The case studies below of REAL knife attacks provide four separate examples of how knives can be used in attacks. Some of these attacks resulted in only minor cuts and regrettably, one was fatal.
As you read through these, ask yourself if you were in the same situations, would you have been aware enough to detect the threat and avoid or counter them.
Knife Attack at House Party
Source - http://www.lep.co.uk/news/man_stabbed_in_knife_attack_1_2027801
This case has limited information available but some points can be reasonably claimed. A house party on a Friday or Saturday night can reasonably be expected to be full of people consuming alcohol and/or drugs. After midnight, most or all of the people there can be expected to be drunk or high. This type of environment usually results in normal fist fights or some other Alpha Male type behaviour.
Just because this is the normal type of conflict in these situations, does not mean knives or even firearms cannot be used instead. The normal rules of conflict are just guidelines and we should always expect the unexpected, particularly where alcohol and drugs may be involved.
So would you have been aware of, and on the lookout for, a knife based attack in such a situation or would you be mainly on the watch for unarmed based attacks such as king hits?
Attacked With Knife Whilst Walking Dog
|The area of the crime in BC - via Google Maps|
Source - http://www.bclocalnews.com/bc_thompson_nicola/ashcroft_cachecreekjournal/news/102752934.html
Firstly, this is a surprising attack in that the victim had a dog with him. Walking a dog seems to be no guarantee that it will deter an armed attacker. Perhaps the dog was a lap dog although it is mainly medium to large dogs that get walked as smaller dogs tend to get enough exercise at home. Anyway, walking the street at night at 2am should automatically increase the awareness levels. The boy seems to have let somebody sneak up behind him.
We can see the bodies reflexes in action here as the 16yr old instinctively raised his arm to stop the attack which in this case, may have prevented a much more serious injury taking place. The bodies instincts do work and any training should not aim to stop these, but build on them.
Would you have even gone and walked your dog at 2am in the morning? If you did, would you have been aware of the Predatory threat or be pre occupied with other thoughts?
58 yr Old Woman Engaged in Ground Fight with Armed Attacker
|The 58yr old victim after the attack|
"I was talking to one of my neighbours and then I felt myself being hit. I didn't know what it was at first and I did not feel the pain until afterwards really."The woman's son said:
"I had been working nights so was sleeping when I heard my mum screaming. I ran outside and could see her fighting on the ground."The woman's son rushed to her aid and helped restrain the attacker who was a 55 yr old woman and was detained under the mental health act. The victim sustained a seven inch cut to her neck and throat and had the tendons in her leg torn as they grappled on the floor. She stayed in hospital for three days before being released.
Source - http://www.fulhamchronicle.co.uk/fulham-and-hammersmith-news/local-fulham-and-hammersmith-news/2010/09/16/fulham-lady-speaks-of-fear-after-alleged-knife-attack-82029-27281596/
Now there is possibly some history between the attacker and the victim but regardless, this type of thing can happen. This case highlights that knife attacks can occur anywhere and at any time.
One other key point I would like to raise here is where the woman stated "...and then I felt myself being hit. I didn't know what it was at first and I did not feel the pain until afterwards really". This is another case demonstrating you can be stabbed with a knife and not feel any pain. This is important. If you are involved in a real encounter, afterwards check yourself for bleeding as you may be cut and not realise it.
When you are doing menial tasks, do you maintain a base level of casual awareness? Would you have detected this elderly woman armed with a knife?
For those who participate in either grappling or edged weapons based systems, how often do you grapple with weapons involved? Just a point worthy of consideration.
Martial Arts Expert Stabbed Fatally Over Minor Squabble
|Martial Arts expert, Chai Eun Hillmann was fatally stabbed|
When the eventual attacker saw this, a fight erupted between the two men. The offender then produced a knife and stabbed the victim fatally along with stabbing another man as well. According to the New York Times, the attacker was previously arrested and charged with murder in "1991 and eventually sentenced to 5 to 15 years in prison for manslaughter. He had been released from prison in June 2000, and was on parole until June 2006."
According to the NYT, the victim:
"Mr. Hillmann was born in Korea but grew up in the United States. He studied martial arts and in the mid-1990s was the sensei of Chai Karate in Ardsley, in Westchester County. In an interview in 1996 in The New York Times, he described martial arts as a means of self defense, saying of its practitioners: “They won’t be victims,” and adding, “They can choose whether to continue confrontation or get out of it and flee.”
Source - http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/01/nyregion/01leash.html?_r=2&src=mv
This is a clear case of Alpha Male activity. The difference here is that the results were unfortunately fatal. This is not the most likely outcome of such encounters. Again, this case illustrates that generalities are not constants. Some of the time, things happen that are unlikely.
Even trained martial arts experts can get involved in situations that escalate rapidly from something very benign, into life or death struggles.
In such an incident as that described above in New York, would you have been prepared for the attacker to draw a knife and use it? What if you were not the victim but the other person involved who got stabbed? If you were not directly involved but close by, would you be aware enough to identify someone drawing a knife?
These cases are educational in that they are real attacks. They are not hypothetical. We can learn from these. Of course, these exact attacks will not happen again exactly as they occurred here but it is important to look at real attacks instead of only working by scenarios based on reality.
So, placed in these same situations, would you have been more aware and identified the threat? Would you have avioded these situations or prevented them from escalating to where they did?
Leave your thoughts and comments below in the comments box.
Images via the source articles, google maps and by e_monk and cheggy