When Blade Beats Gun . . . And When It Doesn’t


I like Doug Marcaida. I also like what he and the other guy are bringing up: going to the ground is a fast and effective way to gain distance from an opponent and make it more difficult for him to attack you.
However, what I wish they brought up is the very real possibility that almost no one ever brings up with these types of drills. Just because you stabbed or hacked a guy with a blade – it does not mean the fight is over. Far from it.

Keep in mind this is true for blades as well as guns. In times past, it was quite common on the battle field for a fighter to stab or hack a guy AFTER he himself had already been mortally run through. You are fighting for your life after all and you are already pretty close. This phenomenon was so common that certain fighting systems attempt to mitigate this possibility with slash or cut-through type moves so the attacker retains his weapon and its not stuck in the other guy.
Now bring things to the modern era. Yes, an attacker on the street might get the drop on a cop, guard, or soldier (hello Palestine) with a blade a la the 21-foot-rule, but the chances of S.A.D. (Self Assured Destruction) are high. Cop gets stabbed and then mag dumps. At grappling distances each bullet is almost sure to connect and with maximum kinetic energy. If the guy’s gun gets out then the blade wielding attacker would be lucky if his target eventually dies – forget about himself surviving the fight. One hack/stab vs. 17 rounds of 9mm?
And if said target has an automatic holster like here:


Then the 21-foot-rule turns into the 10-foot-rule. I believe there are times when melee weapons can beat firearms, but as the kids would say, “I’m just keeping it real.”


  1. Sam L. says:


  2. Hannibal says:

    “And when Sir Mordred heard Sir Arthur, he ran until him with his sword drawn in his hand. And there King Arthur smote Sir Mordred under the shield, with a foin of his spear, throughout the body, more than a fathom. And when Sir Mordred felt that he had his death wound he thrust himself with the might that he had up to the bur of King Arthur’s spear. And right so he smote his father Arthur, with his sword holden in both his hands, on the side of the head, that the sword pierced the helmet and the brain-pan, and therewithal Sir Mordred fell stark dead to the earth; and the noble Arthur fell…”

  3. McNamara says:

    A few things to comment here. As for the continuing to fight after a stab, it takes a lot of blood loss to lose combat efficiency. I remember being shown how much you need to lose before passing out (from loss not organ destruction), filling a milk jug full and tipping it over the garage floor, it’s an immense amount. It’s why prison style shanking involved tens of multiple stab wounds to get the job done with a smaller blade.

    As for the rolling, certain arts already teach this for distance and causing confusion to a technique, anything not practiced against just fools your muscle memory. Take the spetsnaz and their gun positioning, your not trained to see someone in such bizarre forms and it gives them the drop. Ninjutsu has a lot of rolls towards and under the moving attackers path, means either a flight path for escape or a turn and reface and the drop on you is lost.

    More should teach these especially the technique where he falls back and draws his sidearm, throwing yourself backwards doesn’t feel natural but again the martial way of stepping back as your leg bends and effectively rolling on to your backside then back works well. After all last thing you want to do is flop backwards, hit your head and game over.

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When Blade Beats Gun . . . And When It Doesn’t

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