One of the interesting takeaways from my knife defense class was some of the comments in a Facebook group where Jeff Street posted a link to the article. Another instructor in the group didn’t believe that the class taught anything worthwhile because it didn’t teach us how to then press the attack with a knife, it taught us how to get away from the knife and therefore was of little use.
The thing is though, I really, really don’t want to get into knife fight when I fight: I prefer not to get into a fight at all. If I have to get into a knife fight, I want it to quickly evolve into a gun fight, because I’m much better that I am with knives. A pistol fight also gives me the wonderful option of running away screaming in terror, which is the most effective defense against the knife there is.
The trainer who was complaining that our class was “unrealistic“ was a big proponent of force on force training to prove that his theories were correct, and the videos he posted to bolster his arguments showed that yes, they did indeed work.
As long as you play by the rules he set up prior to the start of the fight, and that’s a mighty big if.
I’m not really interested in force on force training which proves that your system works: I’m more interested in scenarios that show where it breaks and where we need to improve. Force on force training works because we have to improvise on the fly when we’re in the fight. Force on force in training helps us improvise quicker, better, and more often, not repeat the patterns of training we already know, that’s what drills are for.
There are many trainers out there who denigrate the use of practical shooting as a way to improve your pistol skills. They say that the minute you define the rules of the match, it no longer becomes effective combat training. Personally, I think you can thousand years of human civilization argues against this back. From the ancient Greeks on Mount Olympus to the Roman gladiator games to knights of olde jousting to samurai attacking each other with wooden swords, mankind has always used sport as a way to improve our combat ability.
Are there more rules in a sporting event than there are in real life? Of course there are! Those rules, however, are there so sport becomes a learning event, not a literal life-and-death struggle. We learn the rules, we master them, and then we learned to break them when necessary.