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The Straight Eight
The 8 Most Effective Knife Strokes
© 2013 James, Charles & Erique

After working out the crooked seven stick count I thought Charles—being the guy who butchers me in knife sessions—was the best guy to come up with an essential 8-stroke knife count. The parameters were that each of the three stabs must be included. This stroke count has optimal targets, but need not be target specific. With the knife more so than the stick, vectoring a stroke along a closed line is a viable—even preferable—approach.

The Straight Eight
  1. Diagonal forehand (pref. to hands)
  2. Diagonal backhand (pref. to hands)
  3. Vertical stab (pref. to hands or torso)
  4. Redondo (pref. vertical to head)
  5. Lateral backhand (pref. to head/heck)
  6. Pronated stab (pref. to head/neck)
  7. Draw cut down & out
  8. Supinated stab (to head!)
Considerations

1 & 2 actually constitute most of your defensive arsenal. these are the strokes that take the hand with the most regularity.

3 is not permitted in most forms of FMA competition, but is a must have self-defense survival stroke. this is the stroke that kills most people in prison and in everyday life.

4. This is a vertical face slash from a high wrist roll that will more often than not get vectored down to the hand. never do this one just standing there. Move with it. A reverse shift really adds to the cut.

5. This will rarely be used in sparring alone. it is best as part of a combination.

6. this is really proving to be the go to stab against good knife fighters. The danger here is that he slips the stab. That is the reason for the following stroke.

7. This is classically practiced in FMA as a cutting out motion, to rip open the stab wound and increase the bleed. In a duel, you will find it most useful as a way to turn a missed pronated stab into a neck slice. Develop the instinct to pressure cut your way out of the pocket after a stab, missed or not.

8. This is the classic fencing stab. If you don't sneak this the arm will be cut. The elbow stays in and does help guard the gut. This is the big power shot. be careful though. I tore my right flexor tendon doing a lunging supinated stab to Erique. Take this to him at the right lung, throat, chin, or face. Of course, a missed 8 would call for a back hand draw cut.

The Model
The Straight Eight
Demonstration

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