How to Defend Yourself Against a Knife Attack

How do you defend yourself against a knife attack? Well common sense bids that you should never willing face a person holding a knife. The consequences of getting it wrong are dire. However, if you are put in a situation of where you have no choice then here are a couple of key ideas that you should be aware.

The first is

The Best Knife Defence strategy requires a basic understanding of the psychology of knife attacks. Although we have produced a video on how to defend against a knife attack the purpose is to highlight some simple things you can do to defend yourself.

The realty of knife attacks is that you often can’t run away from your attacker. Also fancy martial arts moves just won’t cut it in the real world. What you need to do is recognise the type of threat that you are facing and use the appropriate self defence strategy.

Now What Do We Mean By This?

Think of it like this, is the person trying to kill, injure, or threaten you? Each intention has a very different motivation and therefore this dictates a different strategy for defending against a knife attack.

Basically, this is the simple idea of identifying whether the person is trying to kill or threaten you. Ultimately, this determines how your approach the knife in your own defence. We argue that showing the knife to the victim is a form of intimidation. It is a threat that is psychological in nature and designed to increase the degree of compliance. This is especially likely in violent crimes such as robbery.

The opposite is likely to be true when you can’t see the knife. That is he is more likely trying to seriously injure or kill you. It’s often the case that when the knife is hidden intention is to use the knife straight away. These types of attacks are often in the form of ambushes. Under these circumstances you are expecting to find a higher likelihood of extreme violence.

If you watch our video, you will see in the last section exactly how to defend against the knife according to the type of threat. If your attacker is simply presenting and threatening you with the knife then you have a chance to close the distance on the weapon and disable the knife hand.

Although, this is commonly taught in many YouTube videos, one detail often overlooked it the placement of your hands. We discuss this point in more detail, examining where exactly to hold the knife hand in a safer manner to gain maximum control over your attackers arm. Of course, this moves beyond psychology into the fighting.


It is obvious to say that knives are dangerous weapons. Unlike a punch or a kick they move in a flexible manner that makes it very difficult to follow or stop. Knives also do not require a tremendous amount of strength to wield. Our advice is to avoid knives at all costs; if you can run then do so. At least you may live to tell the tale.

Thank you for reading.


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