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The Knife Culture
Crackpot Mailbox: Surviving Edged Weapon Attacks Tony Cox Has a Shanksgiving Heads Up

Don't know if you're already familiar with this, it's a training film meant for cops. Enjoy.

-Tony Cox

Thanks, Tony.

This video must be 35 years old based on Gaye's age. I liked the cheesy reenactments, which were realistic. But the interviews are the best. The descriptions validate my research in The Logic of Steel [currently banned by amazon but available through amazon in the omnibus book The Violence Project] and feature some of the major trends:

-The knife is unseen as often as seen

-The unseen knife is deadlier than the brandished knife

-Many knife uses are use of force escalations

-Stabs are almost always delivered in multiples

-Stabs are often multidirectional

-Most edged weapons are cheap and rarely designed for fighting but for other tasks

-Many stabs are not felt but feel like punches

-Cops tend to be terrible combatants and function poorly in any equal-force situation.

-More cops are knifed during disturbance calls than all other calls combined, which corresponds to my findings that the most brutal knife attacks are indoors and that 70% of all shank attacks are indoors, shank attacks being more aggressive than most knife attacks.

-Screwdrivers are

At 22:23 the belt knife shown is the Othello gravity blade, which I used to defend myself numerous times, and pulls out as a five inch blade in the icepick grip and then opens with the thumb latch to a 10 inch blade.

The most astute comments were on the setting of "inner boundaries" by the defensive knife user, which is my own personal doctrine and has been since the 1970s. I only carry a knife to defend against certain specific threats and will use it without thinking when those conditions are met.

The Violence Project

An Omnibus Volume of James' First Two Books

Add Comment
Bryce SharperDecember 11, 2018 4:29 AM UTC

Toward KMan's point, the Book of Tells is called "Left of Bang." See some tells here:
KmanDecember 4, 2018 1:50 AM UTC

Goose, great deconstruction. The only comment I would add is there are people out there (whole cultures) who will NOT tolerate an insult. Prison or death are preferable for them. It behooves the rest of us to look for the "tells"

KmanDecember 4, 2018 1:43 AM UTC

This video was required watching for LE and security as far back as the 90's possibly 80's. The 27' rule persists to this day but there's a movement afoot to lengthen it.
responds:December 4, 2018 5:53 PM UTC

Am I mistaken or did a Chicago cop recently go to prison for murder when he shot a knife wielder in contravention to the Chuck Norris Rule?
GooseNovember 24, 2018 6:04 PM UTC

Here is a short video of a real attack, that demonstrates most of JL's points. A bouncer turns a guy away in a bad way, gets stabbed.

My amateur analysis is as follows:

0:43 - the insult that tips the whole interaction into an attack;

0:46 - a hand in the pocket, decision to stab is made (escalation of force)

- at the same instant the partner comes out for a smoke, the bouncer is too internally agitated to brief him on the situation, pulls on a cig instead;

0:57 - the attack commences, the same technique against both bouncers: a fake jab to make them expose their torso, then stab;

0:59 - the attack is finished, taking less than 2 secs total;

1:00 - the second bouncer is still standing even though he is already dead;

1:01 - the first (original) bouncer is not sure whether he was punched or stabbed, he is checking his stomach;

1:02 - the attacker makes what seems to be a senseless jesture, opens the door and then walks away. However, the purpose is to prove that he could do what they were barring him from doing, thus being victorious, and revenging the insult.

Mistakes on the bouncer's part:

- Insulting the undesirable patron, thus turning him into an attacker;

- Not communicating with his partner;

- Smoking while confronting (either over-confidence, or misjudging of the situation, or unable to cope mentally).

In the final account, the first bouncer survives through luck, simply by being off the attacker center line (a self defence tactic repeatedly pointed out by James in his writing). The second bouncer is not so lucky, even though most of the mistakes were not his.

Conclusion: it's easier to wear a white shirt than to actually be a defence professional.
responds:November 25, 2018 4:25 PM UTC

Excellent analysis, Goose.

People who have not trained just don't realize how easy it is to stab a human.
BobNovember 24, 2018 12:20 PM UTC

Mexican police show that no good deed goes unpunished. Rampage of scorned Don Juan starts @ 07:20.
BobNovember 24, 2018 7:00 AM UTC

Here's a pretty graphic example of the dangers focusing on the retracted knife arm to the exclusion of both the forward restraining arm and seat-belt.