Ever Wonder What to Do If Some Unfriendly Person Pulls a Knife on You?

Attendees at training (left to right): David Petersmarck, Shari Rodgers, Tom Webber, Sue Allen, David Lyle, Larry Rowen, Stan Herum, Ron Guirreri, Linda Bleisch

Shari Rodgers

Getting away is always a good first option, but what if you can’t?

The Quail Creek Dojo was fortunate to receive specialized training in the do’s and don’ts of a threatening situation involving a knife. Under the instruction of David Lyle and assistant David Petersmarck, several Quail Creek Dojo members (Stan Herum, Larry Rowen, Linda Bleisch, Tom Webber, Ron Guirreri, Shari Rodgers, and Sue Allen) participated and learned techniques to help manage and diffuse several different knife-threatening situations.

David Lyle has more than 30 years of martial arts experience. He has a black belt from two oriental martial arts and more than 16 years of training in Systema, which is used by Russian Special Forces. This military art has proven effective in combat, and it has been adapted to work in civilian defense applications. David shared his philosophy that nature has given us different bodies and capabilities. He recognizes this and teaches principals that capitalize on your strengths and capabilities. You do not adapt to the martial art; rather, you adapt it to your body and capabilities.

This training stressed brain over brawn and taught practical defense methods commensurate with your strength and ability. The Dojo attendees learned the body mechanics and principles that can be adapted to any situation. Training was outdoors to help create real-world situational awareness. Systema is excellent for self-defense. Much of self-defense is knowing danger signals and learning predatory behavior so you can avoid trouble. If this fails, the priority is to extricate oneself or a loved one from the situation and get home safely. Self-defense training means one has prepared for possible danger by learning its warning signs. We learned not to freeze, and we practiced how to respond should we be attacked.

Training to handle a knife-threatening situation was challenging because we have to learn to use our minds and bodies. It’s often in a split second that one has to react. Most knives are small, easily concealed, and easy to pull out. So, if approached, one has to react quickly. Honestly, the only way to learn how to defend against a knife attack is with hands-on training that includes realistic drills and exercises. Our participants learned to be more aware, which helped reduce the fear of a knife attack. Defensive knife training is imperative to reduce the risk of injury or death from an edged weapon, as there is an increasing number of knives on the streets. Knowing what to do might save yourself or someone with you.

The Quail Creek Dojo welcomes new students to study Shotokan Karate! Stop by to watch, or come on in and try it out. Classes are Mondays and Tuesdays from 4 to 6 p.m., Thursdays from 5 to 6:30 p.m., and Fridays from 2 to 4 p.m. Give it a try—you will enjoy it!