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Survival Fitness Plan Blog/Self-Defense/How to Disarm a Knife Wielding Attacker

How to Disarm a Knife Wielding Attacker

Learn how to disarm a knife wielding attacker. Adapt these techniques to other weapons

Learn how to disarm a person when you are unarmed.

Weapon disarms training uses defense against knife attacks. This is because they are the most difficult common weapon to disarm, but you can adapt these knife disarm techniques to other weapons also.

Warning: All fighting is dangerous. Fighting someone with a weapon is very dangerous. If all your attacker wants is money, it is much wiser to give it to him/her and/or run away than it is to protect your pride.

Low Weapon Defense

Only attempt these weapon defense techniques if you have no other choice—in a surprise attack, for example. 

Even if you have weapon defense training, chances are you’ll get injured. It’s much safer to run, comply, or find your own weapon. However, when those options are not feasible, these techniques may save your life.

This specific knife defense technique is for any weapon attack that comes in below the 90-degree point of the attacker’s elbow. The type of grip, the side, or the exact angle he strikes from don’t matter.

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Limiting your choice of techniques makes your reaction time faster

As the strike comes in, engage his arm with a cross-block. Point both your thumbs down so it’s harder for the knife to slip through. Keep one hand high and one low to "surround" his elbow.

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As the strike comes in, engage his arm with a cross-block

Push forward to prevent him from retracting the weapon. 

Collapse into him as you redirect the weapon to the outside of your body

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Crashing in prevents him retracting his weapon

Wrap your arm around his tightly and immediately push him away as you scrape down his arm with your armpit.

You need to get below his elbow to minimize his range of motion with the knife.

Bring your fist to your chest to lock his arm using your armpit.

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Lock his arm using your armpit

Apply upward pressure on his wrist until he lets go of the weapon. 

Strike him if needed.

High Weapon Defense

The high weapon defense is knife defense training for any attack that comes from above the 90-degree point of the attacker’s elbow.

As one of these knife attack techniques comes in, direct a modified elbow burst into the shoulder/upper part of his striking arm. 

Modify it by having your lead hand on your forehead as opposed to the top of your head. This lowers your elbow so that you won’t push him back as much when you collide into him. 

Shove your arms over his shoulder.

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Burst into the shoulder/upper part of his striking arm

Wrap your arm around his tightly and immediately push him away as you scrape down his arm with your armpit.

Bring your fist to your chest to lock his arm using your armpit.

Knife-Disarming-Techniques-6.jpg

Lock his arm using your armpit

Apply slight upward pressure on his wrist until he lets go of the weapon. 

Strike him if needed.

How to Disarm a Knife Conclusion

Anyone can get a knife and they are easy to conceal, so knowing how to defend against a knife attack is very important.

When you are disarmed and your opponent has a weapon, remember the following tips:

  • A low side-kick can stun your opponent while keeping you out of striking range.
  • ​ Move hard and fast. Do not give him time to recover or change tactics.
  • ​ Keep your distance, and try to place stationary objects between the two of you.
  • ​ Watch the weapon and close in at an opportune moment.
  • ​ Expect to get injured, especially when fighting someone who has a knife.
  • ​ Whatever you choose to do, you must have conviction. Be all in or all out.

In this post, you have learned how to train for knife attacks and a few specific knife disarm techniques. I hope you never have to use them in real life.

Remember to always use a training knife (you can get one here) to avoid getting hurt.

Did you find this article about how to disarm knife wielding attackers useful? If so, please share it with your friends.

Article by Sam Fury

Sam Fury is the creator and owner of the Survival Fitness Plan.

He has had a passion for martial arts and outdoor pursuits since he was a young boy growing up in Australia.

As a young adult he joined the military and studied outdoor leadership in college. After that, to further his skills, Sam started traveling to learn from the best in the world in various fields related to the Survival Fitness Plan including various martial arts in China, SE Asia and Brazil, Parkour in Singapore, Surf Life Saving in Australia, and others. 

These days, he still enjoys learning new things, traveling and sharing what he has learned via the Survival Fitness Plan. 

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The information on this website is made public for reference only. Only you are responsible for how you choose to use the information or the result of your actions. Consult a physician before undertaking any new form of physical activity.

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