Knives, Bad Guys, and The Law - Seminar from BLADE 2019


It’s a privilege and an honor to stand here before you today. I know how long and hard it is and what dedication and sacrifice it takes to get to this place and time. Thank you for allowing me the privilege to be here.

Honestly I only get this feeling, the feeling that I have right now when I’m standing in front of a team of U.S. Navy SEALs.

Why is that? The answer is because you are warriors. You are the chosen few. Why do you choose to do what you do? I’ve been trying to figure that out my entire life. Why would I choose to suffer the pain, the injuries, the hard work? I don’t get paid for it. In fact most of my life I’ve paid someone else for the privilege of beating the hell out of me. What the heck is wrong with me? Why do I like fighting? Why do I like violence?

I figured I just must have a screw loose. I used to think a psychiatrist would have a field day trying to figure me out. So I finally gave up trying to analyze myself – trying to figure out what was “wrong.”

But then at some point in one of those rare, brief moments of clarity I realized – there’s nothing wrong with me. I do these things to find myself – to prepare myself for battle. I do these things just like you do – because you are warriors, and warriors do these things – not for fame, not for glory but because it is in our nature. It is who we are. Our role and our eternal role has always been to sacrifice ourselves for the safety, protection and freedom of others.

A warrior is here today. A warrior will be here the next day and a warrior will be back day after day, again and again until his task is complete.


Since time immemorial, warriors have always held a revered, honored and respected place in society.  In spite of all political meanderings and the ebb and flow of societal values, this has never changed and it never will.  There is an honor and pride in joining this brotherhood that can be gained nowhere else, and once joined can never be taken away.  Although women are not excluded, it has always been the man’s role to be the protector and provider.  This is your responsibility and your role to uphold and honor in your time upon this earth.

The responsibility of a warrior does not merely necessitate the taking up of arms against an enemy.  It is more, much more and it is such that you become an example, a role model of ethical and moral behavior to all others who may look to you for guidance or protection.  If this is the path in life that you have chosen to walk then know that it is a path well worn by the footsteps of those who have walked here before you.  Others, who have willingly said; I will endure the hardship, the pain, the sacrifice and the risk of death so that those who sleep soundly in their beds can do so in the warm embrace of safety and peace.

If this is your choice then know that your road will be fraught with adversity and you will be assailed by many, but in those times, remember that you are in the company of the noble souls who have also faced such adversity and prevailed.  And know also that your legacy shall be that until the end of time, as the last sun sets upon this earth, in that blackest night, somewhere a warrior still stands his lonely watch.


Warriors Prayer from The Order of The Black Shamrock

Lord, we ask that you look upon our humble brethren with Your infinite grace and blessings.

We ask that you give us strength against our enemies when we are forsaken and grant us courage when we falter.

We ask that you stay our hand with your mercy when we have none.

We ask that You grant us wisdom when we are in need of guidance.

We ask for your light to guide us when we dwell in darkness and know not the way.

We ask that you protect our brethren from harm and temptation. We ask that our faith shall stand as our unbroken shield against all that is evil.

We ask that You have mercy upon our soul in the time of our death.

For we know that all things are possible through faith and through the blessings, of your grace and mercy Amen.


Legal Principles

  1. A knife is a deadly weapon. In the eyes of the law it is exactly the same as a gun.
  2. The Purpose of civilian carry of a gun is to only use it if your life or the life of your loved ones is in imminent deadly danger. And, if you deploy your weapon (gun) it is with the intent and purpose to kill another person.
  3. The exact same rules apply to you making a decision to “pull out your knife.”
  4. The second that you deploy your weapon the dynamics in any conflict have now changed to the use of a deadly weapon in a deadly force encounter.
  5. Two things become paramount at that instant:
    1. You have to be willing to use the weapon (gun or knife) to kill another human being.
    2. You must be able to justify that you had no other choice and that you had exhausted all other means to stop the threat.
  6. Justification of the Use of Deadly Force
    All four of the following must occur and exist in the eyes of the law:
    1. Intent – The threat must indicate to you by some means that he wants, intends to harm you.
    2. Means – He must have the means to carry out his intent. Disparity of force, size, weapon – knife, gun, club, etc.
    3. Opportunity – The threat must have the opportunity to reach you with those means.
    4. Action – The threat must act upon his Intent, Means and Opportunity.

*** And, as one additional after the fact necessity:

Preclusion – You must be able to convince a jury that you had no other viable option.

For further discussion and information regarding the legal implications of self-defense and deadly force, please go to, click on suggested reading at the top, and then click articles. Scroll down to the articles Legal Advice on Deadly Force and Legal Implications for Self-Defense.


The Principles and Strategies of Mortal Combat

  1. Moral Clarity – 6th Commandment – Thou shall not Commit Murder – not - Thou shall not kill.
  1. Capability vs. Capacity – You must have the capacity to use your capabilities.
  1. Two types of Predators
    1. Rewards Predator – Mugger, carjacker or thief. They attack to take something – a reward.
    2. Process Predator – Serial Killer, Sexual Predator, sociopath, mentally deranged, violent psychopath. They attack for the feeling of the process – domination – fear – power.
  1. Types of Attacks
    1. Assassination Attack – serial killer, crime of passion or revenge, sentry takedown.
    2. Escalation attack – starts as fist fight and ends as knife attack.
    3. Spontaneous or opportunity attack – Mad Wife or Husband (domestic violence) – OJ Simpson, 3rd Strike Felon, disarms gone wrong.
    4. Cornered Animal Attack – 3rd Strike felon, confronting a criminal, crazy person.
  1. Death is caused by:
    1. Rapid Drop in Blood Pressure – bleeding out
    2. Disruption of the nervous system – brain stem or brain case housing group.
    3. Restriction of Oxygen to the brain - airway or blood flow restriction.
  1. Targets to Attack – And Defend
    1. The Neck – Jugular, carotid-arteries/veins or airway
    2. The Eyes – Opening to Brain
    3. Brachial Arteries – Under Arms
    4. Femoral Arteries – Inside of Upper Thighs
    5. Torso – Aortas upper and Lower, Internal organs
  1. Bio Mechanical Targets – Structural Damage (Not life threatening)
    1. Inside of fingers, wrists, elbow (grasping tendons)
    2. Back of knee, Achilles tendon (one armed man)
  1. Escape if at all possible – Never stay to fight if attacker chases you – keep running.
  1. You only fight until the threat is neutralized or you have the opportunity to escape. If you stay to fight when you could escape – you have now engaged in “mutual combat.”
  1. When is it necessary to stay and fight? Moral or legal reasons but not necessarily the same. To defend yourself – you are under attack. If you have no means of escape or are injured. You must stay to protect family, loved ones, teammates or innocents (school violence) who are also in grave danger. You are a police officer or a soldier.
  1. Do not personalize or humanize the enemy. He is the enemy – the one who is trying to kill you. You can not hesitate in your actions. The bad guy will not.
  1. Do not compartmentalize the weapon. All Fighting is Fighting. It’s not knife fighting. It’s not stick fighting. It’s not gun fighting. It’s fighting with knives.
  1. What stops violence? Only a greater force of violence.


The Mentality of Combat and The Proper Mindset
  1. You have far more to fear from a deadly man than a deadly weapon.
  2. You are already knife fighters. Why? Because if you are a fighter then it does not matter what tool you have in your hand – weapon or not.
  1. Attributes of a Combat Mindset
    1. Education – Knowledge
    2. Situational Awareness – tactical awareness of your environment and all those who are in or enter a proximity where they could cause you harm
    3. Preparation – Training
    4. Bias for Action – Immediate response and action as opposed to freezing
    5. Proper Mindset – accept violence and know that you will prevail
    6. Ferocious Resolve – Bad Intent coupled with the will to do whatever is necessary to prevail
    7. Gut Feel – It is never wrong. It never lies and it only exists to protect you
    8. Faith – in abilities – in a cause – the good fight
    9. Moral Clarity – you are the good guy – he is the bad guy – he has caused your actions
    10. Never Quit, Never Give Up, Never Surrender
  1. The Reaction/Action Turnaround
    1. All Defense is Offense
    2. The opponent must react to you, not you to him. How is that accomplished?
      1. Movement
      2. Clinch
      3. Counter Attack
  1. Never Do Anything that is Useless
  1. Never Do Anything Without a Purpose
  1. Disregard for personal harm or safety – The Samurai called it “The Loss of Self.”
  2. Your Victory relies on three actions
    1. Bias for Action
    2. Efficiency of Action
    3. Violence of Action


Techniques Fundamentals

Rule #1 If you need strength it is not correct (Explosive power is not strength)

Rule #2 If it is hard to do it is not correct

Rule #3 If the average person cannot do it, it is incorrect

  1. The Nine Positions of Engagement
  2. The Five Strikes
  3. The Snake Bite
  4. The Lawnmower – The Figure 8
  5. The Stance
  6. The Guard

The Perfect Technique

  1. It must place you in a superior tactical advantage.
  2. It must place your opponent in an inferior tactical position.
  3. It must unbalance, damage, incapacitate or kill the opponent.
  4. It must protect you from harm.
  5. It must give you the opportunity to disengage when appropriate


Techniques Unarmed Vs Knife

  1. The Pyramid Guard Defense
  2. Triangle Jam Up
  3. Triangle Jam Down
  4. Against #1 Strike
  5. Against #2 Strike
  6. Against #3 Strike
  7. Against #4 Strike
  8. Against #5 Strike


Techniques Knife Vs Knife

  1. Against #1 Strike
  2. Against #2 Strike
  3. Against #3 Strike
  4. Against #4 Strike
  5. Against #5 Strike

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