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An interesting article in the Journal of Clinical Forensic Medicine (Volume 10, Issue 1, pp. 1-3, March 2003), although dated, gives some interesting insights into knife attacks

This UK study indicates that 1/3 of assault victims attending the hospital were injured with a knife.  Most have superficial slash-type wounds.  Majority of injuries are to the face, with fewer affecting the upper limb and trunk.    This part is curious, since you would think that there would be slashes on the hands/arms from defensive shielding.  Maybe these were surprise attacks and/or the victims were diminished (or at least unaware or clueless).  11% have multiple wounds, the average number being three – so if you can’t run away or escape, then your best bet is to try and capture or immobilize the weapon bearing limb.  The longer it’s free and swinging at you, the more you’ll get cut.

To better understand the patterns of injury, the researchers then gave untrained soldiers a knife and asked them to attack a human-sized target.   Their attacks followed 3 basic lines -  The Angle 1- a 45o downward diagonal slash from high R to low L (from the attacker’s perspective); Angle 12 – straight down vertical from top of head to belt buckle; and Angle 3 – a horizontal slash from R to L.   These are not too surprising (especially if they attackers were Right-handed).  Most attacks, whether from a club, bottle, knife, or empty hand, are going to come from this quadrant, so understand defenses in that direction (if not all directions). 

Train hard, train safe, and train often.





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