To be able to write this node, I would first have to define what winning a knife fight actually entitles. My own personal definition would be to survive the fight, preferably without having been cut at all.

Holding a knife

There are several ways you can hold a knife. Here you will see some of the advantages and disadvantages in battle situations (I am assuming you use a single-edged blade)

1: Tip forward, edge down

This is how you would hold a bread-knife when you are cutting bread. Or basically any way you would hold a knife.

Advantages: This is how most knives are made to be held, and will probably give you the most confidence. It is a good way for stabbing upwards (to the stomach or throat) or slashing downwards (to the face or arms)

Disadvantages: None in particular

2: Tip forward, edge up

Same as 1, but with the knife turned 180 degrees, so the edge is upwards

Advantages: This is a bit of a surprise hold, and someone seeing you hold your knife like this, will most likely think you are good at what you are about to do. Even if you are not, this is a good thing. It can also be menacing if you can get anywhere near their crotch, because holding your knife this way signifies you are quite happy to cut their balls off

Disadvantages: You remove pretty much any possibilities for slashing jabs, and chances are your knife is not meant to be held this way, and might feel awkward.

3: Tip backward, edge away from your arm

This is the same as 1, except you hold the knife the other way.

Advantages: This stance has a few advantages. For one thing, you can hide your knife behind your forearm, and you can do downward stabbing motions. In these motions, you can put your entire body weight behind your blade, meaning it is quite lethal. You also have the option of making slashing moves across face or neck.

Disadvantages: This is a bad way to hold your knife if you are facing anybody who knows a martial art (this is the first defence against weapon you learn in most martial arts). Also, you will hardly look like a pro.

4: Tip backward, edge toward your arm

This is a strange way to hold your knife, but can be functionable in some situations, especially if the person you are fighting is wearing short sleeve shirts.

Advantages: In addition to the mentioned stabbing motion, you can catch limbs between your forearm and knife, cutting them. Especially effective against people in short-sleeve shirts and throats / necks.

3suns notes that US military trains their troops to use stance 4, tip backward, edge toward arm. The soldier can punch his enemy, follow through past their body, and rake the knife backwards.

Roninspoon, on the other hand, does not agree with 3suns: I've heard the same thing as 3suns, but I never heard it until I had sperated from military service. It's not really a very good guard or attack stance and would probablly lead to more self inflicted damage than anything else. In retreat, you'd have to strike to the outside of your grip. You'd either have to keep the blade tucked against your arm and present an awkward striking platform that would likely result in a broken wrist, or strike as normal. If you do that though, the back of the blade interferes with the strike, pushing the target away, out of reach of the retreat attack. I think this sort of grip would only work with a double edged blade and even then I have my doubts as to its effectivness as it places your attack well withing the target's defense. Reach is everything in an edge fight after all.

I must honestly admit that I am more inclined to agree with Roninspoon in this case.

Disadvantages: Very awkward way of holding your knife and you might end up cutting yourself

the fight

Scenario 1: Both have a knife

In this case, it is time to wonder how the hell you got into this mess. What did you carry a knife around for in the first place? And why did you pull it out when you were in danger?

Oh well. Your first option when faced someone who has a knife is, of course, to run like hell. Probably your safest option, as long as your opponent doesn't have any Hibbens down his boots.

If this is not an option, then the fight begins. I would suggest holding your knife in either position 3 or 1 above, preferably the latter.

Now for the big secret in knife fights:


Yes, you heard me. Do not use it. Your opponent will be so fixed on your knife, that you will easily be able to beat him up with the other hand. Therefore, if you are right handed, hold your knife in your left hand, or vice versa. Then, move your knife away from your body, and watch your opponent follow its tip with his eyes. Now hit him hard in the face with your free hand.

In 99% of the cases (at least in the three knife fights I have been stupid enough to end up in), the fight will be over. Make sure you hit very hard, and assume that they were out to kill you (the knife, remember??). Then take their knife. If they haven't dropped the knife yet, kick them in the knee or in the balls. Then take the knife.

Stroll off casually.

Scenario 2: You have a knife

Ah great. The same applies as for scenario 1, except you have no knife to worry about. Just punch them - hard - and run.

Scenario 3: They have a knife

You are fucked.

no, seriously. You are.

In this scenario, you want to talk soothingly, give them whatever the fuck they want, and if you have a chance, run like hell. And I do mean that.

The best thing you can do, is if they ask you for your wallet, throw it to them, but make sure they can't catch it. Usually you'll be able to run away.

If it comes down to that you have to fight, the trick is this:

Be focused on the knife, but not overly. Make sure they come nowhere near your throat, face or guts with it, but do expect to leave the fight with a few slashes in your arms / hands. Go for their eyes with your fingers, or hit them in the throat. Kick them in all soft spots (groin, particularily) and aim for the nose with your punches.

Then run.

In all scenarios, you want to 1) run away as fast as you can, and 2) call the police to get these maniacs arrested. If you were the maniac with the knife, you should seriously consider getting a life.


While SharQ's node on this contains some very good advice, it also betrays a lack of professional training on the topic, so I hope he doesn't mind me adding a slightly different view.

First so far as defining winning, surviving is definitely the way to go. If you are a kamikaze type, and consider it a win if you die but take your opponent with you, my advice will be of only marginal use to you. I am also assuming that by knife fight we mean that your opponent has a knife as well.

So far as how to hold the knife, there are basically three positions, like an axe, like a sabre, and like an icepick. Holding it like an axe is likely to be the default position for most people, as it's most likely the way you hold a knife when doing other things. This is what SharQ called "tip forward edge down". It is not the best way to hold a knife for fighting, but obviously it can work.

The sabre grip is usually the choice of the trained fighter. In this grip you hold the top of the handle, where the blade comes out, between thumb and forefinger, with the rest of the fingers curled loosely around the rest of the handle. This grip gives up some strength but gains quickness. This will normally be your best bet.

The icepick grip involves holding the knife reversed from the axe grip, with your thumb locked over the butt of the weapon. The edge should usually face outward from your forearm, although sometimes it is appropriate to reverse that, particularly before a downward thrust which is likely to be blocked. The icepick grip can be deadly when used right - it allows for quick defensive slashing blocks as well very strong stabbing thrusts. However, it sacrifices range which is detrimental to our goal of surviving. If you use this grip you need to be very aggressive, and this increases the risk to your own life, as well as to your opponent.

So, assuming you have chosen the sabre grip as I recommended, now you want to assume a flexible stance with your feet about shoulder-width apart, knees bent, and only a slight crouch. Stay away from close quarters and don't allow yourself to be cornered. Fight defensively, wait for your opponent to commit an attack, then circle back and away from it, slicing out as you do so, aiming usually for his wrist, or anything else in range in a pinch. The object of this strategy is simply to stay alive and cause your opponent to bleed. If you can do this for a few minutes, he'll eventually lose enough blood that he will begin to experience asphyxiation. Eventually, if all goes well, the opponent collapses, and it's time to call for medics.

Caveats - this will only work if you have some room to maneuver. If hostilities begin at short range and in a corner, this tactic stands no chance at all. In that case you're probably better off with icepick grip, an aggressive thrust and an attempt to capture the opponents weapon with your off-hand. This will not work if you opponent has very good footwork or you have very poor, or both. It relies on outmaneuvering the attacker consistently. It helps to have a longer blade than the opponent, and having a significantly shorter blade will make this more difficult. With all those caveats, however, it is still probably your best bet to get out of a knife fight alive in most situations.

Running from a knife is a very good idea if you can get away with it. However, be very careful, being literally stabbed in the back is a very predictable consequence of running either too soon or too late from a knife-wielding tough. So it's appropriate to consider other options, even in the worst scenario (he has a knife and you don't) because you may have no other choice than to fight it out for a time until you get a good opportunity to run.

If facing a knife unarmed, you really are in a bad situation, and no amount of good advice will make up for that. You should definately run at the first opportunity. But if you have to fight in this situation, remember to always block with the back of your forearms and hands, not the front. The skin is thicker there, and your precious veins not so close to the surface, so getting cut there is not quite as bad as on the inside. If you mix it up you are going to get cut - count on it. You are going to bleed. Count on that too. You must end the fight, either by a succesful attack or a good flee, in a relatively short time - before your blood loss critically weakens you. If you think you can wrestle for the knife succesfully go for it. Holding the knife immobile while striking the soft parts can be a winning strategy here. Don't hesitate to use the nutter, particularly if both of your hands are tied up. And if you can knock him on his ass for a moment you've gained a great opportunity to run for it.

It is astonishing to me that, while all of these tidbits of advice are good, none of the noders have mentioned some other, obvious methods of defense in a knife fight. If you are wearing a jacket or button-down shirt (unbuttoned, of course) then it is wise to take it off as quickly as possible, wrap it around the arm which is not dominant and use it as a shield. Bundled clothing wrapped around one's arm is very difficult to cut through with a single slash unless the blade of the attacking knife is razor-sharp (statistically speaking, this is unlikely unless you are in a professional or military combat situation- most thugs rarely think far enough ahead to sharpen their knives or take the time to do it).

If a knife lunge is made in your direction, use your wrapped arm to take the brunt of the attack either in a hard block or a sweeping block. Then quickly use your free hand to grab the wrist of the assailant's knife-hand very firmly and twist in the most uncomfortable direction you can imagine your own wrist being wrenched. Next, yank on that wrist really, really, really hard and bring your knee up into the assailant's solar-plexus, groin, face or neck. Quickly swing the arm of the knife-hand (while still gripping the wrist) across your body so that the assailant is put off balance and turned away from you and yank the arm again so that it is bent behind the assailant's back. Push. Hard. Let gravity help you shove the person directly into the ground and use your knees to pin the assailant's chest or face to the ground. The small of the back is a great place to put your knee.

By that point the knife should have been either dropped or the grip on it relaxed. If you feel so inclined, you may use your wrapped arm to beat the assailant about the base of the skull until unconsciousness ensues or "uncle" is cried. Then make a citizen's arrest.

This whole scenario is, of course, presupposing the notion that you have some sort of apparel which can be used to wrap around your arm. If you are not clothed as such, then take everyone else's advice and run like hell at the first available opportunity.

I once read an excerpt from a book that pertains somewhat to this topic. The scene is two people who are walking down a street, a man of hardened battle experience offering some wisdom to a younger man on the topic of swords and weapons. I cannot, for the life of me, remember the actual quotes/conversation, but I shall paraphrase:

"That sword on that man's hip over there. You see it?"


"What is it meant for?"


"Wrong. That is not meant for killing. It is meant for show, as a deterrant. A weapon which is meant for killing will not be seen until it's too late. There are two types of weapons: ones meant for killing and those meant for intimidation. An experienced assassin will conceal his weapons. An idiot will show you what he has before you even exchange two words, let alone fight."

"Does it matter, as long as he is proficient with it?"

"What kind of idiocy is that? Look at that thing! It's a work of fine craftsmanship and art. Would you be eager to sully it with blood? No. A real weapon will look the part. That thing on his hip is a toy and while he might know enough tricks to wound himself with that thing, he probably couldn't bring himself to ruin it with bloodstains or nicks or risk it getting broken. It's too valuable to be used as a weapon. I'd be less afraid of that ornate sword than I would be of the dagger in his boot, which does look particularly nasty- and stained, I might add."

All of this to say: even though a person is weilding a knife and is pointing it in your general direction, that doesn't necessarily mean the supposed assailant knows what he is doing or how to use it properly/effectively. Time is crucial- you won't have a whole lot of it to pick and choose your immediate reactions. And, granted, you may not have enough time to use any clothing as a shield or to find a weapon of your own to use in your defense. But one of the first things you should pay attention to is how certain your opponent is of him/herself. I can tell you this much:

A smart killer won't let you see that blade until it's buried in your back. That you see it at all, even from ten paces away, speaks more to your advantage than you might think. And if you keep your head screwed on tight, you might walk/run away from the scene alive and relatively unharmed. Bear it in mind.

1) If you live in an area where carrying a knife is part of survival maybe you should invest the time and money in throwing knives. While this can be a hard skill to learn it can give you a definite advantage.

2) In a knife fight its all about feinting and lunging. If they other fighter is holding the knife in the classical butcher hold, a quick feint to their opposite hand and then a jab at their throat can end a fight quickly, this will usually only work on amateurs.

3) If you're an amateur, stay away from a knife in each hand, it'll only confuse you.

If you can't run away (maybe your attacker is a track star or something) and can't get close enough to wrestle the knife away without getting hurt, here's something that might help.

Whenever someone tries to hit you, you move and block and then strike. Remember: "move, block, strike". For instance, if someone in front of you tries to stab you, you move your right foot (if you're right handed) behind your left foot. While you do this, rotate your left foot (but don't move it anywhere else). When you're done, you should be facing right without your feet being twisted; your feet should be close to facing right also. You should also be to the left of where you were when you started.

At the same time you are moving out of the way, you should use your right hand to grab the arm that's thrusting the knife at you. Grab below the elbow; the closer to the hand you get without hitting the knife, the easier it'll be to control the arm. Keep your right arm almost fully extended (without locking your elbow out).

Then take a step sideways toward your attacker with your left foot. Your feet should be spread apart a little more, but you should still be facing right. This moves you closer to your attacker, so you can do damage more easily.

Then, do whatever will cause the most pain to your attacker. It should be the kind of pain that causes them to forget they're holding a knife and it should be a method that causes this to happen quickly. Once they are in sufficient pain, you can do a few things.

Get them to drop the knife. If they look like they really want to stop fighting you, you can demand that they drop it. Or, you can break their elbow by striking the outside of it sharply with the heel of your left hand. Or, you can grab the handle of the knife like you would hold it, and take it from them.

Make it really painful for them to run and then run away. You should kick or stomp them in the shins or kneecaps and, if you have time, do something to cause nausea and weakness, like kicking them in the testicles sharply. This will make it extremely painful to run and also cause them not to be able to breathe properly.

Knock them out or knock them senseless. Then, still holding on to the knife arm with your right hand, take the knife by its handle with your left. If that's too awkward, grab the arm with your left hand before letting go with your right hand and grab the knife with your right hand.

Kill them with whatever weapon you have. If you have the weapon in your left hand, use it immediately after moving, blocking, and moving toward them. If it's readily available, cause them pain so that they stop paying attention to you and quickly get it out and use it. If it's not readily available, forget it.

Whatever you do, hold the person's knife arm at all times and keep your holding arm almost fully extended at all times (without locking your elbow out). If you want to do something that would be awkward or impossible to do while grabbing the person's arm and keeping your arm extended, it's best not to do it.

It's best to practice this with a friend until it becomes second nature. If you do, do not use anything that will hurt if you get jabbed by it. Don't use sharp knives, dull knives, sticks, pipes, etc. If you can't find something (for example, a very bendy fake rubber knife or a piece of foam), don't use anything; pretend your friend has a knife. Also, don't actually hit your friend (except their arm when you grab it). Also, vary the attacks. Your friend shouldn't just try to "stab" you in the neck; they should try all sorts of attacks, like slashing your gut or stabbing your arms, or going berserk and slashing everywhere; they should try different ways of holding the "knife", too, especially with the blade pointing down (so that you can learn to grab the arm without hitting the blade).

I can't believe the amount of fundamentally bad advice that is being given in this node. Some of the advice is not only irresponsible but downright dangerous.

Let us make a few assumptions and break down the readership of this node into a few groups.

  • Group one, those who are involved in the martial arts and interested in knife fighting for esoteric reasons. If this is the case, your best bet is to go study arnis, escrima, kali or other related Filipino martial art. Knife fighting as an art is a dirty business and not something that can be read about and meditated upon for improvement, it must be experienced.
  • Group two, intermediate to advanced students of a martial art form that actively teaches the knife as a primary weapon. For you guys who practice Filipino, Malaysian, Indonesian or other South/Southeast Asian weapon arts, this is more or less a joke node.
  • Group three, everyone else. You have stumbled across this node for any number of reasons. You do not really care to spend months or years studying how to use or defend against a knife but feel this information might be useful to know. Your interests are more properly defined as "How to survive a knife fight." The rest of this writeup is for you.

First, we will not concern ourselves with defending against professionals. Professionals are predictable, only not in a good way. You won't see it coming and the first indication that you are in a knife fight will be pain and a growing patch of red on your clothing. On the other hand, the world is full of amateurs. We're going to find out how to deal with these guys.

SharQ's advice is most fundamentally sound. Your first option is retreat. All other courses of action should lead back to option one. Forget about trying to use a knife. If you do not already know how to use a knife, you are not going to have an epiphany and figure it out the moment someone tries to stick one in you. There are a number of misconceptions about how to hold and use a knife, but we'll get to that later.

Fenylannar goes into technical detail about how to fight with a knife. I don't know what he considers "professional training" but his methods are not basic enough for our needs yet too specific to cover most of the situational bases. There seems to be an underlying assumption that you are out to defeat your opponent by cutting him. Our objective is survival, remember?

NightShadow propogates a couple very common misconceptions. First, you are not going to have time to take off an article of clothing, much less wrap it around your arm. In my experience, someone who is willing to stab you or cut you will not do you the courtesy of allowing you to get ready to fight. Think about how long it takes to take off your jacket. Those few seconds could mean your life. Think about how vulnerable a position the very action of taking off an article of clothing places you. Regardless of how you take off a jacket, there will be a moment where at least one arm will have restricted mobility and be down at your side instead of up and protecting your face and neck. More on that later. In addition, you run the risk of getting your arms caught in your coat while you are taking it off. Simple things become extremely complicated in a real fight. Second, if you happen to have your coat in your hand, you do not necessarily want to wrap your arm in it. Your coat or jacket is more useful for entangling and/or obscuring the knife blade. Think Spartacus - the gladiator with the net and trident. Properly done, he will either lose his grip or will need to pull/shake off the coat from his knife. You are going to use those few precious moments to make your escape. Third, a hard block is the last thing you want to do. When people try to block any kind of strike, they tend to chase the attacking limb, leaving their own bodies wide open to counterattack. You are going to leave your arms close to your body to protect your own vital spots.

The single most dangerous bit of advice given by more than one source is to grab the knife hand. Do not attempt to do this. Let me stamp my feet three times and say it again loudly. Do not attempt to grab the knife hand. The hand can move very quickly and you are more likely to get cut in the attempt than actually get a grip on his wrist, much less maintain it. If you don't believe me, experiment with a friend and some felt tip markers. Do this with an old shirt because its going to get dirty. You might be able to grab the wrist a few times, but it's not reliable.

So now you're thinking, okay you nimrod, you've told us half a dozen examples of what not to do, how about being proactive and telling us some things we can do? Here's a couple do's and a few more don'ts:

  • He cannot cut you if he cannot see you - start throwing things. Mugs, glasses, ashtrays, books, telephones - it doesn't matter. It is natural human instinct to duck and close your eyes when things are thrown at your head. Even better if there is beer in the glass. When I was younger and prone to getting into bar fights, if I were in a situation when I felt I had to fight dirty, the first thing I would reach for was a glass of beer. Throwing the beer in his face would create a moment of distraction and obscured vision - all that was needed for me to get in the first clean strike. In the knife fight scenario, you are buying time. While you are doing this, you should be searching for an escape route or weapon of your own. What is a good weapon? Anything that gives you a reach/range advantage. More on this later.

  • He cannot cut you if he cannot reach you - get obstacles between you and him. Chairs, trashcans and overturned tables are good obstacles for buying yourself time. If you are in a kitchen, pull out the drawers. If you're lucky, maybe some of those drawers will have forks, spoons and knives. Throw them. See above.

  • He cannot cut you if you have a shield - pick up something that he has to get past to stab you. Trashcan lids, big cooking pot lids, the cooking pot itself and even your backpack, shoulderbag or briefcase held between you and your opponent can be a shield. Be a lion tamer and grab a bar stool, chair or even a stove rack if that's all you can get a hold of. Hold with both hands and use it to knock away the knife hand if it gets too close. Don't get too attached to your shield if he manages to grab it and uses it to pull you to him. In that case, don't just let him have it, but really let him have it - stretch out your arms and use your shield as a battering ram to push him. A swift kick to the shins or a knee to groin and affect your escape. The key here is to keep your shield between your and your opponent, don't allow it to be jerked to the side and certainly don't get into pushing/pulling match - if your shield is jerked to one side, follow it around. You are a three dimensional being, you CAN move side to side.

  • He cannot cut you if he doesn't have a knife - disarm him. Forget all those fancy moves you've seen in martial arts action movies. Most of them don't work in real life even with years of training. I have a few dan ranks in hapkido and know half a dozen ways to stab a guy with his own knife while he's still holding onto it, but you're not going to catch me trying that stuff if I can get my hands on a decent weapon. Remember that weapon you were looking for? You're looking for anything that will give you a reach advantage, preferably something clublike. Crowbars, umbrellas, The Club (that thing that people use to secure their car steering wheels), ski poles and even frying pans will work (Hah! Quentin Tarantino stole my idea.) We're going to use our weapon to get rid of his weapon. More on that later.

  • Do not get option paralysis. Do something. Anything. Just don't do nothing. The worst thing you can do is freeze while you try to think of something to do. This is the trap that a lot of beginning to intermediate martial artists fall into. While they're trying to figure out the perfect response, the situation moves beyond them. Perfect is the enemy of good enough.

  • You can't buy new intestines. Don't let the value of any object get in the way of using or discarding it. You're going to feel like a real idiot when you're attached to a colostomy bag because you didn't want to break a few lamps or lose a few books.

Now you're thinking, geez, this guy has me stuck in a Jackie Chan movie, what next? A ladder? Lets figure out what do do with your weapon. Stand slightly oblique to your attacker. Don't square off. Pull your hands up to your chin, old school boxing style, with your inner wrists pointed in towards your body. Relax your shoulders, arms and hands. The trick to keeping relaxed is to drop your shoulders. If they're hunched, you're too tight. Tense and tight is bad.

The back of your hands and wrists should be pointed outwards. This is so that if you do get cut, your major veins are okay and but much more importantly, you have not compromised your grip. Look down at your wrist. See those blue lines? If those veins get cut and are left unattended, you will eventually bleed to death but it's actually going to take a while to bleed out. Hopefully enough time to affect an escape and seek medical attention. Now make a fist. See those cords that just popped up? Those get cut and you're pretty much fucked right then and there - you can no longer form a fist or hold onto anything. This is going to seriously negatively affect your ability to fight.

Lower your head, but don't tuck your chin too tightly. This is to minimize your exposed neck area - a stray slash that cuts your chin or your cheek is okay, your throat, not so much. After all, facial scars add character and chicks dig scars. The only thing that that people are going to dig if your throat gets cut is your grave. Your weak side is slightly forward. Your strong hand should be holding your weapon, your weak hand should be about chin level. This arm is going to get cut. Sorry. This is real life and not a Steven Seagal movie.

If you are an experienced martial artist or someone who has been in a lot of fights, you are going to have an easier time telling the feints from the committed attack. Otherwise, your weak side arm is going to have to be both bait and shield. When the committed attack comes, you are going to counter attack with your weapon. Your target is his forearm. Do not focus on the knife. The knife and hand holding it are low probability targets. The hands are too agile and are a small target so your chances of hitting hard enough for your attacker to drop his weapon are slim. The forearm is a much larger and has a smaller relative range of motion. The ideal target is the boney area right behind the wrist but any hard strike with a heavy object to the top of the forearm is going to cause him to lose his grip on the knife. The idea is to start your swing as soon as you see him start his stab or cut and meet him when he is extended. If he is withdrawing when you swing, its too late. Keep your swing short and controlled, wildly swinging will only expose yourself. If you do this correctly, you should have a weapon and your attacker won't. Ho ho ho. You are no longer in a knife fight. Proceed to kick ass normally.

Maybe you're thinking, okay you putz, the title is how to WIN a knife fight, not how to de-escelate one. What if I found a knife in my hand and I don't have the option to run away? What if aliens abducted me and forced me to participate in bloodsports for the amusement of their beautiful amazonian princesses? ..... Ahem.

Assuming that you are not the knife wielding homicidal maniac in this scenario, we are going to assume a defensive posture. Same stance as above, but now we're holding a knife in the strong hand. The strategy of circle and cut described by Fennylar has some applicability here, but since our primary goal is self preservation, we are not going to hold the knife in the most versatile manner, but the best defensive one. The knife is point down with the blade pointed outward held at shoulder level. When the lunge comes, you will circle to your strong side by pivoting on your forward foot, drop the knife tip downwards, then make a circular cut upwards on his forearm. You are targetting the area around the crook of the elbow. Forget about trying to cut the wrist, its not going to happen without a lot of practice. Why are we gripping and cutting in this manner? So you end up in a defensive stance again, with your neck and face protected. The tendency when cutting with the handshake grip on a knife is to overextend thereby leaving yourself open. When you make that circle cut upwards, if you miss, you miss, no big deal. Its simple, which is why beginners find it easier to pick up. Repeat until your opponent gives up, collapses, or those Amazons take you away to be their love slave.

Here's some basic advice that hasn't been offered yet.

Always assume your opponent is a better fighter than you.

This ensures you don't underestimate your opponent. It's impossible to tell how good a fighter is just by looking at him/her. For instance, I just saw a pretty little 14 year old girl beat the snot out of my entire college kali and eskrima class. Turns out she was the instructor's niece, but no one knew that at the beginning of class.

I asked my teachers about the suggestion of holding the knife in your weak hand, and punching your opponent while they're watching the knife. Their response was there's no way to tell if your opponent is an amateur who'd watch the knife, or someone skilled enough to slice that arm to pieces as it comes in for a punch.


Always assume your opponent is a better fighter than you.

I agree with a lot of Doughbelly's advice. Knife fighting is not something you are going to learn in front of a computer screen. Don't take my advice: go out and take some classes from a professional.

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