Albo Kali Silat Basic Unarmed Work Against the Knife
About the Videos

This video demonstrates some basic body mechanics and principles involved in defending oneself against a knife attack while unarmed. The sensitivity and flow drills shown are designed to teach the correct body mechanics necessary for controlling the knife hand of the opponent, and to introduce the concept of entering against the opponent. The goal for this video was to introduce basic concepts to those who had little experience working unarmed against a blade. The video is also a good review for the more advanced student.

Please note that not much footwork is shown in this video. The basics of intercepting the knife arm, parrying, deflecting, passing, and bridging need to be mastered prior to trying to use footwork to enter and counterattack a blade-wielding attacker. Similarly, using footwork and body positioning to gain distance from an attacker only works if you are in a position to escape the attacker by fleeing, or you are armed and are attempting to gain space in order to deploy your weapon. Advanced motions such as level changes (high line to low line) and multiple strikes were not covered in this video. Similarly, locks, joint destructions, throws, takedowns, and the like are not really demonstrated. This video is designed, primarily, to show how to meet and deflect the arm of the knife-wielding attacker. Everything demonstrated here is very basic and entry level for the Albo Kali Silat student. Though there are some strikes, disarms, and other methodologies demonstrated, these are incidental. If one cannot defend and keep a blade from repeatedly impacting against his or her body, he or she will not have to worry about throwing or striking. The severely injured or dead do not often worry overmuch about hitting, throwing, or joint locking.

It should be assumed, without having to go into any detail, that fighting against the blade while you are unarmed is not something that you really want to do. Due to some ideas that have apparently been fostered by movies and/or unrealistic dojo drills, where ridiculously telegraphed and slow single attacks with a training blade result in flashy disarms and beautifully choreographed counterattacks, I feel that I do need to state the obvious. You do not ever want to have to deal with a knife attack while unarmed, and you never want to treat a bladed weapon with anything but the utmost respect. However, working unarmed against the knife is something that sometimes happens in real life. It is best to be trained and prepared for the situation, if you are a serious student of self-defense. Weapons are commonly used by criminal assailants, and knives are frequently chosen weapons. A well-trained and aggressive defender who is unarmed can prevail against a knife-wielding attacker. A smart and well-trained defender tries not to get into deadly confrontations at all, but, if a confrontation is inevitable, really prefers to be well armed.

I hope you found this video useful,

Tuhan Jon Holloway
May 2011

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