AAR: ONSIGHT FIREARMS TRAINING Defensive Knife Skills, Auburn MA, 01-10-2020

Defensive Knife Skills
January 10, 2020

Instructor: Ben DeWalt
Location: Auburn Sportsman’s Club, Auburn MA
Time: 6pm – 10pm
Weather: Indoor function room
Clothing: T-Shirt, jeans, sneakers.
Class size: 16 students: 9 male, 7 female. Age: 14-57

This was the second time I & my daughter Kate (14 yrs. old) have taken this class. The first time was my first knife class experience & it was like information flowing to me through a firehose So much to digest & process. This time I knew what to expect & was ready to really absorb the material.

We arrived a little early to find Ben & LaKasha from Massachusetts Women Gun Owners & a GOAL board member there. LaKasha had setup this class for her organization & it was open to all who wanted to attend. It was super awesome that there were so many women & three teenagers in attendance. YES!

Ben introduced himself & thanked us for coming out to learn about knife defense. He told us about his background of 17 years of martial arts, knife, stick & hand to hand fighting. I have known Ben for quite a while & know that he knows his shit when it comes to fighting either with hands, sticks, guns or knives. We went around the room introduced ourselves, gave a brief training history & what we wanted to learn from this class.

We had a discussion of the mindset that we must have in order to survive a knife attack. People get cut when knives come out in a fight. We must be aware of our surroundings, people watching us, keep our heads out of our phones in public. If you find yourself in the fight you fight to win NEVER submit to something we don’t consent to. He said something that has stuck with me & made me very angry. How the Brady campaign /Moms Against Gun Violence had a slogan, “Rape lasts for minutes, Death is forever…” As a husband, a father of 2 & a decent human being, I SAY f*** THAT! UNACCEPTABLE! No one gets to force you to do things you are willing to do! You Fight until there is no fight left & you keep fighting until either they have stopped doing bad things or you are dead. Ben said if you can run away, DO THAT & do it fast! Always try to escape. Always know where your exits are & have a plan to bug out fast if bad things are going to happen. Mindset is everything.

We were shown a proper fighting stance with good balance & how to hold a knife correctly in the fighting stance. We paired up with partners & practiced with rubber knives our grip on the knife, our stances, our war face & a commanding voice telling the bad guy he had failed the victim selection process.

Ben showed us several types of “cuts” the X cut, the horizontal slicing & my favorite the buzz saw. We practiced these with our partner while Ben came around coached us politely on the techniques he showed us. We learned wherein the body & the face to use these cuts & how unbelievable devastating they will be. Using the full length of the blade to slice their eyelids cheeks all the way to the arteries in their neck. I was in the zone & could visualize how awful these moves were going to be on a human body. Ben emphasized if they brought the fight to us… we were to show no mercy until they were done doing bad things to us. If they are on the ground & not a threat, do not go further than you needed to stop the attack on you. Don’t commit murder!

Ben demoed how to deal with someone choking you & how to rake the skin off their arms down to the bone, cut the bicep mussels to render their arms useless. Absolute brutal material, but we are in a fight for our lives…We did not seek this encounter out!

We were encouraged to learn about human anatomy, where all the arteries are & muscles that control your arms & legs, i.e. slice their Achilles heels & they can’t use that foot to chase after you. We practiced knife thrusts into certain parts of the body for maximum effect.

We learned how to block knife attacks, how to avoid being stabbed & then we pressure tested the skills we were taught. We circled up & Ben called one of us for the aggressor & one person as the victim. We went after each other for 40-90 seconds until Ben called a cease-fire in front of the group. That was tough, we were all out of breath & sweating.

Ben showed us all types of knives, fixed blades, pocket knives, neck knives, hunting knives, gas station cheap folders, big ones, small ones. Went over the pro & cons of each of them. He told us we would have to articulate why we were carrying them if we needed to use them, some looked like badass weapons while others were less weapon-like & more pocket knives used to open boxes. He showed us some tactical pens & a plain old staples ballpoint pen how they can be used to the face & eyes with a lot of effectiveness.

This was a great class & I am glad I retook it. I absorbed the material so much better & given the chance will take it again. One demo that stood out to me was Ben saying sometimes you want to bring a knife to a gunfight. He showed us with a blue gun how being too close a knife is the better choice.

I really like Ben. He is super knowledgeable, skillful, funny, humble & sometimes appropriately inappropriate. As the class goes on his jokes go downhill. He is a down to earth dude, that is easy to talk to fun to be around. I like to say I think Ben DeWalt & OnSight Firearms Training is one of the best training companies & best-kept secrets within the training community. Absolutely take his class if you have the opportunity.