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Convergence knife. Converging the law and rules of engagement with knife training. If you achieve a disarm, and the criminal drops the knife, ever wonder what to do next, I mean legally? What might some legal issues be? It could be tricky, depending upon the who, what, where, when, how and why of your situation. You might ask:

-Who Knife?
-What Knife?
-Where Knife?
-When Knife?
-How Knife?
-Why Knife?
* You could write a book about these big and small answers. (Wait a minute. I already have! See below.)

I do want to start off here by either introducing or reminding everyone that knife training in ANY martial art or combatives is usually done situation-free. Just moves and drills. Some duel just for fun and history. Just know were you fit in the big picture. Many fail to include stress knife quickdraws, usually ignored (a whole other problem for many, especially many in FMA where weapons like knives and sticks just magically appear in their hands from the start). Drills and moves are usually empty of reality ramifications.

I usually grimace when I see these video clips of instructors absolutely butchering unarmed opponents or Bob dummies. I know the videos are only slices of life and I can only hope their actual courses have great depth in law, crime and situations. But, I also know that some of them are depthless schools for thugs and future prison inmates who will act reflexively and thoughtlessly as they were taught. Using a knife even in what seems to be a perfect survival, self-defense predicament may still has a terrible stigma with consequences.

Let’s burrow down on only one topic. The disarm of a knife and what happens next. Probably the most useful, practical disarm of a knife is an impact disarm. Much training smartly centers on this common sense category – whacking his weapon bearing limb hard with your knife (or stick, or whatever). He loses the knife!

Now the knife is grounded. Man disarmed. His lethality greatly diminished. You charge in to kill, kill, KILL!??? As taught and seen from macho instructors and slice and dice? Blood and guts? What looks so cool on film can be your ticket to the penitentiary. Are there prosecutors, courts and juries around the world that will prosecute and even persecute you for stabbing and slashing open this suddenly, newly disarmed-unarmed person? Oh, yes there are. In many naive eyes, a dropped knife is no longer a lethal force situation.

One of the big “where” questions is “where did this fight, this disarm happen?” London, England? Berkeley California? Any jurisdiction of liberal dingbats? There, people will say, “but he no longer holds a knife. The lethality is over.” This could become an arrest and expensive troubles for you and maybe a death sentence?

Also the legal system will investigate the name and material in the knife course you take and the name of your knife. Some knife courses are horribly named! And some knives too. How many knives are on you? I did a seminar last weekend and a very “normal guy,” listening to various, over-zealous instructors carries THREE militant-looking, fixed blades everywhere, every day, along with his rigged up pistol. THREE knives? I didn’t do that on task forces serving arrest warrants on wanted felons. He goes to the mailbox like this.

But I like to remind people that the dropped loose knife is just right there on the ground, nearby to some extent on the floor, and all the bad man needs to do is pick it up (in a second of two) and it is a lethal force situation again. Instantly. So, remember that when explaining yourself later. It is still very deadly dangerous. Juries need to hear this possibility. They are just flat out dumb about these things. Plus, and needless to say, this suddenly disarmed man might be a young, giant and still very much an overwhelming threat, even if unarmed.

One solid avenue is learning “less than lethal” applications of knife use. Beyond verbal skills, and getting out of Dodge, and wounding-only, it has been well proven that the mere presentation of a knife (or pistol) versus armed or unarmed attackers have scared the criminal off over half the time, in DOJ studies year after year. But the fact that your system and you are inherently worried about use of force issues may help you in a legal jam.

Situations! Details. Details. Details. Motives. The police. The prosecutors. The court. The jury. Location, location, location, as they say. There is a story, a drama and a trauma with EVERY single act of violence. You have to survive the legal aftermath too.

Find a good, mature, thorough, professional knife system. Find an average, practical knife. Stay the heck out of trouble.