1. It’s safer to assume your attacker is armed
When confronting a violent offender in close combat you should assume your attacker is armed. The reason is a large number of criminals attack victims while in possession of a weapon regardless of if it’s present at the start of an attack or not. Assuming your attacker is armed does no harm to you while assuming they’re not can have disastrous results. Therefore, in close combat we need to train in strategies that prepare us to defend against weapons that appear at the beginning of an assault and after it begins. To defend against an armed attacker you need to end the situation as quickly as possible, never stop attacking until you can escape or they’re incapacitated and avoid grappling your assailant.
2. Therefore you must end the situation as quickly as possible
In a violent encounter you need to end the situation as quickly as possible with combat effective blows. Every second that the encounter lasts puts you and your family more in danger of dealing with a weapon. This means that you must be trained to use blows that cause serious injury and damage without injuring your hand. Strikes that crush the windpipe, attack the carotid artery, cause massive damage to the spinal cord, blind the assailant and create massive concussive damage. The blows that do this are chops to the neck, palm strikes under the chin, throat strikes and crushes, eye gouges, eye stabs and elbows to name a few.
Also this means that you should disregard competitiive sparring tactics that rely on punching with a fist, in and out footwork, and combination striking. Competitive sparring strategies from arts like boxing, muay thai and kickboxing are not the sort of striking skills that should be used in a criminal assault. Stepping back creating space to set up a counter only serves to give your assailant/s time to regroup and use a weapon. Furthermore punches without the protection of gloves and wrap are far less effective in real combat and have less fight stopping power. Due to the effects of drugs and or adrenaline assailants can often absorb incredible amounts of damage from conventional punching.
3. You must keep attacking continiously
In a violent encounter you should keep attacking ferociously without taking a pause or break. Due to the rules and parameters of combat sports competitors must strike with a combination then step back regroup and attack again. For example in boxing when you strike your opponent they can cover up making it difficult to further access their targets. I would tire myself out if I keep attacking because I can’t hurt my opponent and I’m using more energy. In close combat there is ALWAYS an opening regardless of how your assailant covers up. When he blocks his head, blast him in the groin with a knee, when he covers his body hit in the back of his head, kick him, stomp on his toes, knock his arms to the side and chop him to the throat.
Furthermore attacking in this way gives little chance for an attacker to get access to a weapon. Attacking with a barrage of blows gives little chance for someone to recover and grab something. Also if they do attempt to get a weapon while you’re hitting you’re close enough where you can potentially gain some limited control of the weapon while still hitting. Make sure you keep hitting until you have enough space to run away or the person is totally unable to fight back.
4. Don’t Grapple and focus primarily on striking
Never grapple in an assault because it’s very difficult to defend against a weapon using grappling. You can’t possibly defend against a knife using grappling because the aggressor moves too fast to be able to grab and control you. Furthermore, if the knife is concealed and comes out after the fight starts you’ll be in one of the worst positions to defend yourself if you grapple. In one of my online videos I showed how from a dominant controlling position an attacker can easily grab a concealed knife and stab me without me realizing. From there they can get multiple lethal stabs before I even have a chance to react.
For self-defense it’s always better to remain in close but disengaged from your attacker so that you can create space and run away when possible. In Guided Chaos this means remaining as close as possible but not grabbing or clinching. I need to be striking in close and then if my assailant brings a weapon I have use of my hands to try to deflect the knife arm, gain access to my weapon or escape .
5. Final Thoughts
It’s always safer to assume your attacker is armed and apply strategies that work whether they’re armed or not. Now on the other hand if you apply strategies that don’t account for weapons you’ll be in a very bad predicament. So then as always you must make the choice that is best for you and how prepared you want to be. For myself I have people that rely on me and losing is to big a risk. I must give myself the best chances to win. I’ve made my choice now as always you must make yours.