You have a knife, but do you know how to use it most effectively? If you think you are going to stop an attacker with a stab or two to the abdomen, think again. Cutting large muscles is the most effective way to end a fight.

In this video, Mike Janich of Martial Blade Concepts shows the Master Technique — the three basic moves that lay the foundation for effectively using a knife for defense. Notice there is no mention of stabbing. Good knife fighting is about taking away the attacker’s ability to fight. That means cutting the muscle groups that allow your attacker to wield a weapon or move effectively. Take away the attacker’s ability to move and you have successfully stopped the attack.

This also allows you to articulate clearly to the responding police officers why you did what you did. Doing so builds the foundation of your legal defense. Remember, you may only use as much force as is reasonably necessary to stop the attack. Once the attacker’s ability to inflict harm on you is removed, you MUST NOT use any further force.

Cut Your Attacker Three Ways: Long, Deep and Accurately

Cuts to the lower arm impede the attacker’s ability to grab you. Cuts to the upper arm take away the ability to swing an impact weapon. Cuts to the thigh just above the knee impede mobility. Know these target areas and practice your defensive movements with a training blade.