When learning Krav Maga, one of the most important areas of focus is how to defend against assailants wielding deadly weapons. Nobody will fight fair or stick to rules in the real world. Stay prepared by learning how to defend against knife attacks. Knife attacks are fast, unpredictable, deadly, and are widely considered the most dangerous of self-defense situations.

In fact, if one ends up in close-range combat, an attacker with a knife can be more dangerous than an attacker with a gun. If you end up in that situation, you need to know how to handle yourself. Here’s how:

Before the Attack Begins

Frequently, a knife attack is preceded by a verbal confrontation. In most cases, you should try to de-escalate the situation before it reaches physical combat. Staying calm is important when it comes to self-defense against knife attacks; avoiding sudden actions is crucial, too, as any quick movement could provoke the attacker.

Additionally, it’s important to evaluate the attacker while you have time. Though you probably won’t know how the assailant handles combat, their size and general disposition can help you determine what actions you should take if they charge at you.

You should also evaluate what kind of state the assailant is in. If you are up against a man who seems to be drunk, or someone demanding your money, use that information to improve your approach.

Determine if there’s an exit route you can take. Is there a clear path out? How certain are you that you could outrun this person, given their physical presence and current condition? Are there multiple threats? Krav Maga is all about prioritizing survival in these kinds of real-world confrontations. Often, the best Krav Maga knife defense is to run away.

If the attacker is seeking valuables, such as money or your phone, it may be best to comply and give them what they’re asking for - even if you’re an accomplished fighter. Everyone learning self-defense against knife attacks must understand that no item is worth risk to your life.

During the Attack

If the attacker charges at you, and you feel confident that you could run away safely, get out as fast as possible. That’s not always doable, though. Sometimes attacks happen in close quarters where running away isn’t an option. And sometimes, the attacker will corner the defender so they cannot escape.

When learning how to defend against knife attacks, it’s important to accept that there’s a good chance you’ll get cut at some point. Coming to terms with this, and taking an aggressive approach to keep the blade away from vital areas, will improve your odds.

Utilizing the skills you’ve learned about Krav Maga knife defense, you can protect yourself and aggressively counterattack.

If your counterattack gives you an opportunity to escape, get away from conflict. If it doesn’t, however, you have to keep fighting in order to get control of the weapon and/or damage the attacker to the point that you can take the knife away. Krav Maga knife defenses follow specific principles for controlling, attacking, and taking a knife away from an attacker.

Self-defense against knife attacks is an important part of comprehensive Krav Maga training. Discover more information about our Krav Maga self-defense programs and stay safe in real-world situations.

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