Have you noticed how many people carry an everyday folder clipped inside there pocket?  Do you carry a knife as part of your EDC or on your kit?  I bet if you’re reading this, odds are you do carry a blade.  The next question is, have you been training on how to use and defend against edged weapons?  Yes, No, Maybe so…  Now step back and reassess your level of proficiency and the consistency of dedicated edged weapons training you conduct.  I’m referring to training that addresses a committed attack at close quarters.  Think of a prison yard style attack that can happen so fast that you are unable to draw your gun (if you are even carrying) during such a critical time when seconds count.   

Edged weapons have long been used as secondary weapons throughout history.  Although personal weapons and tactics have changed significantly, still to this day most operators, LEO types and law-abiding armed citizens utilize a primary, secondary and tertiary weapons system.  The blade is often one of the latter two.  As previously mentioned, it is very common for civilians to carry a knife every day; what is not common is for them to have been trained on the proper use of and defense of an edged weapon.  There are many reasons and excuses why there is a gap in edged weapons training.  For some it is a matter of time, money, fear and the list goes on…  If we are being honest with ourselves, the reality of a violent close quarters edged weapon attack is not one for the faint of heart. 

Edged weapons/knives are a significant threat in our world today.  There are numerous studies and statistics out there.  Please feel free to do a few Google searches and you will get so many hits it will almost shut down the internet.  For example, take a deeper look at the increase in knife attacks happening across the pond in the UK/Britain.  Per an FBI report, edged weapons are the second leading cause of homicides in the United States.  I’m noticing that many people tend to get tunnel vision with developing and maintaining perishable skill sets such as marksmanship and defensive shooting that they lose sight of other valuable skills such as edged weapons, medical and overall functional fitness.  All of these are critical; however, too often they are an afterthought.  Trust me when I say, you want to stay sharp on all fronts and that includes edged weapons/blade work.      

Many years ago, I was fortunate to train with Sonny Umpad.  If you are unfamiliar with that name, I encourage you to Google him and do some research on your own.  He was a master with both knives and sticks.  This knowledge combined with experience training with Royce Gracie and Paul Vunak’s Rapid Assault Tactics (RAT) fighting system helped shape combatives utilized by Special Mission Units (SMU).  Bottomline training is paramount.  Failing to train is training to fail.    

Continuing on the training front, I’m confident many of us have seen agencies issue folders and fixed blades without providing any significant training or even have a detailed plan to incorporate such training.  You also have Joe civilian carrying a cool MicroTech automatic knife because he saw John Wick one too many times.  Or a gun guy got a glimpse of an IWB fixed blade at SHOT show and now carries it more as a decoration than as a functional tool.  Yet, the average Joe on the street has limited knowledge on how to properly use a knife.  This is usually when you hear comments like, oh this is so cool; it’s a great tool; it’s a survival knife, so I can cut myself free from a seatbelt; it’s for breaching a lock or for crushing skulls.  Sure, there is some truth there but first they need to learn and train how to properly use that blade/tool. 

Now let’s look at the civilian side or even an off-duty LEO.  You are somewhere approaching your vehicle, and someone pulls a knife on you and demands your wallet/money and in a blink of an eye this person decides to slash you with the blade.  What are you going to do?   A.)  You have little to no edged weapons defense, so you do basically nothing but hope the blade doesn’t hit an artery.  B.) You identify the threat and counter the attack, create space to escape or dominate, immobilize and control the threat/attacker.

At the end of the day it is your responsibility to integrate edged weapons defense into your training.  If your agency, department or organization doesn’t have competent instructors, I recommend you do your research and seek out reputable trainers that teach fundamentals in edged weapons.


By:  Travis N. – Director of Operations at Bellevue Gun Club

Travis N. – LinkedIn

If you, your family or organization is interested in private or group training please contact us.

Recommended Edged Weapons:

Folders:  Emerson Knives and MicroTech Knives

Fixed Blades:  Winkler Knives, Half Face Blades, Headhunter Blades

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