It’s a two-for-one clearance on weapons attacks here at the MacDonald’s AMA Krav Maga blog. Never say you don’t get your money’s worth (as the blog costs you nothing).
[KINDA GRAPHIC FOOTAGE]
After absorbing several repeated stabs, the soldier desperately struggles with the terrorist and a bystander comes by to try and help, before the terrorist breaks free and stabs his victim several more times as the officer tries to escape.
The 37-year-old officer was hospitalized with moderate wounds, after suffering numerous stabs to his upper body.
The terrorist, who fled the scene after the attack, was captured by security forces after a manhunt and taken in for questioning.
While the 16-year-old terrorist reportedly claimed he stabbed the officer in “self-defense” after an argument broke out between them, a claim currently under investigation, the footage would seem to blatantly disprove his version of events.
“Self defense”. Okay.
The officer is recovering well, reports say. Uncharitable as it seems to critique his performance in a real life-or-death situation (who among us would volunteer to take his place?), we are students; our aim is to learn. And Krav continually refines its defenses based on threats as they actually crop up on the street.
So…defense against maniacal stabbing from behind: go!
By my count, he takes three slashes before tying up the knife hand of the attacker: pretty good for getting stabbed from behind, even if he didn’t employ the 360 defense we learn in the Krav system. But he doesn’t seem to know what to do next. What would you do? Just with your Krav skills alone? (Those with training in other martial arts keep your answers to yourselves.)
His hands are necessarily busy keeping the knife pinned. But his feet are free, and he’s got big boots on. He could have stomped on the terrorists feet at will, scraping the hard rubber sole down the shin as he went. Or heel-kicked him in the groin. I can’t be certain, but it looks to me like he could have switched his stance to get his right leg back to throw knees and kicks. Early in the struggle, I think he could have even thrown some head butts as well.
The passerby does him no favor, though thanks for trying. (Ask me or Brian how to tighten a forearm choke when the person is struggling—or better, ask Dave Kennedy, who showed us.) When the terrorist gets free, the officer makes a serious error by dropping his bag, which would have been useful to block further knife thrusts. Front kicks to the body and groin kicks would have helped keep the terrorist at bay.
But he lived, he will recover, which is perhaps the best lesson to take away from this scenario. Defending a knife attack may be your worst nightmare (it is mine), but you’re not necessarily finished if you get cut (which in your nightmare you will). You can fight back and live. Take that to your training: defend yourself and fight back as if your life depended on it.
As with almost all street violence, the other take-away is situational awareness. No one expects to be set upon by a crazed, knife-wielding terrorist—unless you’re a border policemman in Israel. Lately. But even if you’re not, an alertness just shy of paranoia feels appropriate these days.
Here’s someone who was perhaps too aware. Who might have been better off had he noticed less.
[SORTA GRAPHIC FOOTAGE]
Peter Gold, the 25-year-old Tulane medical student shot while trying to stop an armed robbery in the Lower Garden District, has been released from the hospital, a university spokesman said Wednesday (Dec. 2).
It’s unclear when exactly Gold was released. He had been in “guarded condition” following the early morning shooting on Nov. 20 at Magazine and St. Mary streets. The man suspected of shooting Gold, 21-year-old Euric Cain, is being held without bond after his arrest on charges of attempted first-degree murder, armed robbery with a firearm, second-degree kidnapping and attempted armed robbery with a firearm.
Gold’s shooting has drawn considerable attention outside of New Orleans, with many people on social media hailing him as a hero for stopping to intervene in what authorities said was an attempt by Cain to rob a woman walking on Magazine Street around 4 a.m.
The story has also generated national and international coverage because of the graphic surveillance footage showing the man identified by police as Cain shooting Gold in the stomach, and then trying twice to shoot Gold in the head as he writhed in pain on the sidewalk. The gun appears to jam both times, and the gunman flees out of view of the camera.
He is a hero. He’s also lucky to be alive. Again, not to blame the victim—and who among us can be sure we’d do better—but that’s no way to survive a kill shot. Not if you’ve trained for it.
His best bet would have been to act in the initial confrontation. It’s said the gunman demanded Gold’s money, but Gold wasn’t carrying any. Doesn’t matter. Our instructors urge us to use our intincts to decide whether and how to act. Gold was suspicious enough to stop and investigate in the middle of the night, and quickly found a gun in his face. Instinct-wise, it had to be go time.
Hand him your wallet, your keys, your shoe, half a sandwich, anything to distract him. The gunman is just out of range for a gun defense, so use the opportunity to step forward and offer up the object. Per Dave Kennedy again, drop it—and use the distraction to go for the gun. Then give it your best gun-from-the-front:
They’ve tweaked the actual disarm maneuver a little since that video was made, but the principle is the same: avoid the line of fire when reaching for the weapon.
But let’s take it a little further. Suppose you get shot, and you drop as Peter Gold did. But the gunman moves in for the kill. You still have options.
Krav Maga Worldwide doesn’t have a video of an execution-style gun defense, and my 2007-vintage manual doesn’t cover the scenario either, but Jarret Waldman, of the Imi Lichtenfeld branch of the Krav Maga tree, shows us something that looks remarkably familiar:
Like our “live side” gun defense, two hands go to the gun—one grabs the barrel to redirect the line of fire, the other cups the back of the gun for control and to aid in the disarm. I can’t swear you’ll want, or even be able, to do this with a bullet in your gut, but if you can apply the Krav principles of redirect, control, attack, takeaway—RCAT—you’ve still got a chance.
Of course, no one says you have to be a hero every time.