Every second of every day, somewhere in the world, someone threw the first punch. Someone needed to protect themselves. And more importantly, someone wished they had some kind of easily concealed weapon to protect themselves. That’s why we recommend carrying a pocket knife or other edged weapon. This is especially important if you are fearful or untrained on using firearms properly or in an area where firearms are not allowed.

The common and overused saying “don’t bring a knife to a gunfight” creates a fabricated reality where every attacker carries a firearm, but that’s not necessarily true. In fact, most situations don’t escalate beyond a street fight. Showing an attacker that you have an edged weapon is one of the best deterrents for conflict before it escalates to throwing punches. When you decide to start carrying an edged weapon, there are a few ways to properly prepare yourself for potential conflict.

Four Ways to Prepare For, and Fight, An Attack with Edged Weapons

Smart Tactics & Concealing Weapons –

Unlike firearms or other weapons, knives are much more easily concealed and easier to carry. They can be carried or concealed anywhere — in someone’s car, a jacket, tucked into a shoe, or around their neck. Do not engage in close counters with someone who may be armed with a knife, or someone you don’t trust.

If it’s someone you don’t know or trust, pay close attention to their hand and body language. Are they reaching towards something you can’t see? Could an edged weapon be hidden there? Keep space between the two of you, particularly if you feel they could be carrying a weapon. An attacker can gain up to 21 feet when running towards you before you are ready to defend yourself, so you need to be more prepared than the attacker. Be armed with something you can reach for to defend yourself.

Space and Damage

Though a firearm can be more lethal, it’s only as accurate as the person using it, leaving a very small margin for error. To keep up with a firearm skill set, you will need to train more often and spend more money on supplies and a safe place to train. A knife, however, can be wielded in a slashing motion, covering significantly more square footage than a single bullet. A six-inch knife or blade at close range is just as lethal as a bullet.

You should also remember the “21-foot” rule, where you may not have time to pull out your own weapon if they decide to lunge or charge at you. Putting as much space between you and the attacker is the best way to keep you safe and give you time to pull out your personal safety device.

Consider Edged Weapons Training

While knife training isn’t as critical as firearm training, it can still be helpful to build a foundation. Edged weapons training can train defense and offense around knives and similar weapons and can give you a true idea of the power, impact, and damage a simple knife could do in the hands of a bad person.

A few key training aspects you’ll likely learn are: avoiding going to the ground at all costs if you know they have a knife, keeping space between you and them and use that to your leverage, and paying close attention to their eyes and body language because that will tell you how they might react or attack. If you can learn to read their body language, you won’t need to use a weapon at all.

Defending an Attack – a Last Resort

If you are in a situation where you need to defend from an attack, be aware of your most vulnerable parts – abdomen, ribs, under your armpits, and neck. Keep your hands and arms close to your body to avoid them being cut and protecting your vital midsection.

When an armed attacker comes with a knife, check their grip. Are they holding it like an ice pick or more to the side like a knife should be held? This helps you recognize how they might attack and their comfortability, or lack thereof, with the weapon they have

Use windmill and sweeping motions to chop and hit the insides of the arms’ of the attacker if possible, and most importantly, never try to grab their hand with the knife in it.

To conclude, the edged weapon you choose doesn’t matter (within legal boundaries). You simply need to be prepared with something that you are comfortable using whether that be self-defense (link), knives, or firearms. You can never be over prepared both mentally and physically. Being mentally prepared to defend yourself is more than half the battle. Once you understand your mental state with an attacker and train to use it as a weapon rather than a weakness, you will be much better for it.