Copyright @ 2018 James L. Berkley. All rights reserved.

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Knife Fighting Skills

The purposes of weapons are to maximize and to multiply the defensive, destructive, and lethal effects of the physical mechanisms of the human body by:

  1. neutralizing between combatants the advantages provided to one side by innate differences in size, strength, speed, flexibility, and agility, and the advantage provided by superior numbers and

  2. by providing a tactical advantage enabling the possessor to surpass the capabilities of the enemy.

The knife is a short, sharp, pointed weapon of close engagement whose effect is to disable the enemy by causing mechanical malfunction of his body such that the wielder may disengage and escape, or press his attack.

Among the advantages of the knife are low cost, portability, easy concealment, lightness, agility, low maintenance, and long service life. For these reasons the knife is the most commonly carried weapon in the world and may be encountered anywhere. A fundamental working knowledge of this weapon is therefore essential.

Two principles governing the tactical applications of the knife are those of fencing and those of boxing.

The fencing principle involves committed movement of the body across a relatively long engagement distance. Japanese knife skills tend toward the fencing principle.

The boxing principle involves the use of continuous uncommitted engagement at close quarters. Filipino skills tend toward the boxing principle.

In both cases, blunt weapons skills, boxing and trapping skills, and grappling and tumbling skills are relevant, feasible and necessary, with or without a weapon in hand. Firearms skills are preferable above all.

The implications of knife design include utility, legality, tactical capability, and probable effects and consequences of use. An understanding of these factors is essential to the evaluation, choice and use of weapons.

Tactical Studies Group provides training in knife fighting skills with an option to integrate boxing and trapping skills, grappling and tumbling skills, blunt weapons skills and firearms skills. For more information on private instruction and group classes, or to schedule a private interview, please call 212-749-1220 or Click Here to Request Information.

For a thorough treatment of our method, read Igensho: The Book of Dignity: General Principles of Martial Art.