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Edged weapons defense

Being attacked with any weapon inside a correctional facility is scary. But what I think is scarier is not knowing what to do or not having the confidence to believe that what you’ll do will work. I conduct many types of edged weapons programs, but only teach one response. This technique has no fancy acronym, no cool nick name — but is easy to remember.

  1. Stop the motion of the blade – Meaning immediately grab the arm of the attacker
    We do this by using a technique called “stacking thumbs” (or hands). Simply using both hands, keeping your fingers extended and joined, making a claw with both hands place them on top of each other: You are making a “catcher’s mitt.” When the arm goes into the mitt you close it quickly, locking the arm inside your grip.
  2. Break the limb – Do not hesitate, react. Using a circle motion while holding the arm in place; extend the arm and either use your other elbow or shoulder apply pressure into the elbow causing it to break.
  3. Create distance and either escalate or deescalate to control the threat.

Related Tip: Edged weapons defense for close quarter attacks

Dave Young is the Founder and Director of ARMA, now part of the PoliceOne Training Network. He is also the Chairman of Advisory Board, and a training advisor for Dave graduated from his first law enforcement academy in 1985, and now has over 25 years of combined civilian and military law enforcement and training experience. He was a sworn corrections and law enforcement officer in the state of Florida and has served as a gate sentry, patrol officer, watch commander, investigator, Special Reaction Team (SRT) member, leader and commander in the United States Marine Corps.

Dave has participated in and trained both military and law enforcement personnel in crowd management operations throughout the world. Dave is recognized as one of the nation’s leading defensive tactics instructors specializing in crowd management, chemical and specialty impact munitions, protocol and selection of gear and munitions, ground defense tactics, and water - based defensive tactics.

He has hosted television shows for National Geographic TV Channel on Non Lethal Weapons and the host of Crash Test Human series. He is a former staff noncommissioned officer in the United States Marine Corps, a member of the Police Magazine advisory board, and a technical advisory board member for Force Science Research Center. Dave is an active member of the American Society for Law Enforcement Training (ASLET), International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association (ILEETA).

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