June 23, 2016, El Al Business lounge, Israel
Sitting in the El Al lounge on the way to Spain, Chile and Argentina friends are sending me messages wishing me a safe flight. Others are writing, "Let me know when you arrive safely". In the synagogue they say, "Go in peace and return in peace, go whole and return whole". And this is my favorite blessings.
For in the end all that matters is that we arrive home safely. And that is the entire point of IKI Krav Maga; get home safely.
Thus when are facing a knife threat, or an attack our immediate plan is to get out of immediate danger. It would be nice if in addition to getting out of harm's way we also "taught him a lesson he will never forget", and did a Steven Segal/Zohan type pretzel lock on him, and ...taught him all about Truth, Justice and the American way. That would indeed be nice.
Let's be realistic, we do not live in the movies. We are facing a knife, our first concern, our only concern at this point is to get as far away from the knife as possible. Afterwards the assailant may come after us, or not. He may be stunned, or not. He may give up seeing that he is facing a formidable opponent, or no. Be that as it may our first order of business is get that freakin' knife off our throat. Everything else can be dealt with later, if need be.
In all the attacks or threats I have heard about that involved a knife the survivors reported being "totally overwhelmed". No one acted "cooly" and no one pulled off any "Krav Maga knife disarms". In a widely reported case where a martial arts instructor dealt with a knife attacker he simply wacked the guy over the head with a wooden board. There was no movie style knife disarm, there were no fancy techniques that involved any martial arts training.
In a real case people are overwhelmed and any thoughts of disarming the attacker should be left aside. I am referring here to the person being attacked, not to bystanders who are capable of doing something, such as hitting the guy over the head with a wooden shelf or chair.
When you are faced with a knife; attack or threat, if you are able to get that knife away from you and create some distance, consider yourself highly skilled and very fortunate. Do not ask for much more. Do not spend any more time in the vicinity of the attacker than you need do. Learn from those who faced a knife: Get the heck out of here!!
And if you say, but I am a security guard, a police officer, the same holds true! the only difference is that after you escaped the immediate threat of having your throat sliced you must come back with a counter attack or find some way to contain the situation. Either way, first order of business, create space between that blade and your sensitive areas.
About the author - Moshe Katz