Cut it out

To the feudal Japanese the term shuriken meant an easily concealable blade or instrument hidden on the body for defensive purposes. It was often a micro sized blade sharpened to a scalpel’s consistency to something as simple as a hat pin. I still believe that this is a valid strategy.

For the past several weeks, I have been in the hospital fighting for my life. An unknown viral assailant attacked my body and weakened it enough to have me literally knocking on heaven’s door. When I got home I found that all my defensive abilities had been diminished, I could barely stand. Even if you are ill, you must be aware that your responsibility as the defender of your family and home is not suspended. It doesn’t matter if you are male or female, if you have accepted this mantle then it is yours.

It is at this point that I took personal inventory of myself and my physical condition. In all honesty, I had to admit that I was incapable of protecting anyone, so what do you do? Time and again I have taught my students that superior strategy will be victorious even when all other conditions are unfavorable. To come up with a viable strategy, I had to view myself as the potential victim. Viewing myself from the yes of a predator would give me the insight I needed to prepare for a violent encounter. I realized that my ability to engage with a firearm was my only advantage, how could that be taken away?

The attack must come from behind or from the blindside. It must be close, personal and overwhelming. I must be taken off my feet. I must have no chance. This is the true reality of assault, not the antiseptic version that a lot of firearms instructors teach. The notion that your attacker will approach you from the front and enable you to access your firearm is just as much a fantasy as believing that the senate serves the people. I have known quite a few criminals in my life and they are professionals, believe it or not.

They will tell you if an attacker approaches you from the front he/she is inexperienced, and their inexperience puts your life in danger because they will use their firearm as a control device. This increases the possibility of your being murdered. So, the question is, how do I come back from a blindsided attack? The most important thing is to create time and distance, these are the only things that will save you. You must have the distance to “safely” access your firearm and engage your target, if you are within arms reach you will be forced to wrestle for the gun. My solution is the shuriken.

To the feudal Japanese the term shuriken meant an easily concealable blade or instrument hidden on the body for defensive purposes.  It was often a micro sized blade sharpened to a scalpel’s consistency to something as simple as a hat pin. I still believe that this is a valid strategy.

My qualifications for a modern shuriken are as follows:

  1. It must be of a fixed blade construction. I know there are some very good knives that open with one hand but that is still one more operation that I don’t believe you need when bloody combat is anticipated.
  2. It must be small enough to be invisible when it is carried.
  3. It must be very sharp. I don’t care if it has teeth or not.
  4. It must have a quality manufacture. You could get away with a steak knife, but would you really want to put your life on the line for the performance of a steak knife.
  5. It must have a grip that would make it difficult to dislodge in a struggle.

The purpose of the modern shuriken is a simple one, to gain freedom. Anyone that tells you that a knife can be taken just like that, sound of snapping finger, is either delusional or a complete and total ass. A knife is extremely dangerous in close quarters and most often comes into play without one of the people in the fight being aware that it is there. My father always told me that the knife is always hidden, felt without seen. You realize you have been cut only after blood accumulates. Even if you have studied the blade for most of your life and you have the timing of the almighty himself, you can still be cut.  If you are not aware of the blade you don’t defend against it.

This micro sized blade can be carried in the hand without notice. It is most effective as a counter to a grappling attack. It makes the encounter bloody. The blade can be dragged across the face, throat, arms and legs it can cause your attacker to recoil, which will give you the time and space to access your more effective weapon.  The added benefit is it can be carried in your vehicle and even if seen will not alarm your passengers. I carry a very cheap Dirk Pinkerton Paramecium knife with a blade of only 1.05”. It is invisible and always accessible.  Be honest with yourself, develop a superior strategy and practice an avoidance strategy. If you can run do so but if retreat is not an option, do what you must. Until next time prepare, perceive and protect.

 

Pablo Birriel

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