“Atlanta police say an officer was forced to open fire after a man stabbed a plainclothes Georgia State University officer with a large knife in the middle of downtown Atlanta,” wsbtv.com reports. Roger that. Also no question: it sucks to get stabbed. The best way not to be stabbed is not to be stabbable. The best way to attain unstabbability? Stay out of reach. How far out of reach? Different time zone works for me. Short of that . . .
Try to stay well out of arm’s reach. The most effective strategy in that regard: move indeed run away.
But what it you can’t? What if the edged-weapon-wielding perp take you by surprise? Or you’re mobility challenged? In that case, you’re gonna get cut.
Which is why it’s absolutely vital to get some kind of hand-to-hand combat skills under your belt, regardless of how much weight your belt struggles to contain. Using some basic hand, knee and/or elbow strikes you may be able to hurt your attacker enough to get the chance MOVE AWAY. And then, hopefully, leave. While bleeding.
Alternatively, if you can’t or shouldn’t leave (e.g., you’ve got kids in tow), the distance created by your counter-attack may give you the time you need to draw your weapon from concealment, let loose the lead nosecones of war and stop the threat(s). While bleeding.
No matter how you look at it, the gap between you and a two-legged threat is a – if not the key variable. The larger the gap, the more time you have to think/react/escape/evade/attack. That’s why bad guys like to ambush their prey or rush them: to close the distance and limit your options for self-defense. That’s also why you need to spool-up your situational awareness before an attack.
As The Music Man reminded us, you gotta know the territory. And defend it. It’s not just situational awareness that gives you the time you need to consider, choose and implement self-defense options. It’s spatial awareness.
A homeless man walked-up to me in the parking lot yesterday, looking to bum some money. I’ve got nothing against panhandlers per se, but I held up my hand and told him “STAY THERE” as he approached. If he hadn’t stopped I would have walked around the car, putting the vehicle between us, while preparing to draw.
There is no unified field theory of armed self-defense. But if there was it would go like this: distance is time and time is life and life is life (na na na na). Mind the gap. [h/t DB]