As I pointed out a few weeks back, I’m not a believer in the idea of a knife as an adjunct to a handgun. By that I mean I don’t see it as a less-lethal defensive tool in the way that many do; the knife is a lethal object, and use of one will be prosecuted as such in just about any court in the country. It’s lethal force, just a less efficient form of lethal force than the handgun.
That being said, I think the defensive knife has uses and one of them is in what I call the “Less Permissive Environment”, or LPE. Those are the places (and there are a lot of them) where you cannot legally have or carry a firearm, but you can carry a knife. I’ve been in two states so far this year where I could not carry my handgun, and in those LPEs made do with a knife.
The problem with the knife is that it requires far more strength and skill to employ than the handgun, and very few trainers in the field have approached knife use with the kind of systems approach that we’re now familiar with in the empty-hands and firearms worlds. Luckily, a colleague of mine has stepped in to fill that void!
Alessandro Padovani is a multi-talented instructor who is certified to teach both SPEAR/PDR and Combat Focus Shooting. This gives him a phenomenal range of knowledge, from unarmed close-quarters defense to use of the handgun in those beyond-two-arms-reach situations that are extremely common. He saw a need to bring the same kind of emphasis on intuitive, efficient techniques to the use of the defensive knife, and thus was born his Safer Faster Knife Defense course.
For those who can’t make it to one of his classes (I’ve been trying for over two years and haven’t gotten there yet!), Alessandro has just released the first part of his course as a DVD through the Personal Defense Network’s DVD collection. The Safer, Faster Knife Defense DVD is a superb introduction to his philosophy and his systems approach to the knife, always focusing on being efficient and intuitive.
The DVD goes through the fundamentals of using the knife, starting with a good section on practicing to deploy it under realistic conditions. That’s something which is glossed over in a lot of other knife videos I’ve seen, and it’s a welcome inclusion here.
He goes on to show how to train to recognize the targets of opportunity you are likely to have, how to best engage them, transfer of power to the target, angles and trajectories, and even the necessity of controlling your attacker’s weapon before trying to employ your own. From the fallacy of contrived, choreographed footwork to understanding the effect your knife will have on the anatomy of your attacker – and more – he’s managed to stuff a lot of information into this DVD.
For someone like me, who has taken a couple of classes and is conversant with the knife but is not an enthusiast or expert, this DVD was an eye-opener. As I said, I’ve seen DVDs from a few other instructors – some very famous – but Alessandro’s approach to the topic made more sense, and was more plausible, than just about anything else I’ve encountered.
Suffice it to say that I consider Safer Faster Knife Defense a gold mine of information on using the knife to best advantage. You can get your own copy for only $29.95 at his website, and I recommend you do so!
-=[ Grant ]=-