Integrated Combatives | Why You Should Always Bring a Knife to a Gunfight

INTEGRATED COMBATIVES

Why You Should Always Bring a Knife to a Gunfight

 

The Combative Continuum is a concept that once you grasp it can change the way you look at Self-Defense.

This is why the USMC Martial Arts Program saying “One Mind, Any Weapon” is so applicable in Civilian Self-Defense Training.

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

Blade Drills: Perfecting the Snap Cut & Thrust

From the archives. ūüĎć

 

SOG Snarl

SOG Snarl

Lately I have been working on some drills with my small “hideout” waist-carried fixed blades: Benchmade CBK and SOG Snarl.

Benchmade CBK

Benchmade CBK

Training Notes:

  • Since both of these shivs have an unconventional grip (CBK is a syringe type, the Snarl a single-finger loop, raptor-claw design), striking is a bit more unorthodox than if I were using a standard blade with a conventional type grip.

  • The upside to these blade types is that RETENTION is not as big an issue as a conventional knife. No matter if your hands get wet from water, sweat or blood, the way the blade is gripped ensures a SOLID purchase.

  • ¬†Since I mainly carry these blades horizontal on my waist at around 10:30 to 11:00,(drawing with my right hand) I designed all my drills for that type of draw.

  • As I subscribe to the COMBATIVE school of defensive knife training, almost all of these movements are based on simple GROSS MOTOR functions with very little fine motor technique involved. (No complicated katas, etc.) Therefore, to fully maximize the tactical advantage these types of knives offer (which is Size and Speed) You must work to make the draw AND the first initial cut or thrust¬†ONE FLUID, QUICK MOTION.

  • The key word in these drills is “SNAP”, so remember that as you drill. Your goal is to quickly SNAP the blade OUT and INTO the Attacker before they know what hit them. Visualize a viper striking it’s prey.

A quick word about TARGETING. I know a lot of quality knife instructors out there teach to target the attackers ability to (1) WIELD or HOLD a weapon (tendons and nerves in arms/hands, etc.) and (2) their ability for movement (muscles and nerves in legs).

I believe that if I am having to use a knife to defend myself, things have gone VERY bad, and it has gone WAY past simply disarming or disabling the individual trying to kill me.

Simply put, when I train to defend myself with a knife or firearm, I train to NEUTRALIZE my attacker, not to DISABLE or WOUND.

Since a FIREARM and a KNIFE are  both considered LETHAL WEAPONS, WE NEED TO USE THEM AS SUCH, and have no qualms or remorse about it. I can guarantee you your enemy will not!

That being said, with these types of knives (small fixed blades), I train to target everything VITAL in the human body. With the carotid arteries in the neck being the primary and the eyes being the secondary.

Again, this is not to say these are our ONLY targets, but the ones we need to have in mind.

Remember: We are FIGHTING FOR OUR LIFE, so ANY SOLID STRIKE you can make with the blade and hurt the attacker is a GOOD STRIKE.

Gun-Free-China-Knives

To Slash or Stab? That is the Question….

I get asked this question a lot and I really don’t have a direct answer. I guess the easiest answer is:¬†USE WHATEVER THE ATTACKER “GIVES” YOU!

If he opens himself up to a slash, do that; If you can do more damage with a thrust, then do that. The COMBATIVE MENTALITY is really one of Flexibility and Opportunity. This is what separates it from the more technique laden Filipino and oriental knife styles.

Remember that COMBATIVES stresses GROSS MOTOR MOVEMENTS,¬†and whether you choose to slash or stab,as long as you put POWER behind it, both techniques can benefit.¬†More to the point, despite prolific urban myths, there is also the issue of the AMOUNT OF DAMAGE that can be obtained with BOTH a¬†THRUST¬†and a SLASH.¬†Contrary to popular belief, small blades (like the ones I am using, both well under 3 inches) can penetrate human flesh and do massive amounts of damage just like a big 4″ blade can. How? The short answer is FLESH COMPRESSION (Visit Don Rearic’s Site to Learn More)¬†Human flesh, like the material in most bed mattresses, compresses when pressure is applied. This allows a very small blade to do cut through and do serious damage, if the targeting is correct. Now, does this mean, as some online mall-ninja’s have claimed, that I can stab you in the heart or liver with a small 2″ blade? No, but armed with this knowledge, the CO can definitely make serious cuts and thrust if need be and that is a HUGE benefit to the CO who, because of the legal restrictions of his particular state, cannot carry a large fixed blade or folder!

A side note about these two blades I am using. The CBK, being a “Push Dagger” is much more suited by design for thrust (stabs) than cuts (slashing), while the Snarl can do both, but is really more well suited for slashing. Despite this, I still train for both types of attacks: THRUST and SLASH. I highly recommend you do the same and never “pigeonhole” a blade for only one type of attack. This mentality will keep you flexible and ready to adapt on your feet.

Equipment for Drills

I highly recommend you DO NOT use a partner in these drills, as the risk for injury is way too high. Instead, try the following:

  • Reduced Meat. Go to the “bargain” or “reduced price” section in your local supermarket meat department. Look for any cuts of meat that are thick, say at least an inch or two. Roast are great, but flank steak will work just as well. Take the meat and wrap it in seran plastic wrap and then cover it with some denim or an old shirt.

  • Gloves. Anytime I train or work with knives, I wear a pair of kevlar-cut proof gloves. These are the same gloves I use when skinning fish or game. We never intend to cut ourselves, but it happens. Smart training is about controlling the risk as much as possible, but still staying as realistic as possible at the same time. Now, will we be wearing kevlar gloves during a fight on the street? probably not, but then again, we won’t be wearing hearing protection when we have to use a gun on the street either; never excuse safety for realism guys, that is stupidity!

  • More Safety. I mentioned about not having any partners for this, but also before you start, make sure no unfortunate soul wanders into your “ZONE OF ATTACK” during your drills! This includes any curious children, wives, even pets. If you are like me, you get into your own “mental zone” during training and the rest of the world kind of fades away, make sure you prepare for this.

knife_danger_3_small

Drills

1. Back-Hand SNAP-CUT

This drill requires fluidity of motion in harmonizing your DRAW (Presentation) and the first¬†CUT together. The goal is to go straight from the sheath into the attackers flesh. For this particular drill, I visualize the attackers neck, and slashing the throat ear to ear. The draw stroke and strike come together as your elbow is coming from a 90 degree bend into a straight line to the target. Really strive to “snap” the strike through,¬†not just into the target.

2. Back-Hand SNAP-THRUST

Same ideal as above but with a thrust or stab. You will want to visualize your target area (carotid in neck) before you draw and then in one motion go from sheath to flesh. Also practice doing multiple strikes.

3. Over-Hand SNAP-CUT

Now this is where your draw and strike are going to have a moment of pause in between when you “LOAD”¬†for the strike as you slash forward. Again, visualize your target and cut through them, not just into them.

4. Over-Hand SNAP-THRUST

This is where targets of opportunity we talked about come into play. Don’t be afraid to mix up your target areas..if the neck is open to you, go for it, if the chest is open, go for it. Remember, with over-hand, you have more time to “RELOAD” your strike, so don’t hold back.

5. Combinations

Just like with boxing, once we have developed a certain punch, we need to join it with another punch to give it more lethality and flexibility. With the back-hand strikes, a cut then thrust, with the over-hand, a thrust with a follow-up cut. Use your imagination and find what works best for you. Keep in mind, you ALWAYS want to utilize SPEED and SURPRISE.

Final Thoughts:

  • Be prepared in ALL of these drills to find the best way to “reload” your strike in the event of a miss. Misses will happen, so plan for it.

  • Pay attention to your footwork, just like with empty-hand combative striking, using our body weight to give our strikes more force is just as relevant with knife work. Never fail to make ¬†your SNAP Cut or Thrust an EXPLOSIVE movement.

  • MOVE YOUR FEET! No fight happens in a vacuum, and despite what Hollywood shows us, nobody stands still in a lethal encounter. As I have discussed before the Combative Continuum allows us to use the same type of footwork, regardless of the weapon in our hand.

  • Remember the fluidity of the Combative Continuum. If you are carrying a handgun and a knife, there may be situations where the knife is used simply to gain distance on your attacker so you can draw your gun OR you may have to use combative striking to gain distance to draw either one. There are no set rules, so drill for them all.

Train Hard, Stay Aware, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!

Solitary Knife Fighting

Solitary Knife Fighting

One of the more practical articles on how to train to defend yourself (not “fight”) with a knife I have read in a while.

Make no mistake about it, using a knife as a defense tool is gritty, ballsy stuff, so you need to be REALISTIC about your training and your expectations.

Stay Alert, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!

Combative Knife Simplicity: A 3 Year Review

(Authors Note: I wrote this article 3 years ago, when I was in the middle of re-vamping and re-energizing my Combative training routine. I thought it would be beneficial to all my readers to review some of the principles contained and in the process take a hard look at the current state of your KNIFE training.)

combativeknife

In the quest for the CO to become a “Complete Warrior” where the skill sets they learn dovetail seamlessly into any weapon system they pick up, being comfortable killing with the knife has to be a priority. I want you to notice the wording I used there: “Killing with the Knife”, now for some of you “PC” (Politically Correct) disciples out there, this terminology may offend your delicate moral sensibilities and seem a bit extreme, so let me explain.

In a majority of fighting schools out there, regardless of the weapon system taught, you hear the term “fighting” as a suffix to most of them; ie, ¬†gunfighting, knife-fighting, stick-fighting, etc. I myself as a trainer have a problem with that choice of wording for a couple of reasons. Firstly, because it carries with it a “sporting implication”. A CO should never intend to “fight” anybody, if it has come to the point of defending yourself, your only goal is to END the problem. Secondly, it takes away from the seriousness of mortal combat. I don’t train my students to approach fighting for their lives as a sport or a game… if we have to use a weapon to defend ourselves we don’t need to “fart around” with that..we need to eliminate the threat before he or she kills us or our loved ones, not “wound” them, “spar” with them or make them “feel bad” for a while with mobility injuries. In terms of using a knife for self-defense, our goal should not be to seek to inflict a series of injuries that would hamper them from holding or wielding a weapon, but to simply stick that knife into them as quickly as possible, and as many times as possible, to cause as much damage as possible, thus ending their life and the threat they pose to us. Simple and direct.

Understand that we are talking about KILLING in the context of self-defense and for the singular reason of DEFENDING ourselves and/or our loved ones. This should never be taken out of context. The founding¬†CORE BELIEF¬†of HCS and what drives all of my teachings¬†centers on the¬†MORAL RESPONSIBILITY of the CO. Killing another human being is NEVER something to be taken lightly, but when a civilian is training to defend themselves in a lethal encounter, KILLING the enemy¬†has to be the goal, because the enemy has given you no other choice. Your goal has to be to STOP the attacker from continuing to harm you or your loved ones. Very often, this very important psychological “nomenclature” (the word: Killing) is left out of most self-defense combat training, and I feel that is an integral flaw. If you want to train realistically, KILLING has to become part of your vocabulary. Not only does it prepare the CO mentally, spiritually and morally for what he has to do, it drives his training to be efficient and lethal, regardless of the weapon system.

Consequently, the CO needs to understand beyond a shadow of a doubt that the introduction of a knife into a physical altercation constitutes Lethal Force in every state in the union. This means if a perpetrator pulls a knife on you, you have the right to defend yourself with equal (lethal) force. On the flip side of this, if the CO (YOU) pulls a knife on another person, you must have the same justifiable reasoning that lethal force is quantified and/or warranted. There are a myriad of reasons for this legally and it is beyond the scope of this article to cover them all. A great resource to study for Texans is the Texas Penal Code and Texas Code of Criminal Procedure.

I like to compare the Combative Knife Concept to the AK-47 Rifle. The design is simple. It has very few moving parts, which like anything mechanically reliable, such as a standard transmission in a vehicle, means it is easy to learn, easy to remember, easy to operate and easy to repair. It’s simplicity is sometimes mistaken for crudeness, and although it does not have the aesthetics of some of the more “technique laden” Eastern knife styles, what matters most is it gets the job done. What it lacks in technique, it makes up for in pure rugged reliability. To be successful with it, all you need is gross motor skills and Pure Aggression.

At it’s core, Combative Knife is about the Thrust (Gross Motor Skill). Getting the knife out of its sheath and into and out of your enemy as quickly as possible. The Essence of Combative Simplicity. Most all other types of knife training out there are based/rooted in the Eastern Filipino Combat Arts of Kali and Pekiti-Tersia, which mainly emphasize slashing versus thrusting attacks. This is not to say that slashing has no place in Combative Knife, it certainly does, but it is much LESS technique laden than the slashing “katas” associated with Filipino styles; most of them seeking to cut tendons and muscles that help wield and manipulate a weapon.

In Bob Kasper’s Outstanding Book “Sting of the Scorpion” (pp. 35),¬†William Fairbairn is quoted as saying it this way:

“When withdrawing, (presentation) get right into the THRUST. Don’t waste motion. Cover the shortest distance from the sheath to your target. Practice in front of a mirror, Get it down to a fraction of a second.”

In this short, simple statement, Fairbairn just laid out the essence of the Combative Continuum. You see, the Combative Continuum rest in the logic that regardless of the weapon used, in order to be efficient with it (or that it is to say, in order to be able to KILL Efficiently with it), you have to be fast, and in order to be fast, you have to eliminate un-needed movements during the presentation of the weapon. The shortest distance between two points? The straightest LINEAR line possible; whether we are talking about an empty hand strike or a knife strike. Striking along LINEAR Lines means there is no ARC to the movement; it is straight and ALWAYS follows the same path TO and FROM the target. Linear strikes are also harder to see and guard against than a “hooking” attack, which tends to telegraph your intentions to the enemy.

An empty hand and knife drill aptly named the “Snapper” Drill, focuses on mastering this skill.

When your enemy allows you to breach their “reactionary gap” by their mis-step or by your stealth, the CO as quickly as possible, SNAPS¬†any one of the following ¬†empty hand strikes: Axe-Hand to the Windpipe, Ranger Jab (web of hand between thumb and pointer-finger, into the windpipe), Face-Smash or Eye-Gouge OR¬†(If Lethal Force is Warranted) A Knife Thrust or (SNAP), whatever the situation calls for.

The CO also has to be aware that the situation might call for both an empty hand strike as a distractionary measure AND the Knife Snap-Thrust combined, depending on the situation and the adversary; be ready to do either or both with equal efficiency.

The CO also needs to learn that this SNAP Strike, either empty-hand or with a knife, needs to become a CONDITIONED REFLEX. Consider this quote by one of the forefathers of Combatives, Dr. Gordon E. Perrigard:

“The action is simple, but it must be fast, automatic and a conditioned reflex. When fighting fiercely for your life, you have not got much time to think, and the more AUTOMATIC MOVEMENTS you have prepared for your defense, the safer the result will be.”¬†

The bottom line here is don’t wait to formulate a plan when that thug is standing right on top of you; prepare and drill NOW for what you are going to do.
cbk1

With the Knife, we drill on this with both a folder and a fixed blade, the fastest being a short and stout fixed blade (Blackhawk Crucible for example) or a Push Blade/Dagger, such as the Benchmade CBK or Cold Steel Safe-Keeper II both drawn out of a Horizontal Sheath at the 11 o’ clock. The goal is simple: Get the knife out of the sheath and in and out of the enemy’s body with a “snap thrust” (stab) in under 2 seconds. With speed as your ally, you avoid any counter-technique or block in addition to being able to deliver MULTIPLE strikes to the same area if needed.

crucible1

The first thing to consider in this drill is Visualization of the Target.

This is not a foreign concept to most pistol/rifle/shotgun shooters, but definitely one to most people who consider themselves “knife” people. Visualizing exactly where you want to strike on the body is something that is not what you would call an “Exact Science”; every situation is going to be different and the student will have to decide which is the best “high percentage” target at that time.

Now I don’t want to get quagmired down in an anatomical debate on the “deadliest” place to strike with a knife on the human body (The Book Contemporary Knife Targeting by Chris Grosz and Mike Janich and¬†Arwrology¬†by Dr. Gordon E. Perrigard are excellent resources for this subject)

Suffice to say our aim is to either sever, puncture or destroy all together any arteries or organs causing our enemy either enough blood loss or shock to “Drop them and Stop them”.

Here is ¬†a quick run down if we are facing our target dead on at 12 o’ clock:

anatomy`

  • One or both of the carotid arteries running on either side of the neck

  • Either Lung

  • Heart

  • The Aorta Artery and/or all surrounding Pulmonary Arteries

  • Liver

  • Spleen

  • Either Kidney

  • Common Iliac Artery

  • Femoral Artery

The CO also needs to consider that for every combative knife technique he learns, he also needs to learn the COUNTER to that move to be completely prepared. Keep an eye out for articles covering this very important skill set!

Until then

Stay Alert, Armed and Dangerous!

Blade Drills: Perfecting the “Snap” Cut & Thrust

SOG Snarl

SOG Snarl

I have been drilling lately with my small “hideout” waist-carried fixed blade knives, mainly, my Benchmade CBK¬†and SOG Snarl.

Benchmade CBK

Benchmade CBK

Training Notes:

  • Since both of these shivs have an unconventional grip (CBK ¬†is a syringe type, the Snarl a single-finger loop, claw design), striking is a bit more unorthodox than if I were using a standard blade with a conventional type grip. The upside to these types of blades is that RETENTION is not an issue, no matter if your hands get wet (from sweat or blood), the way the blade is gripped with the fingers and not the palm, ensures a SOLID purchase.
  • ¬†Since I mainly carry these small fixed blades horizontal on my waist at around 10:30 to 11:00,(drawing with my right hand) I designed all my drills for that type of draw. If you want to work on drawing from say a neck knife sheath, you will have to tweak these drills to fit that range of motion.
  • Also, as I subscribe to the COMBATIVE school of defensive knife training, almost all of these movements are based on simple GROSS¬†MOTOR functions¬†with very little fine motor technique involved. (No complicated katas, etc.) Therefore, to fully maximize the tactical advantage these types of knives offer (which is Size and Speed) You must work to make the draw AND the first initial cut or thrust¬†ONE FLUID, QUICK MOTION.
  • The key word in these drills is “SNAP”, so remember that as you drill…your goal is to quickly SNAP the blade out and into the Attacker and withdraw before they know what hit them.

A quick word about TARGETING. I know a lot of quality knife instructors out there teach to target the attackers ability to WIELD or HOLD a weapon (tendons and nerves in arms/hands, etc.) and their ability for movement (muscles and nerves in legs). Most of this comes from liability and ethical issues in not wanting to teach people outright how to kill with a knife, but to disable. I understand the reasoning for this, but as a trainer and as a citizen, I DO NOT SUBSCRIBE to that school of thought.

I believe that if I am having to use a knife to defend myself, things have gone bad, and it has gone WAY past simply disarming or disabling the attacker.

Simply put, when I train to defend myself with either with a knife or firearm, I train to KILL, not to DISABLE or WOUND.

Since a FIREARM and a KNIFE are  both considered LETHAL WEAPONS, WE NEED TO USE THEM AS SUCH, and have no qualms or remorse about it.. I can guarantee you your enemy will not!

That being said, with these types of knives at least, I train to target everything from the “neck up”, With the carotid arteries in the neck being the primary and the eyes being the secondary. This is not to say these are our ONLY targets, but the ones we need to have in mind. Remember: We are FIGHTING FOR OUR LIFE, so ANY STRIKE¬†you can make with the blade and hurt the attacker is a GOOD STRIKE.

Gun-Free-China-Knives

To Slash or Stab? That is the Question….

I get asked this question a lot and I really don’t have a direct answer. I guess the easiest answer is:¬†USE WHATEVER THE ATTACKER “GIVES” YOU!¬†¬†If he opens himself up to a slash, do that; If you can do more damage with a thrust, then do that. The COMBATIVE MENTALITY is really one of flexibility, not black and white strict discipline. This is what separates it from the more technique laden Filipino and oriental knife styles.

Remember that COMBATIVES stresses GROSS MOTOR MOVEMENTS,¬†and whether you choose to slash or stab,as long as you put POWER behind it, both techniques can benefit.¬†More to the point, despite prolific urban myths, there is also the issue of the AMOUNT OF DAMAGE that can be obtained with BOTH a¬†THRUST¬†and a SLASH.¬†Contrary to popular belief, small blades (like the ones I am using, both well under 3 inches) can penetrate human flesh and do massive amounts of damage just like a big 4″ blade can. How? The short answer is FLESH COMPRESSION (Visit Don Rearic’s Site to Learn More)¬†Human flesh, like the material in most bed mattresses, compresses when pressure is applied. This allows a very small blade to do cut through and do serious damage, if the targeting is correct. Now, does this mean, as some online mall-ninja’s have claimed, that I can stab you in the heart or liver with a small 2″ blade? No, but armed with this knowledge, the CO can definitely make serious cuts and thrust if need be and that is a HUGE benefit to the CO who, because of the legal restrictions of his particular state, cannot carry a large fixed blade or folder!

A side note about these two blades I am using. The CBK, being a “Push Dagger” is much more suited by design for thrust (stabs) than cuts (slashing), while the Snarl can do both, but is really more well suited for slashing. Despite this, I still train for both types of attacks:¬†THRUST and SLASH.¬†I highly recommend you do the same and never “pigeonhole” a blade for only one type of attack;.this keeps you flexible and ready to adapt on your feet.

Equipment for Drills

I highly recommend you DO NOT use a partner in these drills, as the risk for injury is way too high. Instead, try the following:

  • Reduced Meat. Go to the “bargain” or “reduced price” section in your local supermarket meat department..look for any cuts of meat that are thick, say at least an inch or two..roast are great, but flank steak will work too, as they are the cuts typically marked down or expired by a few days. Take this meat and wrap it in some old denim or an old shirt. As far as how to secure it, you have a couple of choices: Use a large hook and hang it or tie it with baling wire and affix it to a pole and then plant it in the ground securely. (Make sure you keep the wire away from the center sections where you are going to strike!)
  • Gloves. Anytime I train or work with knives, I wear a pair of kevlar-cut proof gloves. These are the same gloves I use when skinning fish or game. We never intend to cut ourselves, but it happens. Smart training is about controlling the risk as much as possible, but still staying as realistic as possible at the same time. Now, will we be wearing kevlar gloves during a fight on the street? probably not, but then again, we won’t be wearing hearing protection when we have to use a gun on the street either; never excuse safety for realism guys, that is stupidity!
  • More Safety. I mentioned about not having any partners for this, but also before you start, make sure no unfortunate soul wanders into your “ZONE OF ATTACK” during your drills! This includes any curious children, wives, even pets. If you are like me, you get into your own “mental zone” during training and the rest of the world kind of fades away, make sure you prepare for this.

knife_danger_3_small

Drills

1. BackHand SNAP-CUT

This drill requires fluidity of motion in harmonizing your DRAW (Presentation) and the first¬†CUT together. The goal is to go straight from the sheath into the attackers flesh. For this particular drill, I visualize the attackers neck, and slashing the throat ear to ear. The draw stroke and strike come together as your elbow is coming from a 90 degree bend into a straight line to the target. Really strive to “snap” the strike through,¬†not just into the target.

2. Back-Hand SNAP-THRUST

Same ideal as above but with a thrust or stab. You will want to visualize your target area (carotid in neck) before you draw and then in one motion go from sheath to flesh. Also practice doing multiple strikes.

3. Over-Hand SNAP-CUT

Now this is where your draw and strike are going to have a moment of pause in between when you “LOAD”¬†for the strike as you slash forward. Again, visualize your target and cut through them, not just into them.

4. Over-Hand SNAP-THRUST

This is where targets of opportunity we talked about come into play. Don’t be afraid to mix up your target areas..if the neck is open to you, go for it, if the chest is open, go for it. Remember, with over-hand, you have more time to “RELOAD” your strike, so don’t hold back.

5. Combinations

Just like with boxing, once we have developed a certain punch, we need to join it with another punch to give it more lethality and flexibility. With the back-hand strikes, a cut then thrust, with the over-hand, a thrust with a follow-up cut. Use your imagination and find what works best for you. Keep in mind, you ALWAYS want to utilize SPEED and SURPRISE.

Final Thoughts:

  • Be prepared in ALL of these drills to find the best way to “reload” your strike in the event of a miss. Misses will happen, so plan for it.
  • Pay attention to your footwork, just like with empty-hand combative striking, using our body weight to give our strikes more force is just as relevant with knife work. Never fail to make ¬†your SNAP Cut or Thrust an EXPLOSIVE movement.
  • MOVE YOUR FEET! No fight happens in a vacuum, and despite what Hollywood shows us, nobody stands still in a lethal encounter. As I have discussed before the Combative Continuum allows us to use the same type of footwork, regardless of the weapon in our hand.
  • Just like with any combatives, the need to create or maintain distance can be done with solid empty-hand striking. Look at employing elbow, knee and even off-hand striking (your non-knife hand) to do this.

Train Hard, Stay Aware, Stay Armed and Stay Dangerous!