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The knife, a unique weapon of infighting.

There are plenty of tactical tasks impossible or hard to realize without a combat knife. The fact that we do not have any Russian methodical research in this field reduces the tactical arsenal of sub-units specialists, or makes them dependent on foreign research, which is not appropriate.

Here are some tactical tasks which are best realized with the use of the combat knife:

  • a bout in an explosive room;
  • a secret diversion sally;
  • infighting in a very close room;
  • finishing off a wounded enemy;
  • stopping someone who is making any criminal attempts;
  • home defence;
  • the painful control while escorting;
  • paramedical help.

It is surprising that even considering all these tasks, the combat knife is still an exotic kind of weapon in Russia and is rarely included in training.

The modern Russian experts classify knives as criminal, multi-purpose, and fighting. This classification can explain the scornful attitude towards this ancient weapon among modern Russian specialists in the special martial combat. Until recent time knife as a weapon was mainly associated with criminal conflicts. However, classification of weapons should not have social, political, or criminal character. For a specialist the abstract technical side should be the most important. Objective weapon examination should not operate with unstable and subjective categories. The most appropriate, in our opinion, is dividing the knifes into fighting, developed especially for stabbing, and multi-purpose.

Like in the other kinds of fighting, a knife bout should be conducted within one sound impulse without involving any "tactical thinking". A real bout does not give time for considering and making decisions, so a skilled fighter should lean on previously trained reflects. Therefore, the "tactical literacy" includes the depth of skills training, and the ability to make spontaneous decisions based on intuition, tactical and technical system of skills and the possibility of their realization. Working on typical connections is important first of all to realise intuitively the regularity and inside relations of basic technical actions, and not to learn mechanically the technical cliches.

The use of a combat knife is based on the same principles as the hitting technique of "Koi no takinobori ryu" karate:

  • The stable vertical axis of spinning (the head-hips line);
  • Reaching the opponent due only to feet movements without stretching the hands out;
  • Repeated round trajectory of stabs to reduce the waste of energy and stabilize the torso relatively to the vertical axis at the moment of hitting;
  • Reversing movements of the other hand;
  • Considering the attacking manner of conducting a bout, a free fighting posture with a right foot (or for a left-hander - a left one) put forward is used. This posture helps to increase the depth and the speed of a stab;
  • When stabbing or cutting the knife blade should be an extension of the forearm, and should be preferably pointed at a target;
  • The cutting blows are made at a critical distance with the elbow clasped to the body, and the movements of the forearm-blade complex have a circle trajectory due to the powerful body spinning around the vertical axis with the hips subsiding vertically and with hard leaning on the feet;
  • The tactical pattern of attack consists of two or maximum three circles. It is extremely hard to stab once and cause the lethal sequel. The first stab should be shocking, whereas the second (or the third) should be finishing or deeply injuring, concerning a tactical task and the fighting conditions.
  • To make a "direct" hold, take the knife by the handle so that the thumb is clasping its flat side to the palm. The other fingers hold the handle tightly, though the pointer is always relatively free. Within this hold the blade is directed inside the guard and its flat side looks at the opponent. This kind of a hold lets commit horizontal stabs and cuts, which reduces the possibility of reaching a rib and increasing this of reaching one of the major vessels, which usually have a vertical direction. While cutting the opponent's right forearm from the inside, this hold does not need extra turning in the direction of the movement which increases the speed and the stability of the cutting blow.
  • When the cutting movement goes outside (to the right) the hold is easily changed to the "direct Philippine" one with a quick movement of fingers.
  • For a backward hold the "backward Philippine" is suitable, but its tactical purpose is different. The cutting blows with the use of the backward hold are practically not compensated with a defence technique. The hold (and, subsequently, the knife) is not seen, and therefore, it fits perfectly for an unexpected attack, not for defence as it is used in the Philippine methodic.

Since a precise (lethal) reach with the first and only hit is almost impossible, the following techniques are used:

  • 1. The finishing blow is preferably committed while holding the opponent's body with the other hand;
  • 2. The preferable target zones (if the objective is the lethal end) are:
    1. In case of cutting: the forearm of the closest arm, and the throat line from an ear to the Adam's apple;
    2. In case of stabbing: the neck at the collar-bone, the base of the skull, the inside of a hip, and the heart;
    3. In case of a shocking hit: the places of muscles fastening near joints, the bladder, the thorax, and also the face and the head.

The Philippine and Vietnam systems have either too free or rather unstable knife holds. And their outward effectiveness is tactically abstract. The tactic of "Koi no takinobori ryu" style is based on attacking actions. The technique of these actions is simplified due to reducing all feints and preludes. There are only real, defeating actions, preferably in the shortest possible period of time.

Choosing the knife is the most important and subtle stage of training. Knife's type and characteristics model the future hitting technique, and vice versa advanced technique leads to designing new kinds of weapons. The blade should not be too long to be able to stay covered. The optimum length is not more than 15 cm, and depending on construction peculiarities (mainly the sharpness of the blade) not shorter than 5 cm. The length of the blade is important when stabbing, but since the stabs are unstable in terms of reaching, they can not dominate. A deep cut of a forearm makes a person lose consciousness in 20-40 seconds, so without a paramedic aid the lethal end is unavoidable. However, the criminal news is full of reports of dead bodies with dozens of stabs in the chest, stomach and neck, which means that the victim had not fainted for a long time and screamed for help. The major vessels of hips, forearms, and neck are much more vulnerable than covered with clothes and ribs inside organs with their small sizes and hidden situation.

The modern fighting knives can be divided into preferably cutting and preferably stabbing, and even being unaware of the art of knife fighting one can easily distinguish between them. It is quite hard to give recommendations on knife choosing in a written material, because the most important factor is the subjective evaluation: whether it is comfortable or not.

In addition, we would like to persuade the instructors to avoid teaching throwing the knives, since there is not a more inefficient tactical task than throwing away the weapon of infighting, even if it is a special "throwing" knife. There are a lot of special silent and smokeless weapons to remove guards, but there are only few specialists who can commit a guaranteed homicide with a throw of a knife. Moreover, to develop such skills at least the resulting stage of training should be conducted in real conditions at real targets. All the other methods of training are much too abstract for this subtle tactical purpose. A knife is not a hand-grenade and it should not be thrown. It should be used to cut and stab.







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