US Marine Corps Knife Fight Training (With Video)


Although my default is to think of knives as tools, our friend Doug Ritter reminds us that “They’re used by millions of Americans everyday, at home, at work, recreationally. But every once in a while they are used as a weapon…as an arm. And that’s protected by the Second Amendment.” Truer words…

The US Marine Corps knows a thing or two about using knives as arms. They are the only branch of the United States Armed Forces to train all of their members in knife combat. Thanks to the YouTube video below we get to see their training in action.

These Devil Dogs certainly look deadly to my untrained eye, engaging opponents with simulated bayonets and machetes, as well as with training versions of combat knives.

According 5 Secrets of Marine Corps Knife Fighting  on there are five basic principles on display in the video.

  1. Keep the knife “in the box.”
  2. Target vital areas that are unprotected.
  3. Move to the sides
  4. Placement and grip
  5. Stance

Obviously things are a little more complex than a simple list will allow. Follow the link for elaboration on each subject.

Note: Don’t practice knife-fighting without a qualified trainer and only use training knives, never real blades.

On the flipside, to protect yourself from a knife wielding attacker, check out Ernest Emerson’s advice on surviving a knife attack.


  1. David says:

    Glad to see someone is training w/ a wide range of weapons that includes knives.

    Just an observation but a corollary to # 2 is go for the neck or head. If you hear of guys that survive an attack w/ multiple stab wounds they are usually torso shots. Unless you have something approximating sword size, slashes and stabs to the torso just do not go deep enough to shut down a 200 lbs. mammal. Slashing major blood vessels in the limbs would do the trick but that is very hard to do when the other guy is moving. Eyes are not just windows to the soul, they also buttons for shutting down the central nervous system 🙂

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US Marine Corps Knife Fight Training (With Video)

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