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Street Attacks: The Necessary Distance You Need to Have to Defend Yourself Against a Knife-Wielding Attacker

When you are face to face with an attacker all sorts of things are going through your mind. But when you have prepared yourself for what to do in the unfortunate event, you may be more clear headed and able to escape harm’s way with little to no further incident. Of course, you can’t prepare for every possibility, but there are a few things you want to know and take into consideration when it comes to defending yourself against an attacker with a knife.

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First, you should take an LTC course online to prepare yourself for these types of situations. When you are armed your odds of surviving a knife attack are pretty good, providing that you have at least 21 feet between you and your attacker. That is roughly 1.5 seconds according to the Tueller Drill. Any closer than that, and you won’t have enough time to draw your weapon and fire with accuracy. If you don’t have that space and time available to you, you will need to fight. The trouble with a knife is that they are usually small enough to be concealed. This means that if someone with a knife approaches you and intends on wounding you, you may not even see anything coming.

Reactionary Gap

When it comes to defending against knives with a handgun, there are many factors to consider, like the terrain and the size of the attacker. Twenty-one feet isn’t set in stone. Time and distance are the two factors at play when defending yourself from a dynamic knife attack. If an attacker is moving, chances are that you’re going to need to be in motion too. Start running when you can and shoot on the move. Practice makes progress, so practice shooting on the go with one hand. As this will likely be more realistic.


If you are unarmed and confronted by a knife-wielding attacker your options may be different than for someone who is armed.  If you see or know there is a knife your first option should be to run. But if there’s nowhere to run you will have to stay and fight. Grab something you can use as a shield or as a club. If you find something to defend yourself with, your odds are already improving. If this isn’t an option you’ll need to protect your vulnerable spots and do your best to deflect the knife hand.

Successfully defending yourself from a knife attack means that either the attacker has fled or they are incapacitated on the ground. Either way, you will need to call 9-1-1 immediately, you may have gotten wounded and not even know it. Depending on the condition of your attacker, you may want to run away to a safe distance to ensure your safety. If you truly want to be able to defend yourself and your family, regular training is a must. Not only will you become more aware of your surroundings and danger, but you will also feel more confident in your ability to defend yourself.

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