Whenever someone comes at you with a knife and you are empty-handed, you are automatically at a 90-percent tactical disadvantage. Even worse, 99 percent of the disarm techniques and self-defense moves taught today are too complicated and unrealistic to be effective in an actual confrontation. Furthermore, if you do not practice self-defense moves against attacks launched at full speed and full power and at the angle of the attacker’s choosing, any drill will be merely a choreographed pattern that reinforces a false sense of self-confidence. After years of mulling over this dilemma, I finally discovered a way to transition from step-by-step practice to full-speed training in self-defense moves to survive a knife attack. The “Jim Wagner Defense Rule” was born while I was teaching knife disarms to members of the Canadian army. To demonstrate that my reactions were genuine and not part of a prearranged defense that worked only when I knew what was coming, I told one soldier to attack me using any technique he wanted. He lunged immediately, and I had no time to prepare a defense.


Be ready for any type of attack with our new FREE Guide — Knife-Fighting Techniques: 9 Essential Drills to Deploy Tactical Folders for Self-Defense Moves Under Any Conditions — available now for FREE download!

Without thinking, I caught his knife hand. Before he could wrench the knife free from my grip and launch a second attack, I stepped toward him to deny him the space he needed to cut me, strike me, trip me or even step back. Then I took him down, moved away and drew my pistol. After repeating the drill two more times with the same success, I knew I was onto something. Since then, I have taught the same course of self-defense moves to a mix of law-enforcement officers from different units and countries. Beginners seem to catch on instantly, and advanced students seem to like the system’s simplicity. Rather than focusing on 50 techniques to cover all the possibilities of a knife fight, the course has only three components: Jim Wagner's Self-Defense Moves to Survive a Knife Attack — #1: Grab If a knife-wielding assailant corners you, you must control the knife before he inflicts any damage. Grab his knife hand as if you are clutching at a person’s windpipe and do not let go. Remember that in a real attack, blood will make grabbing the weapon even more difficult. It is OK if your hands are not in the perfect position when you grab his hand — especially when training at full speed. Jim Wagner's Self-Defense Moves to Survive a Knife Attack — #2: Close Once you latch on, maintain your grip and immediately close the gap by pressing yourself against the attacker and securing his weapon hand tightly against your own body. From this position, you can execute a takedown to prevent him from escaping. Although you are already in “close combat” (within reach of the opponent) in a knife fight, the attacker still needs several inches of room to swing his weapon or thrust it into you. While the blade can still cut you, the wound is likely to be superficial. Jim Wagner's Self-Defense Moves to Survive a Knife Attack — #3: Takedown With your body pressed against his, force your shoulder into his to knock him off balance, then pivot your body to complete the takedown. If you feel resistance in the direction you intend to take him, immediately switch directions and force him down. Once the person falls, disengage from him immediately. If you are a civilian, you should escape. If you are a police officer, you should get an adequate distance away from the suspect and draw your gun. One last warning: Ground combat with a knife-wielding assailant is a no-win situation, and the idea of stripping a knife from somebody’s hand while you’re down is pure fantasy. About the author: Jim Wagner is the author of several reality-based self-defense books and DVDs. For more information about Jim Wagner's programs and seminars, visit jimwagnertraining.com.
SUBSCRIBE TO BLACKBELT MAGAZINE TODAY!
Don't miss a single issue of the world largest magazine of martial arts.

Do you want to maximize your self defense skills? Learn the game of combat chess and most importantly the queen of all moves.

Allow me to intercept those who would object to the title of this article. I'm not claiming that there's a secret move, shortcut or hack that will give you the edge in any fight. Even if there was an ultimate weapon or strategy, you likely would avoid it because you
Keep Reading Show less

Fight 2 Win 142 is lined up with an exciting line up of grappling matches. Main event will feature superstar Gabi Garcia vs Kendall Reusing with co-main event Johnny Tama vs Dante Leon.

Fight 2 Win is back in Dallas this weekend for the fourth straight weekend of fights. This weekend IBJJF Hall of Famer and four time ADCC Champion Gabi Garcia takes on Team USA wrestler Kendall Reusing. This NoGi Women's heavyweight event is guaranteed to put on a great show.
Keep Reading Show less

Kenneth Baillie: TKD has changed over the years. WTF changed to traditional TKD at our school because our chief instructor didn't like the Olympic status. He said the sport detracts from the tradition. We had a certain rivalry even back then with ITF. The two can merge, I believe. There are differences but anything can be achieved. Positives are easy to find here!

Boston George Legaria: I'm not a TKD practitioner but I've been in martial arts for 26 years (kyokushin, muay Thai and krav maga), and from what I can see, a solution is for those two organizations to come together and reform the art so it can stay relevant. In combat sports, a lot of people leave TKD in favor of BJJ or muay Thai, while in self-defense people leave TKD for styles like Russian sambo, krav maga or Keysi Method. As for a business model, they need to leave the black belt mill because even though that gets parents interested so they can show their little one's "progress" on FB, in the long run, TKD loses its credibility when people see a 6 year old "master."

Michael Watson: Follow grandmaster Hee Il Cho's lead — he does both styles and without the negative of the Olympic sport aspect. I studied ITF growing up, but I also researched a lot on grandmaster Cho and I love his way.

Former former UFC Welterweight Champion Tyron Woodley faces Gilbert Burns in the Fight Night main event Saturday, May 30th. This promising match up will be Woodley's first fight back after losing his title to Kamaru Usman. Co-Main event will feature Blagoy Ivanov taking on Augusto Sakai.

Fight Night will be a challenge for the former champ Tyron Woodley as he makes his first octagon appearance in more than a year. His fight against Gilbert Burns will mean either a step in the right direction towards regaining his title or a long road ahead should he lose this match up. The fight comes in yet another crowdless UFC event as the COVID-19 situation continues to require fights to be held in empty arenas striping fighters of the emotional connection made with a live crowds to pump them up.

Keep Reading Show less
Don’t miss a thing Subscribe to Our Newsletter