Krav Maga Knife Defense Techniques- Chances Favor The Prepared Mind

Learning how to defend yourself is very crucial these days, especially towards all weapons that have sharp edges, knives especially. When learning a martial art, one of the most important factor you should focus on is learning how to defend against violent confrontation, for example an aggressor who is wielding a deadly weapon with intention to cause harm to you.

In reality, there is no such thing as fighting fair and square in the real world. In a melee combat, a knife wielder can be many times more dangerous than someone who is bare-handed or carrying a gun. Here in kravmagarock, there are some Krav Maga Knife Defense techniques you can use to get yourself to safety.


Understanding A Knife Attack

Before we go further down into talking about knife defense techniques, first we need to understand the difference between a knife attack and a knife threat. Most of the time, a knife attack is provoked by verbal confrontation. Before an actual knife attack begins, you should try to defuse the situation before it starts to become a physical combat with your potential aggressor.

Knife attack is generalized into a knife in motion. With a knife in hand, the aggressor is swinging the weapon in motion and moving towards you with an intent to strike you down. If the aggressor is going after your valuables such as wallet, phones or your watch, it may be the best option to comply to whatever the aggressor demands.

Every person trained in self-defense must understand firstly that none of your valuables is more important than your life. However, you should also need to determine what kind of state the aggressor is it. If you are facing the prospect of the person who is drunk or he or she just wants your valuable, then you can use this information you evaluated to act in accordance to your approach.

Krav Maga is all about making survival as your first priority when it comes to your life under threat, even if you are already a well-trained fighter. The best Krav Maga knife defense technique is of course running away from violent confrontation first.

Additionally in real life cases like this, you might have two options- first is defend and fight back, and the other one is escape. Sometimes escaping is not an option as you might be cornered. Alternatively, if you are unable to escape, then you have to fight back.


Prior To The Physical Confrontation

As aforementioned, what triggered a possible knife confrontation most of the time is because of verbal disagreement or other sorts of threats to rob the victim’s valuables. The general rule of thumb is, if you detect trouble at first intuition, then you should keep your eyes firmly on the aggressor’s hands at all times. If the person’s hands is concealed and hidden behind the back, then you should be more ready to either flee or try to attack the aggressor’s preparation as fast as possible.

As for the timing to react, Krav Maga teaches their students to always attack the aggressor’s preparation and strike the person before he or she has the chance to strike you.

During The Physical Confrontation

If the aggressor is charging towards you, the first thing in mind is to always run away to safety and get to a safe place as soon as possible. If the situation started off in a close quarters, then running away will not be an option.

You have to be mentally prepared and come to terms that there is a significant chance that you will be cut by the weapon, but as long as the weapon does not strike onto your vital spots, it will be fine and seek medical help later on. It is better to be cut on the forearm than being cut on your face, eyes or throat.

Over here in Krav Maga, you will learn how to protect yourself and take the aggressive approach to counter-attack. Krav Maga knife defense teaches specific principles on controlling, striking and disarming the weapon away from the aggressor.

If the initial counter-attack is successful and the aggressor managed to writhe in pain for a moment, use the chance to get away. But otherwise, you have to keep in mind that you have to be aggressive enough to keep striking the aggressor to disarm the weapon or taking the weapon away.

Self-defense against knife or any other sharp objects is comprehensive part of any martial arts training, including Krav Maga as well.

WATCH: How to use Krav Maga’s Knife Defense during the confrontation

Understanding A Knife Threat


As I have mentioned just now, there is a difference between a knife attack and a knife threat. Moving on to knife threats, they refer to an aggressor wielding a knife but the person is not moving yet and still in an intimidating position.

In this case, this situation often happens when the person is using the weapon and wants to demand something for you in return, using the weapon as his or her leverage to get whatever the person wants from you. For example, the aggressor holds a knife and points it at your back, wanting all of your valuables in return or he or she threatens to kill you if you do not comply.

In this situation, it is going to be a different defensive technique as compared to a knife attack. You will have to start off with doing a submissive and complying stance such as raising both of your hands up and giving all of your valuables to the person, so that you are signaling to the aggressor that you are not really looking for trouble, catching the person off-guard.

Next, it will be followed up with a quick turn to control the aggressor’s hand which is holding onto the knife and followed by a strike to the aggressor.

Two Categories Of A Knife Aggressor- Committed & Non-Committed


A committed knife wielder aggressor will make headway forward in a line to attack with everything the person got. In this case, the person is still undeniably dangerous, but it will be easier to defend against the aggressor.

The Krav Maga way towards a knife defense is basically three steps- one to evade the weapon by side-stepping and alternatively, you can pull yourself back while instantaneously striking the arm away from your body that is holding the knife. The next step is to trap the arm and lock it via the joint between the upper arm and the forearm with your wrist and press it hard towards your body. In this way, you are gaining control of it and restricting the aggressor from swinging the arm.

The last step is to strike the aggressor on his or her vulnerable part of the face. This has to be done simultaneously while locking away the arm that is holding the weapon. Striking the face continuously will give you the upper hand as well as the person will bound to drop the weapon due to the impact.

WATCH: Krav Maga’s Bursting technique to use against a committed aggressor


A non-committed knife wielder aggressor on the other hand, will be much dangerous and much tougher to stop. He or she will be in a trance-like state, dancing around and swinging the weapon in all directions.

If you are out of your mind by trying to approach the person head on, chances are you will definitely get cut. As I have mentioned previously, it is best to get cut on the forearm rather than on your throat or other vulnerable parts of your body. In a situation like this, you have to raise your forearm and get yourself in a defensive posture.

The most ideal move you can do is to dodge and step sideways, stay in motion and move your body away from the aggressor at all times. If by any chances the aggressor wants to strike your stomach, pull your stomach in and jump back, likewise if the person is going after your head, bend your head back and jump backwards, while remembering to always look at the hands of the wielder.

Although the techniques to counter both committed and non-committed aggressors are much more direct and easier than the knife disarms techniques, you will still need time to perfect these skills, with a qualified instructor by your side to watch for safety of course.

The beauty of the martial art Krav Maga is that these same self-defense principles can be applied to a variation of knife attacks from different directions and angles as well.


Seek For Medical Help Immediately

Unfortunately, we only live once. Truth to be told, those people who managed to survive a knife attack will definitely get cut somewhere around their bodies. More often than not, we humans die not because of the cut, but due to severe blood loss or even from infections if we do not seek medical help immediately. By seeking medical help, this is also considered as part of the Krav Maga knife defense techniques!

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If you ever need a hand or have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to help you out.

Warmest regards,

Vinc Lee

Founder of

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