How To Use a Knife For Self-defence? The Simple Guide


Understanding how to use a knife for self-defence is a vital survival skill that should be incorporated into your self-education while considering your own safety and the safety of others you care about.

Although it is anticipated that the mere presence of a knife will serve as a deterrent to any assault, learning how to utilize a knife for self-defence is critical. There are two major ways to hold a knife in one’s hand, for example (the forward grip where the tip is up, and the reverse grip where the tip is down). In this post, I’ll go through how to wield a knife for self-defence in a variety of circumstances possibly without cutting your own hands.

When Is It Okay to Draw a Knife in Self-Defense?

Knives are considered deadly force weapons by the courts, and as such, they should only be used in cases when the individual reasonably feels he or she is at imminent risk of significant physical damage or life-threatening situation, or to save someone else from such harm.

knife for self-defence


When assessing whether or not the use of a knife for self-defence is permissible, several considerations must be considered: Ability, Opportunity, and Intent are all important factors to consider while making a decision. Before you can use any force against someone who is threatening you, the individual threatening you must demonstrate the capacity, opportunity, and purpose to seriously harm you.


If you feel that using a knife is justifiable, you must swing your blade relentlessly and without hesitation until the threat has passed.

How to Use a Knife for Self-Defence?

Don’t draw your knife if you’re not planning to use it. A weapon used to intimidate will almost likely elicit a fight or flight response from the opponent, and momentum can change quickly in their favor. Draw the knife and act quickly, or choose another option. Although they can be effective at times, intimidation tactics usually give the opponent a chance to react and keep control of the situation.

The weapon must be well-made and well-maintained to be believable in self-defence. A Swiss army knife does not appear to be a potentially lethal weapon. When a mugger threatened him with a knife, Crocodile Dundee looked at the weapon and exclaimed, “That’s not a knife,” before pulling a massive Bowie knife and stating, “That’s a knife.”

Having that said, pocket knives and EDC would do just fine. What is more important is that it’s accessible and easy to draw instantly.

The main purpose of the knife is to perform one of the following:

  • Jabing
  • Slashing/cutting

Knife Techniques

I feel that the greatest grip of a knife for self-defence is one that you are most comfortable with and that allows you to wield the knife with the least amount of difficulty. Regardless of how many various knife self-defence tactics and strategies are available, one of the most important essential foundations for almost all of them is to have the knife tip pointing in the direction of your opponent at all times.

There are two main methods to hold the knife while maintaining a strong grip:

1. The Filipino Grip:

Knife Filipino Grip

This grip provides the user with several diverse alternatives. To execute this, one must grip the knife hard with their thumb on top of the blade while directing it directly at the opponent. This method may be used on almost any style of knife. Following that, a frontal stab or slicing action with the knife might be performed.


2. Reverse Knife Hold:

Reverse Knife Hold

Hold the knife with the blade pointed downwards in a reverse knife hold. Wrap your fingers over the knife’s handle and lay your thumb over the knife’s buttocks. To attain the optimum results, the blade should be oriented such that it points outwards. The reverse knife grip is an ideal alternative for stabbing actions that need a lot of power.


When you need to defend yourself and the threat is severe enough that drawing your knife is appropriate, you will not have time to consider your next step or how you will hold your weapon in your hands, no matter how hard you try to plan ahead.

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Where Should You Aim Your Knife When Fighting?

How to use a knife for self-defence? To be honest, don’t. Just don’t draw your knife unless the situation is unavoidable.

What I mean by that, is if in a situation you have the option to run or call for help, then it would be way better than drawing your knife because this will just make the situation get worse. However, in a situation where there is no other option, it’s good to learn some body anatomy to know how to disarm or disable the attacker. So I hope you didn’t miss your Biology class, but if you did, let me give you a brief on where you should aim your knife.

Your main goal is to protect yourself, and not harm other. So the main focus shall be on the big muscles.


1. Forearm or wrist

These spots have main veins or arteries, which will result in an immediate stop by the attacker. They shall be busy trying to stop their bleeding. This is your chance to call for an emergency.

2. The Upper Arm

Biceps and Triceps are the major arm muscles that control the movement of an arm. If the attacker is holding a weapon or grabbing you, slashing these spots would disarm them instantly.

3. Quadriceps muscle

This is the meaty large group of muscles in one’s thigh responsible for carrying the body weight. It’s also considered an easy access spot for cutting or stabbing. The intention is to bring your aggressor to the ground and stop attacking you.

How to Stop the Bleeding?

Stabbing wounds frequently result in catastrophic haemorrhage. There are a few basic measures to do that might assist tremendously and save lives. Continue reading to learn how to manage severe bleeding and shock.

A significant injury should never be washed – it will be cleansed at the hospital. Concentrate on stopping the bleeding.

Slow the bleeding by elevating the bleeding location above the level of the heart. Please keep in mind that the most recent standards no longer advocate elevation. This will not stop the bleeding on its own, and pressure is more necessary. Apply direct pressure on the cut to halt the flow of blood.

Shock is defined as “a lack of oxygen to the body’s tissues.” A drop in blood volume or blood pressure is the most likely reason. If the individual is pale, cold, clammy, and displaying indications of shock, or if there is a lot of blood, assist their circulation by lying down and lifting their legs. To stop the bleeding, elevate the wound and apply direct pressure.

Final Words

While a knife can be a very effective self-defence tool, it’s crucial to know how and when to use it. Before you draw your knife, think twice and assess the situation to decide if you have any other alternatives. But if you are left with no options but to use it, make sure that you know the anatomy of the body. This will ensure that your strikes, using stabbing or slashing techniques, are effective without causing severe damage to yourself or others.

Best knives for Self-Defence:

There are many choices and sizes, and all depends on your preference. Some are foldable blades while others are with fixed blades. My preference is as follow:

Last update on 2022-06-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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