Michael Janich Video Criteria For Effective Knife Grips

close quarters combat training
knife defense
knife fighting
knife skills
knife techniques

November, 2013,

Edged weapons expert Michael Janich as published in Black Belt magazine.In this exclusive video, edged-weapons expert Michael Janich discusses the three main criteria constituting a good knife grip and explains his favorite, which he calls "the Filipino grip." With more than 35 years of martial arts and edged-weapons experience, Michael Janich is one of America’s best-known knife-fighting experts. Michael Janich was featured on the cover of Black Belt magazine in September 2009 and later inducted into the prestigious Black Belt Hall of Fame as the 2010 Weapons Instructor of the Year. Widely recognized as an authority on edged-weapon design who's designed knives for Spyderco, the Masters of Defense knife company, and BLACKHAWK!, Michael Janich has served as the special projects coordinator for Spyderco and has offered state-of-the-art tactical training as co-host of The Best Defense on the Outdoor Channel.

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In this exclusive BlackBeltMag.com video, Michael Janich outlines the criteria for effective knife grips!

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"Knife fighting has always been one of the most misunderstood topics in self-defense," Michael Janich commented in the cover story for the September 2009 issue of Black Belt. "Although everyone agrees that the knife is a potent weapon, there’s no consensus when it comes to effective edged-weapon tactics. Some practitioners swear by the traditional European and Asian systems. Others look to military combatives as the ultimate source of blade techniques. Still others regard prison-style knife tactics as the best." So this begs the question: Upon which methods should you bet your life? Knife-fighting techniques expert Michael Janich's answer: "That depends on what type of knife you carry and what situations you’re likely to face. If you’re a soldier carrying a full-size combat knife in a war zone, your needs and rules of engagement are different from those of a convict armed with a sharpened toothbrush or a civilian carrying a tactical folding knife." The Pedigree of Knife-Fighting Techniques Expert Michael Janich "My exploration of knife tactics began with the classic military systems," Michael Janich says. "In addition to reading about and experimenting with the work of Anthony Drexel Biddle, William E. Fairbairn and John Styers, I had the rare privilege of consulting closely with the late Col. Rex Applegate and personally picking his brain on World War II-era knife combatives. I also thoroughly researched the works of early modern authorities like Michael D. Echanis, David E. Steele and James Keating, as well as masters of the Philippine and Indonesian systems. Every step of the way, I learned something — even if it was what not to do with a knife."

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Michael Janich, Martial Blade Concepts and Modern Self-Defense "The result of my 30-plus years of training, research and analysis is Martial Blade Concepts," Michael Janich says. "It draws heavily from battle-proven tactics taught in the Philippines and Indonesia and adapts those methods to the needs of modern personal defense. Although it can — and has — been adapted to military environments, it’s primarily a self-defense system. As such, its greatest value lies in its relevance to the problem at hand: the effective defense of your life and the lives of loved ones against the types of attacks that occur in our society."
About the Artist: Michael Janich is the sole author of six books and co-author of seven, including Bullseyes Don’t Shoot Back: The Complete Textbook of Point Shooting for Close Quarters Combat, which he wrote with the late close-combat legend Col. Rex Applegate.


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Greg Walker Nov 2013
I was introduced to this specific forward knife grip now many years ago. And was privilged to be likewise educated as to its shortcoming by Datu Kelly Worden as well as Master at Arms James Keating, and Sifu Richard Chen as well as Master Randy Wanner among others. First, all knife grips (Forward, Reverse, Saber (essentially same as "Filipino") and Hammer should be studied and practiced with their strong and weak points in mind. One should not have a favorite grip just as one should not have a favorite weapon (Musashi - The Book of Five Rings). Having anything that is favored encourages preference and preference becomes known to both friends and enemies. Once a preference is known your enemy/opponent can defeat you. Where there is a place for the saber / filipino "grip" and it can be effective for a moment in time - its weakness is that the thumb is both extended and exposed. Meaning it can be struck / impaired or broken. The thumb on the human hand is what allows us to grip. Take the thumb away and the hand becomes useless. Striking, cutting, breaking, twisting or otherwise damaging the thumb is clearly something to be avoided. Some may call this "losing your grip". As the Filipino arts offer - as to other arts, of course - "if you stick it out there I'll take it". In this case if I know you favor a grip where you will expose your thumb to me I'll train and then seek to destroy your thumb - and likely get a weapon disarm in the process. Something to consider.