Knife Defense No. 1 Angle of Defense - US Army Modern Combatives

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Knife Defense No. 1 Angle of Defense - US Army Modern Combatives

This page focuses on unarmed defenses against a knife attack. These self-defense techniques are used in US Army Modern Combatives training. The Combatives program teaches martial arts techniques to US Army soldiers. However, be aware that unarmed combat against weapons (such as guns or knives) is very dangerous and should only be used as a last resort. Consider other options first (i.e. run away from danger).

For more unarmed self-defense techniques for use against an aggressor armed with a knife, please visit the main US Army Combatives Defenses Against A Knife section.

No. 1 Angle of Defense―Check and Lift

The attacker delivers a slash along the No. 1 angle of attack. The defender meets and checks the movement with his left forearm bone, striking the inside forearm of the attacker (Step 1). The defender’s right hand immediately follows behind the strike to lift, redirect, and take control of the attacker’s knife arm (Step 2). The defender brings the attacking arm around to his right side where he can use an arm bar, wrist lock, and so forth, to disarm the attacker (Step 3). He will have better control by keeping the knife hand as close to his body as possible (Step 4). See diagram below.

Diagram of Self-Defense No. 1 Technique Against A Knife


Additional US Army Combatives Knife Defenses

Reference Sources

  1. Information from Public Domain Document, Combatives - FM 3-25.150 (FM 21-150),, Added - 05/06/15

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