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Discussion Starter #1
This past weekend in VA Beach we took 8 students that were between 34 and 61 yrs of age. A few had years of traditional martial arts with lots of edged weapons specialization.

One student was given a Dummies Unlimited training baton and the other a Sharkee open folder trainer that has a felt strip on which you rub chalk on so you can see where it cuts. After being put at about five yards apart both student were told to attack each other on command for 3 seconds. The student with the knife was told to use any grips and attacks that they wished. Myself and another instructor as well as the other students were did our best to watch what happened and the students were told to try to keep track of where they hit/cut or where they were hit and cut. All students did the drill both with the baton and the knife. The second time they did it all students were told to us the inverted grip. The following observations were compiled by what we and the students saw, felt in addition to what the chalk showed.

Traditional grip findingings-

ØThe students with the knife closed the distance quickly in an attempt to negate the centrifugal force of the baton. This was most often accomplish by a block with their off hand that wrapped around the arm and seemed to largely cut down on subsequent attacks.
ØDuring the first round while using a traditional grip no stabs were recorded.
ØMost agreed that approx 5-9 cuts/slashes were landed in the three seconds.
ØApproximately 85% of all cuts were back and forth across the chest of the attacker. The other 15% were some cuts to the side of the neck, these cuts seemed to be glancing cuts.
ØOnce the weapon was controlled the students seemed to target center mass with not cuts/slashes on the arms and legs.
ØNo cuts were recorded below the belt line.
ØNo distinct cuts were recorded on the back of the attackers such as those from reaching through the armpits.

Inverted Edge Grip-

ØAgain the students with the knife seemed to close the distance quickly and used a wrapping block to control the baton.
ØOne stab was recorded that landed just about the belt line with such force that it stopped the confrontation.
ØMost agreed that that approx 9+ cuts were landed in three seconds.
ØThe majority of first cuts were either under the arm that the baton was in or in groin. After that the cuts seemed to largely land under the reaction side arm and several beginning to cut on the back and dragging out under the armpit. Several times the knife was used to hook behind the weak hand side of the neck and drug around to the front.

Conclusions-

The reason for the drill was to see if people with extensive - minimal training would react the same way under stress, especially when attacked with what would be considered a deadly weapon obviously warranting deadly force.

The drill was done purposely with a drawn blade because many will argue that when drawing from several carry position the first natural cut in a clearing cut that will then lead to a stab.

None of the students believed they would have had any chance of drawing a folder or a fixed blade without first dealing with the threat.

Even though when using a regular or inverted grip people wrapped and controlled the weapon arm of the attacker, only those using the inverted grip seemed to transition from one side of the body to the other or go below the belt.

It seems the argument for carrying blades longer than 3-4 inches for self-defense is largely academic; the evidence suggests that in a in a defensive situation you will slash and not stab. In the past we have seen that this is especially true when moving to the rear. Since the knife is a contact distance weapon requiring it to touch skin to cause physical trauma the length of the blade seems to be negated during defense.

The traditional grips as employed resulted in cuts that largely skipped off the chest while the inverted edge cuts got caught behind the neck, arm pits and groin and needed to be pulled through the target before cutting again.

The traditional grip requires movement outside the silhouette of the attacker both before and after the cut. The inverted edged allows the blade to cut in a cyclic fashion without going outside the silhouette of the attacker providing unparalleled economy of motion.

Even in very cold weather the head, neck, face and hands are usually exposed. Even when wearing heavy jacket most people will still be wearing light jeans or pants leaving the femoral artery very exposed. The most effective way to target the femoral artery is with the inverted edge.

Readers are invited to replicate the above drill and post their results.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Not one, once they closed the distance and were inside the baton and wrapped the arm it was a slashfest. The batons never got anywhere close to the knives.
 

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I was alluding to accidental drops from the "hooking" movements, but I take it that didn't happen either. Sounds like a pretty solid technique provided the threat is deadly force (I'm speaking in general rather than directing that at anyone).
 

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Discussion Starter #5
It is the strongest, think about cutting rope. You loop the rope over the blade making a V and then pull the knife towards you. This is 30% stronger than pushing away. The default targets are behind the neck, under the arm, inside of the groin, behind the knee and Achilles tendon. When you feel resistance you just pull...hard.

IET has very little offensive capability. Your attacker has to be giving you something. It should be considered deadly force. We did a lot of it with a gun to our heads.
 

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You sir have just given me quite a deal to think about the next time a knife is pulled on me, thank you sir.
 

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I'm curious if the training knife had something to do with all the slashing and so little stabbing? I have a sharkee marker trainer, and everybody slashes with it. Leaves a better mark and doesn't hurt as much as stabbing with it (which hurts like hell for those of you out there that haven't taken one to the ribs before!). Even in hard training, no one wants to hurt their partner. The stabs clearly hurt, so maybe they were subconsciously not stabbing so they didn't hurt their partners?

I know when my school went to the floro style boffer, a lot more stabbing occurred in our training than when we were using any type of hard trainer. You can really dig those things into people without fear of hurting them.

When we do this style drill, we do a lot of reverse grip edge in work, and you see LOTS of slashes to the back, back of the legs and back of the neck.

Just some food for thought. I like the edge in grips for the up close work, feels like MUCH more powerful stabs, cuts and slashes to ME. YMMV.
 

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It's interesting to that they went mostly for the center of the target.
There's benefits to that.

I've been training more on attacking the extremities.
(i.e. block the attacking arm and slash (traditional grip) or stab (inverted grip) the arm holding it. thus reducing or negating that arm and weapon as a threat. Then slashing or stabbing across the quadriceps in the leg to slow an attack and allow me to retreat.)

I wonder if they attacked more to the core because of training or just a ingrained expectation that it's what your supposed to do.

I'd be interested to see studies between those two styles and info on how effectively those styles slow an attacker.
Cool project, Looking forward to more!
 
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