Martial Arts

REVIEW: Knife Defense, Traditional Techniques Against Dagger

My primary methods of knife defense come from karate and Krav Maga. Karate, as my base art, informs how I generate power and manage distance. Krav Maga is a very street ready, scenario based system. I like what they both offer.

Despite the amount of training I’ve done, I prefer to be honest with myself: the knife is one of the deadliest tools ever created. The probability of getting cut, stabbed, and killed is very high no matter what, especially if the bad guy doesn’t want anything more than to hurt you.

That’s why when a resource comes onto my radar about dagger defense, I make sure to watch it and learn whatever I can.

knife defense yang jwing ming

Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming is a highly respected Gongfu and Chin Na practitioner. He has published many dvds and books surrounding the Chinese arts. In this particular dvd, Dr. Yang breaks down multiple traditional ways for managing a knife attack. He covers how to:

  • Distance and angle the body away from attack
  • Use nearby items like belts and chairs as defense
  • Utilize punching and kicking defense techniques
  • Utilize Chin Na techniques
  • Utilize Shuai Jiao wrestling type techniques

In each section Dr. Yang discusses particular defense methods, demonstrates their use, and then has his students come out and attempt the defense. During the student practice sessions Dr. Yang steps in and offers corrections, citing problems the viewer may encounter along the way.

Here’s a video sneak peak at the quality and content of the video:


My Impressions of the DVD

For some reason a lot of martial arts products tend to be grossly overpriced for what you get. Sure, the content is a bit rare and certainly valuable, but I have some dvds that cost $30-$40 for 40 minutes of content. That’s pricey!

This dvd, while $39.95 in price, comes with over 3 hours of content. It’s not a lot of filler either. There is valuable discussion, demonstration, and a whole bunch of practice so you can observe the right and wrong ways to go about the techniques. The value-for-dollar is definitely high with this video.

As for the techniques themselves – most of them have a solid, logical foundation. For my taste, there was a lot more grabbing and manipulating than I care to do. Perhaps it’s the Krav Maga influence, but I’ve always believed in quick and rapid response striking keeping the knife away from the body while not resorting to excessive entanglement.

I personally believe a dvd like this one would certainly be worth the investment, especially if you pair it with a military or Filipino based knife system.

In regards to the host Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming:

I find him to be very pleasant and knowledgeable. He has a kind way about him that helps keep the students safe and positive during their training experience. Unlike a lot of “street pros”, Dr. Yang never talks down to the viewer or makes them feel embarassed for not knowing more about self defense. It’s a pleasure listening to him share information and thoughts about handling the dagger.

Add It To Your Library

If you’d like to add more knowledge of knife self defense to your repertoire, this is a solid and well thought out resource. Grab it here.