Video Analysis – Donut Shop Stabbing

This video provides some interesting insight into an aspect of criminal assaults that often gets overlooked.

I am not going to cover the situational awareness aspect of this. My dear friend William April of April Risk Consulting does a terrific job of that for this incident on his Instagram page. Read his wise words here:

What I want to talk about here is the lack of efficacy of the attack. This is a perfect storm for the bad guy. He has all the time he wants to set up his attack, he is able to initiate completely from behind, and the victim is totally clueless to what is going on even after the first stab. And the result? Not that much! Multiple stabs in the back, and the victim appears to have been almost unaffected.

This is an excellent view into the reality of a knife attack, and it gives us great observation into using a knife for self-defense. Too many pro-knife instructors blithely advocate techniques that are not that far off from how this bad guy is using his blade. The typical knife that can be carried for most people in the modern world is going to have a blade length of 4 inches and less, which if you look at the knife used in this attack and compare, the knife we will have is essentially smaller. Using something like that is categorically light years away from using a giant Bowie knife or Japanese wazi-kashi. Assuming that the effects from a big blade translate to a much, much smaller blade is foolish in the extreme. As well, thinking that with a small knife you are going to penetrate deeply enough with a slash to reach tendons and ligaments is just as wrong-headed. With the stabs done in this video, there was not much damage done, so what will be actually accomplished with a slash that by definition cannot go as deep?

This is not a putdown of using a knife in the self-protection mode. Not at all. In fact, I am a strong advocate for just that. But we have to be realistic in our approach, and we cannot arbitrarily think we can just swing or stab away to get the job done. We have to have a specific tactical plan of action that is supported by concurrent techniques, along with some dedicated pressure testing and drilling to make sure we can pull it off on demand. And always have the idea that it could fail and that we need back up plans. Anything less is going through life with big blinders on.

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