View Full Version : Pulling a Knife From the Mount-Grapplers?

11-27-2000, 11:56 PM
<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>Also if somebody grappled me like the Gracies due, I would gut em with my knife. No rules in a streetfight, anything goes. If I though my life was in danger I would pick up a brick and crack there head open, shank em, break there neck, pick up a broom and beat em, throw dirt in there eyes.

Eric Larson
Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu[/quote]

This brings up an interesting point. According to the article posted under the "Reality of the Blade" topic, around 1 in every 4 times a knife is successfully pulled on someone it is pulled by a mounted opponent.

In other words. The average is that, you get in three fights on the street, get all three down, and mount all three; the next time you do that, the odds are that he will successfully pull a knife from underneath you.

I understand, those statistics are not asking if the either one of the participants was a martial artist, much less a skilled grapler. And that does make all the difference in the world.

However, since it does apparently seem to come up on the street, do any of you that study the ground game as a regular practice plan for someone pulling a knife from the mount?


If you pr!ck us, do we not bleed? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that the villany you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction. MOV

11-28-2000, 12:00 AM
Or anyone else for that matter. Anyone who works from the mount, weather or not they deam themselves grapplers, chime right on in.
Muchos Gracias


11-28-2000, 12:16 AM
Being mounted is not the most adventagous position from which to use a knife. Of course, if the person mounted trys to simply pound, you can cut your way free.

So the goal when someone under you pulls a knife would seem to be knife control, just like it is in other positions. Use your advantegous position isolate the knife. If he is a grappler, he may use this as an opportunity to escape the mount. I'm sure a BJJer can discuss options from there more credibly than I.

I know we have quite a few BJJers, but I don't remember them making technical posts, just *****ing about KF. Now's their chance to prove my memory wrong.

11-28-2000, 12:41 AM
I don't carry a knife and don't plan to, but if you were going to knife someone, the most advantageous position would be from the mount.
Taking a knife from someone or isolating the arm with the knife would be very easy if you are in the mount and are mounted on the guy with the knife. The reason for this is that someone who is mounted has no power behind their strikes and is also out-ranged by the guy sitting on their chest.
But I would have to agree, that if someone is on you in the mount and has a knife it is a bad thing.
You would want to deflect the initial strike and hope he doesn't get an artery or main vein, and then while his arm is extended go for an immediate arm bar or triangle choke or reversal.
To react immmediatly would be your only option, you couldn't try and wear him down like you could in a non-weapon groundfight.
As a fighter who crosstrains in Brazilian jujitsu, I try to use my stand up Wing Chun against someone if they have a weapon. After the intial confrontation and I have asserted that there is no weapon involved I will usually use my Wing Chun to get into throwing range and go straight down to the ground.
If there is a weapon involved I simply try to run.
Out of the many fights I was in the the corps, I only involved in two where I had no escape from the person who pulled the weapon on me.
In one scenario, I was in a very crowed e-club and a squidly (sailor) broke a bottle and came at me. I was completely surrounded by people so I faced him square off. He thrust at my face with the bottle and I can't remember whether I used a tahn sau or pak sau, but regardless I cleared his arm to the side and hit him in the jaw so hard he dropped like a sack of potatoes.
The second instance I had a knife pulled on me, also in a club, and like an idiot I decided to Thai kick the guy in the ribs. The kick worked and he fell over in pain, but when I pulled my leg back it had a knife stuck in it. I got a nice scar from that one.

ps: that fu**ing squid ended up being an E-6, and although I was acting in self defense and he was the one who pulled the weapon I lost a rank.

11-28-2000, 01:02 AM
Here's why I ask.
When I'm standing for a fight and someone puts their hands away even for an instant, I get very very leary. I don't know what they are going to pull, and I keep my distance while I look for a weapon.

However, if I have someone mounted and their hands dissapear, even for an instant, Whoopee! it's face bashin' time. Superior position and an open target!
But the danger is even greater from a mounted opponent. They have no gap to close. Their distance is zero. And, with a knife, they have no need for good positioning to get power behind thier strikes. They can very much reach me. A right handed knifer could easily reach my achiles tendon, my calf, my knee, maybe that GIANT artery behind my knee, the back of my thigh while I was applying a figure four to his left arm. All of that without me ever seeing the blade. If I was all the way up, I could see him if he went for my stomach or kidney and MAYBE do something about it. But if I was down on him for something like a figure four/chiken wing lock, or God forbid a gi/scissor choke, he could easily reach my kidneys, stomach, and my lungs through my ribs. And I'd never see him do it.
Given, he only has a few second before I do some serious damage to him with the locks or the choke, but that's all he might need with a blade.

I've taken dozens of grappling seminars with Gracie JJ, Machado JJ, and Sambo folks and they have never addressed this. Probbably becasue of that, I've never thought of it either.

Do any of you? If so, what do you do about it?


If you pr!ck us, do we not bleed? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that the villany you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction. MOV

Black Jack
11-28-2000, 01:57 AM
A lot of grappling schools do not want to adress this subject as it is a touchy one and it does show a weakness in that range as does the mass attack situations when a attacker is stuck on the ground.

In my kali class we work this neglected area from the guard, mount, side positions, on the stomach and from the knees as well.

It is scary how fast someone can deploy and start cutting. Have your partner use a marker as his blade and see how many thrusts, slashes & nicks slip in from the ground fighting positions as you are sparring.

I have found that by working the ground situation I am actually improving my stand-up sensitivity game in training.

I almost always carry my Spyderco Civilan with me or my Endura II so I find this element of training to be very helpfull to me as I have a tactical folder on me most of the time.

In ground training when the blade comes out and you are able to trap or bind it for any length of time you ahve to go to work. Bites and eye gouges come out to play with all of the other tools.


Eric Larson
11-28-2000, 02:00 AM
It is very important for any "martial art" to incorporate the element of surprise. You never know what the other guy has up his sleeve. There really is no preparing for it, but to be aware of the possibility of it happening. For this reason I choose not to do the funky submission holds on a regular basis. Sure sometimes I will want to choke someone out that I do not want to hurt, or I might want to hold someone in an armbar who is not as skilled as I am. I do not like hurting people, and I wish this world was peacefull, but it is not. So I go with what ever opening I have, take him out as fast as possible and get out of the scene. If I get somebody in some sort of lock, and I am busy trying to get the lock on, sure I may break his bones, but what good is that if he happens to puncture my rib? I would bleed to death internally in my sleep. What if I am on the ground in some sort of submission hold, and this guys buddy runs by and stabs me in the back, what good was my submission hold? We try to recreate every possible instance that may occur on the street, ring, and battlefield. This includes guns, multiple opponents, knives, crowbars, bats, throwing objects, ropes ect..
Now a days most arts are taught as sports, which can be a good thing, but is also very dangerous at the same time. There are too many possibilities that can happen on the street, with the proper training, you might be able to reduce the odds of dying from an unanounced attack that you would never expect to happen.
Expect the unexpected.

Eric Larson
Bujinkan Budo Taijutsu

11-28-2000, 03:12 AM
Today seems to be my day for putting in my two cents, so I guess I will add mine here too. I have done quite a bit of "knife grappling" and these are my conclusions.

1- I would be willing to bet that what the report meant was that it was the person who w as on top who pulled the knife most often, not the person who was mounted.
2- If someone has mounted you and pulls their knife, you are in deep doo-doo.
3- If you are an experienced grappler, no one will mount you unless they are as good or better a gr appler than you are.
4- If a grappler who has a halfway decent understanding of the mount achieves this position, it wll be very hard for the person on the bottom to pull out a knife. This is because the person who has the mount will try to get his knees up under his opponents elbows as high towards the armpits as possible. This effectively takes the bottom person&rsquo;s arms out of play in terms of being able to draw a blade. If the person on the bottom does somehow manage to get his blade out before t he mount is fully achieved, it is not that hard to isolate the arm and use a basic disarm to take away the knife. It is also very hard to pull out a knife when punches and elbows are raining down on your face.
5- If my opponent has a knife and I do not, the mount is the pl ace I most prefer to be.
6- If my opponent is in my guard, I can make it very hard to draw his knife by controlling his arms and using a high closed guard
7- If my opponent draws his knife while in my guard, I have a pretty good chance of getting a disarmm

[This message was edited by Knifefighter on 11-28-00 at 07:31 PM.]

11-28-2000, 03:28 AM
1- I'd be willing to take that bet. Someone ready to kill the person he has mounted would have done so before the mount. Someone who thought they could "teach this guy a lesson" who find himself mounted may go for his knife to avoid loosing.

2- Seriously agreed
3- Usually, but there is the luck factor

4- There are too many ideal-world assumptions. If the mount is full-on, if the knife is at the waist, if the guy on bottom hasn't wiggled a little room.

5- I would never want to be in that proximity until I got control of the weapon.

6- This falls into some assumptions again. What if you don't know he has a knife?

7- I would like to hear how you would do this. My understanding of a guard would not give much opportunity to disarm someone trying to slice up your groin, but I admit it's not a position I really use much.

11-28-2000, 03:42 AM
3- Luck factor? Not in my experience- at least in bjj. The mount is the second most valued position in bjj. Bjj fighters absolutely do not give this position up to an inferior grappler. I don’t think I have ever seen it happen, even once.
4- So far, I have never had anyone be able to get his knife out once I achieved the full mount
5- It works for me.
6- If I am on the street, I assume everyone has a knife or gun and I try never to lose control of the opponent’s arms.
7- I have found several methods useful for disarming the knife from the guard. Most involve two on one control of the weapon hand and isolation of the arm.

11-28-2000, 05:17 AM
3- Interesting. So I imagine there is never any conflict as to who is better than whom in BJJ. We can rate everyone in the world by seeing who can get the mount?

4- Have you ever fought someone with his knife in his sleeve? I've met people who routinely keep one there. Further, let's go back to message #1. It is a given that knives are pulled from under mounts. That is the presumption of the thread. The question is how to deal with them.

6- So, since you never loose control of the weapon hand, and you may not disarm until after the mount. You can go from 10' away to mounted without ever loosing control of your opponent's hand? You must be better than Superman.

7- The guard is the position where your legs are wrapped around your opponent's torso? If he's upright do you do a constant stomach crunch? If not, how can you get your hand to his if he's sawing away at the back of your knee or leg?

11-28-2000, 09:49 AM
3- Actually, in BJJ, the mount is a prize position and it usually takes a better grappler to get that position. So, yes, that would be a good indicator of who is a better grappler, at least in the realm of BJJ. BJJ practitioners are masters of getting and defending the mount.

4- I am just not sure about this whole pulling a knife while mounted scenario. First of all, how often does one person get the mount? Not very often, in my opinion, unless he is has trained in BJJ. Secondly, how many BJJ guys are ru nning around getting in knife fights? Probably not that many. And once a BJJ guy does get the mount, the person on the bottom is not going to be pulling out anything. That is one of the reasons the mount is such a highly regarded component of BJJ (a n d o ne reason that leg locks are low on the totem pole)- because of the control over the opponent that it allows. Yes, a sleeve or neck sheath will be easier to get to from the mount than a waist clip, but still **** hard to do when elbows are slamming d ow n into your face. Knives are relatively easy to control if they are drawn and pretty easy to turn back into the person on the bottom. Based on my training, when the guy on the bottom does manage to get his knife out, he is usually the one who gets "kil led".

6- What? Where did that come from? Come on now... I never said I go from 10 feet away to the mount without ever losing control of the weapon hand. I was talking about when being on the ground grappling against someone with a knife. I said the mount wa s the place I would most like to be. As a matter of fact, the place I least like to be is standing and disengaged from an opponent with a weapon. This is the hardest range to beat simply because you cannot control your opponents hands.

7- If the opponent is in the guard and he leans the way you are describing, he sets himself up for one of the first combinations that is learned in BJJ, the Kimura lock (which is a nasty shoulder lock and a great way to disarm the knife) and the arm pullover sweep (which leaves the opponent mounted).e

[This message was edited by Knifefighter on 11-29-00 at 02:17 AM.]

11-28-2000, 10:33 AM
4 - Well, that is the premese of the thread. The statistic was given that knifes do get pulled from mounted positions and the question was raised what to do about it. Perhaps you are wrong about not being able to pull a knife from under a mount, perhaps the mounts in question were just poor mounts. I already gave my answer, so I guess I should just shut up until new info becomes available.

6 - I think I understand the problem (I am not *trying* to misinterpret you I swear). You originally said, if there was a knife, the mount was the place you wanted to be. I interpereted this as "if someone comes at you with a knife, you would attempt to takedown and mount", though I now think you ment "If I have to have someone pull a knife, I'd rather it be while I had them in a mount.". Are either of these accurate?

11-28-2000, 04:33 PM
I Know its dangerous, but I have been thinking and seriously I think obtaining side-control against someone with a knife would be better than staying in the mounted position (if the guy with the knife is on bottom).
From side control, or as I call it the Side Mount, you can completely neutralize the arm that has the knife by putting a knee or your weight on it, and if you are on opposite the side of their body with the knife you can focus both your hands on controlling that one arm, and not have to worry about them switching hands with the knife or using the other hand against you.
Does this make sense to anyone?

11-28-2000, 04:43 PM
For clarification sake, yes, the scenario depicted in the study is that one out of every four times a mounted opponent, that is, the person on the bottom, pulls a knife. And I'm also sure that the vast, vast majority of those knife pulls come from a poorly mounted opponent. I'm just interested to see if anyone trains for this scenario and how they train it.

KnifeFighter, so what you are saying is basically that, in order to keep the arms out of play, establish a HIGH mount. Good enough.

Anything else?


11-28-2000, 06:14 PM
Jo, I like your suggestion allot.

BTW, I have a real luxury here at the office. One, I have a nice, private office. Two, some of my employees are also martial arts students. So, when I want to try a side mount against an knife attacker, I throw the kid on the floor and see how it works. Right here on the clock. Great job.

Anyway, what's a good meathod for going from the mount to the side mount while making sure to keep that knife hand away from you? Assuming you know he has a knife in that hand.


If you pr!ck us, do we not bleed? If you poison us, do we not die? And if you wrong us, shall we not revenge? If we are like you in the rest, we will resemble you in that the villany you teach me, I will execute, and it shall go hard but I will better the instruction. MOV

Paul DiMarino
11-28-2000, 06:29 PM

There are plenty of ways to neutralize a limb from side mount, mount, guard, etc. (as I'm sure you know) The question you are posing, can be easily changed to what would you do if somebody pulled a knife while in your guard, side mount, half guard, clinch, etc. It's not really a question of technique, but rather it's a question of awareness. One of the main problems I have with grappling from any position what-so-ever is the close-proximity you are put into with your attacker. If they have a trick up their sleeve (literally ;p), then you will have little time to react. You must be fully aware of your opponent at all times. If you are the only trained grappler in the confrontation, then it will be easy enough to control his limbs and body.

11-28-2000, 06:30 PM
knife: i think you are being overconfident in thinking that a knife is something that is easy to handle if you are in the mounted position.

you have already 'proved' to me that you don't think about things too objectively, and once again you have reinforced this notion.

Strategy is a very important aspect of fighting, and you are failing to consider 'sacrifices'. and the element of surprise.

i believe the assumption of the post is one of a person being mounted BEFORE pulling a knife.

if one is in the mounted position, and he knows that he has a knife that he wants to pull; his goal would be to get the knife out without you realising his intention.

a good way to do this would be to 'sacrifice'. - e.g. give you a perfect opening for a lock or a choke. - like giving you his left arm, so while both your hands are dealing with his left, it frees his right hand to reach for the knife. - you may even dislocate his elbow, but that would not stop him from causing major bodily injury to you.

with a knife, power is not an issue, as a blade does not require much more than just a touch to do damage.

* lets say you are grappling with someone, and you put a marker in your waistband, or pocket. - then let the guy assume the mount, not telling him about the knife/marker. - then give him something, such as your left arm, and then pull out the marker, and mark away. - see how many tendons and ligaments you can cut... see how many major artieries you can slice. - i can almost guarantee that the advantage will be yours.

** this goes even more so if he gives his neck for a choke, whether it be front or rear mounted.
like jo-j said, getting your kidney stabbed would not be a pleasant experience. - or from a rear mounted choke, it wouldn't take much to stab you in the head/neck.

you can pummel someone in the face with fists and elbows, but that won't necessarily stop them from inflicting a lethal blow.

it may be possible to turn around a knife on the attacker if you are more skilled than him, but, it is not so easy if you don't even know that he has it.

all in all, it is a BAD situation.

if the gracies don't discuss that type of senario, i would think that that is because they realise the low success rate of grappling against a knife.
*better that they don't discuss it, than show something stupid like "high block"

11-28-2000, 06:36 PM
That is a good question.
I would imagine that if you could pin down the arm with the knife with one or both hands against the ground you could then use that pinned down knife as a pivot point. You could put the majority of your bodies pressure on it with locked arms and hop over to the side position. Once you replace a knee on their knife arm or wrist you could let go with your hands and gain side control.
Try that on one of your lackeys at work and let me know how it works!

Paul DiMarino
11-28-2000, 06:38 PM

Search their site. I know there is an article on there somewhere about grappling against a knife. I think they did demos and classes for the LA SWAT team. I'd actually prefer to do that than strike with someone with a knife. The trick is knowing that they have a knife. Personally, I don't think it's worth the risk, so I avoid confrontations at all costs.

11-28-2000, 06:44 PM
I'll try it after lunch, but I don't like the sound of it. It sounds way too much like I'm posting into the knife.

Also, I've found that if I "give" that he gets a knife, and then I get him into a high guard, he tucks his elbow and now has great position to my abdomen when he has a hammer grip on the "blade"-which is a high lighter today. He has no grappling experience, and I have some, but still, he's carving me up quite nicely. If he keeps at it, I'm going to fire him.


11-28-2000, 07:04 PM
try not to post on the knife so much, as just maintain control of it while going to side mount.
Maybe you could base the positioning of your side mount in relation to wherever you trap the knife hand down at.
Do it by focusing on landing on the knife hand with your knee to trap it. You might end up in a position different than side control, maybe something closer to his head if you trap his hand high, but it still might work.
Let me know,

11-28-2000, 10:18 PM
Jerry Love:
6- "If I have to have someone pull a knife, I'd rather it be while I had them in a mount.".- Yes.

While side control is pretty good for controlling an opponent with a knife, I have a higher success rate from the full mount. I find I can control the arms better and can deliver hard blows to the face at the same time while mounted.

Hey, if you believe I am not an objective thinker, then just disregard my posts. I do have about 20 years history in "playing" with knives and am just adding what my personal experiences have been. One of my conclusions from those experiences has been that the person who is on the bottom with a knife is in a lot more danger than the person who is mounted on top.

By the way, I have been doing the marker drill for years and have also played around with sacrifice scenarios. The problem with the sacrifice is very basic. Why go for the arm or choke and risk losing position and/or control? I think it is much better to be raining down punches and elbows into the face. Again, just my experience, but I have found that the guy on the bottom never has a chance to get the blade out when you are slamming elbows into his face.

If you have more experience than I do, that’s great. Maybe you can post what has worked and has not worked for you against the knife.

11-28-2000, 10:54 PM
Don’t use a high guard if he already has the knife out. Once the knife comes out, try using an open guard. If he is close enough, and is holding the weapon with his right hand, grab his right wrist with your left hand. Then bring your other hand over his right hand and start to peel the knife back towards him. At the same time you are doing this, extend him out with your feet on his hips. If he starts to counter the peel, start to isolate his arm between you legs as if you were going for an arm bar. Once the arm is isolated, you should be able to finish with a combination arm bar/peel.

11-28-2000, 11:45 PM
Thank you very much Knifefighter. A good plan, and it works well. The only difficulty I have is that he gets allot of help from gravity on the stab, and it's hard for me to stop and grab the right hand. It is, however, allot easier if I go into an open guard or a butterfly guard. I was getting slapped around by his left a bit until I started pushing his hips out. I'm more comfortable just going into the armbar and, despite my initial concerns of jabbing the knife into my leg, a good armhold keeps the blade poited well away from me, and I still have control of it.

JoJitsu, you're right, I lose side control. The way I do it is ugly, and REALLY sloppy, BUT, I keep the knife hand. My opponent seems to be able to get away, but then again, tha means I can get away too, and again, I keep the knife.


11-28-2000, 11:45 PM
Kifefighter - Sorry I misuderstood what you ment for #6. Although I think you underestimate the danger of a knife from a mounted opponent, I certainly agree that's a good position to defend a knife from. There are ones I like more /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif


11-29-2000, 12:03 AM
If you are having trouble grabbing the knife hand and he is stabbing down on you, try shifting your body to one side and pushing his hand/arm across your body to the other side before you grab it (if he is stabbing with his right hand, slide your body to your left and simultaneously push his arm to your right with your left hand or both hands). Once you have the arm on the other side, it is much easier to grab and control the hand and go for the arm isolation.

11-29-2000, 12:28 AM
"KnifeFighter, so what you are saying is basically that, in order to keep the arms out of play,establish a HIGH mount. Good enough.
Anything else?"

Yeah, keep those elbows and punches coming down into his face. Here's one of the training methods we have used. The guy on the bottom wears a full-face boxing head gear and hides the blade somewhere on himself. The guy on the top wears heavy elbow pads and hockey gloves. Starting in the full mount, the guy on the top strikes full force with punches and elbows into the head gear. The guy on the bottom tries to draw the weapon. If the guy on the bottom gets the weapon out before he gives up from the blows, they continue on until one person is "killed"

11-29-2000, 05:01 PM
Muchos Gracias.


11-29-2000, 06:13 PM
ok, you have much more experience than i with grappling and knife fighting. but, is that high level of confidence warranted, or safe?

if you are mounted on top of a guy, and he has a knife that you don't even know about... does that sound like a 'safe' situation?

if he has already drawn it, and you are aware of it, and then get him in the mount, ok, your chances have just gone up, a lot. - but how would you know someone has a knife if he hasn't even drawn it yet? - then how is that marker exercise valid?

would you normally pummel someone you believe to be unarmed into unconsciousness?

do you not believe in 'bargaining', once you have gained an advantage? - e.g. you get into a fight, and you have him on the ground, and are mounted on top of him, and have complete control?


11-29-2000, 10:27 PM
Fighting on the street is never safe and I try not to do it unless I don’t have another choice.

Being mounted on a guy who has a knife is not safe, but, for me, it’s the safest place to be other than not being there in the first place.

Every circumstance is different. As a general rule, if I could have bargained with someone, it would have already happened before a physical altercation occurred. The only bargaining I will do from the mount is to get the guy to turn over so I can choke him out and not have to worry about him pulling a weapon.

11-30-2000, 12:15 AM
Hi guys, in all honesty if you carry a knife and try to pull it out when you are mounted and being punched in the face...you may go out before you get it out /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

But it is a reasonable question, and is one that real grapplers think about. To be honest (I am a grappler) knife on the ground means bad for the grappler. A lot of times if you CLINCH someone, they can knife you while you're struggling with them. This is dangerous, and in a real knife fight you don't see the knife until it's inside you.

How to get around this? Well go ahead and try to take someone out on your feet. If you can't I guarantee you'll find yourelf on the ground. I carry a knife. Two of them. If I'm grappling with someone and he stabs me...well hopefully I can kill him too before I die /infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

Take care,

p.s...streetfighting is bad in case you can't tell LOL


Water Dragon
11-30-2000, 12:56 AM
Take that **** pic out of your signature!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Although there are many styles, they all depend on the strong beating the weak and the slow falling to the quick. These are not related to the power that must be learned -- Taiji Classics

11-30-2000, 07:31 AM
Why does EVERYONE hate my picture??

The poor pic has never done anything to you guys /infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif


11-30-2000, 08:00 AM
it takes more time to load and and we already know what you look like by now....anyway back to knives. In the book "Slash and Thrust" it suggest s getting a wooden knive and coating the bottom with lipstick and fighting with while "throw away" clothes to get a realistic feel for what would be going on. I'm sure that knifefighter owns this book, it's an awesome knifefighting book. I also have some by fairbanks where he is in cobow boot and hat. One thing remember "Saving Private Ryan" when that Nazi is knifing him slowly. Of course you do. I knew I could have kicked that Nazi's ass, neither of them had any skill and the slightest wrestling backtround would have enabled him to roll him or use his legs for extra power.

8Step Sifu