How to Defend Against a Knife Attack

Defend against a knife attack

Nobody likes the thought of having to defend against a knife attack but these kinds of attacks are on the rise and I don’t see them slowing down. Last year there were 37,443 offences in the 12 months ending in September 2017. This was a 21% increase on the previous year and the highest number since 2011.

During this guide we are going to look at what you should do if you ever have to defend against a knife attack.


As with any fighting scenario, your footwork is key. This is what will allow you to keep the right distance between you and the attacker. All that a knife has to do is make contact and it can do some serious damage.

Option 1: Run

I see many websites claiming that you should immediately try and disarm a knife wielding attacker and to be honest, they are living in a fantasy world. They clearly do not understand the reality because they haven’t experienced it. It may sound fun and hero-like but that decision could end up being the very last decision you ever make.

One method that you can use to see for yourself is to get a partner and a red marker pen. Your partner is going to hold the pen as if it was a knife. Try any amount of blocking and disarming techniques that you have been told and you will soon see that you have red lines all over your body.

For this reason, the best option, if possible is to run.

Option 2: Equaliser

If running away is not an option then you need to find something around you to at least equal things out a little. This could be a glass bottle or something that could be thrown. The idea is to use anything possible that will distract the attacker enough to give yourself time to escape.

Option 3: Last Resort

If you can not find anything in your surroundings that can be used to help you escape then you need to rely on your own empty-handed skills. Anything that you do here needs to be fast and with as much power as you possibly can to avoid getting too cut-up.

As your legs are the longest part of your body, use those weapons to your advantage. With a knife the attacker is wanting to get in close but you can hit from a farther distance.

Strong shin kicks to the attackers legs and side of the knee may be enough to take him down. If it does get in close, go for the eyes, gouges work wonders and he can’t attack what he can’t see.

Also learn how to maneuver so an obstacle or barrier stands between him and you. Because each strike can be fatal it is important that you run as soon as that chance is possible. Your life is worth so much more than trying to be a hero.

How to Defend Against a Knife to Your Throat

If an attacker puts a knife to your throat, it is a serious threat to your life and you must assume that he means nothing but to seriously harm you. If they want your possessions then the smartest thing is to hand them over to the attacker. Your possessions can be replaced, your life can’t!

Even if an assailant only plans on threatening you, knives are sharp and unpredictable.

In the following video by Krav Maga Worldwide, you will see how to defend against a knife to your throat.

The goal is to control the weapon while sending an effective strike to help maintain control, prevent oncoming attacks, and eventually take the weapon away.

As usual, we must prepare for the worst situation, and the only assumption that we should make is that we must strike as quickly as we can to an area that is likely to illicit a response from our attacker.

Final Thoughts

You should never make the mistake of thinking that you will never become the victim of a knife attack, or that you can disarm an assailant as easily as they do in the movies. Avoid and ESCAPE should always be preferred over stand and fight.

It doesn’t make you a coward to run, you only have one chance at life, it cannot be replaced.


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