Knives, Knife Fighting and Related Hassles
How to Survive a Real Knife Fight
more to meeting a knife on the street than any fancy "knife fighting master"
or deadly combat system guru, sensei, sabumnim or sifu can teach you. The
truth is that on the street odds are you will never see the blade coming ...
but there are signs that can tell you someone is carrying and how. If you
don't learn these danger signs, you'll end up leaking.
And the time to learn is not when you
are actually confronted with this potentially lethal situation. You can
forget the "useless crap" you may have learned via Hollywood or on the floor
of the dojo with rubber training knives, says Marc MacYoung, an LA street
veteran who has actually confronted knives in the hands of people who were
.... less than friendly ... shall we say.
In Knives, Knife Fighting & Related Hassles, MacYoung shows you
the down and dirty reality of knives and street knife use.
How do you avoid a knife fight? How do you deal with someone pulling a
knife without pulling your own blade? How do you handle witnesses? When does
a knife fight escalate to combat?
MacYoung covers all those topics in detail. He also discusses how to
choose a good knife that is designed to serve as a handy tool; the best and
worst grips, draws and stances; dealing with the police; devious street
tricks a thug will use to slip a knife into you before you are aware you've
been attacked; and much more.
MacYoung emphasizes that wielding a blade is not for the ignorant or the
cocky nor is it for threat displays -- those types are weeded out quickly.
You have to rely on your wits, mobility, speed and knowledge in order to
survive a potentially lethal assault.
This books shows how serious and complicated knife attacks can be and
will provide you with the necessary physical and mental skills to either
avoid the situation entirely or at least gain a fighting chance.
Warning: This book was one of the first written when
MacYoung was "coming out of the street lifestyle ("the Life");
offensive language and an obvious display of "street attitude" are
present. This is the very attitude you will face out there. The book
is not for all readers. But the concepts are important, despite
language and presentation.
Knives, Knife Fighting & Related Hassles
(Paladin Press) 1990, 117 pages, ISBN 0-87364-544-8
Softcover, Item# Bknives
Book -- $13
Comments about this book include:
If you are looking to live a long, enjoyable life and expect to have
to deal with knives in order to reach that goal, then this is the book
you must have.
There is a whole bunch of people who fancy themselves as knifers,
knife fighters or whatever they wish to call themselves. But what they
train for is vastly different from what one will see on the street.
Sure, they can get in a ring with someone else with a wooden knife and
beat them and feel real macho, but they will be the first to fall when
they meet up with someone who does not flash a knife before sticking it
in them. Boy, the ring really does not prepare you for that, now does
This book is about what people will see on the street, as well as
the techniques that the author has found to work when your veins are
filled with adrenaline, your vision has gone tunnel and your hands are
clammy with either sweat and/or blood. It is a reality far removed from
the training halls of JKD or any other martial art.
One of the most valuable sections of this book is on common ways of
hiding a blade that are used by street scum. It will help you to
recognize such grips when used by others before they get a chance to get
close to you. If you can not even do this, then all the fancy simawali
drills or expensive fighting knives you have will not be worth a bucket
My only reservation is that this book deals mainly with things that
are best conveyed in the written form. Things that are too complicated
to describe appear on two videos he has made, but he never mentions the
videos in this book. I do not know how he could transfer some of the
stuff from the videos to the written word, but I would be amiss in not
pointing out that this book, like all books, can not give the whole
picture of an activity like knife combat.
-- Don Roley, Japan
I survived two knife encounters through sheer luck and stupidity before
I found this book a few years ago. As a knight in a medieval recreation
group (sort of like a black belt of swords, shields and stuff) I thought
I really knew what I was doing. Problem is, street confrontations are
nothing like tournament competition.
I learned two essential lessons from MacYoung's book: The first is that
there is no such thing as a knife fight as the author pointedly states
(pun intended). It is really a knife ambush. Unless you are lucky or
highly trained you'll never see it coming. Fortunately both punks I
tangled with were rank amateurs who flashed their blades giving me
enough time to react. The second is a comprehensive understanding of
where, how, and why street thugs conceal their knives to pull off an
effective assassination. The awareness is illuminating and very possibly
life saving as well.
Knives are as ubiquitous as cell phones these days. Working in a stadium
where weapons of all types are prohibited and bags are searched on the
way in, I nevertheless pull knives off at least a couple of fans every
game. Imagine how often you find them out in the street where they are
more or less legal. This book is packed with stuff you gotta know!
My only complaint is that while it is long and deep on theory it is a
bit short on technique. There are plenty of good sources to supplement
this knowledge so that is not a serious detractor
-- Lawrence Kane, author of
The Way of Kata
Martial Arts Instruction
When I read his (Marc MacYoung's) knife books and
saw his vids, there was nobody doing 'combatives' and fancy martial
artsy defences against the knife were the order of the day. There
was him and Peyton Quinn...others copied them.
Oh, and I've been known to mess up a guy's seminar instruction,
myself, nottoo hard to do when everyone knows what is supposed to come
next -- Ted Truscott,
Granted, this is not the best book available if you want to learn fancy
technique or dubious "sentry deanimation" tactics. However, I recommend this
text to anyone who carries cold steel for the simple fact that, unlike
nearly every other book on the subject, this one truly delivers actual
information about REAL "knife fighting" as it actually occurs on the street!
You see, most of those other books give you really bad advice on dealing
with confrontations, telling their readers to "slash his throat and stick
him in the heart," or similar nonsense. Granted, if you happen to be in the
jungle or the cell block, you probably want to "take out" your adversary as
quickly and efficiently as possible -- but NOT in a crowded roadhouse full
of hostile witnesses!!! If you shank some loudmothed drunk for no good
reason -- even if he DID happen to be wavin' his lockblade around -- you
will soon find yourself locked inside a dank concrete pit for several years
with a bunch of weightlifting goblins who'd really like to get to know you
better. Animal, however, gives you options.
First, he lets you know that there is a big difference between a knife
fight and knife combat. First, in the typical knife fight, only one person
actually has a knife! Second, in the typical knife fight, the unarmed fellow
usually ends up retreating (although this is often to either call friends or
get a gun). And, most importantly, even if you DO actually cut the guy,
KILLING HIM IS UNNECESSARY!!! A slash across the forehead and a couple light
jabs into his grasping hands will do wonders towards adjusting his bad
attitude -- with no need to leave a body on the floor. Animal makes it
perfectly clear that killing your attacker is usually a poor choice,
considering the serious legal repercussions, and he gives great advice
(learned from experience) on how to address your audience in such a way as
to influence them to inform the authorities that you really didn't seem to
have any other option.
This book gives sound advice on dealing with the cops, dealing with
witnesses, and spotting a potential sneak attack. I recommend it highly. --
Tyr Shadowblade, Virginia Beach, Virginia
Author's comment: The reason for the "theoretical" bent of
Knives, Knife Fighting and Related Hassles, is that it was one of a
three-part project. They were released over a span of two years. The combo
Surviving/Winning a Street
covers the technical aspects of knives. As I often say, the book
discusses the things you need to consider if you are carrying a knife and
are in areas where they are common. Surviving focuses on options to
use if you are attacked; Winning is about using a knife.
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