Defending Against A Knife Attack

by Philip Holder PhD.
Medical Coordinator – BodySmart Wellness
Grandmaster – North American Wing Chun Association
From copyrighted material. Copyright Philip Holder 2017
Grandmaster, North American Wing Chun Association


Any attack, especially one executed by an armed attacker, can be very dangerous. That being said, attacks from behind, like the one demonstrated in the video portion of this article, are generally perceived to be more threatening and dangerous than an attack from the front. In fact, they are not. The only time that this type of attack will become more dangerous than it needs to be, is when fear takes over via the intimidation factor of not having your attacker clearly in your sites.

This is one of the great advantages of Wing Chun. It is not necessary to depend solely on visual access to what is transpiring. Through the principles of Wing Chun’s Chi Sao, the defender can in large part interpret the attackers position, movement and intent through touch (Contact Reflex).

As in all things Wing Chun, Position, Occupation Of Territory and of course, Proper Footwork, are essential in creating a successful outcome. As well, with any defense against a knife, it is essential that the defender always maintain management of the weapon and of the position of the point of the knife and of the bladed edge(s) of the knife.

Watch the video carefully. It is best if you watch it a few times until you feel confident that you understand the principles involved in this defense. If you choose to practice this defense with a partner remember, as with all things Wing Chun, if you need to use force to make it work, you’re doing something wrong.
After viewing the video, please feel free to contact me through our website Contact Form with any comments or questions.

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