Monday, August 17, 2009
Sharp Wits Cut Deeply
Over at Wim Demeere's Blog he and Chris from Martial Development have been sparring over the perenial "Expect-to-get-cut" knife questions.
You can read the details and comments at Wim's Blog linked above, but it brought up an old thought from my past:
I had an occasional training partner that was an incredible athelete. He would run from Portland to Mount Hood in bare feet wearing nothing but running shorts. The guy was unbelieveably strong as well as double-jointed, so you could not apply locks on him. Anyway, he was a student at Fred King's Kung Fu School while I was in the rather mundane Tae Kwon Do by comparison. At his school, knife training started with wide, dull butter knives that were initially wrapped with cloth and tape. Then the tape came off, and finally you worked up to sparring with live blades. It seemed a little extreme to me at the time.
Well, one day two guys were sparring with live blades. One guy had a big knife and the other had a pair of short push-daggers. The guy with the knife tried to parry a thrust by the other guy and got a push-dagger right through the palm of his hand.
Another time, I was screwing around with a rubber training knife in a class I was teaching. I got behind the student I was working with and symbolicly drew the rubber knife across the side of his neck, as in a military sentry elimination. Rubber or not, the poor guy actually thought his throat had been cut, and it almost was. There was a deep red welt across his juggler vein and I realized I could have nearly killed a student with a damned rubber knife.
A few years ago, one of my particulearly aggressive training partners held me from behind with a wooden Tanto pressed into my belly, hostage-style. Truthfully, he was pressing hard enough that if it was a real blade it would already have been in me. As I worked for an escape solution, he pushed harder and before I could collapse his grip and get away, he had managed to stab me with the dull point of the wooden Tanto.
All these things remind me how easy it is to get seriously f**ked up with a real blade, and we shouldn't kid ourselves about faulty training, over-enthusiasm, or our own limitations when actually facing a live blade.
Here's a little "Three Stooges" video we filmed while finishing off a keg of beer a few years ago: