Knives are one of the most commonly-used deadly weapons in the UK, for a few simple reasons: they’re everywhere, they’re easy to carry and hide, and most importantly, they work. Knowing how to defend against them is a valuable tool in any prepper’s arsenal, so here’s a video showing a US Special Forces Ranger demonstrating his knife defence techniques. It’s only an 18-second video, so make sure to watch it – it could literally save your life!
You’re not the protagonist of a kung-fu movie. Most knife attacks take place without the knife being revealed beforehand and take the form of the “sewing machine” attack, where the victim is stabbed 20 or so times in a few seconds. That means that you’re unlikely to know that your assailant has a knife until they’re using it on you, and you’re even more unlikely to stop the attack without being badly cut. This can be a death sentence or lead to lifelong problems even with the advantage of living in a modern, developed nation with the NHS. In a disaster or collapse situation, any wounds become infinitely worse.
The frenzied nature of knife attacks mean that defence is very difficult, but knives are famous for their lack of reach, so run like hell.
Ways To Tip The Odds In Your Favour
If you can’t avoid a situation in which knives are a threat (and let’s assume that sometimes you can’t – we are preparing for the worst, after all) then there are a few things that you can do to try to tip the scale in your favour and increase your chances of escaping an attack with as many parts of your body still attached as possible.
These are not foolproof and even if you have all of them you should still run like hell.
There are plenty of examples of “slash-proof” gloves, gauntlets and things like that floating around, and while theoretically useful (if you get a real set and not a knockoff), if you’re serious about not being stabbed to death, as I’m sure you are, then armour means a stab vest.
For my money the best stab armour is a IIIa vest – a stab-proof vest that’s also good against most types of handgun rounds. It’s a soft vest, which makes it more flexible and comfortable than hard plates, but even more importantly, it’s low-key.
You can easily conceal a IIIa vest under normal clothing, which could save your life in the event of an attempted stabbing – if an attacker can see that you’re obviously wearing torso armour, they’re probably not going to waste their shot on your torso, but go for the neck or legs instead. With subtle armour, they won’t have that advantage.
A Longer Weapon
Fighting someone with a knife is literally never something I would want to do. The old saying is that the loser of a knife fight dies in the street, and the winner dies in the ambulance, and it’s true – but the one thing that knives really lack is reach.
You can use that to your advantage if you’ve got a weapon that can hit from further away – a baseball bat, a sturdy walking stick, a shillelagh (or blackthorn stick) or anything else with superior reach will help you stay away from the knife while “persuading” the knife-wielder to leave you alone. This is particularly important for UK preppers, who will have probably thought ahead enough to make sure they’ve got some protection to hand.
A sturdy walking stick or shillelagh is a great choice for those who’d like to stay under the radar, and not be ostentatiously armed. Swords, machetes, axes, spears, and of course ranged weapons like firearms all follow the same greater-reach logic, but a little more lethally, and it’s a little harder to excuse carrying them around the post-apocalyptic Tesco’s.
A Bunch of Mates
This is my solution to almost every prepper problem. Someone with a knife who tries to attack 8 guys is very quickly going to wind up eating a boot, and will hopefully just decide not to bother. A firearm can mow down multiple people in a second, but a knife is only as good as the arm swinging it, and it’s hard to swing your arm with two people hanging off it.
Keep your friends close, and whenever a disaster hits, make sure they’re with you, even if they thought you were silly for buying extra tins of chopped tomatoes. They’ll probably save your life.
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