Size Does Matter

Follow: A large blade provides the advantage of reach and…

Follow: A large blade provides the advantage of reach and the ability to accelerate the knife to better target the opponent’s attacking limb.

Readers familiar with my approach to knife tactics (Martial Blade Concepts, or MBC) know that it focuses on biomechanical cutting—cutting connective tissues and peripheral nerves to disable the body parts that allow an attacker to be dangerous to you. A big part of the reasoning for that approach has to do with the knife laws that restrict the length of blade that we can legally carry. In simple terms, if I am attacked, I will fight with the knife I’m actually carrying, not the Bowie back home in my gun safe. Based on that reality, my default tactics are designed to maximize the effectiveness of a 3- to 4-inch blade.

While I suspect that most readers can relate to this, I know that some jurisdictions do allow the carry of longer blades. I also know that TK readership includes a significant number of active-duty military personnel. With that in mind, it’s only natural to wonder: “If blade length is not a limiting factor, what tactics work best?” To examine this topic logically, we still need to set some limits. Let’s face it, there’s a significant difference between a full-sized fighting knife and a really large chopping weapon that can lop off limbs. For now, let’s focus on a knife that is still potentially street-practical with a blade in the 5- to 7-inch range.

Big Blade Advantages
What does a longer blade give you that a smaller one doesn’t? Functionally, four things: intimidation, reach, acceleration, and depth of penetration.

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When it comes to targeting big knives provide the depth of penetration necessary to make thrust to the torso effective stopping blows.

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