View Full Version : Move/Draw - which way?

Low Drag
01-19-2004, 07:10 PM
I’m currently re-reading Gabe’s “The Tactical Pistol” after I finally got it back from my dad. I’m on the “Rules of Close Quarters Combat” chapter. I like the notion of moving off center to the BG’s strong side when armed with handgun. Makes sense and keeps it simple, also going to a squat to create an upward angle for a shot in a crowded area. I guess you could blend the two also.

Now to the question…. If your adversary is armed with a knife, held low for a jab/stab in right hand (blade/hilt coming out of hand by thumb and forefinger) and they are close which way should you move? From here they can stab or slash with ease. Move back, to strong side, to weak side or at him?

If the BG held high, blade coming out of hand by small finger, would you change it up?

Thanks in advance.

Low Drag
01-19-2004, 08:44 PM
After posting and re-reading it I did say to myself that it would be better to clarify.... Without writing a book so thanks for the thoughtful reply.

Lets say the distance/speed of BG allows time to draw but he will be on you fast. The magic 21 feet or so. No cover, you're out in the open section of parking lot lets say. I'm attempting to isolate this to a "general" reaction.
That way if I was in same situation but I had the typical cafeteria chairs to both side of me I would still move in the direction as if I was in the open. But I’d slide or throw a chair in the BG’s direction as I moved to draw.
Hope that helps.

01-20-2004, 04:47 AM
It may be prudent to not believe that simply moving laterally will take you out of the danger zone of a rushing BG.

"If they were coming in fast I would simply move laterally off the line of attack and let them run right past me"

Men with knives can redirect their attack angles on the fly without missing a beat. Some thought should be given as to moving laterally, but with the expectation you will lessen the immediate threat, not negate it and expect them to just "run past" you.

Think of a defensive tackles job. The ball carrier moves off center of the charging potential tackle, it lessens the risk of being taken to the ground but many are "tracked" on the fly and succumb to the charger anyway [ and these guys practice this all the time, unlike most of us here ].


01-20-2004, 05:58 AM
Brownie makes the same point that I am going to. This scenario assumes that the attacker is charging in an all-out rush. I believe this will seldom be the case. I was attacked by a suspect with a knife who charged at me, but not in an all-out rush, though it was quick movement. I also had team members on both sides of me, so lateral movement was not possible. My only option was to draw and fire, which I was able to successfully do. Few attackers will charge with the committed movement as done in the Tueller drill. Anyone with any modicum of experience with a knife will stay balanced and able to shift directions at a moment's notice. I do agree that moving laterally is the best option WHILE YOU ARE FIRING. If your attacker has any experience whatsover with a knife, we must presume that he will not go on by us. If he does, that's great for us, but we should never count on this and base our tactics on this presumption.

Ragin Cajun
01-21-2004, 09:31 AM
If you have the option, and it's against a gun, move to their strong side. The typical shot will go low and to their weak side, which is to your advantage-away from you, especially it they are trying to OODA loop the whole thing.

01-21-2004, 11:54 AM

First, I appreciate your comments and thoughts.

What you are about to read is what I would be prone to do in a "rushed" scenario, based on training, experience, time on the street and tactical scenarios played out. I do not suggest this is the best course of action, not the most prudent, or even perhaps something anyone else should consider doing themselves, but only what I will be prone to do and an explanation why I would choose that course of action.

On the "rushed" sceanrio on the street: My take is if it happens it will be explosive from shorter range than the tueller drill of 21 feet. I do not believe most aggressors will attempt to run at you from 7 yds., but more like 3-4 yds max or likely even less than that.

It takes roughly 1 1/2 seconds to make 21 feet. It takes half that at 10 feet. I don't know anyone who can draw and fire while moving, on a moving target in 3/4 of a second. There will be some who will say they can I'm sure, and they may just be able to do so, but I have never seen any man or woman in person who can yet.

The drills, when I'm the one with the knife, show I can get hits with the training knives on the subject no matter where he moves. It is just too easy to track another and move laterally in either direction as the aggressor. Think football, a running back about to be tackled by a man with a knife. Sure some sidestep the tackle, but the tackler usually can get some part of the hand on his leg, jersey etc.. Now put a knife in the tacklers hand, he has cut you as you are moving instaed of grabbing your shirt or leg.

It's just too hard to "sidestep" the aggressor at 10 feet when he charges, let alone attempt to move laterally, pull the gun, and fire on the perp while maintaining balance enough not to be knocked down, or worse.

Can the defender with a gun get a round or two on the perp? Sure can, but he has taken damage in doing so and may not survive after the fact. That is not a win to my thinking.

Here's what I train to do if attacked at 10 feet or less with a knife.
Remember, we are not talking any time really to react with a weapon. At that distance, you may get your hoand on the gun butt but then he has reached you and is stabbing away as you continue to draw.

I'm going to stance myself to take a hit [ like getting ready for a tackle ] which gives me some chance of not being knocked off balance by the force in his movement.

I'm going to collapse into my own core with the arms and wait. I do not want to have one hand on the guns butt and need to defend against a knife.

Ever see how hard it is to defend with both unamred hands against a knife? Now try it one handed as the other is tied up yanking heat when he reaches you and begins to cut you. Your odds of getting nailed just increased exponentially in his favor.

I want both hands available to me to defend. I do not want to be distracted by thinking of the gun, or have to deal with fumbling the draw stroke under severe stress of imminent death, all which takes time to process in 3/4 of a second. He's on you and cutting. You can sidestep, move laterally, turn and attempt to flat outrun him, call it anything you want, you are going to get nailed good while attempting to draw that weapon.

My [ and I mean only me, not others who may not agree here ] best defense against a knife charging perp at 10 feet? Both hands up, in close protecting the core, tracking him, keeping my legs under me and my focus on his every "twitching" muscle movement [ unarmed against a knife as it were ], waiting to counter his actions with my own.

Here's why as one example. I had a student who could draw real fast, he could get me if he knew I was coming. If he heard me, and turned to see what was going on, he lost before he could react. The point? He had to be set, ready to rock and at the first sign of my moving, start his own countermeasures, yet he was always still cut and sometimes cut so he would surely have died.

Sure he was able at 21 feet to get me, but he also lost at the same time as I got him. At 10 feet, he didn't stand a chance of moving away from me far enough or fast enough to be able to avoid taking the blades point and edge several times in one flurry of motions.

For me, it's unarmed against a knife at 10 feet. At 21 feet, I may or may not be looking at the same thing depending on circumstances that affect how I can move, how I may choose to move, or any number of things that can make the outcome change in eithers favor.

I want to focus on the threat, leave the focus there and react to his actions against me. If I attempt to take the initiative and draw a weapon, I may get nailed accessing it, I definately am only able to defend when he reaches me with one hand, not two, as I'm busy drawing a gun with one which may get into play and may not.

The odds are not in the gunmans favor against a knife at 10 feet no mater what movement takes place. Laterally tracking another is quite easy actually. I do not want to rely on his possible inability to track me as I move off the centerline and draw as if I make a mistake in that calculation, I'm in big doo doo with one hand able to defend.

I realize this will not be for everyone. Many will and should disagree. My actions will be what I believe I need, with the training and knowledge I have, to be ready with both hands, keep the perp tracked, moving to keep the feet under me while avoiding the knife, deflecting and redirecting to creat some time and distance so that I can access the gun.

It takes mindset, clarity of thought, good reflexes, and training to not get hit at 10 feet out from the get go. If I can get objects between myself and the perp, great. I can't rely on these in training for this sceanrio however.


01-21-2004, 01:51 PM
"For me, it's unarmed against a knife at 10 feet."

"I want both hands available to me to defend."

"Many will and should disagree"

I for one do not dissagree.
I agree 100%.

Remember the old video "Surviving Edged Weapons"?
Poor cops trying to get to their piece while Dan Inasanto carved them like a Turkey. That is one old video that is as relevent today as when it was produced.

I do not like the idea of two empty hands against a knife.
But I like the idea of one empty hand against the knife even less.

I think I have said enough for a new guy.

01-22-2004, 11:13 PM
In a recent article in SWAT magazine there is a write up about the 21 foot rule and edge weapons. Seems things changed. I think also it is always impossible to cover every situation and the basics always apply. First if possible add distance and place an object between you and the BG. Move laterally more than likely away from his strong side.
Another factor is the experience of your attackor and skill level. A drunk with a knife is a lot different than a skilled knife fighter.
Train because when it happens you will always revert to your level of training.

01-24-2004, 10:55 AM
Addendum to my last posting:

I believe the Tueller drill is an attempt at showing people the minimum distance needed for most to be able to access a firearm against an attack from an aggressor in time.

If we can agree that the drill shows the minimum distance needed to successfully draw and fire on the perp before he reaches us, any distance less than that will not be enough time to draw and fire to keep the perp from reaching us.

If that can be acknowledged, do we want to have one hand available to defend/deflect/thwart the attack when he reaches us? Or do we go with our best "shot" if out in the open with nothing to get between us and the perp and deal with the attack with both arms/hands available?

Each will have to make their own decisions on this based on their training, experience in unarmed combatives, body structure, strength and their best guess at the chances of successfully deterring the attack with their firearm.

Others thoughts and input is appreciated. If I'm off base on this, please feel free to state your views here. We all learn when others views are heard, considered and checked against our own thoughts.