Grounded Knife Threat
A grounded knife threat is when you are lying on the ground and the attacker is in a top dominate position holding the knife at your face or neck. That being said, they want something from you, if they wanted to kill or stab you they would have already done that.
This can be a very intimidating and very dangerous position to be in. We have less mobility on the ground, and the techniques require a bit more practice. In this article I will cover the three most probable positions on the ground you could find yourself in while facing a grounded knife threat. In my last self-defense article I spoke of defending a standing knife threat, and the weapon defense training continuum. It is the same when we are grounded.
- Clear your self from the line of danger
- Control the weapon arm
- Deliver a quick and stunning blow
- Disarm the weapon
We are always looking for the opportunity to escape.
The first position I will discuss is the bottom mount, (someone is sitting on your stomach/chest aria), and the knife is being held at your throat.
As before anytime the knife threat is around your neck or face area, drop your chin and hold your hands up towards the weapon, “Framing the Weapon”.
Grab the weapon arm around the wrist with one or both hands in a baseball bat style grip.
Once you have a firm grip on the weapon arm move the weapon away from your neck by thrusting it up for the above your head. Doing this will throw their balance forward. When this happens bridge up and over by lifting your hips up as high as you can.
As they roll off, maintain a grip on the wrist at this time, it is likely that you can deliver knee strikes or kicks to the low target areas, the groin, inner thigh, hamstring, buttocks. Now pin the weapon hand to the ground using both hands placing all your weight on the wrist aria. It is as if you are doing a pushup on their hand, with your arms extended.
Now for the disarm. When we are grounded, one of the best ways to disarm an attacker is to lift the hand that is holding the weapon slightly off of the ground, and violently slam the back of their hand into the ground numerous times until the weapon is released. At this point you should seize the window of opportunity for escape and do so.
Remember the strikes thrown during this encounter are probably the least important of all of the moves, if it’s there take it if it’s not do not look for it.
The next position which is somewhat is inside your guard. The knife is that your neck.
Very similar to being mounted with a knife in your neck except we have our legs wrapped around their waist. Your hand position and neck chin position will be the same as earlier. Grab the weapon in the same baseball bat style grip, thrust the weapon up over your head. At this point you can release the legs and scoot out from underneath the assailant. Jujitsu practitioners and wrestlers could use the scissor sweep: but really all you need to do is scoot off to the side, I recommend always trying to go to their elbow (to the back side of their arm).
At this point you can deliver some kicks to the body or face or knees to the body or legs. Pin their hand to the ground as if you’re doing a push-up on their wrist. You can choose to disarm by slamming their hand into the ground or you could just release and run.
The next position is the top side mount or cross body mount. Someone is laying on top of you off to the side.
I know this is going to sound repetitive but were keeping all of our defenses as similar as possible so that under stress you can actually use them.
Turn into the attacker to whichever side they’re facing you hands up, chin tucked. Grab their wrist with one or both hands push the weapon up above your head and start wiggling your hips away from the attacker. Jujitsu practitioners will know this as shrimping away. If you’re able to roll to your stomach do so. If not, use multiple kicks while maintaining a grip on their wrist. Roll to your stomach and force their hand to the ground by placing all your weight on their wrist, as we talked about earlier. Perform your disarm and run.
How I would like you to practice these techniques:
Clear yourself from the line of attack:
This is done by tucking the chin and shrugging shoulders. At the same time placing your hands near the weapon, framing the weapon, once the weapon is framed grab the weapon with one or both hands in the baseball bat grip.
I would have you practiced this for a minimum of three, 3 minute rounds.
For the next three rounds practice from the starting point to the point of grabbing and thrust the weapon arm above your head.
Three more rounds is where you add on the escape portion. You are moving your body out from under the individual while pinning their hand to the ground.
Finally the last three rounds of practice I would have you do the entire scenario all the way to the disarm, which is slamming their hand of violently into the ground until the weapon is released, and then run.
In this format you’ll be working your technique for about one hour.
Within about an hour timeframe you can learn and practice these real techniques numerous times, building the muscle memory you need to have performance under stress.
Once you do these initial 12 rounds if there’s any one spot that is giving you trouble, or if there is a position you’re uncomfortable with, perform that piece for a few more rounds.
I also like to use these as warm-up drills. Going slowly through the drills developing that muscle memory and the comfort of being able to keep that weapon away from your neck and face.
I always recommend wearing eye protection for both parties when practicing any kind of knife defense or knife skills.
As always, train hard, train safe,
Get out of your comfort zone and thrive.