Pressure Bar, I've had to give some thought into teaching knife defense. Knife defense and martial arts techniques sort of mix, and sort of don't. When we spar in class, we focus - and we focus a lot - on not hurting one another. Knife defense has to take a different approach.First of all, don't get into knife fights. I don't care how good you are, if you're bare handed and in street clothes, and the other guy has a combat knife, you're at a serious disadvantage. If you can, run away. If you have to give up your wallet to run away, do it. Knife fighting is messy and bloody.

Which leads to the first principle of knife defense: You're going to get cut. Repeat after me: You're going to get cut. Again, I say. You're going to get cut. Be prepared for it, understand that it can happen, and that it will hurt (when you're getting cut) and hurt a lot less immediately after. The trick is to make sure that you do as much damage to your assailant as you can, while turning the least amount of damage to yourself.

The basic knife attack is a thrust or a slash delivered with the forward hand, sort of like a punch. The knife is used to add those critical four inches to your reach. Most people aren't particularly trained at knife fighting, so they use a natural punching motion. The first thing you want to do is interpose your hand, or better yet, the outside of your forearm on the line of attack.

Just like you do an inside block or outside block on a punch, you do the same thing against a guy with a knife. Again, you're going to get cut - the key here is to make sure that when you get cut, it's on a part of your body where it won't permanently injure you. Try to block his wrist with yours, barring that, block his blade with your forearm. It'll hurt, but you have to get through the pain to follow up with the punch.