up within arms reach of you. Some say, Yea, but he could throw it at you. He could, but probably wont because he doesnt want to risk missing you and you picking up the the knife.


The smart thing for you to do is have a weapon on you at all times. The smarter thing is to also have a back up weapon or two on you. If you have ever read "A Book of Five Rings" you may remember that Musashi mentioned that they always carry two swords at their belt: the sword and a companion sword. There are several reasons why you should have a weapon and back-up weapons. In the martial arts world people fantasize about learning a traditional move that was taught thousands of years ago, used in numerous movies, and are told by their instructors that the move will work every time. So they take the instructors word for it and think that because they are black belts they can take on anybody, anywhere, anytime, no matter what weapon the attacker has. That is completely ludicrous. The sad thing is so many people believe that trash.


The reality is that even if you are a great black belt (and in my opinion many black belts arent), if you are empty handed and the attacker has a weapon, the attacker will ALWAYS have the advantage. If you have a weapon and the attacker has a weapon you are now on an equal playing field. Know the laws, and when you can and cant use the weapons and abide by them, but if you are empty handed and cant find an environmental weapon (car door, keys, sticks, rocks, etc.) in time, youre doomed.


Keep in mind, if you dont learn how to use a knife effectively and a gun effectively learning to defend against them is an oxymoron. You can still learn the moves and play around in the Dojo and feel like you are Jackie Chan, but in a real world weapon attack, you wont be able to make those moves work.


Lets say the moves were practical. Maybe your instructor is one of those experienced people who has been training in realistic knife and gun methods for several years. Maybe he's been a Marine for years and actually did a lot of killing in battle. If hes teaching you how to defend against a knife or gun, but you never learn to use them, his experience, knowledge and skills will not matter for you. It would be like teaching you how to surf without first teaching you how to swim. You may think you can surf, but once youre put in the water you are screwed.


Lets say you did learn how to use the knife and firearms, and your instructor does have that knowledge and experience of how to teach you to defend against them. Everything is in your favor now. You know how to use the weapons and you were taught practical disarms of the weapons. That is good, but still not where you need to be. You must also have realistic training methods where you are put under pressure. You should do mock scenarios of situations you may find yourself in. You should do 100 push-ups as fast as you can then shoot your pistol at a moving target. Put your body in a state that isnt so calm and train from there. Thats realistic. Axe kicks to disarm a knife is not realistic. Just because you saw Chuck Norris do it on Walker Texas Ranger doesnt mean it will work. Thats a television show. Thats acting. And remember, the square root of Chuck Norris is pain. Do not try to square Chuck Norris, the result is death.


This article is not intended to put any instructors or styles of martial arts down. Its intended to challenge you to think realistically. You dont learn how to be the next NBA star from someone who didnt make the high school basketball team during tryouts. Its obvious that wouldnt be practical. Always analyze, dissect, question, and research all that is being taught to you. If it doesnt make sense to you realistically take it for what it is worth and go from there.



I hope you enjoyed the article.

Respectfully,

Michael Miller, CKF
As I have stated many times before Kenpo functions ultimately to protect your opponent from harm. By having the ability to overkill you may possibly be able to show compassion. Compassion is the root of the art. Now on this issue of guns. Guns are bad news any way you look at it and nothing is solved by them. It must be understood that in this universe we can draw things into ourselves. Messing with guns, carrying them or even thinking about them will through the universal principle of attraction cause things to be drawn in.

As opposed to thinking about how you can hurt your attacker one should think about how they can neutralize them with skill and compassion. Guns are opposite to this ideal.

People justify carrying guns or other lethal weapons for a number of reasons. Protection, justice and more. But the real fact is that usually these are not the actual reasons they want to carry these things. The real reason is to fulfill primordial desire rooted in anger or sex. There are a lot of crazy things buried deep in the human brain. Way down deep in the animal brain.

My contention is that all guns should be eliminated.

I think that many people are afraid to die. I think a lot of times the hostility comes from the death fear. There is ultimately no reason to fear death. There is ultimately no right or wrong in this universe. These are just creations of the mind that have been grown through evolutions. You see the emotions we have are all just manifestations of evolution. Even love and compassion are false. Even we as personal identities are false. In reality we do not exist. So nothing ultimately matters..

So the real issue is pleasure and pain. Which is better to seek? Well I say happiness, pleasure and the like. Simply because happiness and lack of pain feels better. But of course in the end it does not matter if somebody blows our brains out.
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Joined: February 4th, 2004, 8:13 pm

July 16th, 2011, 1:11 pm #8

"As opposed to thinking about how you can hurt your attacker one should think about how they can neutralize them with skill and compassion. Guns are opposite to this ideal."

Okay. How do you neutralize five gang bangers with baseball bats?

Point is, no matter how compassionate we are the punks, thugs, gang bangers, predators - they don't care. And they will get what they want if we are not prepared.
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Joined: October 14th, 2005, 5:16 am

July 16th, 2011, 1:21 pm #9

This occured in a time frame that was much worst than now (according to author)...Placerville CA 1854...

http://www.infobarrel.com/Unknown_Gunfi ... an_R_Davis

Bowie Knife, Revolvers, and a lot of courage...
****
Captain Davis took out his pistols and fired at the attackers. By the time his pistols were empty, he had killed seven outlaws. He used his Bowie knife to defend himself from the others as they attacked.
****

Just finished the book, good read!!!

Regards,
Gary

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Joined: February 25th, 2009, 8:54 am

July 17th, 2011, 2:07 am #10

"As opposed to thinking about how you can hurt your attacker one should think about how they can neutralize them with skill and compassion. Guns are opposite to this ideal."

Okay. How do you neutralize five gang bangers with baseball bats?

Point is, no matter how compassionate we are the punks, thugs, gang bangers, predators - they don't care. And they will get what they want if we are not prepared.
You have to stop thinking about your own welfare or your friends or family. You have to be looking generations down the line and seeing the big picture. The tone of society must change. Yes, that may mean that innocent people are killed by attackers that could have been neutralized by a firearm but down the line after we are gone the world will come into balance.

Would you not be willing to give your life so the world would be a better place a few generations down the line? Would you not be willing to sacrifice your child or wife? What I am saying is that we all need to be peacemakers and that means putting down all guns. We need to focus on the big picture and that picture is not in this generation. That picture is not us or our children..

YOu need to put down the idea of retribution, punishment or even protection with guns. There is a higher principal here. It is time to stop the hate, anger and wars. The first step is to put down the guns and face the music. To focus on the future and not the present.

Peace on Earth is not achieved by guns and never will be.

And of course as always remember that nothing matters ultimatly anyway so even IF you all blow each others brains out it is irrelevant. But happy is better than sad so if you want peace and happiness get rid of your anger, desire for justice and firearms.
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