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  1. #1

    Saving Private Ryan- knife work

    "SSsshhhhhh sssshhhhhh"

    Taught a into to knife defense class recently and for funsies at the end we looked at the infamous knife kill scene near the end of the movie.

    I’ve had people say “that’s about the hardest thing to get out of, what could he have done?” in a real defeatist way.

    The answer is ridiculously simple. We shot some video also, but it’s crazy long so I’ll have to try to edit it down so we can transfer it.

    So here’s the scene (see pic), your mounted (guy on top all his weight pressing down. He’s got a doubled up grip driving the knife down to your chest. Your on bottom. You form a frame with your arms or try to grasp his wrists with yours.


    See the scene in Private Ryan if you aren’t getting this.

    So bigger guy wins right? Not necessarily.

    So let’s start right from where the movie was, just before the famous “shhhh sshhhhhhhh” part LOL.

    Bottom guy will keep the frame or wrist lock and give him resistance. Top guy in response is 99% of the time going to do what??? Give you more damn resistance. It becomes a who’s stronger fight.

    Bottom guy will simply release and redirect all at once, either to the right or the left side of his body.


    Most of time I’ve done this working with people that don’t have a good grappling base, they will typically come so far off you can just switch your hips and come into guard or even pass. Don’t forget the knife!

    90% of the time when doing this out on the dirt, the training knife ends up digging into the dirt at this point, further facilitating escape. Either way, lock out to control/redirect any further movement of the knife and ideally switch your hips to end up in a better position.

    If the person on top has a good “base” usually from a background in wrestling, jitz, etc. he will still be compromised enough for you to flow right into a standard mount escape. Nothing fancy at this point, the basics work, and he WILL be off balanced.

    Remember there is never an impossible training situation, there is just situations you need to explore and train for. Gun to your back, someone with a rear naked choke on you, knife to your throat, etc all these bad positions can be worked from. Better to try than the alternative right?

    I’ll try to edit the video down and post it also.

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  2. #2
    Super Moderator Patriotic Sheepdog's Avatar
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    Jul 2010
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    Thanks for the tip...video would be good, but explanation was instructional.
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