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AAR: OnSight Firearms Training Defensive Knife Skills. *Written by a 14 yr old girl*


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May 16, 2011
West of Boston
AAR: CLASS REVIEW: OnSight Firearms Training Defensive Knife Skills MA 10-17-19

Self-Defense Knife Training
October 17, 2019

In Lowell MA, my father and I were the first ones to show up to class, Ben DeWalt and Larry the owner of the building was there as well. After about twenty minutes of talking with Ben and Larry about all sorts of fun things the other two students arrived. A woman named Nicole there who was a statistician for a college and her husband Robert. We said hello and chatted with them for a few minutes while they got ready.

Ben started the class, we all took turns describing themselves, our names, our age, our occupation, other training we had taken and why we're are taking this class. I said since I am not able to carry a firearm that I wanted to know how to use a knife to defend myself if needed.

After the brief introduction, Ben showed us and described the pros and cons of different kinds of knives such as the clinch pick, neck knives, hunting knives, and other types. He went over what can happen to you if you carry certain knives, how they look to the police or in court, as some knives have the appearance of indenting to kill. Ben also showed us how we can use other tools as knives like regular ballpoint pens and screwdrivers as weapons.

Before learning different ways to use a knife he showed us how to hold a knife correctly. We were all given a fake training knife with a medium-sized blade. Ben taught us when to use our knife and when to fight or take flight and get out of the danger area.

Different ways to hold a knife:
Regular grip (with the knife pointing up or down)
Regular grip with the thumb on the top of the handle (with the knife pointing up or down)
Using the regular grip with the index finger on the side, with no thumb on the top handle (with the knife being held at an angle parallel).

Next Ben described how to use the knife. Each type was shown with a real knife on a cardboard target and then Ben did a demonstration with the plastic training knife. We paired off and practiced what Ben had just shown us with a partner. One of us would grab or try to choke the other and the other person “the victim” would grab their training knife (usually from the appendix region) and we used the tactic we just were shown to defend ourselves.

We learned the following:
  • An “X” cut (a cutting motion for the neck to the pelvis region in one singular motion)
  • A horizontal cut (slice the eyes, the neck, and pelvis region)
  • A stab inside the collar bone
  • A slice across the neck through a smooth step
  • A stab through the pelvic region, turn, and a slice through it after putting all weight in the knife
  • Leg cuts-the different places to cut on the legs. Concentrating on the arteries.
  • Flicking method (using the tip of the knife to make holes in people).

After we learned the different cutting tactics we were taught to defend ourselves with a knife coming at us. As a class, we learned how to block the hand with the knife, and then stab the perpetrator in the armpit or drag the knife across their arm tearing their skin off, Ben called this raking. We learned how to bring the perpetrator to the ground. (I think I hurt my dad a little too much on this one, by blocking his arm and pushing on his elbow in a way it should not go…)

At the end of the class, we then took turns chasing our partner with the training knives we used the tactics we just learned to fight back/run away. My dad was always too slow-I killed him a lot. Poor Dad!

Basic learning of how to use a knife properly when in distress


  • Learning different types of knives
  • How to determine when to take out your knife
  • When to fight or flight
  • How to hold the knives
  • Different ways to use knives in self-defense
  • How to block people with knives coming at you
Overall this was a fantastic class, as Ben DeWalt is a fantastic instructor, and I feel as if everyone should be trained in knife self-defense.
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