Defending against gun and knife attacks

October 7th, 2012 by admin Leave a reply »

Defending yourself against an attacker who has a weapon, such as a gun or a knife, is one of the most common questions we get when we teach our women’s self-defense workshops. It’s a concern that nearly every woman and girl has with regards to her personal safety against a would-be attacker.

This video demonstration from Steven Ho and TBS TV host Conan is helpful in understanding some of the dynamics and potential defenses against attackers with common weapons such as guns and knives.

If your attacker has a gun and he/she is in close to you, in the critical distance zone, you may have an opportunity to take control of the situation and to turn the tables in your favor.

Defending against a knife attack is very different scenario as you will see later on in this video.

In both cases, knife or gun attack, the goals are to: 1) not t0 get shot or stabbed; and 2) to disarm your attacker of the weapon; and 3) get the hell out of there!

Here are the steps to defending yourself against an attacker with a gun, as explained by Steven Ho outlines in his video demonstration with Conan:

  1. Distract them. Get them off their original intention to harm you. Get them thinking about something else;
  2. Once the attacker is distracted, move of to the side, grab the muzzle of the gun, quickly strike the tender muscles in your attacker’s forearm with a quick slap or strike;
  3. Finally, clear yourself so that you are out of the critical distance zone, by stepping back or away.

Watch how Steven Ho distracts his attacker, grabs the gun and then gets out of the critical zone. It happens very quickly.

Keep in mind that guns have greater distance range than knives do (assuming your attacker is not an expert knife thrower).

If an attacker has a gun and wants all of your money, the best thing to do is to hand over your money. Your life is infinitely more valuable than anything you might have in your purse or wallet.

Final tip: Do not willingly allow your attacker to take you to a second location, even if he has a gun or a knife. Research shows that your risk of injury or death is significantly increased if you are taken away to another location by your assailant. Your chances of survival are better if you attempt to thwart your attacker and fight back at the original scene of the assault.

This video makes it look easy. Keeping a cool head under this type of threat may in fact be the most challenging aspect of defending yourself. Your confidence will increase if you are prepared and have a few techniques under your belt. Take a self defense class and learn some basic techniques for defending yourself. The more you know, the better.


Comments are closed.

This web site is a collaboration between

Kathy McAfee, Yu Martial Arts, and Soroptimist International of Farmington Valley, CT

Operated by Kmc Brand Innovation, LLC. 2005-2015 All Rights Reserved

Join us on Facebook | Yu's Academy of Martial Arts | Soroptimis Intl of Americas | Soroptimist of Farmington Valley