Is Knife Defence Any Good?

I’m Paul Willson I am a brown belt in Ju Jutsu, a centuries old Japanese martial art.


Defence techniques from an attacker carrying a knife is a big thing in martial arts and I have learnt a few of them. However, the reality is that most of them will not help you in a real life situation.

Why am I saying these knife defence techniques won’t work when people teaching them guarantee they will work? Well I always think of knives in a self situation as like crocodiles, the one that gets is the one you don’t see. The problem with knives is that they are easily hidden up a sleeve of a coat or jumper so if someone is intent on stabbing you then they will stab you and you won’t have a chance to defend yourself against it.

The longer you see a knife it is more than likely the attacker isn’t going to stab you. So in this situation should you use a knife defence technique, hell no.

If you are going to fight someone with a knife you have to accept one reality you will more than likely get cut which means you will bleed and it will hurt and you could end up getting stabbed anyway as your attacker will use the knife to defend themselves against you.

The only time a knife defence is useful is in a life and death situation where getting cut is extremely preferable to dying but again there is no guarantee it will save you.

The big criticism of knife defence techniques is that they are developed in sanitised environments often with a practice knife where said technique works all the time. The reality is that real life isn’t sanitised, it can be scary and dangerous.

So what should you do if you are confronted with someone wielding a knife demanding your money, credit cards and phone. I will impart my wisdom on the subject which has a higher chance of getting you out of the situation safely:

  1. Stay as calm as possible and note your attackers face and your location
  2. Gather you money, credit cards and phone together.
  3. Hand them over to you attacker.
  4. Call the police and give them your attackers details
  5. Go home and cancel your credit cards and phone.

The point is that you can cancel your credit cards and phone sim. The police will take someone robbing people with a knife seriously and the better description you give them the easier it will be for them to find your attacker.

In my opinion knife defence techniques are for fun and should be kept in the dojo.


Published by Paul Willson

I am Paul Willson. I have reached the rank of brown belt in Ju Jutsu. Thanks to Coronavirus I not been able to take my black belt grading stopping my martial art's journey in its tracks which the only polite word I can think of as frustrating. I have created this blog to try and help anyone who is thinking of starting a martial art or has just started a martial art.

3 thoughts on “Is Knife Defence Any Good?

  1. I agree, Paul. If a knife is involved, you’re going to get cut. It’s basically a cardinal rule. I also agree that unless not fighting will result in the loss of your life, there’s little use in trying to fight/disarm someone who is wielding a blade and demanding something from you. That being said, knife defence drills can also be useful in helping a practitioner overcome the fear and panic that can potentially set in when the blade is introduce/brandished. It’s well-known that panicking or letting your fear take control can lead to mistakes, which can be just as dangerous. Great post!

    Liked by 2 people

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