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How Dangerous Are Knife vs. Knife Attacks- How To Defang The Snake

Updated: Apr 9

Knife attacks are among the most dangerous and terrifying encounters one can face. In a life-or-death situation where every second counts, knowing how to defend oneself effectively can make all the difference. When it comes to defending against a knife attack, the concept of "defanging the snake" has emerged as a crucial self-defense strategy.


How Dangerous Are Knife vs. Knife Attacks

Knife vs. knife attacks are extremely dangerous and potentially life-threatening encounters. When two individuals are armed with knives and engage in a confrontation, the stakes are incredibly high, and the risk of severe injury or death is significantly elevated.


How Dangerous Are Knife vs. Knife Attacks- How To Defang The Snake
How Dangerous Are Knife vs. Knife Attacks- How To Defang The Snake

In a knife vs. knife scenario, both parties are armed with lethal weapons capable of inflicting serious harm in a matter of seconds. Unlike unarmed combat or conflicts involving less lethal weapons, knife attacks pose a unique set of challenges and dangers due to the speed and lethality of edged weapons.


Knife injuries can be devastating, causing deep lacerations, puncture wounds, and damage to vital organs. Even a single well-placed stab or slash can result in severe bleeding and potentially fatal injuries. Additionally, the close proximity required for knife combat increases the likelihood of sustaining multiple injuries in a short amount of time.


Moreover, knife attacks often escalate quickly and unpredictably, making it difficult for individuals to defend themselves effectively. The fast-paced nature of knife combat leaves little room for error, and even experienced martial artists and self-defense practitioners can struggle to react in time to counter an aggressive assailant armed with a blade.


What Strategy Works Well In Knife vs. Knife Attacks

Defanging the snake is a defensive tactic aimed at neutralizing the threat posed by an assailant wielding a knife. Rather than attempting to engage in a prolonged knife fight, which can be incredibly risky and potentially lethal, defanging the snake focuses on disarming the attacker and rendering them unable to continue their assault.


The technique derives its name from the analogy of a snake's venomous fangs. In nature, defanging a snake involves removing its fangs to eliminate the threat of venomous bites. Similarly, in self-defense, defanging the snake involves targeting the assailant's weapon hand, effectively disarming them and neutralizing the immediate danger.


There are several key principles and techniques involved in defanging the snake:

  • Maintain Distance: The first step in defending against a knife attack is to create distance between oneself and the assailant. Maintaining a safe distance can provide precious time to assess the situation and formulate a plan of action.

  • Redirect and Control: When the attacker initiates their assault, the defender's goal is to redirect the momentum of the attack and gain control of the assailant's weapon hand. This can be achieved through techniques such as parrying, blocking, and deflecting the knife thrusts.

  • Target Vulnerable Areas: Once control of the assailant's weapon hand is established, the defender can then target vulnerable areas of the attacker's body to incapacitate them and prevent further aggression. This may include striking vital areas such as the eyes, throat, nose, and groin.

  • Disarm and Neutralize: With control maintained over the assailant's weapon hand, the defender can execute techniques to disarm the attacker and render them unable to continue their assault. This may involve joint locks, takedowns, or other incapacitating maneuvers.

  • Escape and Seek Help: Once the immediate threat has been neutralized, the defender should prioritize their own safety and seek to escape from the situation as quickly as possible. This may involve creating distance from the attacker and fleeing to a safe location before alerting authorities.


Defanging the snake is a crucial self-defense technique for effectively neutralizing the threat posed by a knife-wielding attacker. By understanding and applying the principles of distance management, redirection, targeting vulnerable areas, disarmament, and escape, individuals can enhance their chances of surviving a knife attack and protecting themselves from harm.


Conflict Resolution Techniques and Self Defense Resources

The Center for Violence Prevention and Self Defense (CVPSD) is a non profit 501(C)(3) with a mission to stop violence by educating at-risk people and empower them with the skills needed to protect themselves by providing online and live training. 


Through workshops and seminars we educate participants about violence prevention and guide them on assessing risk factors while establishing boundaries in relationships. Additionally practical self defense classes equip people with hands on skills and effective strategies to prevent and intervene in cases of assault. CVPSD reaches individuals and communities through partnerships with schools and other nonprofits, community groups, as well as classes for the public.

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