How to Defend Yourself against Weapons

Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Krav Maga, Martial Arts, Rodrigo Artilheiro, self defense -

How to Defend Yourself against Weapons

Let’s talk about a topic that is often discussed in self-defense, that being weapons defense.  Let’s start this article by stating that the best way to defend yourself against a gun or weapon is actually not a physical skill.  Yes there are plenty of disarming techniques and we will be discussing some of those but we want to go over other methods of defense first.  

The first thing that you want to think about when defending against a weapon is how to avoid the situation, your best line of defense is going to be your voice, your legs, and your ability to evade situations, if all else fails and you have no choice but to take action against a knife or a gun, there are tactical approaches that you can use that tend to work with success, but the best bet is to avoid confrontation.

Gun Defense

Gun defense, one of the most common topics discussed throughout the self-defense community.  Your first line of defense with a gun is either going to be your legs or your voice depending on the type of situation and conflict that the gun is drawn in.  Depending on the situation, if you are able to evade the situation by running this is always wise, but sometimes guns can be drawn when people are with their families, out with their friends or loved ones and it may not be smart to leave these people behind and run.  If you can’t run, try and deescalate the situation by talking and giving into the demands of the assailant, assuming they are not hazardous or horrific.  If all they want is your watch and wallet give it to them.  No possession is worth risking your life, if they want something more terrible like your child, you may have to take action.

When confronting a gun with physical defense there should be two primary goals at hand.  The first goal should be to get yourself out of the line of fire, if you are with loved ones or friends, get them out of the line of fire as well.  How is this accomplished? Well you need to grab the barrel of the weapon strategically and move it so no one is in the line of fire.  This is extremely important.  After successfully getting yourself out of the line of fire, you will want to proceed to disarm your assailant.  Disarming somebody is a lot easier said than done and hopefully you will never find yourself in a position where it is necessary to have to do this but you never know.

There are so many different ways to disarm your opponent but none of them are easy and assuming you ever have to use one of them this is something that would have to be performed under an extreme amount of pressure.  Let’s see a video below with self-defense expert Aaron Jannetti on how to disarm someone who is pointing a gun at you.  This is a practical method of disarming and is very realistic.

So as you can see in the video above, the main detail of dealing with a gun is GET OUT OF THE LINE OF FIRE.  You have to get out of the line of fire.  Immediately grab the barrel of the weapon with a safe grip and move it well out of your way.  Once you have safely removed the gun out of your way it is time to attack and try and disarm your opponent.  You want to use anything and everything in your arsenal, knees, head butts, elbows, whatever it takes.

Aaron Jannetti has an excellent self-defense DVD on our site called “Beyond Krav Maga.” It is also available ondemand.  This is a video dedicated to real life self-defense tactics, and they are practical for anyone and everyone to learn.  Check out the DVD below.

Knife Defense

Dealing with a knife is one of the most difficult things to do and it is much more common that somebody may have a knife then a gun.  Knives are some of the most dangerous weapons and much like with a gun the best defense is evasion and de-escalation.  You want to try and run or talk your way out of it.  We all know that this is much easier said than done and that sometimes it is unrealistic to think we can talk or run our way out of a situation.  So what if we can’t?  What if we are with our family or our children and we can’t just leave them there while we run?  Well this is the time to act, this is the time to defend yourself.

When you are dealing with a knife, much like with a gun, you want to get out of the line of danger; you need to control your attackers arm.  This should be the primary focus when dealing with a knife.  Get a hold of their arm and control where that knife goes.  Do not try and take them down, punch them or kick them.  Address the problem at hand, which is the knife.  Knives can cause an extreme amount of damage, you don’t want to wrestle around with your attacker because you can get cut or stabbed, you also don’t want to stand in front of them and try to fight them traditionally, you can also get cut or stabbed.  The main thing to address is the knife.  Let’s have a look at a video below with Rodrigo Artilheiro, he is a black belt in Brazilian jiu Jitsu, Judo, a Brazilian National wrestling champion, Krav Maga instructor and he has taught the United States Military, the Brazilian military and many other police and defense forces self-defense.  He is going to show us how to defend against a knife if you are seated.

Notice in the video above that the first thing Rodrigo did was get out of the line of danger by controlling his attackers hand and immediately pushing it out of his way, this would’ve been the same tactic he would use if he was standing.  Get the knife away.  Once he has control of the arm he proceeds to disarm his opponent.  He has to get that knife out of their hands.  Even if the attacker is not skilled with a knife they can slash and gash whatever is in their way and seriously hurt or kill you.  Once you get the knife away maybe try and run or proceed to strike and grapple your opponent to the ground.

If you would like to learn more from Rodrigo he has an excellent DVD available on our website, it is also available ondemand and he is one of the world’s leading self-defense experts.  Rodrigo is a well-rounded martial artist with decades of experience.  Not only does he teach real life practical martial arts and self-defense, he is also the coach of many top MMA and UFC fighter.