The Weapon’s Ambush

As we turn from summer to winter, predators have extra means to hide and conceal weapons, which is bad news for the good guys. Whether you’re talking about the image shown in movies where a trench coat conceals a shot gun, or as seen in social media CCTV recordings where the convenient store customer who hid a full sized crow bar inside their puffy jacket until it was too late for the cashier to react after getting hit with it, we need to know what to do when an assailant surprises us and pulls a weapon quickly.

I just saw a highly respected instructor post a video of two guys who were punching it out on a third world country dirt road. After about thirty seconds one of the fighters realized it wasn’t going to be as easy of a fight he thought, he pulled out a knife from his belt holster. Immediately, the other participant ran away, and the instructor who posted the picture simply wrote: Best knife defense.

I would completely agree, unless we need to stand our ground to protect a loved one, if we’ve retreated as far as we can or if we’re trapped and can’t escape. But there might be one more scenario where we must engage, and that would be if we’re surprised by someone who pulls a weapon we weren’t expecting, and we might be too close in the fight not to escape.

As the weather will start getting colder over the next several months, concealment is easier for a whole host of weapons. Therefore, what do we do if we’re surprised by one of these “weapon pulls”, and we can’t simply run away?

My answer simply is to “crash” and “isolate” and then “disarm”. Let me walk you though each one. First, we must crash into a closer range, and smother the attacker with our pressure and force. A person wielding any weapon must have at least a little bit of space to maneuver the weapon in order to strike, stab, slash, etc. If we take that away from them immediately, we have physically helped our cause, but also, emotionally we have taken the fight to the attacker.

Next we must isolate the weapon’s arm. You can see my expanded description in the accompanying video, but my tips are always having 2 on 1, one high one low and one on top one on the bottom. After we isolate, we must continue the pressure with a barrage of close quarter tools like knees and head butts.

Action and quickness are your best defenses, by moving offensively against the attacker in this situation. The attacker hoped to use the element of surprise to be on their side, which means we need to respond aggressively to turn the tables and surprise them back with quick action, solid strategy and violent counter attack.

Check out the video here as I break down each step specifically:

Sifu Matt Numrich

Sifu Matt Numrich is a martial artist and self-defense expert, renowned for his training in Krav Maga, Jeet Kune Do and Filipino Martial Arts.