Knife Defense Video: MMA Fighter Jon Fitch Vs. The Shock Knife

Gun usually beats knife, especially outside of 21 feet. Inside that range, a top-tier UFC mixed-martial arts fighter like Jon Fitch does pretty well too, especially when he knows what he’s facing. How useful are these advanced grappling techniques for mere mortals like us?

You make the call, but neither of the combatants in this video seem to be attacking the way a knife fighter would. And defensive shooting is probably much easier for guys like us to learn (and much less painful) than the years of grounding and pounding that MMA fighters have to endure as they pummel their way to the top.

I know it’s a little off-topic, but MMA fans are free to chime in with their thoughts about Fitch’s dismissal from UFC earlier this year as well.


  1. Mike says:

    There are those who will be in an ugly street fight. There will be those who won’t. I am reminded of the classic Jewish comedy skit about the escaped convicts caught and sentenced to three lashes each….I’ll leave the punch line to the the audio cut following:

  2. Robert Farago says:

    Huh? My first course of action: run like hell. Second, find something to put between me and my attacker (a car, telephone poll, something). Third, attack all-in viciously. Fourth: back to run like hell.

    Am I wrong?

    1. Chris Dumm says:

      I can’t find a video of ‘Usain Bolt vs. Knife’ but I’d bet he escapes every time.

  3. Aharon says:

    Cool vid. I hope I never get into a knife fight. I’m suddenly feeling motivated to buy a pair of running shoes.

  4. Charles says:

    Sorry to see Fitch released but he was boring in the cage and lacked any stand up game.

    1. Chris Dumm says:

      He seemed impossible to choke out; I think the arteries in his neck were much deeper than most.

  5. Ralph says:

    This vid shows one thing for sure: once you take knife-guy’s wrist, you’re like the guy who grabbed the tiger by the nose. If you let go, you’re dead. What’s not shown in the vid is that while you’re hanging on for dear life with both hands, Mr. Knife Guy can be doing the business to your throat, nose, eyes or b@lls with his off hand. It’s just a bad situation.

    1. To quote Burn Notice (again, I know)

      “The key to a good knife defense is to control the knife hand and strike with everything you’ve got. Fighting is often about tactical retreats, like…running away from two knives. It’s also about knowing how to make the body count unacceptable.”

  6. David says:

    As I stated in another thread if there are multiple attackers you are done for.

    Even Jon gets got around 1:30 – still did good for not training specifically w/ knives for any amount of time.

    No striking! WTF! This ain’t the cage. You can head-butt and knee/kick to the groin when dude is trying to knife you or take your knife. Just like gun (generally) beats knife – striking (generally) beats grappling.

    It’s pretty apparent that size, strength, and physicality matter tons here. I can see many a soccer mom being intimidated by even thinking about this. Guns are called equalizers for a reason; stored energy weapons (like guns) bring the training curve way down.

  7. Mark N. says:

    My take is the same as Chris’. I would never do all that grappling in a knife fight–I would lose. There was no punching, no kicking, no slashing. Just a wrestling match with one guy holding a knife.

  8. HS says:

    Krav Maga for the win.
    The defender should have been striking every chance he got. This is a [simulated] street fight, not ballet.

  9. Wes says:

    To everyone saying that you should use striking and not grappling against a knife–you certainly can strike, and it would no doubt be useful. At some point, however, you have to get control of the attacker’s knife wielding limb, and this cannot generally be accomplished with one hand, especially when grabbing at the wrist. However, you can get away with one handed control if you limit the mobility/leverage of the attacker’s limb to one joint and maximize the contact/leverage of your arm (i.e. grabbing at the elbow, from inside the arm, in an overhook/clamping fashion, pinning his arm under yours). You can also block with one arm and strike with the other on your way in (though it is not very realistic to think that you’ll be able to block every stab/slash indefinitely until you manage to knock the attacker out), but other than that you’re limited to strikes with your head and legs, which can no doubt be effective. Regardless, though, your best bet is to put your attacker on the ground somehow and put the boot to him, perhaps wrenching his arm somewhere in the process. Striking is definitely a part of this (keeping in mind that your hands will most likely be occupied holding onto the other fellow’s arm for dear life), but so is grappling. Turns out, oddly enough, things that work in the ring also work in the street (albeit modified for the lack of rules) but, more importantly, things that do not work in the ring are probably a bad idea against a knife as well.

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Knife Defense Video: MMA Fighter Jon Fitch Vs. The Shock Knife

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