“A Knife Should Be Felt, Not Seen.” 

"A knife should be felt, not seen." 



This kind of a macho-sounding meme is going around the web. I guess that's true if you are…you know…like an assassin or something? Or in a horrible, desperate worst case scenario? I think we can all conjure up a nasty situation where you need a concealed drawn knife at the ready. And then sneak it into action. But to suggest that "all knives should be felt, not seen?"

"Seen knives" have worked well too, which is what I would like to talk about here. But there use to be a number of studies by the Department of Justice that said – and it varied a bit each of the years they did it – some 65% to 75% – or like an average of 67% of the time, the presentation of a knife or gun to a criminal, "scared" the attacker off. Meaning that only about 30% of the time, people had to actually fight (as in wound, maim or kill, or be those those things). Now, stats can be screwy but I know numerous people, some of you reading this now, that have interrupted an attack by presenting their knife (or gun), and the event was never reported to the police, never making the DOJ study list. I might easily be convinced that there are many more such successful, presentation-interruptions than the G-Men found.

So, there is also some merit to an opponent seeing the knife sometimes. Lots of people get stabbed and complain that it felt like they were being hammer-fisted or punched, and continued fighting, oblivious to the fact their opponent had a knife. Staying too close, too long. Would you stay in a fistfight against someone with a knife, when you could leave? Depends, huh? The display, presentation of the weapon, with a threat and command presence, can end the fight before it starts and it has!

A presented knife can hold attackers at bay for an orderly retreat. Stuff like that.

Numerous vets report that letting the opponent see the knife, hear the threat, and it counts for something, sometimes, because it has worked.

All these things have happened not just in personal anecdotes, but in research. I think people should be open to the situational problem-solving, not these kinds of overall one-note, well…macho suggestions. Supporters of this message claim "well, you know, it is out of context." But the message is exactly what the message is. Heck, life is out of context. We need to shoot for the best message.

That line might sound so cool, until you're in jail. Or in court. I hope in the end the overall situation is in your favor. I have seen them go both ways. (And I know for a fact that whatever you have posted on Facebook will be used in court against you.)

So you have in a continuum, whether gun or knife:

Draw/Don't Draw

Point/Don't Point

Use/Don't Use

Hock's email is HockHochheim@ForceNecessary.com