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June 20, 2017, Osaka, Japan Knife defense seminar re-cap

During my stay in Japan, I had the grand opportunity to teach a Combat Sambo seminar at my friend, Katsuomi Inagaki’s dojo: Pancrase Osaka.


Ps Lab Osaka

The seminar covered knife defense. Due to the fact that it was not a very long (less than 2 hrs), I was not able to teach several techniques, rather a few, but cover them in depth.We were using small plastic water bottles as the knives, because there weren’t any training knives available.


As always, I cover the basic strategies for knife defense. Such as, due the most to make sure that one doesn’t have to go bare-handed vs. a knife wielding opponent. The concept of running away is great, but in certain situations, running is not a first or realistic option. Analyzing your environment quickly is vital. Before employing barehanded techniques, use anything around you as a blockade (eg.table), shield (eg.bag/briefcase), or as a weapon (eg.chair). Should an escape route become available, use it!

There is also a misconception that a knife wielding person just wants your money. There are violent knife attacks that can happen out of the blue. Also, even if you do give them your money, the assailant might still attack you!

In the situation where we are stuck defending barehanded, one’s stance should be very tight, arms close-in, like you’re stuck in the ring corner. Having your hands out too far can get one’s hands/fingers cut up.

I explained that there are 5 general defense zones: straight, high-right side,low-right side,high-left side and low left side. These zones deal with which area the knife is coming from, rather than the issue of it being a slashing or stabbing attack and what knife grip is used in the attack.

The main objective is when engaged in a knife defense situation, is to be constantly aware of where the knife is and to disarm the assailant when able to. Simply striking an opponent can help in making distraction, but doesn’t mean you’ll disarm the opponent. Depending on the situation, disarming the knife would be the best option, in my opinion.


We covered simple disarming techniques when the opponent was in a controlled position. All the defense, takedowns, disarming techniques  that I teach are very similar to basic grappling techniques, so one doesn’t forget them easily should one do grappling arts. For example, a knife disarming technique resembles a heel hook technique.


After going over the techniques I made them try out in a “sparring” drill. Basically using 30% force to try and defend against a knife attack. Just like basic combat sparring, this will help people grasp the concept of the techniques in a more realistic manner, with pressure and stress, rather than plainly go over the moves without any resistance. Because it is simulating a knife attack, stress levels can rise, so a supervised training is highly recommend!

We ended up with a Q&A session. I explained that most knife attacks are to the body, as it is a larger target, just like gun attacks, that’s why there are body vest for protection.

I was very impressed with the number of participants from the Ps Lab Osaka gym. There were even three pro-fighters whom participated. They were very open-minded about the techniques, because many don’t do this type of training in a MMA gym.


Great times!!

Hopefully I’ll be invited back to teach another seminar on another topic!

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