Budoshin Ju-Jitsu
The Gentle Art of Self-Defense

Initial Response for Knife at Throat

[Attacker Behind You]

A knife at your throat from behind is a serious threat to your life [understatement]. If the person wants your possessions [money, jewelry, car, etc …] give it to the assailant. They can all be replaced. YOU CAN’T! However, here are some initial responses that can be used to get the knife away from your throat if you have to defend yourself. You must immediately continue on with a follow-through technique to remove yourself from imminent danger.
Four initial responses are shown below. There are others. The responses are graded from “OK” to “BEST”. In reality, however, what works best for you is dependent upon your knowledge, skill, experience and yes, strength.
Thanks to Roy Gutierrez for being my uke and Marc Kolodziejczyk for the photography.
#1 Pull-down: Grab his knife and wrist.
#1A Pull it down from your neck & against your chest. Do NOT pull it away from you. [OK] Weakness: If the attacker is significantly stronger than you this won’t work.
#2 Push: Hit or push his arm [at elbow] inĀ direction of the knife.
#2A Be sure to turn your head away from the knife & hold his arm in place as you continue. [Better] Weaknesses: You’re not effectively controlling the weapon at this point.
#3 Push-Pull: Grab his right wrist with your left hand & push his right elbow as in #2 above.
#3A Turn your head away from the knife as you pull down with your left hand. Hold his arm and knife tight against your body to restrict movement. [Much better than #2] Weakness: Not much except as you execute any type of technique you still have to be very much aware of the knife. Good follow throughs include drop throws [otoshi].
#4 Push-Slide: Bring your right hand up to strike his right upper arm at the elbow.
#4A As you push his arm across, turning your head away from the knife, your left hand starts to slide up under his forearm, palm facing you.
#4B Continue upward slide of your left hand as you finish pushing his arm. Keep your hand against your face as you do this counter. [BEST] Weakness: The back of your left hand or forearm could be cut if he can slide back, but your face & neck are relatively well-protected. It’s easy to go into a shoulderlock rear takedown [ude guruma ushiro] from this point.