Friday, January 30, 2015

Training 2014/01/30 #006

Knife Defense

I greatly enjoy this class. We seem to do it on an annual basis or so.

What do you do when someone comes at you with a knife?

It's probably not going to happen but it's something we all worry about so it's nice to have a strategy.

1. Keep some distance. Yell "He's got a knife!" For good measure, tell the attacker what to do with the knife: "Drop the knife! Put it on the ground!"
2. Keep your hands up. Imagine that your hands are blades. Keep your fingers together and present the backs of your hand to your attacker to protect your wrists.

There are a lot of different attacks with a knife but we only address the most basic -- the straight forward lunge at your gut.

3. Block the strike by making a "Y" shape with your thumbs on each hand, putting your hands together, and trapping the wrist of their knife hand. We started just working on the block. Using two hands and the Y shape is important because you really don't want to miss and expose your middle.

We then moved on to the throw, which is basically shiho nage ni.

4. Grab the attacking wrist with both hands. You will probably naturally step into your attacker.
5. With your back foot, pivot to the outside (i.e., 95-degree pivot), bringing their wrist up to your forehead.
6. Pass under their arm.

It's shiho nage. Basically, you and your attacker are standing side-by-side facing different directions. You're holding their knife wrist and the knife is floating somewhere in the space between your attacker's ear and your ear. Hopefully, you've started to break their balance because their knife-side elbow is up over their shoulder and they're moving backwards.

7. Push forward to drop them. Or down. Just don't let go of that knife hand!
8. When they go down, keep control of the knife hand and get the knife away from them. You can basically put them into knee on belly, wrist lock them, choke them, whatever.

We sped the activity up a bit and put some resistance into it. You quickly realize that the technique doesn't always work the way you want it to. For example, you might not drop your opponent but you can still get the knife away by locking the wrist. Then you're just into ground fighting!

Tanto dori is always interesting because everything gets a lot more scrambly. The preset Aikido moves breakdown (at my lowly level of skill) but the BJJ training gives you the ability to react to the positioning. I also found it interesting that my shiho nage seems to be much better when my partner is holding a knife. I'm far less worried about choreography and, in general, I'm lower and my hips are in a far better position. The pin seemed more natural too. I was training with a pretty big guy so I was much more inclined to control his body using something like kesa gatame and it just felt more natural.

Rolling went well. My closed guard game is getting better. I think I could benefit from more visualization in my sweeps. I hit some sloppy pendulum sweeps but stalled out in the scissor sweeps. I had some success with establishing more of a z-guard with decent grips and then pushing out a knee to get the sweep. It was ugly.

On the submission side of things, I got halfway through a triangle... which is farther than I normally get. I'll take it as a sign of progress!

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