Knife Fighting Tactics – Folding Knife Side Grip

When deploying a folding knife in an encounter, you may find your grip needs to be adjusted before applying a stab or slash. The moments you need to position …

39 thoughts on “Knife Fighting Tactics – Folding Knife Side Grip

  1. Trumbles says:

    Here's a huuuuuuge tip for pocket knife deployment;

    RIP. OUT. THE. THUMB STUD. Make a hole, wrap a twist-tie in there, and tie a car key, a key ring, a bike key, anything big and super easy to grab.

    It basically gives you a ripcord for your pocket knife, motherfucking BEYBLADE BITCHES. 😀

  2. 2-1 BrAvO says:

    I have known someone who stabbed someone in with a folder in self defense and the knife closed on his hand almost severing his fingers, but it did get the other guys back. LOL

  3. DMIsREAL says:

    look up the laws. chances are you are allowed but there might be limits on size and style. like in CO you cant have a folder above 3.5 inches. but in AZ (my current state) you can have any kind and size of knife as long as you are not on government property, then you are limited to non autos.

  4. Chant457 says:

    I have experimented with your hold however, and discovered it easly lends itself better to a inital defensive slash agsinst an attacker's presented limb. (A defang) The follow-through of the slash easly allows your fingers to 'roll' the blade handle into a proper Fillipino knife grip to set up for a insertion and C-cut out if needed.

  5. Chant457 says:

    Your stabbing grip fails to take into account the natural vacuum inside a human body. After executing a stab, it is usually necessary to break the hold of the vacuum on your blade by performing a "C" or "Comma" cut. (This also opens up a wound channel to bleed your opponet). This grip would require you to change it after the stab to free the blade, in which case you will probably lose it when your opponet naturally moves away from the attack. (see next comment)

  6. docnightfall says:

    @docnightfall If you find yourself already in the middle of someone's full-on assault, there won't even be an opportunity to deploy the knife without risking getting disarmed. Deploying the knife will ALWAYS compromise grip because you will have to hold on to it with not much more than your fingertips.

    It's best to control the fight first with empty hands or using the knife as an impact device. Force the other guy to stop attacking, at least momentarily before deploying into a REAL combat grip.

  7. docnightfall says:


    I have a bit of experience in FMA, and I'll try to share what I think here. If you practice making a committed ballistic cut or stab into a heavy target like a rubber tire or soaked tatami, (cardboard doesn't adequately simulate the resistance and weight of the human body) you'll find this grip doesn't inspire confidence like a hammer grip. In a fight (not an assassination) the other guy will be checking and striking at your knife hand. That knife is going to go flying off real quick..

  8. icychap says:

    Be aware that in NY it is unlawful to possess a (1) gravity knife or (2) pilum ballistic knife. These are defined as (1) a blade which deploys via gravity or centifugal force and locks open, or (2) a spring loaded knife which deploys via pressing of a button or lever on the handle and locks open. Unfortunately many folding knives can be adjusted to fall into (1). Be careful my friend.

  9. SBS336 says:

    id agree its harder to slash with this grip, and it's far easier to block a stab. I hate switchblades and folders. instead I decided to carry a folding baton. same size but longer reach and far sturdier. also better to block with.

  10. SBS336 says:

    my technique differs slightly. no movement is necessary at all, not even moving the thumb. Bring it up in a smooth upwards slash, opening it in the same movement. harder to block and quicker anyway. the blade should slash up under the ribs, or across the throat. mind you, the only time i have ever had to defend against a knife, some commando techniques have been easier than going for my knife. just saying learn unarmed then armed. good advice in this video tho.

  11. icychap says:

    I haven't found this. With hard stabs, the force is absorbed primarily by the heel of your hand (fan part towards the outside), and not the thumb.

    I have tested the grib stabbing different surfaces and have found it be very secure. Again, this works for ME, but might not be comfortable for all users.

  12. dakine425 says:

    Great video, clear explanation and precise. I was taught a similar grip a long time ago, but instead of your thumb going into the choil it just goes over the pivot screw. It's perfect for a quick slash to the face area or for a gunting to an attacking limb.

  13. icychap says:

    I personally prefer tip down because of the way I retrieve and deploy my folding knives. An exception would be knives with the Emerson Wave system. But what is best really depends on the user and what feels best – and works – for them.

  14. jeepnicc says:

    Wow!! Amazing man! I've been practicing this technique with my ZT 302, Gotta say, I'm blown away at how much faster it is into action!! Your theory on rib cage penetration makes even more sense for wide blades like mine. One thing you did not mention, is the substantial increase in reach. I measured from the tip of the blade to the nearest flesh on my grip, and found 5 1/4 inches versus only 4 inches with std! You ROCK Man! Keep crankin' out kick ass vids!!

  15. says:

    Great video! The issues you mention with deployment are why I like the Emerson wave feature. I'm a huge fan of his karambit because the knife can be deployed while drawing and already in a position for a "proper" grip. That knife design might not be for everyone, but his other wave designs I believe can really help in situations like you describe. Regardless, great video and grip suggestions. Looks solid and effective to me!

  16. icychap says:

    Good question. While it may appear so in theory, this does not happen in practice. The fat of your thumb and palm hug the handle on either side so it can't escape, while the thumb and index finger control the blade. I have practiced hard stabs at full strength against cardboard slabs with no slippage.

  17. icychap says:

    Both the knives demonstrated in the video use liner locks. The technique will work for any knife that you deploy with your thumb, with a blade-forward grip.

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